When you want to make a big change, such as going for promotion, changing career or personal development, do you find reasons not to go for it? While this can be due to external forces, it’s easy to forget that you might have internal barriers hold you back.

Here are some barriers you may face and some tips on how to overcome them:

How do you ‘talk’ to yourself?

Do you often find yourself talking negatively to yourself? It’s amazing how badly we talk to ourselves sometimes, especially in times of self-doubt. We certainly wouldn’t talk to someone else that way, would we!

I discussed this with some friends recently. We all noticed how we are becoming more aware of how we talk to ourselves. For me, it’s about noticing when I’m doing it, stopping, and then changing the words I use.

How can you make this work for you? Start by listening to how you talk to yourself. Then think of how you could turn what you say into something positive instead.

Do you avoid applying for a job if you can’t tick all the boxes?

When looking at roles, do you move onto the next one if you can’t tick all the experience or qualification requirements?

You’re definitely not alone in doing that. But the reality is, many of the requirements are actually only ‘beneficial’ to the role. You could probably get on-the-job training or experience to develop them.

For example, in my 20+ years in HR, I frequently see roles asking for CIPD qualifications – probably about 90%! Yet only four of my managers have been CIPD qualified through the study and exam route.

The rest have either gained it on-the-job or don’t have it at all. But it hasn’t stopped them being extremely competent in their roles – and I’ve still learned a lot from them.

How can you overcome this tendency to overlook roles if you can’t tick all the boxes? Start by finding a company that values what you bring to the table. I recently saw a job description that mentioned how the company could support new or refresher training to help someone acquire the skills needed.

Are your own expectations holding you back?

If you really think about it, are your own expectations getting in the way of making a change?

Over time, I’ve realised how much my own expectations can have an impact on what I do. In fact, when I reflect on it, what I see as other people’s expectations are often my own expectations, interpretations or assumptions.

When I’ve then challenged them and changed the way I behave, I’ve found very little resistance. And the world certainly didn’t fall apart!

What expectations do you place on yourself and what’s the first step you can take to challenge them?

Do you think other people are more capable than you?

Do you see everyone as being more capable, more competent or a better fit for that promotion or role than you? Is that stopping you from putting yourself forward?

This is known as ‘imposter syndrome’ and it can hit at any time. It’s easy to forget about your skills, talents or achievements and concentrate on how good others are instead. But it’s your own perceptions of how good they are compared to you.

If you feel like this, remind yourself of your achievements, attributes, skills and qualities that would be an asset to the new role or career you are considering.

Make a list and, in moments of self-doubt, read it to remind yourself that you are the right person for the role.

Do any of these resonate with you? What might you be doing to hold yourself back and how can you turn this around?

Work With Me:

If you are looking for support with preparing yourself to make a change and take that next step contact me to arrange a call to find out if my career change coaching package, or any elements of it, is a good fit for you to help you to put together a plan to move forward on your dream career path.

The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this blog are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this blog. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this blog. Claire Bolsover of Claire Be Coaching disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this blog.