Career Future

Career Future

Career Future

Is Your Career Ready For The Future?

There’s a unique type of existential anxiety brewing in younger professionals lately who consider their career future and wonder, “Are robots coming for my job?” This is not a meritless concern: What some have termed “the fourth industrial revolution” is grinding to life as we speak. You just have to drive past the dark empty shell of another former big box store to see for yourself that radically new ways of doing business are already upon us.

Ask any career coach: The quest of career development is already challenging. Getting clear about who you are and what you want professionally (and then how to actually attain your ideal job) is a journey of growth for many people. But, if you’re wisely thinking about your career future and what the reality of the job market will be ten years from now, it adds a layer of complexity and worry to an already uncertain time.

It can feel paralyzing to choose a career and invest in your professional development when you’re riddled with worry about your career future, and whether your chosen profession will still be relevant when our economy is changing so quickly.

Release Anxiety About Your Career Future

Good news: You don’t need to be anxious about your career future. In fact, by understanding a few principles for staying energized, fresh, and in-step with the emerging economy, you can be assured that the world will always value what you have to offer. Furthermore, there are some specific mindsets that can help you release anxiety about your career future, so that you can feel confident, clear, and move forward fearlessly.

My guest on today’s episode of the Love, Happiness and Success podcast is career coach Nicolle Merrill. Nicolle is the former Associate Director of the Career Development office at Yale School of Management, and has she coached hundreds of MBA students and professionals through all phases of their career transitions. Nicolle is the author of the new book, “Punch Doubt in The Face: How to Upskill, Change Careers, and Beat The Robots.” She’s here today to share her best future career advice with you, including:

All that and more, as we discuss YOUR career future on the latest episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast.

xoxo, Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

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Is Your Career Ready For The Future?

by Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby | Love, Happiness & Success

Music Credits: Frequency Decree, “Are You Ready?”

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Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby is the founder and clinical director of Growing Self Counseling and Coaching. She’s the author of “Exaholics: Breaking Your Addiction to Your Ex Love,” and the host of The Love, Happiness & Success Podcast.

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Steps to Success

As a Denver Therapist and Life Coach, I find that many of my clients start the new year with great intentions, big goals, and hopeful hearts for change. However, so often these same clients find that they have made a long list of life changing and bad habit breaking goals only to find that they are one or two months into their year and still haven’t made any changes. 

This can be such a discouraging feeling, and if you feel this way you’re not alone. I want to share with you the same benefits of goal setting and steps to achieve goals this year that I teach my life coaching clients.

Why Is Goal Setting Important?

Were you inspired to make new goals at the beginning of January? 
Did you see your social media flood with 2019 reviews proudly stating new goals for 2020? 
Did you read news articles explaining the newest trends for goal setting and goal keeping? 
Have you found yourself already letting go of these new habits or ambitions? 

The truth is, setting the goal is the easy part (as you know), but did you know that your goal setting activities might be failing you (and not the other way around)?

Here’s the thing, most new year resolutions are either forgotten or given up on within the first two weeks of setting them. And less than 10 percent of all new year resolution setters achieve their goals by December 31st of that same year.

While you may feel you’re not the only one struggling to be a goal achiever, you may be wondering how there are so many successful people with these odds!

This news may be really discouraging to hear! But the greatest danger I see with setting goals and falling into this common trend of giving up on them within a couple of weeks – is that instead of forming habits to succeed, we are forming habits to fail. 

Think about it. You are learning a pattern of  getting super excited and motivated only to let that motivation slip into inaction just a couple of weeks later.

We have been literally learning to give up on goals. So, instead of setting new goals—since that doesn’t seem to work—why don’t we approach this dilemma with the mindset of setting goals in a new way? 

I want to share with you my favorite approaches to setting defined goals and achieving success. I will also be highlighting the pitfalls I see most often among my life coaching clients’ good intentions but often failed attempts at seeing these intentions through.  

How To Set Goals Efficiently

How do you set your goals? Do you simply make a list of desired habits you hope to achieve by the end of the year or within a certain time frame? You may be motivated to see these goals through, however, if you are in a rut of not achieving your goals, it seems that motivation is not enough. 

Setting goals efficiently requires some goal setting tools. You may be familiar with SMART goals but I want to dive into this style of goal setting and discuss how you can implement this strategy into your daily goals in a realistic and practical way.

SMART goals (for those who may be new to the term) stand for Specific, Measured, Accountable, Realistic, and Timely goals. 

It’s likely that you are already doing many of these aspects of goal setting. In my experience with clients who are wanting to make lasting change, making specific and measured goals is a great place to begin. 

Example: If you want to exercise more, the Specific goal would be the type of exercise, and the Measured goal would be the details around when and how often you desire to accomplish it. 

A Measured goal would be saying I want to exercise 3 times a week. You can get as detailed as necessary, maybe including the time of day, and for how long you wish to exercise. 

More often though, I see my clients missing the last three pieces of SMART goal setting: Accountable, Realistic, and Timely. 

Make Your Goals Accountable

Being accountable and responsible for a goal will help partner with your motivation to accomplish it. 

Here are realistic ways to make your goals accountable:

  1. Share your goal with someone who cares about you (your spouse, a friend, a colleague, your therapist or coach) and is willing to help follow up with on your goals.
  2. Set reminders in your phone, on your agenda, or even ask Siri or Alexa to remind you to check in and keep pursuing necessary steps to achieve your goals.
  3. Join a common interest group that is pursuing the same or similar goals. You can find these groups in your local community, through Facebook, Instagram, and even instructor led classes and podcasts that offer accountability.

Following up with someone who cares about you can be a great way to maintain your new goals longer. When we feel supported, it is easier to be successful with our goals. 

Make Your Steps For Success Realistic

Making unrealistic goals is one of the most cited reasons among my life coaching clients of why they don’t achieve them. It is exciting to set new goals, but sometimes you need to take smaller steps to the big goals in order to actually achieve them. 

Ask Yourself The Right Questions

Ask yourself the following scaling question during goal setting to make more realistic goals: 

“When it is December 31st and I look back on this goal, how often do I honestly think I will achieve it on a scale from 0-100% of the time?” 

If your honest answer is 90% of the time, that sounds like a good goal that will challenge you! If your honest answer is 60% of the time, that sounds like a good time to revise your goal slightly so you can have a higher estimated success rate! 

I want to caution you that this isn’t a time to feel bad about yourself if you think you won’t accomplish it, but rather, a time to be excited that you are making goals in a NEW way that might help you succeed where you haven’t in the past. 

Revise that goal and ask the question again until you feel like you can honestly accomplish it. 

An example might look like moving your measured goal from 3 times of exercise a week down to 2 times per week. 

Eliminate Controllable, Foreseeable Obstacles

Ask yourself, “What obstacles might get in the way of me achieving this goal?” 

With exercise, it may be that you need an exercise partner. Another obstacle might be that you don’t enjoy specific types of exercise, so you end up not doing it consistently. 

If those are true for you, making realistic goals might include adding addendums like finding a gym partner, or taking the time to decide what kind of exercise you like. Take the time to make sure there are no controllable, foreseeable obstacles in the way of your goals as you try to make them realistic for you! 

Avoid The Common “Shooting For The Stars” Success Obstacle

I have a few clients who have told me at this point that they would rather keep their goals higher, even with the chance of not achieving them, so that they also have the chance of making higher goals instead of smaller ones even if they are more realistic. 

I call this the “shooting-for-the-stars” obstacle. If that is you, I will explain later how you can still have the chance to shoot for higher goals in this goal-making process, and I want to advise on why it is so important to make realistic goals. 

In my experience, making realistic goals helps you avoid discouragement, feelings of failure, and feelings of worthlessness. I’m not saying we should avoid acknowledging those feelings if they are there. I am saying that it can be helpful to avoid getting yourself to a place of feeling that way. 

I have seen so many amazing individuals become so discouraged at the idea that they failed a goal, that the guilt and shame of that failure motivates them to simply give up. If we make goals that are smaller to accomplish, then we can leave room for feelings of accomplishment, pride, and satisfaction that will continue to motivate you to accomplish your goal. 

So, once you have created a realistic goal, it is time to look at that “Timely” aspect of goal making. 

Make Your Goals Timely

Making your goals timely means scheduling a time to evaluate how you are doing on your goal. I recommend making this a weekly or monthly event. For you, this may mean evaluating all of your goals on the first Sunday of the month, as an example. 

When you evaluate your goals, see how successful you have been. If for you it was that exercise goal, ask yourself how often you kept your goal of 2-3 times a week. If the answer is close to 100 percent, way to go! 

You can recommit to continuing that goal the same way until your next evaluation, or try and increase it. This is where there is room for those who want to make sure they can achieve those “shooting for the stars” goals, while still being realistic. 

If your answer is less than satisfactory, it may be time to modify your goals to reflect a more realistic challenge for your current situation. 

Keep A Positive And Compassionate Attitude By Re-Framing

If you find yourself still getting into cycles of discouragement that make you want to give up, let’s try to reframe your negative thoughts to avoid that guilt and shame that is so detrimental! 

If you are thinking “I am a failure,” or “I will never accomplish my goals” try thinking instead: 

  • I can try again tomorrow
  • I just need to adjust them slightly
  • I just need more support
  • I can accomplish my goals in the long run, I might need to make them smaller right now
  • I am trying my best
  • I need to be patient with myself
  • Its okay if I don’t accomplish them sometimes, that doesn’t mean I am a failure
  • I am learning how to succeed
  • What obstacles are getting in the way of my goals? How can I modify? 
  • I tried my best
  • I just may need to revise my goals a little bit
  • The goal is progression and I can keep moving forward
  • I didn’t fail, I tried hard and I am getting there

In review, I’ve talked about focusing on 3 parts of SMART goal setting, these include making goals accountable, realistic, and timely.  Make sure the goals are small enough to be realistic, that you have an accountability partner, and that you make times in the future to follow up with yourself or that accountability partner on where you are at with your goals and where you want to be. 

In my experience, these steps can bridge the gap to help you succeed longer, and help you move from not accomplishing goals to a PATTERN OF ACCOMPLISHING GOALS. 

Most of all, I hope that you take the guilt out of it. Guilt and shame have a way of making goals unmet feel like bigger failures than they really are. So, remember the last goal setting tool I want to encourage you in is to stay positive by reframing! If you think, “I failed” at my goal, try reframing your thoughts to one of those ways described above. 

My hope for you is to give you both motivation to keep trying and pursuing the new things you set your mind to at the start of this whole process, and the tools to try them in a new way. 

Good luck! You got this! 
Tacy LeBaron, M.S., MFTC

Tacy LeBaron, M.S., MFTC  is a couples counselor, family therapist, individual therapist and life coach who specializes in helping you improve your relationships, feel more connected, heal and grow through challenging life transitions, and attain your most important goals for your life.

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Invest In Yourself

Invest In Yourself

You Deserve Compassionate Support

As a therapist, life coach, and marriage counselor, I admire each and every person who gathers the courage to schedule an appointment with me and seek support for themselves, their relationships, or their families. I know that they’re investing in themselves because they believe they are worthy of investing in. Such self-awareness, wisdom and healthy self-love is always inspiring.

Do You Prioritize Everything Except Yourself?

Too many people put themselves on the bottom of the heap, investing in every other aspect of their lives — their education, their career, their children, their friendships, their homes — but rarely their own personal wellness, or their hearts desire. Is this you?

If so, you probably put off investing in yourself, getting professional help, and taking positive action to improve your life… though you’re there for everyone else. You may think about it sometimes but quickly talk yourself out of it, minimize your feelings, or prioritize someone else’s needs

If this sounds familiar, my guess is that you would describe yourself as a naturally strong person, but the downside of “being strong” is that sometimes it comes with a price: Not taking care of you, the way you take care of others.

But it’s easy not to take care of you, isn’t it? Especially when it comes to things like getting involved in therapy, couples counseling or life coaching. There are so many persistent myths in our culture about all the reasons NOT to get support, and it’s time to bash them! 

What’s Keeping YOU From Investing In Yourself?

Let’s talk through some of the most common reasons I hear for why people avoid getting help and investing in themselves, and why they’re not true!

Myth #1: “Therapy should be reserved for times when you really need it, and I don’t have it ‘that bad.'” 

This is one I hear frequently, even when people have resolved to book a therapy or coaching appointment with me. 

Believe it or not, even people in a lot of pain sometimes feel guilty for doing something to help themselves. They tell me about challenges they face, or hard things they’re grappling with but then quickly say, “But so many others around the world have it so much worse. I’m really so lucky.” 

While being grateful and keeping things in perspective is a wonderful strength to have, it’s also a liability if it makes you feel like you don’t have a right to your feelings, or can’t feel sad, angry or hurt about something true for you. 

As a feminist-oriented therapist, I am always happy to have a conversation about power and privilege, and I firmly believe that we are all worthy of healing and belonging. 

If there is something in your life that feels painful or difficult to overcome, my hope for you is to feel like you deserve to be supported just as much as anyone else. 

If you feel guilty when you think about making your feelings a priority, think about it this way: investing in yourself as a way to make yourself even stronger, and more able to give empathy and compassion to other people. 

Truth: Your experience and your emotions matter. YOU matter. 

Myth #2: Therapy is for couples who are on the brink of ending their relationship or divorcing. We aren’t there yet, we can fix this on our own. 

Too many couples buy into this. 

Perhaps conflict in your relationship occurs fairly infrequently currently, yet when it does occur you notice that you and your partner tend to sweep things under the rug and avoid addressing the conflict. You might write this off to a one-time thing, or feel that because it’s infrequent, it won’t matter in the long run. 

However, each time we sweep conflict under the rug or avoid it all together, we are slowly solidifying the pattern of our relationship. This pattern makes it not only more likely that conflict will become more frequent, but potentially also increasingly eruptive and ultimately, more damaging to your bond over time. 

If you happen to notice early in your relationship that you and your partner are conflict avoidant, talk about reaching out to a therapist or a relationship coach so that you can identify effective ways to face conflict together and strengthen your bond and understanding of each other.

Myth #3: If we go to couples counseling we are admitting that our relationship is unhealthy. 

We know from marriage and family researchers Drs. John and Julie Gottman that conflict is inevitable in every relationship. What separates “healthy” couples from “unhealthy” couples is what they DO with it. 

The healthiest, happiest, strongest couples are the ones who openly address their differences and find ways of proactively, constructively working through things together. Couples who do this important growth work strengthen their relationships. Couples who seek support for their relationship, and who are open to learning how to communicate and compromise will have more positive outcomes. Investing in their relationships sets them up for success long-term.

Couples who avoid this work, or who allow unresolved conflict to simmer, fester, and become increasingly toxic are inadvertently damaging their relationship. By sweeping things under the rug and not getting help for their relationship, they are increasing the likelihood that their relationship will fail. 

Furthermore, research into couples and family therapy shows that the couples who choose to work together on their relationship sooner rather than later have better outcomes. Any marriage counselor will tell you that it’s much easier to work with a couple who still like, love, and trust each other. 

Couples who wait, ignore problems, and let anger and resentment build up often enter couples counseling on the brink of divorce. There is so much regrettable history between them, so much hurt, and so much damage done that — even with the best marriage counseling — sometimes their relationship is simply too far gone to repair. 

Investing in your marriage sooner rather than later is like taking care of your health: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

Myth #4: I’m too busy, whatever I’m dealing with can wait, it will be too expensive, and / or there just isn’t any time. 

When I was in graduate school a common phrase we heard was “What we resist, persists,” and the more I sit with couples and individuals in my office, the more I find this to be true. 

I frequently meet with those that have been “avoiding” therapy by placing it lower and lower on their list of priorities and by the time they’re in my office, they are overwhelmed and exhausted from carrying their distress for so long. 

Often times, these are the individuals who spend a great deal of time taking care of others and rarely make time for themselves or their own needs. Or they are couples with children and stressful careers and aging parents who truly can’t fathom stepping away for an hour for fear of everything falling apart.

Or sometimes people put this off because they’re worried about how much therapy, life coaching or marriage counseling will cost…. Without considering the value investing in themselves will bring to their lives. They’ll spend money on furniture, vacations, or home improvement projects without much thought. But when it comes to investing in their own health and happiness, their success, or in their most cherished relationships… they stop themselves. 

One way to shift this self-limiting perspective is to think about this from the other side. Asking yourself questions like: 

  • “What is the cost of me NOT investing in myself?”
  • “What is the real price of me continuing to feel unhappy, or dissatisfied with my life?”
  •  “What am I losing, long term, by NOT investing in myself, or in my career, or in my marriage?”
  • “How is neglecting myself, my happiness and my relationship impacting my children?”
  • “How is the way I’m currently living impacting my health?”
  •  How much will it cost me — in dollars and cents — if we get divorced, or I never achieve my full earning potential in my career?”

When you put the short-term investment in yourself in context of the costs or benefits to aspects of your life that are genuinely priceless… it changes your perspective.

You Deserve Love, Happiness and Success

I want you to know that I see you, and that your well-being and happiness matters just as much as anyone else’s. You deserve space to cultivate growth and healing; you deserve time to rest and reset. You can’t pour from an empty cup, and you don’t have to carry this alone.   

 If you see yourself or your relationship in any of the myths above, my hope for you would be to spend some time reflecting on what is keeping you from this work. 

Remember though, whenever you are working with a coach or a therapist, you aren’t in this work alone. Are there other myths or beliefs you have that keep you from reaching out for support? Comment below and let’s continue this conversation!

Brittany Stewart, M.A., LMFT-C is a couples counselor, individual therapist, premarital counselor, and a life and relationship coach. She works with her clients to build connected relationships, restore emotional bonds, and grow in their capacity to love others as well as themselves.

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