Identifying the Person Holding Back Your Career

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Identifying the Person Holding Back Your Career

OK…the minute you read the headline you knew who I was going to identify as the person holding you back from achieving your dreams. Collectively, let’s all say it together. Ready? One, two, three…the number one person holding me back in my career is…MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

I am a big advocate of self-help tapes, CD, videos, and books which provide valuable information on how to be successful.  Without exception, they all say that we sabotage our careers more than anyone else. We know that instinctively. We didn’t need to spend $25 to have Tony Robbins tells us in some fashion that the culprit to our demise can be found staring us back in the mirror.

Yesterday, I wrote a blog about Johnny Manziel, a quarterback with the Cleveland Browns, who is setting about to destroy his career. In a moment of self-reflection, even Manziel admitted to everyone that, “I did this to myself.” Even he knows he was a screw-up this season, and yet he was unable to avoid being one. Sadly, Manziel is not the only cautionary tale of 2014.

So, if we know we are the problem…why do we continue to be the problem? In problem-solving, it is a pretty simple process. You identify the problem, come up with a solution; and presto-changeo…problem solved!

Unfortunately, as a society we are losing the art of self-reflection. We see it in the headlines every day, and we encounter it in the people we, ourselves, deal with on a daily basis. We are fast becoming a group that wants the “sugar-coated” version of the truth. We want to shift the blame for our troubles on to someone else. It is easier to point the finger at someone else than to point that finger at ourselves.

Perhaps, our lives are so complicated, and things happen so fast there is little time for self-reflection. How many of our kids ever sit in a pew for an hour a week? A lot of soul-searching can be accomplished in that hour. Yet, we lie to ourselves. We want to compartmentalize our lives. Work is work. School is school…and a faith system doesn’t belong in either. There is priest in our community who has formed a group called Heart to Heart. They are made up of prominent area business leaders in Akron who meet on a regular basis to find ways to incorporate their faith in their business dealings. They seem to be moving in a direction counter to the rest of the world.  While I am certain you can act in a moral and just way without having faith; the converse must also be true. The one thing about faith is that it contains unshakable and unchangeable-with-the-times values. Here is big question…if we lie to ourselves, and the people around us are unwilling to be honest about our actions, then where is our moral compass to be found?

This is going to sound really strange, but if we want to improve yourself…quit thinking of ourselves.  Our life will be so much richer if we start putting others first. A smile and a handshake can do wonders to improve your life and your relationship with others. Being kind breaks down barriers…in every situation be the bigger person. As Dr. Phil often states, every problem needs someone to step up and be the hero. Be the hero!

Hand in hand with thinking of others, is the art of staying humble. In our business…heck, in any business, we think numbers are the report card of our success. Numbers don’t lie. If we rack up millions in sales…then we must be good at what we do, right? That’s the way it works in our society, right? If you are rich and powerful, then you are the best! That’s the lie we tell ourselves until the car, the house, the clothes, the vacations we buy to make ourselves feel good only bring more emptiness. One of my favorite quotes is this…success is measured not in what you have obtained, but in what you had to give up in order to achieve it.

I am going to end this post with the following quote from Mother Teresa. Perhaps this can serve a roadmap for the coming year. Happy New Year’s everyone!

Life is an opportunity, benefit from it. Life is a beauty, admire it. Life is a dream, realize it. Life is a challenge, meet it. Life is a duty, complete it. Life is a game, play it. Life is a promise, fulfill it. Life is sorrow, overcome it. Life is a song, sing it. Life is a struggle, accept it. Life is a tragedy, confront it. Life is an adventure, dare it. Life is luck, make it. Life is life, fight for it!" Mother Teresa




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