As you enter the holiday season and move closer to year’s end, you may find yourselves going within and feeling reflective. Certainly, the election has left us, and continues to leave us, with much to think about! Beyond that, in our personal and career lives – in these last months of the year when darkness falls earlier and earlier and a chill is in the air – it’s not unusual to think more about the level of meaning we currently feel in our work and relationships, and perhaps even experience some melancholy and sadness. It can also be an extremely busy time, with many events on the calendar and visits with family. More introverted personalities can become overwhelmed or exhausted and need to carve out, and be firm in protecting, times of rest and recharging.
As I think back on 2016, it’s been a year of growth and gradual expansion for Navigating Transitions! I wanted to share some updates, then later, in the spirit of winter reflection, offer resources for the “inner game” of career transition. These include articles about breaking through self-doubt and self-sabotage, and a tool I share in the career counseling process to help clients combat persistent negative beliefs and self-talk.
One area of business growth this year was investment and time in my Oakland office. As my client load grew and remained consistent in the East Bay, I made a shift from renting office space by the hour, to paying monthly rent for regular office use. Benefits of this arrangement include feeling more connected to my colleagues who share the Dahlia Therapy Center space, having my name on the signage at the door, and consolidating my trips to Oakland. I am available by phone or Skype appointments on other days when clients prefer, as well.
I have also been enjoying seeing a smaller number of clients in Concord. One intention for 2017 is to reach more introverts and professionals in the Concord/Pleasant Hill/Walnut Creek area seeking meaningful career change, and to increase my number of clients and events in this area.
On a personal level, I have continued to enjoy living in Martinez and frequenting the local businesses and restaurants in the friendly downtown area, walking my Boston Terrier, Zoey, around the neighborhoods, and attending local events such as the Zombie Crawl for Halloween, “Holiday Frolic” activities, and a thriving Farmer’s Market every Sunday. I enjoy attending some of these events with my housemate who moved in last July – it’s wonderful that she loves dogs, too, and enjoys spending time with Zoey when she’s home!
Most recently, Navigating Transitions growth has involved gathering new templates and tools around the “inner game” of career transition… So, more specifically, what is the “inner game”?
Well, most people at points in their career find themselves mired in fear, self-doubt, or self-sabotage; however hard they try and regardless of what goals they set, they can’t seem to develop and maintain momentum forward. This is the “inner game,” we must all successfully work through if we want to expand our horizons and achieve bigger career and life goals. More specifically, this pattern can look like that voice that keeps telling you you’re too old or not qualified for that job you want. Or becoming caught up in all the “what ifs” so powerfully that you feel paralyzed to take action. It can also be the less conscious part of ourselves acting out to recreate familiar dynamics and circumstances we learned long ago but that no longer serve us, or channeling anxiety into behaviors that sabotage success and assure we won’t have to take the risk to change or face our fears.
Most of my clients encounter these blocks sooner or later in the career counseling process. One tool I offer them to combat negative beliefs and self-talk is a process I first discovered when I was in graduate school called, “The Four Questions,” from the work of Byron Katie. These negative beliefs or judgments might sound like the self judgments mentioned in the paragraph above, or cognitive beliefs such as, “I'm not talented enough to do that job” or “If I stop saying yes to everything that’s asked of me at work, I will lose my job and my family.” For these thoughts, I suggested reducing their power by reality checking them with Byron Katie's Four Questions:
In the last few months, I also came across several articles about self-doubt and self-sabotage. To start with, I read an article in O, the Oprah Magazine, called, “Martha Beck’s 3-Step Plan to Defeat Self-Sabotage”. If you want to understand self-sabotage, check out this article. It says our logical self, “builds a sort of cage of obligations and beliefs” that traps our more primal self inside. Self-sabotage is our animal self trying to, “ease its distress while living in that cage.” She then shares ways to consciously break out!
Here are a few additional articles of value:
Continuing with the theme of the “inner game” and conquering self-doubt and self-sabotage, the Conscious Career Transition Success Meetup I lead in the East Bay focused on this topic in Albany on December 13th. Each month, I offer supportive career guidance and tools around our theme, as well as structured networking. We have a lot of fun and make meaningful connections. Our next Meetup is January 19th, please visit!
Lastly, can you think of someone you know who feels stuck or unhappy in their career? As a holiday season special, I am currently offering several free 30-minute “Into Your Dream Career” Strategy Sessions, in which I help people get clear on what they want, what’s holding them back, and share expert guidance to help them get there. Click this scheduling link for you, a friend, family member, or colleague to book one of a limited number of winter sessions. You can also call or email me today to reserve a time. And please share this newsletter with anyone who might benefit!
I wish you much success and joy (and times to rest and recharge) this Holiday Season!
Kristina Bennett, MA
Navigating Transitions Career Counseling
Kristina Bennett Cheney, MA, Career Counselor, helping mid-career professionals who are burnt out and frustrated in careers that drain their energy, to discover and transition to meaningful careers that fit and energize them.