Tag: #yourpassioninlife


Feeling Trapped in Your Career? Here’s How to Cope (Re-Post)


A few weeks ago I took a mini-vacation down to my favorite area of Florida, Seagrove Beach on beautiful 30A. 

I was anxious to get my paddle board out on the beautiful emerald waters of the Gulf of Mexico. But, the beach’s warning flags told me I should re-think my plans. 

There was a purple flag indicating dangerous marine life, and a red flag indicating high hazards and strong currents.

So, I improvised. I took my board out on Eastern Lake, a rare coastal dune lake that runs under Scenic Highway 30A and eventually feeds into the ocean after a heavy rain or other inflow. 

Because it is a coastal dune lake, Eastern Lake is rather small. And since there hadn’t been a previous heavy rainfall to create an opening to the ocean, the sandy beach served as a barrier between the lake and the ocean.

feeling trapped

Photo source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Rfq05J2yyI


Feeling Trapped

feeling trapped

Photo by Lori Bumgarner

I paddled from the beach end (the south end) of the lake where the salt water mixes with the fresh, to the marshy north end where I’m sure some alligators make their home. 

It was only about a mile and a half from the beach barrier to the marsh end of the lake. 

Needless to say, for someone who is used to paddling on rivers that run for hundreds of miles, I felt a bit trapped.

And unlike the ocean, I didn’t have a wide open space to explore. All I could do was just keep paddling in one big circle around the perimeter of the lake. 

Despite all the beauty surrounding me and the change of scenery from my regular paddle route, the feeling of going around in circles made me frustrated.


The experience of feeling trapped is one I’ve felt more than once in my career. 

Whether it was when I was trapped in a toxic office environment, or when I was restless because I wasn’t working in my purpose.

It’s not a fun place to be, at all (I’m sure you can probably relate).

When faced with these situations, I’ve used various coping mechanisms that have led to changes in my situation for the better.

My paddle around the lake that day reminded me of all the possible ways to cope when faced with the feeling of being trapped in your career. 


7 Possible Ways to Cope With Feeling Trapped  —  Here Are Your Options:

1. Sometimes we don’t always get what we want when we want it, so be patient. 

This is probably the most difficult option since most people aren’t naturally patient, myself included. 

But, sometimes this is what it takes when certain factors aren’t within your control. All you can do are the things within your control. 

For instance, when doing a job search you can build your network, learn how to market your skills and strengths, conduct informational interviews, apply for jobs, and prepare for job interviews. 

After that, it’s out of your hands. You have to be patient while the seeds you’ve sown grow into the right opportunity.


2. Make the best of your current situation. 

Maybe you can’t change your situation right now. But you can change some things about it to make the best of it until another opportunity comes your way. 

Check out my post How to Make Your Sucky Job More Bearable (Until You Can Leave).


3. Just enjoy and be content with and grateful for the beauty of your current place or situation because things will soon change for the better. 

Often my clients are in a period of transition which feels uncomfortable for them. 

I too have been in that same situation. 

Instead of letting it continue to frustrate me, I chose to make the most of that time by learning some new things and doing some really fun, awesome things as well. 

I learned to relish that time because I knew it was a rare opportunity to do so. 

That’s why I encourage my clients to relish periods of transition despite the uncertainty they’re facing. 

The ones who do, are so glad they did, and the ones who don’t, often regret it.


4. Wait to make your move until conditions are more favorable. 

You might have more control than you think. But, you have to make sure you’re taking action in both a timely and responsible way. 

When I first started my business, I didn’t immediately leave my full-time job with benefits. Instead, I started taking small steps toward my goal before taking a leap of faith. 

To learn how to make a career risk doable, read my post How to Make the Risk of Starting Your Own Business Doable.


5. Pay attention to the warning flags. 

Just like I had to pay attention to the beach’s warning flags, you also have to look at the warning flags in your career. 

For example, are you hearing rumors of potential layoffs at your company? 

Is your job at risk of being replaced by the latest technology? 

To know how to best prepare for such a situation, check out my post Want More Job Security? Do This One Simple Thing and also click on the related posts for even more tips.


6. You’ll keep going in circles if you don’t step out of your comfort zone

Once you’ve done some or all of the above, there eventually comes a time when you have to step out of your comfort zone and take a leap of faith. 

How do you do that? Click here to find out.


7. Don’t wait for an opportunity to come open. Make your own opportunity. 

Sometimes you have to take the bull by the horns and make things happen for your career. 

This could mean combining some of your skills and passions to start your own business. 

Or it could mean proposing a new or different role for you at your current company that better incorporates your strengths and interests, therefore improving the company’s bottom line. A real win-win!


Which Option Is Best For You?

The trick is knowing which option to choose at which time. 

In one of my own career trappings, I waited patiently for the conditions to be right to make my exit and spent that time wisely planning my course of action.

In another situation, I took a leap of faith.

Both coping mechanisms worked for me in those particular situations. But they probably would’ve failed had I taken a leap of faith when it was too early, or had I waited around when I should’ve taken action. 

Sometimes it can be difficult to know which option to choose. And even then it can be difficult to know the best timing for your chosen option. A good career coach can help you determine both.


What’s causing you to feel trapped in your career right now? 

Which option above is speaking to you? 

I invite you to share in the comment box below.

I also invite you to start setting some goals that support the option (or options) that works best for you at this time. 

Learn how to do so by subscribing to my newsletter and receiving a complimentary download of the 8-Step Goal-Achievement Plan.

Related Posts:

feeling trapped

5 Ways to Discover New Passions in Your Life

Originally published on The Daily Positive.

Is it time for you to learn something new or try something again? Is there a place you’ve never visited? I challenge you to step out of your comfort zone, explore your surroundings, and talk to interesting people. Here’s how doing so can lead to new passions:

1. Try something new.

When we open ourselves up to new experiences, we discover passions we never imagined! If I was told three years ago I would be spending my free time stand-up paddle boarding down the river, I wouldn’t believe it. And if I was told this new passion would trigger a career change, I really wouldn’t believe it. This all came from taking a beginner paddle boarding class.

new passions

2. Try something old.

The first time I tried rock climbing I was horrible and thought I could never do it. A couple years later, I tried again, and surprisingly, I could! What was the difference? Just a little tweak in my approach. I listened to what an expert said about using my legs more than my arms. This made a huge difference!

Don’t assume because you failed at something once, you’ll fail again. Try a different approach!

3. Travel.

I know a woman who discovered a unique passion when she traveled to Italy. While there, she learned the time-honored art of bookbinding by hand. She also had considered becoming a Cultural Care Au Pair for a couple of days while she was vising the region. First, bookbinding became a hobby for her, and now it’s her full-time job! If she had never visited Italy, she may still be stuck in her previously miserable career.

New places or even a simple change of scenery can lead you down a path you never knew existed. You don’t have to travel far away, new passions can be discovered somewhere within driving distance too.

4. Pay attention to your surroundings.

When you pay attention to your surroundings, you’ll discover new opportunities for new passions to arise. Sometimes just inquiring about something that catches your eye can lead to a newly discovered passion.

Many cities and local colleges host community classes on topics within arts, languages, computers, etc. In the past, I’ve taken a photography class, an archery class, and even a fly-fishing class. I’ve also taught some classes! This year I plan to take a marketing class and a financial success class. Pay attention to the opportunities around you!

5. Talk to people.

A few years ago a friend of mine and his girlfriend were traveling in Florida when they noticed a van with the picture of a stand-up paddle boarder on it. They inquired about it and discovered a place where they could learn to paddle board. The first day, they fell in the water several times but went back a second day to try again. They quickly became so passionate about this experience they decided to open their own paddle boarding company. They talked to everyone in the business to learn as much as they could. Nine months later, they opened their own paddle shop with much success! Their success happened just from expressing an interest and learning from the people around them.

New Passions

Everyone has the opportunity to discover new passions.

Find more ways to do so in the complimentary on-demand webinar 5 Ways to Pursue Your Passions in Work and Life.

Click here for more ways to pursue new passions.

Related Posts:

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Feeling trapped? 7 Possible Ways to Cope

A few weeks ago I took a mini-vacation down to my favorite area of Florida, Seagrove Beach on beautiful 30A. I was anxious to get my paddle board out on the beautiful emerald waters of the Gulf of Mexico. But the beach’s warning flags told me I should re-think my plans. There was a purple flag indicating dangerous marine life, and a red flag indicating high hazards and strong currents. 

So, I improvised and took my board out on Eastern Lake, a rare coastal dune lake that runs under scenic highway 30A and eventually feeds into the ocean after a heavy rain or other inflow. Because it is a coastal dune lake, Eastern Lake is rather small. And since there hadn’t been a previous heavy rainfall to create an opening to the ocean, the sandy beach served as a barrier between the lake and the ocean.

2016-11-08_1227

Feeling Trappedpicture1

I paddled from the beach end (the south end) where the salt water mixes with the fresh, to the marshy north end where I’m sure some alligators make their home. It was only about a mile and a half from the beach barrier to the marsh end of the lake. Needless to say, for someone who is used to paddling on rivers with an unlimited amount of distance available, I felt a bit trapped.

Unlike the ocean, I didn’t have a wide open space to explore, so all I could do was just keep paddling in one big circle around the perimeter of the lake. Despite all the beauty surrounding me and the change of scenery from my regular paddle route, the feeling of going around in circles made me frustrated. 

7 Possible Ways to Cope With Feeling Trapped

I’ve thought about that day a lot since returning from my trip, feeling like there is some kind of lesson in it (and there probably is because there have been so many from my various paddling excursions). But what? As soon as I started writing this story, several possibilities came to mind:

  1. Sometimes we don’t always get what we want when we want it, so be patient.
  2. Make the best of your current situation.
  3. Just enjoy and be content with and grateful for the beauty of your current place/situation. Things will soon change for the better.
  4. Wait to make your move until conditions are more favorable.
  5. Pay attention to the warning flags.
  6. You’ll keep going in circles if you don’t step out of your comfort zone.
  7. Don’t wait for an opportunity to come open. Make your own opportunity.

Can You Relate?

I’m still not sure which of the above lessons I was supposed to learn that day. But the experience of feeling blocked in or trapped is one I’ve felt more than once in my career, whether it was when I was trapped in a toxic office environment, or when I was restless because I was not working in my purpose.

Can you relate?

In two instances, I waited patiently for the conditions to be right to make my exit, and spent my time wisely planning my course of action for when the appropriate time arrived. In one instance, I stopped focusing on the warning flags and took a leap of faith.

I know which approach has worked best for me, but in general I can’t say for sure that either of those approaches is better than the other. And I can’t say that there’s one approach that fits everyone experiencing the same frustrations because everyone’s journey is different. What I can do is coach my clients on the approach that works best for them, their personal situation, and their unique goals and strengths. Which lesson from the list above speaks most to your current situation?

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What Transparency Looks Like

For you who are familiar with Creative Mornings, this month’s theme is “Transparency.” The word “transparency” brings to my mind synonyms like “clarity,” “vulnerability,” and “authenticity.” These words have really been on my radar the pasts few weeks.

Transparency = Vulnerability + Authenticity

 

transparency

Last week, I was giving my presentation entitled AWEthentic Branding to a group of artists at the Arts & Business Council of Greater Nashville. The group included artists of varying mediums, from graffiti artists to jewelry makers to singer-songwriters, and everything in between. I was discussing the importance of understanding and embracing your uniqueness as an artist so you can become comfortable articulating it to your own unique market.

At the end of the session, one of the youngest participants spoke up and shared how much the principles she had just learned gave her some relief from all the fear she’s been experiencing. She began crying as she talked about what it does to her self-esteem when she starts to compare herself to her competition and how she now sees she doesn’t have to compare herself when she can pinpoint what makes her unique. She then began apologizing for crying and said she was embarrassed for doing so.

I stopped her and said, “It’s this kind of transparency and vulnerability that helps everyone else here know they are not alone in those same feelings.” By being transparent, she gave others a sense of relief. By being the one brave enough to express what no one else had the courage to share, she set an example. Her example illustrates it’s not only okay to be transparent, but that type of authenticity also impacts others in ways none of us could imagine. I could immediately sense the impact on the rest of the group when she shared this. It would have been such a shame (and a less meaningful program) if she had never spoken up.

Transparency = Clarity + Clearness

 

transparency

Recently, I had my 90-day follow up session with a favorite client of mine. One of the many reasons why she is a favorite client is because she is so creative in using metaphors and analogies to make ordinary concepts come to life.

When I asked her what our previous coaching sessions have done for her, she said, “Going through our coaching sessions is like taking my car through the car wash. The car wash gets all the dirt off the car and windshield, making it so much clearer to see. I’m the one who still has to drive the car, but at least now I can see where I’m going and feel refreshed. I have so much more clarity about my career path and my path in life.”

It’s this kind of clear perspective and clarity that comes from the process of being honest and transparent with yourself. Sometimes though, it’s not always apparent to everyone how to do that. The coaching and advising methods I provide my clients shows them how, leading them to an understanding of their own uniqueness and how to be transparent about their uniqueness.

Learn What Makes You Unique

 

You too can learn this in my next AWEthentic Branding program that will be hosted Oct. 12th by the Virtual Collective’s “You Gotta Eat” speaker series. It is a lunch+learn format, and lunch is included in the registration fee. Click here for more details. I look forward to seeing you there!

Stay connected on this and other events by subscribing to the paNASH newsletter. You’ll receive a complimentary Goal-Achievement Plan along with useful tips, articles, and other resources!

What words come to your mind when you think of the word “transparency”? (Share in the comment box below.)

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How to Build Confidence and Achieve Goals

One question I ask potential clients in my intake form is, “What do you wish you had more of:  time, money, or confidence?” Most people answer, “Confidence.” Therefore, building confidence is one of the main things I work on with my coaching clients throughout each of our sessions. This common desire for confidence is the reason I wrote the following article published last week on The Daily Positive.

3 Ways to Build Confidence

The article tells about the time when I was introduced to the world of pageants, specifically the Miss America system (not to be confused with the Miss USA system). The Miss America system is the one where there is a talent category of competition and the winner receives scholarships instead of cash prizes. I was hired to coach contestants for an upcoming preliminary pageant. I had no personal background at all in pageants, but it was where I learned a lot about unique ways to build confidence, including the example in the following story:

3 Ways To Build Confidence And Achieve Your Goals

Achieve Your Goals

Now that you’ve read the article and know how to build your confidence, you can begin achieving your goals by subscribing to the paNASH newsletter where you will receive a complimentary 8-Step Goal Achievement Plan. You can also inquire about one-on-one coaching services by completing the paNASH intake form to receive some preliminary information. You could even visit a plastic surgeon such as Dr. Coberly who will help increase your self confidence! Whatever you choose, picture yourself having already achieved your goals. In doing so you’ll have the confidence to take the first step toward your goals!

Related Post:

Do You Want to Be More Confident in Your Career?