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The Can’t Series: Breaking Your Word Is Holding You Back In Your Career

career change coachingWe are all hampered by barriers we can’t see. For many, the invisible barriers make us unhappy at work.

In the “Can’t Series,” I describe the invisible factors that are at play behind the scenes and are holding you back from success in your career. To empower yourself, you need to face these mysterious forces and be ruthlessly honest with yourself. If you follow these instructions, you have a shot at being happy and free.

Who Are You?

Have you thought about who you really are? Are you the person you see in the mirror in the morning? How about what you do for a living that defines you, right? After all, when you meet new people, one of the first questions is, so what do you do for a living?  “Oh, I’m a plumber, a car saleswoman, a psychologist that’s who I am.” But what happens when you are not plumbing or selling or psychologizing?

Are you defined by what you do in your free time? The average amount of time Americans spend per day watching TV is five hours. So, most of your free time is spent watching TV. Surely, that must define who you are? Nah, you are whatever sports team you follow. You might even have their logo on your car or your shirt. Or maybe you are your relationships; I’m related to this partner, friend, cousin, etc. I’m a parent, and a child too. And since I’m a former advertising executive I will offer this one; could you be the car you drive? Automobile advertisers have known for years the power that cars have to help us define ourselves. Oh, I have it. It’s how much money you have. I’m rich that’s who I am. I could go on, but what if I told you none of that is who you are? You aren’t even your name, although that is certainly one good way to find yourself online. Now what?

Who You Are Is Your Word

It is no accident that the bible starts with the phrase “in the beginning was the word.” Now, this is not about bible study, this is about the importance of honoring your word. Who am I to argue with the bible? What you say, what comes out of your mouth, and the promises you make are the most human qualities there are. Of all the human activities I described, your word is the one thing that defines the real you.

Why Does Keeping Your Word Matter?

Every time you break your word, make a false promise, or fail to honor your word, you are chipping away at the sacred being that you are. We break our word in a thousand little ways almost every day without noticing it or acknowledging it. Every time you judge, blame or complain, you are breaking your word. Every time you are a single second late for a meeting, you are breaking your word. This is not about harshly judging your behavior. It is about change. And change is what I am interested in as a coach. Here is my coaching tip for the day:. If you want to change your life or to be more successful in your career, the single most powerful action you can take is to start noticing your word, and start honoring it like your life depends on it. Because who you are is your word.

Stay on the lookout for future posts as I continue to write about “The Can’t”.


If you like this blog post and if you are serious about change and are willing to commit time and resources, drop me a line.

I offer a free sample session that will help you clarify your goals, identify challenges, and set you on an instant action plan toward success.


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