Guest post by Cecile Fery from The Career Catch Up
I’m aware this may sound completely paradoxical. Hopefully, it won’t by the end of this post!
I regularly coach women who are stuck in their jobs, in their careers. They are lacking joy and fulfillment in their work lives, which can be in the unfortunate company of stress, overwhelm, and a life out of balance. The ripple effects on their personal lives and health, in particular, don’t look very good. And, they know it. But, the crucial part of being stuck is that they are afraid of taking action. So let’s talk about how to get out of a rut, and what unfolds from there.
You are not alone
If this is you, don’t despair. This is more common than you might think. We live in an era where lots of us are starting to shift our values from mostly material goals to personal goals. Where money, status, and achievements, are not enough to define our worth and make us fulfilled. And, most women have got that added complexity on top of blending their life with raising a family. So, it’s no wonder some find it challenging to get clear on their path or to correct it if it’s not working.
The main reasons I see women being stuck on their career journey is often due to their beliefs. Whilst often stemming from a positive place, those beliefs act as lenses slowly but surely reducing the field of possibilities for them. Fear of change of the unknown often leads the pack, followed by its buddy—the fear of failure. Because women want to do well, succeed and have such great judgment, this can, in turn, get in the way of them taking a new step.
Then other people’s opinions and what is ‘expected’ play another huge role in squashing potential ideas, desires, and impulses. Thoughts around where you can go from A (only B or maybe C) create limitations and a further sense of frustration. So when we mix up all those beliefs and play them on repeat in our head, there is little wonder we can feel lost and powerless.
My personal story
I have been in that space too. And I stayed there too long. Eventually, I realized that I wasn’t solving my problem on my own, and I got some coaching to get me out of the rut. The irony is that I now coach women on going through the same process of defining their next step. And, looking back and working with them, I can really see how we are keeping ourselves stuck, but also what a fantastic call to action this is.
Having changed career 2 years ago, I can’t tell of one single day or hour when I regretted the steps I took. No matter the challenges, the efforts, or the confusion at times. It’s all part of the process of growing. And my biggest lesson is that when we are stuck, it is because we are wasting away our talents, our calling, and often not living our values. We are ready for the next step, we have outgrown our situation. Or, we are no longer prepared to do something that does not feel like us deep down. We have the feeling in us, but we just don’t know how to express our desires into a path.
What to do from here?
Firstly, start by listening to your intuition a bit more. Because it speaks from the place of your values. Create some space in your busy schedule to hear it. To give it some air time. Then you need to allow yourself to trust it and act on it – even if it’s the smallest action. That’s the hard part because we are not experienced in doing this. We are much more accustomed to react to our standard beliefs, which feel so comfortable and familiar to us. So let the fearful feelings come over, and take that small action anyway. Just to see where it leads you. Wouldn’t you want to know what’s in the other room if you turned the light on?
The examples from women I’ve helped just speak volumes about all the opportunities that exist out there for all of us. It is your own journey, no one can walk it for you. So start seeing being stuck as the catalyst to get on the journey, like it’s your sign. And, take the first little step to see what unfolds. I can’t wait to see what it is for you.