I can remember the season of frustration I experienced many years ago that catapulted me into the “confident career woman” I am today. Full disclosure: at that point in my career, I was lost. I worked hard and performed well; but I was lost. I interviewed successfully, increased my salary and looked good while doing it – still lost. I now realize the honest truth is: I was a beautiful picture with a broken frame. From the outside looking in; for those who were observing, I was experiencing career mobility and was a true example of success. Unfortunately, my frame needed work. Truth be told…my frame STILL needs work! This “broken frame” is something I have in common with many career-minded professional women like yourself, who are known for making things happen yet we neglect to do the inner work required to experience and sustain external success.
If you’re following me on social media, perhaps you’re aware of the enthusiastic posts I shared recently regarding therapy. I decided to invest in something that would: increase my productivity, heighten my self-awareness, incorporate a level of accountability and identify my patterns – those that help as well as those that are harmful. Taking my person and my performance to the next level mandated that my step one was fixing my frame.
According to Adam Sicinski, Life Coach, Mind Mapper and IQ Matrix Founder:
“Framing is a mental structure that is built upon the beliefs you have about yourself, your roles, your circumstances and about other people. In other words, the meaning you ascribe to any event is dependent upon how you frame it in your mind. As such, your frames shape how you see the world, how you see yourself, how you view others and how you interpret your life.
Frames can be of a positive or of a negative nature; they are either helpful within the context you are using them or they are unhelpful. They either expand your opportunities and the possibilities of the situation or they limit your options moving forward.”
You can be assertive and ambitious – with a broken frame.
You can even exude confidence and achieve your goals – with a broken frame as referenced during my most recent Radio One interview “Pursuing A Career With Confidence And Strategy” .
What held me back professionally and what will hold you back is your frame. I’m sharing this because too many times we attempt to adjust externally without assessing what needs to happen internally first. Company culture could very well be your issue when you know that you are both capable and qualified. However, you have more influence over changing your mind than you do changing your entire organization!
Here are 3 things I recommend as you consider fixing your frame:
1.Consider what you need to unlearn. Having a career development plan and investing in yourself is second nature at this stage in your career. However, what may not be as intentional is considering what information you need to rid yourself of mentally. A personal example that has nothing to do with my career but that makes me extremely happy is that I now eat my dessert first. I was well into adulthood adhering to a childhood rule that no longer served me nor made a real difference in my life when the rule was followed. If I had to teach myself that cheesecake before casserole is 100% acceptable, what are you currently doing out of routine that needs to be eliminated or replaced? Once you’ve realized the limitations of outdated information and/or an outdated skill, you can then embrace a different practice. If we perform software updates on our phones by ridding it of outdated information that hinders optimal performance, we must be willing to implement something similar for our software as well.
2.Evaluate your frame of reference. Sicinski states: “Frames of reference provide you with a “focus” on your day-to-day activities. These activities will either support your goals or th.ey will hinder your progress. It will all depend on the belief systems that are influencing your behaviors, thoughts, decisions, perceptions and emotions. If these beliefs are helpful, then you have nothing to worry about. However, if they are unhelpful then you will struggle to realize your desired outcomes. Deliberately discard obsolete, redundant knowledge that no longer applies.”
3.Frame your career. Identify your 3 W’s:
- Who am I? Define who you are in absence of your title. Think strengths, competencies and collective career experience.
- Why am I in this role and how long will I occupy this seat?
- What are my results? Own your outcomes and communicate them.
Once you’ve captured your responses, establish your goals then formulate a plan to achieve your specified objectives. In honor of National Career Development Day, which is November 13th, not only am I offering my career courses for $5 via www.ConfidentCareerWoman.com, I am also going live via my Facebook page Confident Career Woman at 12:30pm EST to offer guidance and answer your career related questions.
As you contemplate what’s next for you professionally, remember “As a woman thinketh, so is she.” You are only as powerful as your programming meaning the thoughts you accept and act upon throughout your day. I wholeheartedly believe that every woman should excel at work and know her worth but that cannot happen when we’re not willing to fix our frame and work from the inside out.
Ericka Spradley is the Chief PowHer Officer/Founder of Confident Career Woman which is the premier consulting firm for corporations and the mid-career professional woman who wants to advance, better manage her career, and go further faster. Ericka is an advocate who partners with clients to help women ditch perfection, play bigger and make PowHer Moves by: identifying their next role, creating a career strategy, offering ongoing career guidance, and coaching clients to master interviews. For additional information, visit: ErickaSpradley.com