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  • Linda R. Taliaferro

How I Stopped Getting in My Own Way

My goal as a consultant is to help my clients get that seat at the table that they’re dreaming of. But sometimes, I find that the thing holding my client back isn’t an external factor, but an internal mindset that is slowing them down. We get in our own way sometimes, don’t we?

Here's what helps me, and what has helped my clients.


A freeing and powerful thought is the notion that we are in charge of our own success. Our bosses, coworkers, and superiors aren’t in charge of whether or not we meet our goals, and if we can get out of our own way, we can take control of our own destiny.

Some years ago, I remember a higher-up flat out telling me that I would never be a vice president, that I would never make it that far because I was too passionate, too aggressive. Someone in power over me said that! But you know what happened?

A year later I accepted a job to be a vice president. That seat that superior of mine said I could never have? I got it. It’s the role I have today, and it’s why I started my business helping other people make that same leap.


Getting that position was the culmination of years of effort. I didn’t just wake up and have an opportunity like that thrown at me for no reason, I had to learn some hard lessons.

Part of that for me was the way that I focused so intensely on doing the best I could at my job. I had my head down, produced steady work, and improved over time. My performance reviews were great. I was killing it. Except… I wasn’t getting the promotions I wanted.

It created friction and resentment in my work life. Why wasn’t I getting tapped when I was the best at doing the work? I felt overlooked, I was sure it was someone else’s fault for overlooking me. I felt like pointing fingers at everyone for not recognizing that I was ready.

But the issue wasn’t that other people were overlooking me, it’s that I wasn’t showing up to work as a complete professional. I had neglected to develop a network in the office, and I hadn’t done the work to identify and correct the gaps in my professional life that was holding me back. I was doing the work, sure, but that’s the price of entry for a next-level opportunity. I hadn’t pushed the envelope or looked inside myself to do the growth.


Essentially, I was doing the same thing and looking for a different result. It shifted my thinking from looking at the day to day operation of my job as the work to be done into a mindset where I looked at myself as the project. I had work to do on me, and that was the true source of the frustration.

I had issues that were showing up in my professional life that was holding me back. My fear, perfectionism, and lack of self-confidence were all issues I had to address before I could finally stop getting out of my own way and (eventually) make it to where I am today.

If you’re on a journey to take your career to the next level and get that seat at the table, you might benefit from a one-on-one consultation. Click here to get something on my calendar.

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