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:
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.
Shawn Sommerkamp, speaking to the Charleston Church of Christ at the New Year's Eve church service Dec 31, 2017.
Targeted goal-setting is powerful and effective. It helps us keep clarity of outcome. Breaking big desires down into smaller, achievable goals makes success achievable. The biggest challenges are overcome as we make a series of small goals that, collectively, lead to big outcomes.
And yet, just setting a bunch of goals can often be discouraging when we don’t reach them. Ever wonder why we often fall short? It’s because the goals weren’t smart! I’m not talking about whether the goals are stupid or intelligent either. I’m talking about a simple way of thinking about an activity designed to help us achieve results. It’s called S.M.A.R.T. and it stands for the following:
It’s early January.
The Holidays are over.
It can feel like we go from the ‘The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year’ to the most challenging time of the year.
A more appropriate lyric, now that it is time to make resolutions & get back to work, could be one of the following…
‘It’s The Most:
- Crazy busy
- Cash poor
- Weight Gaining
…Time Of The Year.’`
It’s not that you are
You want to enjoy it, but
it can feel more like “I just want to get through it.”
Although your MIND knows that God’s will for you (according to 1 Th 5:16-18) is to:
“Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances…”
...your HEART can lag behind & this simple command can seem overwhelming.
Sometimes you can put your finger on what’s dragging you down & other times it’s more elusive ~ not really sure what’s keeping things from being ‘Wonderful’.
1 Thessalonians 5:18
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus
Give thanks, no matter what is happening in your life. This is easy…right?
A national polling firm named Penn, Schoen, & Berland conducted a survey, mid-2012, evaluating American attitude toward thankfulness. They conducted more than 2,000 interviews across the US general population. I’m only going to share a few pieces of the overall report:
Where is the one place people are least likely to express gratitude? WORK
Based on this survey, that hardest circumstance to give thanks exists in and around the workplace. Isn’t that amazing? The place we spend the most waking hours (about 2,200 hours per year, about 110,000 hours in working lifespan) we aren’t thankful for. Wow!
The truth is our career is not just a way to make a living - it’s a way to transform the world. It’s the place God placed us so that we could make the biggest difference in our service to him.
Do you remember when these 3D-Hidden Object posters
came out? They were quite the RAVE…
They were not what they appeared to be at first glance… If you wanted to understand what the poster was really about, you had to stop what you were doing, get real close to it – focus on it, and back away very slowly… and then – like magic – 3D images would appear / seemingly emerge right off of the paper (3D effect). The embedded 3D images were disguised and hidden to the untrained/unfocused eyes.
Some people (me included sometimes) would get frustrated if we could not see the 3D images fast enough – some were easier than others… and missed the ‘magic’ of the poster.