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What is the 'something' that's holding you back in your career?

Recently, in collaboration with 'Rise Up Women', I delivered a career management and development workshop series. We had 35 talented women attend from across Ireland, the UK and the Netherlands, who were looking for some support to kickstart the year as they started to 're-imagine their careers'.

They work in a variety of industries - Recruitment, Healthcare, Politics, Auto, Retail, Finance, Pharma, Entertainment, Tech, Education, Self-employed... the list goes on...They are also at very different stages in their careers and personal lives. For example, one was a relatively new working mum, one was on sabbatical, and one had just been promoted to Director.

Yet, right from the start you could feel a strong willingness and an eagerness to connect with each other - and to support each other - wherever someone was on their journey. And to build on the common ground they shared - which was - to tackle the challenge they all faced - getting clarity on their career goals and designing a plan to achieve them.

Some of the career challenges clients come to me with are: - I want something more from my career ...but I don't know exactly what - I want my career to better fulfill my unique needs ....but are my expectations realistic? - I believe I have more to give ...but I'm not sure how - I don't have clarity on what I want ...but I want to start figuring it out - I want to do work that is more meaningful ...but I don't know where to find it - I want to use my skills & strengths more ...but my job doesn't allow me - I want to move forward in my career journey ...but something is holding me back

People from all walks of life can probably resonate with one or more of the above statements - but the one thread that ties us together - the common denominator - is the last one - that 'something' is holding you back.

From my experience, both personally and as a coach, that 'something' is unlikely to be a tangible thing like skills, time, money etc...Instead, it's more likely to be an intangible, yet super-powerful, self-limiting belief. One that held me back for a while was "I can't change my career after I've invested so much in it" but other examples are:

"I'm afraid I won't be successful"
"I'm don't think I'm good enough"
"I'm asking for too much"
"I'm not capable enough"
"I don't have the self-confidence or belief in myself...."

I get a physical reaction of sadness in my heart when I hear someone make one of these statements. It's all too common that amazingly talented and resourceful people don't realise just how capable they are - and they also don't realise all the answers - for their life - lie within themselves... and not in the external world. But then my feelings quickly change to hope and optimism! Because I know from experience - that with some extra support and guidance - and using some tried and tested coaching tools and methodologies - that these self-limiting beliefs can identified, understood and be changed to more empowering beliefs!

People can learn to shine a light on their fears. By forcing them out from the shadows - they can see them for what they really are - and find out that they're not even half as scary as they had imagined. Just by doing this - their power over them diminishes! They also learn that they're not alone in their journey. They realise they have lots of people in this life, and beyond, who are encouraging them to move forward towards a more fulfilled and happier life - and are celebrating them as they achieve each milestone on their journey.

As a result, they feel a bit braver, more courageous, more able to make decisions and take actions, more confident in their abilities....just more ready to go after their desires and make things happen for themselves! Their beliefs change to;

"I want to.."
"I believe I have a lot to offer.."
"I know I can learn.."
"I'm willing to try.."
"I feel ready now.."

By unlocking limiting beliefs, you can become 'unstuck' - and move forward - taking steps - however big or small - towards your goals.

In summary, I believe, that in order to unlock your potential, you need to invest the time, and be open to exploring your personal beliefs - in a safe space - and within an environment of support & positivity.


Self-limiting beliefs was just one topic covered in the career workshops. I invite you to read here, what the attendees said about the overall impact the career workshops had on them.

If this resonates with you and you'd like to know more about my workshops, please subscribe below, connect with me on LinkedIn, or email me at

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