Had I followed the advice of my high school guidance counselor to go to a local community college, I would not be writing this article to you now. I was seen as average and had I accepted that narrative, my destiny would have been sealed; at least for a while. This assumption that a career path or goal isn’t designed for you, whether due to societal norms or the expectations of others, is an absolute guarantee you will not accomplish your goal.

Have you ever said you can’t do something simply because you don’t believe you have the skills to achieve more? You say you’re shy. You wish you could speak as eloquently as others. You wish you had a mentor to help guide your career. Within these symptoms of self doubt, have you ever thought about how you could be the one sabotaging your career? 

While this may sound harsh, the difference between what is vs. what could be is taking personal accountability for your career. 

From Personal Sabotage to Personal Accountability

When others suggested that I target “average” schools when entering college, I had a choice. The easy way would be to apply to schools that were well within my capability, making everyone else could feel good about getting me in. However, that narrative was not sitting right with me because it violated my values of excelling and needing to get into Tier I or II schools to increase my chances of a good paying job and financial freedom. The narrative kept coming from adults “watching out” for me that I should send many applications to all colleges including average and Tier I & II just to make sure I got into school. The underlying narrative was they didn’t think I was good enough, but I did not listen. I believed I was smart enough and had to try. 

Having sent out many, I got into Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Stevens Institute of Technology, Rutgers School of Engineering, Miami University school of Engineering and Boston University School of Engineering. Several of these were Tier II schools and in the end Rensselaer became my home for four years as I earned a degree in Biomedical Engineering. 

The key is to evaluate the value of what others say vs. what you think. The key word is “think.” So often as leaders we simply “do” what others expect and then those actions turn into ongoing behaviors. Those behaviors return a feedback signal to your brain that this is who you are. When we think before we do and have good decision logic, we are accountable for our actions. So how do we turn this wisdom into action?

Framework for Transitioning Personal Sabotage to Personal Accountability

  • List your limiting beliefs
  • Qualify which ones did you assume and which ones did others impart on you
  • List approximately when did you assume the limiting belief (i.e as a child, college, adult) and list if it is still relevant or not?
  • For limiting beliefs imparted by others, ask if they are still relevant or not?
  • For anything left over as still relevant, ask yourself this question:

“If I don’t change my limiting beliefs, am I okay with the regret of not knowing what is possible?”

If the answer is no, you’ve made the first step in moving your career forward. I trust you can do this, but perhaps a guide can provide you the support you need.

Building new skills takes practice and I want to be there for you. We cover this framework in our Drop In C-Suite Academy which is still accepting students for enrollment. If you would prefer a 1-2-1 approach, I can also offer my coaching services. 

For more information about The Drop In C-Suite Academy (CS)  dedicated to the aspiring C-Suite leader, simply register to get on the waitlistemail me or connect with me for a quick chat. I can’t wait to help you be successful and reach your goals!

For more resources, you can listen to The Drop In CEO Podcast or check out my book The CEO’s Compass will help you get on track in days not months.

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Good Reads

Climbing The Right Mountain: Navigating the Journey to An Inspired Life by Tony Martignetti – I finished this read during vacation and it validates the need to follow what your heart says about purpose. When we only do what is expected, over the long term, it can take a toll on your mind and body. Take the time to invest in yourself and realize what your fully capable of doing. 

Good Music

Solas – Vital Mental Medicine / The Pullet – This is a very fast pace Irish / American song that is filled with energy, dueling instruments and tension. I reflect upon this piece as how one will feel as they move from a place of holding themselves back to their breakout potential. 

Good Advice

This week, I wanted to source a quote that aligned with this article and found in this quote from Steve Jobs: 

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For more inspiration, Listen & Subscribe to The Drop In CEO Podcast

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