We all have those little habits that we know aren’t serving us well. They’re like sneaky little gremlins, whispering in our ears to take the easy way out, avoid discomfort, or just stay safe and small. Maybe you’ve struggled with procrastination, putting off those important tasks until the last minute. Or perhaps you’re a chronic people-pleaser, sacrificing your own needs to keep everyone else happy. It might be as simple as hitting snooze one too many times, starting the day already behind and feeling frazzled.

These habits might seem insignificant, mere quirks or minor annoyances. But trust me, they’re not. They’re like tiny cracks in the foundation of your life, creating instability and holding you back from reaching your full potential.

Think about it:

How many opportunities have you missed because you waited until the last minute, rushed through a project, or avoided taking action altogether? It erodes confidence and reinforces the belief that you’re not capable.

You constantly put others’ needs before your own, which leaves you feeling drained, resentful, and unsure of what you truly want. This makes it nearly impossible to create a business or a career that aligns with your deepest values.

Those habits like hitting the snooze button or mindlessly scrolling social media might seem harmless, but they create a pattern of not following through on your commitments to yourself. This can erode your self-trust and make it difficult to stick to the goals that truly matter.

The good news is that you have the power to change these patterns. By focusing on these habits and understanding their impact, you can start making different choices. It’s time to break free from those habits holding you back and create space for the extraordinary life and career you deserve.

If you’re a high-achieving woman feeling stuck in a career rut, those ingrained patterns might prevent you from taking the leap towards something more fulfilling. Ready to break free? Here are five strategies:

1. Illuminating Your Path to Change

Self-awareness is your secret weapon when it comes to breaking free from those habits that hold you back. It’s like switching on a flashlight in a dark room—suddenly, you can see what you’re dealing with. But it’s not always easy to look in the mirror. It takes courage to assess our thoughts, behaviours, and routines honestly.

Sometimes, our own strengths are hidden in plain sight. Assessments like StrengthsFinder and the MBTI Test can be surprisingly revealing, illuminating abilities you may not have even recognised in yourself.

Think of it like a detective investigating a case. Get curious about yourself:

The Daily Grind: What parts of your day leave you feeling drained or uninspired? Is it the endless meetings, the constant inbox notifications, or the feeling that you’re not making a real impact?

Thought Patterns: What’s the soundtrack playing in your head? Are you constantly second-guessing yourself, worrying about what others think, or dwelling on past mistakes?

Hidden Triggers: What situations or people tend to set you off? Do you notice any patterns in your emotional reactions?

Energy Zappers: Are there specific activities or commitments that leave you feeling depleted, even if they seem like they “should” be enjoyable?

This isn’t about self-criticism. It’s about gathering information and understanding the forces at play within your life. The more you shine a light on those shadows, the less power they hold over you.

Recognising these patterns is the first step towards changing them. Once you know what you’re up against, you can make conscious choices. You can replace that negative self-talk with empowering affirmations. You can set boundaries around draining activities. You can choose to say “yes” to opportunities that align with your values and goals.

Self-awareness is an ongoing process. It’s not about achieving perfection but about continually evolving and growing. By embracing self-reflection, you become the architect of your life, empowered to create lasting change and build a career that lights you up.

2. Step into the Driver’s Seat of Your Life

It’s easy to blame external factors for our challenges and shortcomings. The demanding boss, the unsupportive partner, the ever-changing economic landscape… these can all feel like insurmountable obstacles. But here’s the empowering truth: while we can’t control everything that happens to us, we can control how we respond.

It’s time to stop playing the victim and become the creator of your own life. This shift in perspective isn’t about blaming yourself for past mistakes or ignoring systemic challenges. It’s about recognising the power to make different choices in the present.

Owning your role means:

Accepting Responsibility: Acknowledge that you’re not a passive passenger in your life. Your thoughts, behaviours, and habits all contribute to your current reality.

Identifying Your Agency: Even in situations that feel beyond your control, there’s always something you can influence—your mindset, attitude, and the way you respond to challenges.

Creating a Plan for Change: Once you take ownership of your habits, you can start crafting a concrete plan for improvement. This could involve setting boundaries, seeking support, or learning new skills.

Change begins with taking responsibility. When you stop blaming external circumstances and focus on what you can control, you unlock the power to shape your own destiny. This shift is essential for breaking free from old patterns and building a business and life that truly reflects your values and aspirations.

By taking ownership, you’re not just changing your habits but empowering yourself to rewrite your story.

3. Ride the Emotional Waves

Emotions are the messengers of our inner world. They hold valuable information about our needs, desires, and unresolved pain. But when we try to suppress or ignore them, they can become like a tsunami, crashing over us and causing chaos.

One of the most powerful tools for processing and releasing emotional baggage is simply allowing yourself to feel. This doesn’t mean wallowing in negativity but creating a safe space to acknowledge and honour your emotions without judgment.

Here are some practical ways to do that:

Somatic Awareness: Tune into your body. Where do you feel tension, tightness, or discomfort? Notice the physical sensations associated with your emotions. This can help you to identify and release emotional blockages.

Journaling: Write down your thoughts and feelings as they arise. Don’t censor yourself—let it all out. This can help you gain clarity, make sense of your emotions, and identify patterns that might be holding you back.

Mindful Movement: Engage in activities like yoga, tai chi, or walking in nature. Movement can help to release stuck energy and promote emotional balance.

Talking to a Trusted Friend or Therapist: Sharing your emotions with a supportive person can help you feel less alone and gain new perspectives on your challenges.

Creative Expression: Channel your emotions into creative outlets like art, music, or writing. This can be a powerful way to process difficult feelings and express your authentic self.

Emotions are like waves. They rise and fall, ebb and flow.

4. Learn From Mistakes

Mistakes are a natural part of life, especially common on an entrepreneurship journey. We’ve all been there – launched a product that flopped, misjudged a client’s needs, or made a hasty decision that backfired. It’s easy to feel discouraged or even ashamed when things don’t go as planned. But what if, instead of viewing mistakes as failures, we saw them as invaluable teachers?

Shifting our perspective is key. Instead of beating yourself up over a misstep, approach it with curiosity and a thirst for knowledge. Ask yourself:

What went wrong? Get specific. Was it a lack of planning, a miscommunication, or a faulty assumption? Don’t just gloss over the details – dig deep.

Why did it go wrong? Look for underlying causes. Did you overestimate your capacity? Were you trying to please everyone at your own expense? Did fear of failure play a role?

Understanding the “why” is crucial for breaking free from repeating patterns.

What did I learn? Even the most painful mistakes offer valuable lessons.

What skills do you need to develop? What boundaries need to be set?

How can you approach similar situations differently in the future?

By reframing mistakes as opportunities for growth, you transform them from setbacks into stepping stones. Each lesson learned is an investment in your personal and professional development.

Even the most successful business owners have made countless mistakes along the way. What sets them apart is their ability to learn, adapt, and keep moving forward.

You’ll inevitably encounter challenges as you navigate the complexities of leaving your corporate job and building your own business.

Embrace them with a curious mind. Each “failure” is a chance to refine your strategy, deepen your understanding of your clients, and ultimately, create a thriving business.

5. Dare to Choose Differently

Old habits die hard but don’t have to rule your life. When negative patterns arise, pause.

Take a deep breath. Create a moment of space between the impulse and your reaction. Ask yourself these powerful questions:

“Is this behaviour serving me right now?”

“Does it align with my goals and values?”

“If I had the courage, what would I choose instead?”

This moment of reflection is where the magic happens. Instead of reacting on autopilot, you’re making a conscious choice.

Here are a few ideas for what that different choice might look like:

Instead of procrastinating, Set a timer for 25 minutes and focus on a single task. Promise yourself a small reward when the timer goes off.

Instead of people-pleasing: Practice saying “no” with kindness and firmness. Protecting your time and energy is essential for your well-being and success.

Instead of staying stuck, Take one small step outside your comfort zone today. Send that email, pitch that idea, or apply for that job you’ve been dreaming about.

As you practice choosing differently, you’ll build a new neural pathway in your brain that reinforces positive habits and empowers you to make decisions that truly serve you.

You have the power to break free from those old patterns. Trust yourself, trust your intuition, and dare to create a life that is aligned with your deepest values and aspirations.

When that familiar pattern arises, pause. Take a breath. Ask yourself, “Is this serving me? Does it align with my goals and values?” Then, consciously choose a different path. It could be as simple as stepping away from your desk for a walk when you feel overwhelmed or saying “no” to a project that doesn’t align with your vision.

Breaking bad habits is an act of self-love. It’s about creating space for the life you truly want – a career that ignites your passion, relationships that nurture you, and a deep sense of personal fulfilment.

Ready to ditch the self-sabotage and unleash your potential? Let’s discuss how my coaching can help you create a more empowered, fulfilling life. Book a FREE Discovery call today.

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