This week I coached a wonderfully lovely woman I'll call Jill. She's a bright woman, very compassionate and sweet. She's at one of the corporations where I am an outside consultant/coach. This was our first meeting but within seconds I could tell she had a lot on her mind.. and her plate.
She basically has to work 12 hour days 6 days a week to be able to keep up with her job. She's highly in demand and is spread a LOT too thin. She's in management and so her opinion counts, but she often does the work of three people because she doesn't want to appear to be a complainer, so she doesn't say anything.
She's got a few bosses over her who are very appreciative of the work she puts forth. And then there are a few who continue to heap more work on her already back breaking load.
Today in coaching she told me that she envy's others who have been able to be aggressive to lesson their work load. But she explained to me, that she was the TYPE WHO ALWAYS FOLLOWED RULES.
Ooops! Red flag for sure!!
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? (What if it's 5:00 in the morning and you're sitting at a red light that isn't changing.. do you run the red light or sit and wait until it changes?
? How about, what if you are on the high way and there are no cars in sight and the speed limit says 65, do you go 75?
? Or what if there is a late fee of $25 if you write a check to the county by a certain date and you back date a check to look like the mail's fault? You do it because you are trying to be fiscally responsible?
? What if an employee has to take extra sick days from work because they've got sick children?
? What if you or your child has terrible mosquito bites and can't stop itching and the drug store is closing. Would you ask them to stay open a few minutes late for you? )
Come on! Everyone breaks rules every once in a while!! Rules are made to keep people monitored and in line but are broken all the time with good cause.
Anyway, she continued to share with me her frustration over no one noticing her crazy schedule and her continued quiet suffering.
So I asked her: "Jill, when did you learn this lesson that you always had to follow the rules? " She replied that her dad was in the military and that she learned that you never talk back to superiors, and whether you have a great opinion or not, you keep it to yourself if it differs from authority.
Hmmmm. "And Jill, how old were you when you learned this lesson from your dad?" Jill told me that she was about 3-5 years old, and grew up that way.
So I replied: "so you are living with the decision of a THREE year old. You made this decision at age THREE or age FIVE and you are STILL living with it!" " Do you want to continue living as a THREE year old in business.. or do you want to learn some NEW skills that are a bit more up to date?"
I could see her take a gulp at the realization that she is running around acting like a child when she is in her mid 40's. She IMMEDIATELY said that she wanted to learn some new rules to live by.. and gain some new business tools.
As a matter of fact, I think I saw her pound her fist on the table when she said it! Now THAT Is a woman who is ready to claim her power!
I was thrilled. It made my day. What the heck, it made my week! I felt alive and so rewarded that I could make a positive impact in the way this woman conducts her life.
So ask yourself, what is holding YOU back? Do you keep repeating something over and over that isn't helping you anymore or it's actually prohibiting you from getting ahead? Have you asked yourself WHY?
A great exercise is to sit down with pen and paper and answer the question of why. If you have a reason that stems from childhood, whether it was your parents or what you were taught, then it's time to get some new teachers and time to learn new skills.
It's a great revelation when we see how we gain our limiting beliefs. But its even a better feeling to know that they'll soon be past history.
Mary Gardner is an Executive Communications Consultant and Coach. She works with, coaches and trains individuals, sales teams, executives, and celebrities. She enjoys seeing the best come out in people and has fun in the process. Mary is married to Sway and is mommy to Jeremy 5 and lives in Orlando, FL.
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