What's Holding You Back?

By Louise Bauer Davoli

Generally, we are drawn to our jobs and professions because they allow us to utilize our skills, wisdom, experience and talents. On the other hand, if you feel as though you are standing still and getting no where at work, it may be time to step back and evaluate your circumstances.

If you discover that you are your own worst enemy in the workplace, it can be challenging to conduct an objective self-assessment when seeking job satisfaction and career advancement. All too frequently we set ourselves up by creating unreasonable expectations, we can get caught up in negative thought patterns or lose sight of our long-term goals and aspirations. Internal influences can smother motivation, hinder professional growth and limit our progress.

-- Goals - No Plan

-- Shooting for the Moon

-- Voices Inside My Head

-- Oh so cozy

Develop a work plan. A solid work plan or action plan includes details about what needs to be done, short and long-term objectives included. If you merely list your professional objectives and stop there, your aspirations will likely be pushed to the backburner by day-to-day demands and deadlines. Years may pass and your goals will remain unrealized. Avoiding this tragic circumstance requires that you anchor your goals to a specific plan of action. The plan needs to include interim benchmarks and concrete dates for accomplishment. Review this plan frequently to stay on track and make adjustments when needed so that you sustain steady progress.

Playing limbo stick with your goals by aiming too high or too low can impede your progress in the workplace. When you set goals that are not realistic, it's easy to become frustrated and give up. On the flip side, setting goals that are too easily accomplished can leave you with the sense that there's nothing left to do. Developing a five to seven-year plan and acquiring a fresh set of goals and objectives. You may decide to scale back to better reflect real-life developments such as economic or life conditions.

Sometime perfectionism can hold up back. We can become immobilized and take no action because we fear our efforts won't be perfect. We stick with the familiar tried and true methods. This strategy is safe but boring and soul sucking. It zaps energy and depletes initiative. Focus on pushing yourself to take reasonable risks. For example, you may decide to pursue a promotion. It will mean taking on responsibilities, becoming more visible and getting involved in assignments, but the pay-off will be well worth it.