Article, Get Traction In Your Career by Deborah Brown-Volkman :

Your Old Ideas Are Your Biggest Liability
by Deborah Brown-Volkman

Now is a good time to reflect on the past year and recognize your successful and not so successful moments. Many people experienced a frustrating 2011, and they find comfort and understanding in blaming their frustrations on changed external circumstances.

Your true source of frustration is not that your circumstances have changed, but that your ways of thinking have NOT changed. You develop thinking patterns to deal with a particular set of circumstances. When those circumstances change, and they always do, then your thinking patterns are no longer effective.

What old ideas have held you back? Some examples: "If I work hard, I will get a raise and a promotion." Or, "If I speak to enough recruiters, and I have the right skills, I will get a good job."

Think about how these ideas have fell apart this year, and recognize that clinging to them has been a real source of frustration. Instead of waiting for that raise or promotion to come to you, how can you build an innovative and compelling case for one? If you are searching for a job, instead of waiting for your industry to improve, what are new pathways for your skills?

Your possibilities are endless, but your old ideas are your biggest liability. So How Can You Turn Old Ideas Into New Ones? Follow These Steps:

1. Acknowledge That You Do Not Know Everything
Telling yourself that you know everything necessary to improve your career is a big mistake. No ones knows everything. The more you believe you do, the longer you will stay where you are. Acknowledging that you don't know everything is not a sign of weakness. It a sign of strength that comes from a strong individual that has the courage to tackle an old idea head on.

2. Eliminate Your Old Ideas

Everyone has beliefs they have formed over a lifetime. Many of your ideas have served you well. But if you are stuck, and are looking for a solution, a change of attitude may be your answer. List the old ideas that are standing in your way. Begin to think about ways to eliminate them.

3. Try Something Again

Letting go of old ideas may be new to you, so start with something that is familiar. Sign up for seminar or class you haven't signed up for yet because you have been telling yourself that you don't have the time. Read the career book you've been telling yourself you don't need to read because you already know the information. Most of what you need to know you already know. Trying something again let's you re-use the information in a different way, so you can get what you want

4. Come Up With New Ideas

If you are no longer defined by your old ideas, then you are free to create new ideas. You will have the opportunity to become the person you have always wanted to be. You will be free to think the way you have always wanted to think. Who do you admire? What are some of their ideas? Make these ideas your own or create new ones. Since you've created your old ideas, you can create new ones. You have just been granted a clean slate. Use it to make a fresh start.

5. Confront Your Fears

Have your old ideas created a comfortable space for fear? Does the fear that casually lingers in your old ideas stand in your way? Reclaim the space that you have created for your fear. Accept that fear does not go away on it's own. You overcome fear by confronting it. You get past fear by going thorough it. If you are afraid to pick up the phone or send an e-mail to someone who can help your career, find the courage. You can do it, I know you can.

6. Develop A Plan

Write down what you want and then give yourself a deadline for achieving it. Goals are reached one step and one day at a time. If you are not taking action, you are not moving forward. Open your calendar and put down when you will do what. If you don't have a plan, you will not be successful. Your plan is the pathway to your future.

7. Get Support

People frequently do not ask for help with their career because they are embarrassed or ashamed of their present situation. Even though they say their career difficulty is not their fault, inside they believe they are to blame. It's very difficult to obtain a new perspective alone. So, why continue to try? There are plenty of people who want to help you. Now is the time to take them up on it.

Hire the coach, counselor, or career mentor you really want to work with. Why should you go through the hard work and effort alone? Isn't it harder spending the majority of your time worrying about a career that isn't working anymore by yourself?

So, what do you say? You only have one life to live, so it might as well be a life you love!


Deborah Brown-Volkman is the president of Surpass Your Dreams, Inc., a career- and mentor-coaching company that has been delivering a message of motivation, success and personal fulfillment since 1998. The company works with senior executives, vice presidents and managers who are out of work or overworked. Deborah is also the creator of the Career Escape Program and author of Coach Yourself To A New Career: A Book To Discover Your Ultimate Profession. Deborah Brown-Volkman can be reached at via email at or at (631) 874-2877.


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