Remove the Blockers

  • By Shawn Sommerkamp
  • 23 Feb, 2017

  We all have things that get in our way, that seemingly interrupt our path to career success.  You can actually remove most of the blockers yourself.  And once the obstacles are gone, growth is easy.

Inner Thoughts Are the Key

Romans 12:2  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

It’s time for an introduction to one of the foundational truths to your career success:  what you tell yourself on the inside has infinite impact on what's on the outside. To describe what I mean, I’ll start by saying that there are only two types of blockers in life as well career advancement:   External and Internal.

External blockers are those events you can’t alter or control. For example, you are a salesperson and have a big client you want to close. You are taking a flight to that city and have a short layover. While connecting, a storm rolls through and your plane is grounded. You miss the meeting and your customer awards the business to another company. This is an external event you can't change even though it will most certainly impact your career.

On the other hand, internal blockers are those events that happen within you that you have complete control over, or at least can greatly influence in just a few moments. They take the form of inner dialogue. For example, you are a salesperson and you have a big client you want to close. Your flight arrives on time and you make the meeting on time. Just before the meeting you start telling yourself things like, “I’m no good at closing deals,” or “My suit looks wrinkled and they are going to see it and think I’m a slob,” or “I’m going to forget some of the most important material, I just know it.”

By the time you present to the client, sure enough, you choke. Your “nerves” get the best of you and you come across timid and doubtful. They award the business to another more confident, energetic competitor. This occurred because of your own internal blocker. Without self-deprecating beforehand, that client could have been yours.

How to Classify Your Internal Blockers

You surely have your own internal-block stories to tell. For all of us, they are varied and many. The fact is there are four classifications of internal blocks no matter how they manifest in your world. They are based on how Satan attacks us – accusations and deception.  These four blockers spell the word F.A.I.L and are as follows:

  1. Fears
  2. Assumptions
  3. Interpretations
  4. Limiting Beliefs

Your career has not gone where you want it to go because of one or more of these internal blocks. As hard as it may be to believe, it is really this simple. What holds you back from taking your career to the place you have always desired manifests itself is inside of you. In the next weekly inspiration, I will define how each play out in our daily work-life.

In preparation, here is a recommended exercise: As you go about your work over the next five business days, force yourself to become aware when you feel a little “off”. It could be stress or anxiety or worry or anger or discouragement etc. As soon as you become aware of this feeling, write it down somewhere, as concise as possible. You might write, “I’m at my desk and feeling worried,” or “While eating lunch in the cafeteria I realized I was anxious and my heart was racing.” Once it is written, ask yourself the following question then answer it:

“What have I been telling myself today that is making me feel this way?”

Practice this many times each week until it becomes second nature. Get a friend to agree to ask you this question often. This will take you to a new level of mindfulness, living in the present.

Shawn Sommerkamp is a motivational speaker and Executive Coach with 20+ years of Fortune 100 leadership experience.  He founded Motivationeer™ to coach Christian professionals how to use their career to glorify God and support local church growth.

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