By Jenica Foster

Remember back to Jan. 1, 2018, the first day of a new year. You’re fresh with possibilities and have a positive outlook on life. Fast forward to Dec. 2018, what happened? How over the course of a year did life turn so sour – or worse, stay exactly the same?

We tell ourselves this year is going to be different, and it can be, but sometimes we need a little help. Business and leadership coach Stephanie Pollock, of Stephanie Pollock Media, takes us through how to turn wishes and hopes into action for 2019.

First off, there’s a few ways we hold ourselves back and it’s important to acknowledge them, Pollock says.

“When we’re in a professional context we are often talking about the skills we need to develop. Hard tangible things we need to grow in. As a coach I am acutely aware that those things are important, but they will only ever be maximized if we are also working on ourselves at the same time. What are the patterns? These are the ones that I see again and again and again.”

Five Ways We Hold Ourselves Back

1. We Wait

  • Ideas and ambition, but no follow through or action
  • Analysis paralysis
  • Struggle to make decisions

2. We Doubt

  • Unrealistic views of competency
  • Don’t believe in skills
  • Over prepare vs. low effort syndrome

3. We Minimize

  • Prioritize the team’s effort over individual effort
  • Hold back opinions
  • Say yes more than no

4. We Avoid & We Armour

  • Avoid feedback and tough conversations
  • Passive aggressive
  • Avoid asking for help

5. We Compare

  • Look for other’s validation
  • Lose focus on own priorities
  • Look to others to assign work

“Having the awareness to recognize and own up to what’s getting in your way is vital. Otherwise, we keep playing out the same patterns, blaming circumstances and others for our setbacks. Instead, we need to dig deeper and get at the root of what’s going on (hint: it’s almost always fear) so that we can make changes,” Pollock says.

Steps to Career Success

Who do I want to be in 2019 and how do I want to show up are two guiding questions that are at the heart of intentional goal setting, Pollock says. Once you have an objective in mind, use the following steps to follow through.

  1. Recognize what’s not working for you and what it’s costing you
  2. Pick one aspect you want to work on and anchor it to a core value
  3. Find support
  4. Implement specific strategies
  5. Evaluate your success
Business and leadership coach Stephanie Pollock helps people navigate their career path.

Step three is critical. Pollock says it is important to find an accountability partner, whether that’s a friend, co-worker, coach, or therapist depending on the intensity of the challenge.

“I have yet to see somebody break the pattern of limiting beliefs by simply thinking their way out of it. They always need support and encouragement along the way,” Pollock says.

One item to keep in mind is that personal improvement is a life long process of intention.

Pollock says, “It’s not something that we can tick the checkbox and say okay, done. As we grow, new challenges will present themselves and we’ll need to work through them. This isn’t about curing our limiting beliefs, but rather learning how to manage them so they no longer manage us.”

Don’t be too hard on yourself if you encounter setbacks or fall into old habits on the path to achieving your goal. Instead of setting a huge New Year’s resolution, focus on small, specific actions for both personal and career success in 2019.

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