Why is it that despite the strong desire to excel in their career or business so many people find themselves feeling stuck and uncertain about how to reach a higher level of success? There are several answers to this question but a common theme that I’ve found among most professionals is that they aren’t plugged in!  Just like the “old me” we often lose ourselves amidst all the pressing demands of our work and home responsibilities. These demands and distractions can drain our limited resources―they use up our energy, take up our time, and cause us to lose our inward focus.

When we spent most of our days being externally-focused it’s difficult (if not downright impossible) to be plugged in to what makes us tick. When we don’t know what makes us tick (i.e., self-awareness of our values and motivators) we lack vision. When we lack vision we can’t be proactive and generate action-oriented SMART goals towards our personal or professional success. Instead, we just react to each person or circumstance as they present themselves. Being in reaction-mode most of the time causes us to feel powerless―thinking, feeling and acting like much of what happens to us lies outside our personal control. This state significantly reduces the amount of mental and spiritual energy we need to propel us forward in life and in our career. It leaves us unplugged from ourselves and our true potential.

We lose the essence of who we are and experience a sense of powerlessness when we’re externally focused and not plugged into our values, motivators and goals.

Powerlessness or becoming unplugged causes us to feel stuck, frustrated and uncertain about our potential. Just because someone is a C-level executive, Vice-President, Director or Manager in a large corporation or own their own business doesn’t mean that they’re immune to feelings of powerlessness. At times we can all fall prey to pressures that cause us to develop limiting beliefs about our potential to do more and be more. These limiting beliefs act as a perceived glass ceiling that can be more difficult to break through than structural glass ceilings. What limiting beliefs, fears, self-doubts and excuses do you have that may be holding you back from reaching your highest potential?

Our true power doesn’t lie in our position or what other people think about us. Our power lies in our ability to know what motivates us and persistently taking action based on that knowledge. When we focus inwardly, toward intrinsic rewards, we tap into what it is that we truly value. Research has shown that people who spend their days working at something they’re passionate about, is consistent with their belief systems, and reflects their core values are more empowered and have a stronger sense of purpose than others. Extrinsic rewards like money and status don’t keep us motivated for very long and eventually we find ourselves growing unhappy and dissatisfied with our life and career.  What are your core values? How can you incorporate your values into your day-to-day life?

Does your work allow you to pursue personally meaningful goals which give you a sense of pride, empowerment and accomplishment?

We also need to feel that we’re evolving and growing as people and as leaders. Without growth we simply stagnate and there’s no power or creativity in stagnation. We grow and evolve by using our strengths and leveraging them in ever-increasing and ever-expanding spheres of influence. Statistics show that a fundamental reason people leave high-paying careers, especially well-educated people, is that they perceive a lack of opportunity to use their strengths and talents. What are your strengths? Are you using your key strengths on a daily basis in your work? If you’re not using your strengths in an impactful and influential way, what small changes can you create or negotiate with clients or higher-ups to help you do so?

Everyone seeking success has many things vying for their attention, energy and time throughout the day. These are limited resources that should not be squandered. Feelings of powerlessness are associated with being overwhelmed, indecisive and anxious about our actions. Success comes when we plug into ways to improve our efficiency and effectiveness. We achieve this by developing a laser-like focus on our goals, establish priorities rather than making everything on our to-do list of equal weight, say “NO” to things and people that don’t serve our goals values, and ask for help when we need it. How can you eliminate the time-wasters and energy-stealers in your life?

Unleashing your inner powerhouse means plugging in and taking  personal responsibility for how you spend your time and energy.

Real transformation and reaching higher levels of success comes when we make the conscious decision to plug into what drives us and what we truly need to do to live up to our awesome potential. A decision to be more and do more requires us to focus on ourselves in ways that we likely haven’t done before. It won’t be the easiest thing that you’ll ever do but it’ll be worth it to see the impact you’ll make in your own life and in the lives of others.

This post is based on an article I published in Celebrating Women magazine for their International Women’s Day edition in 2016.

Thank you for reading my post. I appreciate it and Thank You in advance for your Comments. I regularly write about leadership and management, success strategies, women in leadership, overcoming perceived limitations, and overcoming stress, fear and overwhelm here on my blog. If you would like to read future posts, then please BOOKMARK this website and feel free to also connect with me on LinkedInFacebook, Google+ or Twitter.

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© 2016 Jacinth Tracey | Wired2Succeed Leadership and Business Consulting | wired2succeed.com

Jacinth Tracey, PhD is an award-winning leadership and professional development consultant, faculty member in addictions and mental health, international speaker and multiple best-selling author. Her mission is to empower her clients and students to break through barriers to their personal and professional success. Discover more about Jacinth’s products and services.