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3 things to let go of in pursuit of career success

So often when we think about getting ahead in our career we think about what we need to do more of or be better at or what new action we must take, but very often the place to start has more to do with what we must let go of. The path to a career that is meaningful and fulfilling is often not a path of adding to or gaining something, but of removal or letting go.

I hear it all the time from the women I work with who are at a crossroads and are searching for direction and clarity about the next phase in their career. Yes there are absolutely actions that are instrumental to creating the momentum to move towards that next promotion, change of career direction or even taking the leap out of the corporate world and into a new business venture.

But… there are always things we need to give up and let go of first.

Deciding to let go of the thinking, beliefs, emotions, things and other “baggage” that are holding us back – is often a hidden key to moving towards that next big thing in our career.  It is all about clearing out the junk and clutter and making room for the new.

3 Things To LET GO Of In Pursuit Of Career Success  

1.  Let go of the status quo. The one thing that I can guarantee is that change is inevitable and the more we hold on tight to the status quo the harder life will seem. Holding onto the status quo is like swimming against the tide… it is hard work and you ultimately end up somewhere you don’t actually want to be.

Many of us have an unconscious obsession with holding onto what seems certain and predictable even when what we have is not bringing joy and fulfilment.

The status quo, miserable or unsatisfying as it may be, is known and so can seem easier to navigate through, knowing at least what to expect, even if it is not great.  However if we disrupt the status quo, the future is completely unknown and for many people this can be unnerving and feels incredibly scary.

I am speaking from experience on this one! I held onto a job for almost 2 years even though I hated it (and yes … I really did hate it!) The fear of the unknown seemed far worse than the unpleasantness of what I had…. when really all I needed to do was let go of the status quo and have faith in myself.

2.  Let go the fear of risk. A recruitment consultant told me yesterday that the greatest challenge she sees amongst female job candidates securing ideal roles was their tendency to be risk adverse. We hold onto the perceived safety and security that comes with tenure within an organisation such as long service and annual leave entitlements, possible bonus and the like.

These are valid considerations but just that … a consideration. I love Richard Branson’s question around taking risk. Ask yourself “What is the worse thing that could happen and if that was to happen could you handle it?” In most cases the answer is yes. We are far stronger and more resilient than we think.

Moving onto something new always involves some risk. I hear you asking … What if I fail? What if I don’t like it? What if it isn’t what I think it is?

Yes but what if by taking a little risk you move onto the perfect role for you that gives you all the flexibility, meaning, fulfillment and joy that you could ever imagine? 

3.  Let go of Negative Nelly’s.  Think about the people who you spend time with. Are they supporting you and cheering you on? Or are you hanging out with the Nay Sayers and the Negative Nelly’s.

The attitude, thinking and aspirations of others are highly contagious, so choose who you spend time with wisely. This might mean spending less time with people who you love or people who have been in your world for a long time. It doesn’t necessarily mean ditching them all together … but it might.

Letting go of the Negative Nelly’s allows space in your life for those that expect even more of you than you do? Imagine spending time with people who believe in you when your confidence takes a hit and who champion you, advocate for you and show you the way towards the next big thing in your career.

Just last week my partner challenged me to stop playing safe and to take the next step in the development of my business. It was done with love and with sincere belief in me. It shook me out of my own complacency and comfort zone and was exactly the type of support I needed.

Who do you have in your corner?

Take a moment to reflect on what you will need to let go of in order to have what you really want.

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