October 27, 2021

Career Passion Blueprint – Day 3

I'm Melissa
I'm a Career and Leadership Coach for Women in Pharma/Biotech. I've been where you are, and I help you create the career you want without working more hours or settling for good enough.
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It’s here!  Day 3 of the Career Passion Blueprint masterclass!  

In this episode, we’re diving into the most important piece of creating your unique blueprint and discovering what your ideal career is…

Your mindset.

Managing your mindset is the foundation that lets everything else happen.  

Believe it or not, your brain is operating 90% in your subconscious.

That means that less than 10% is your conscious mind.  That part of your brain that you think is guiding you, really isn’t.

So, your social conditioning from your upbringing, society, media and past experiences can work against you without you even realizing it.

I’m not telling you this to make your brain into an enemy.  

You have to love your brain. It makes you you. It’s there to protect you. It is doing its job.

You just have to learn to identify when it’s not helping you and it’s actually working against you, so you can know when you should move forward, when you should make a change, and when you shouldn’t. 

I’m also sharing some case studies of how my Career Passion Blueprint framework has been used by others so you can really see how you can apply this in your own life.

If you’re ready to create your blueprint and take action on your dreams, this is the episode for you!

What You’ll Learn

The 3 factors that motivate your brain

How to identify when your brain is not helping you and what to do about it

Common pitfalls and mistakes 

Why what you think is the answer probably isn’t the answer at all

Featured in This Episode

Career Passion Blueprint – Day 1

Career Passion Blueprint – Day 2

Listen to my interview with Angie

Listen to my interview with Jenna

Learn more about coaching with Melissa

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Welcome to Navigating Your Career, the only podcast that blends personal development, professional skills and psychology to help you get happy at work and live the life you want. If you want to stop feeling stuck and start feeling better, this is the place for you. I’m your host, Melissa Lawrence. Let’s get started.

Hello and welcome to this week’s episode of the podcast. Can you believe that it is the end of October already? I cannot. This year has flown by so fast. Now, did you catch the last two weeks of the podcast? If you did, you are feeling inspired, ready for more and wanting to go into today’s episode without delay. We are going to get you going on your custom blueprint. And if you are listening, thinking, what the heck am I talking about right now? We are in a three part series where I am sharing my master class series, The Career Passion Blueprint.

Two weeks ago, we started with lesson one, so go back and start there and then come back and join us here. You aren’t going to want to miss this. It has helped so many people and each lesson builds on each other. So you want to start with the first one and then go to last week’s and then here we’re going to wrap up with the last one where we’re going to get into your action, common pitfalls, all the things. And don’t worry when we dig into your brain, it’s not going to hurt.

All right, let’s get to it.

Hello. Welcome. We are on day three. What an exciting week so far, right? You can see I have the whiteboard out today. It is going to be so good. So welcome to the third lesson in this master class series, Career Passion Blueprint. Thank you for your engagement and your participation so far. I know if you are applying this work, if you are applying what you’re learning, if you are paying attention, then there are some major shifts happening. At this point, you are well on your way to creating your unique blueprint and applying the four step framework to discovering what your ideal career is, what it is that’s missing.

What is that gap that you need to fill? We started by talking about where you are now, what changes you want to make, what was possible for you, where I started on this journey, if you should listen to that voice that tells you there’s something more for you. And we even did some guided visualization on what is really possible for you. Then we went into the framework. We talked about evaluating, exploring, clarifying and deciding what you want. And I hinted, more than hinted, at the importance of that foundational layer, which is to manage your mindset.

And that is what we are going to dig into a little bit more today. And we’re also going to talk about some case studies of how this framework has been used so you can really see how you can apply this in your own life, because I want you to walk away from this week or through next week when we have the Q&A having a clear path. There are a few things that I really wanted to focus on for this Blueprint Master Class series, and it is that I wanted you to see what was possible.

I wanted you to know that that voice that you have that wants something more, that thinks that there is more for you, that you can have a greater impact, that that is possible, that you shouldn’t settle and you don’t need to. I wanted you to believe that wholeheartedly, and I hope that you do now. I also wanted to show you that there is a clear path to getting what you want. There’s an actual framework that has worked with so many people that I have designed myself based on my background in organizational psychology and working in corporate and being certified as a coach and in all of my experience, helping others do this for themselves.

And you know that I’ve done this for me, too. So this certainly works. And I want you to see that this works for you, too. No more searching and guessing, throwing spaghetti at the wall. So let’s get started today by talking about managing your mindset. And if you, again need to throw this in there, if you jumped into today and you didn’t see the first two, I highly suggest you go back because today probably isn’t going to make as much sense.

You will, I guess, get some of the mindset stuff, you will hear case studies, you will hear common mistakes, but to actually apply to actually learn what the steps you need to take to decide if this change is something that you want or need, that is in the prior two videos, the prior two lessons. Okay, so I want to introduce you to your brain’s motivational triad. And this is all in the framework. Or I shouldn’t use the word framework, I don’t want to confuse you with the four step framework, but it’s all within the construct of the managing your mindset concept.

I want you to think of this as kind of like you have the secret to how your brain is operating so it can’t fool you anymore. So let me tell you what I mean. And this is where we are going to bring out the whiteboard. Okay, so your brain has three main motivations. It is to seek pleasure, be efficient, avoid pain. Okay, this entire brain is motivated. So what does this mean? This means your brain wants you to be right. It doesn’t want to work too hard.

It wants you to avoid change. It wants you to stay the same. It wants to protect you. It understands and knows all of the experiences that you have had before now, and anything that even mirrors that type of negative experience, your brain is going to tell you it’s a red flag. It’s going to tell you that it’s triggered and it’s going to try to steer you away because it wants to protect you. And this motivational triad is based on your brain’s reptile brain, the reptile part of your brain.

So this is going to be a really simple, simple overview, okay? So you have your prefrontal cortex, which we’ll just say is up here, okay? Okay. And this here is your reptile brain, which is your fight or flight response. So your prefrontal cortex is the part of your brain that signed up for this training today. That when you got this video in your inbox, you said, “I’m going to watch this today,” that thinks there’s something more for you, that is capable of complex thinking, decision making and logic. That is your prefrontal cortex.

Your reptile brain, which is what is driven here connected to your brain’s motivational triad is your fight or flight response. That is the part of your brain that kicks into function to protect you. It’s there to keep you alive. The problem is that changing jobs isn’t the same danger as a bear or a sabertooth tiger running after you and going to claw your eyes out. It’s totally different, but your brain can’t always tell the difference. So depending on your trauma response, on your mental health, your wellbeing, experiences you’ve had before, your own coping mechanisms that you’ve learned, relationships and how you’ve been spoken to in the past.

All of these things contribute to your brain’s motivational triad. And the stronger some of those preservation instincts are, the more the reptile brain is going to kick in. So when I coach people in using this process, the mindset piece that I say is so important, it’s to manage all of this. Because you can make a plan, you can say I’m gonna do A-B-C-D. Here’s my easy plan to my promotion. Here’s how I’m gonna figure out what I’m gonna do. Here’s how I’m going to talk to my boss.

Here’s how I’m going to talk to my partner. Here’s how I’m going to get money to do what I want. Here’s how I’m going to live my best life. You can put that here and make it the prettiest plan with, like, pie charts and a PowerPoint presentation, but this can overrule it. That’s why you find yourself in sabotage mode, unable to move forward,  unsure what you want. That is what I work with people on. It’s not only this, but this up here too, okay? So your little psychology brain lesson for today.

So your brain is operating 90% in your subconscious, which is based on all of your beliefs and experiences and all of those things. Less than 10% is your conscious mind, is your prefrontal cortex, is what you think is guiding you. But it’s really not. So what this means is that all of these social constructs that fed into the way that your brain is wired can work for you and can work against you. And this isn’t to make your brain into an enemy because your brain, you have to love it, it makes you you, it’s there to protect you.

We just have to be able to identify when it’s not helping you, and it’s actually working against you so that you can tell what is right and wrong. And you can know when you should move forward, when you should make a change, and when you shouldn’t. And when you have that reptile brain, that fight or flight coming in, that fear coming in, you can put it in the driver’s seat instead of letting it drive the car, letting it drive your decisions. You have to learn to manage your thinking.

That is really the secret sauce. Put the marker down. I’m going to keep dancing with it. It’s really fascinating, right? When I started my career in learning and talent development over ten years ago, 15 years ago, part of my draw to it was really the brain science. I got really into how people learn, what makes them tick, how just learning and optimizing your brain’s function can just change your whole outlook and the results that you get. It’s really, really fascinating. There are some pitfalls that I see when people try to incorporate this framework based on my experience of working with them. They overcome it because I’m there and I’m guiding them through it.

And I’m teaching them, and I’m watching their brain and teaching them how to watch their brain. So this isn’t something they don’t overcome. But it is something that comes up. And since you’re going to be doing some of this work on your own, I want you to have this information so that you can be aware of it and prevent it from happening to you. So what they do is they try, one example is, that they try to out logic their destiny. Now this sounds really kind of woo, and I totally get that.

And what I mean by this is, have you ever wanted something and then you quickly talk yourself out of it because it doesn’t make sense? That’s what I’m talking about. So you could be down a path of, say in that second step of the framework where you’re really exploring, and then all of a sudden you’re like, ooh, I don’t want to dig that deep. That doesn’t make sense. That’s not logical. Why did I come up with that career that I once wanted? That is not going to work out.

Let’s just not even entertain that. And that would be such a big mistake, because entertaining thinking about these things that you might be interested in, that bring you joy, that’s not making a decision. That’s not saying that’s what you’re going to do. It’s just entertaining it.  It’s making it part of the puzzle. And if you use logic and overthinking and analysis paralysis and all of these things in this process, then it’s essentially taking puzzle pieces out. And then at the end, you’re going to look at the picture and it’s not going to make sense because you decided that certain pieces didn’t belong that actually did.

So I want to tell you about my first case study, which is a woman named Janet. Janet was a forensic lawyer, which I thought really fascinating. She had a successful career. She was married and had two children, and she came to me because she felt like there was something more for her, but she didn’t know what it was. She had this great job, but she just wasn’t happy in it.

And it took a lot of work, a lot of education to get there. She worked really hard to get there. And she was supporting her husband at the time, who had started his own business, and her daughters were in a lot of sport activities. And so she was really busy, kind of taking care of everybody else. And so she came to me, and she said, “I’m thinking about going back to school because I really love to learn. And I think maybe if I get another degree, maybe it’ll open some more doors for me.”

But doors to what? Who knows? Because she wasn’t clear on what she wanted. So she wanted to discover what would make her happy and what that missing piece was. And so we went through these four steps. We coached for a few months, and what we discovered is really amazing. She has this dream that she didn’t even know, it was buried in her subconscious, of being a children’s book author and running an in-home daycare. Now, how different are those? Forensic lawyer, high demanding job; working with children and writing children’s books?

Totally different. But she lit up talking about it. We framed out how it would all work. And we made a plan for her to make that happen. No wonder she was feeling like something was missing and that her wonderful job wasn’t enough. It was completely misaligned with who she was and what she wanted for her life. It was like sandpaper rubbing against each other when it comes to the lifestyle you want to have and the career that you’ve chosen. So you might think, wow, like, that is a huge change.

I’m not looking to go write children’s books. And so that is okay. It doesn’t mean that’s your solution. I just want to give this to you as an example of what could be possible, that there are things that you don’t even know are possible right now that could come out of this process that you’re going to use. So having that ongoing support and managing your mindset is important, because that’s obviously a big change. And she needed some support to make those big shifts. But how rewarding and happy is her life for doing that?

So now let’s talk about Jenna. So Jenna was a successful project manager. She was single. She came to me because she wanted to be promoted to director. She had been working really hard and thought that this was just the next natural step in her career. And so we followed this process, and she was resistant. Let me tell you when I talk about the pitfall of letting logic kind of take over, this was a good example, because it was just she wasn’t doing it intentionally. It was just her brain working.

Her brain had a hard time allowing there to be any idea other than what she had decided was the next logical step. So it took a little bit of breaking, I think of like an iceberg and like an ice pick. And we just kind of had to pick at it in small increments until it kind of melted and she was able to really be open. What ended up coming out of going through this framework with her is that she actually didn’t want the promotion at all.

She was actually happy in the job that she had. The problem was everyone around her and her drive for external validation and all of these things that were pushing her to want something she actually didn’t even want. And so she started focusing on her personal life more, on herself, and she got happier and more rested and had less stress. She discovered what she wanted was really herself to stop pressuring herself, to do something she didn’t want to do. And this was someone that had recruiters calling her regularly.

She was ready to jump ship. She thought it was the job. She just wanted the promotion, and that’s not what she wanted it all. But her brain was fooling her based on all of this and her experiences so far. So she got really happy. And we started to look at her self-doubt and her limitations. And then she met someone. And they’re in a happy relationship together, and she got promoted and she didn’t even work for it. Like she worked for it but she didn’t ask for it. It just came to her because she was focusing on herself and focusing on being happy and being rested and taking care of her well being.

And so when she got the promotion, she got to negotiate what that looked like because we went through this process, and she knew exactly what she wanted that role to look like. And it was different than what she thought before. And all of this was just in a matter of a few months. Like, how cool is that? Now let’s talk about the third case study I want to share with you, which is Angie. Angie was married with kids and worked at the same company for over a decade.

She struggled with work life balance and felt like she didn’t really have an idea of what she wanted her next step to be in her career. She started working with me to create a five year plan, seemed simple enough, and she was considering changing departments or doing different rotations. She wasn’t sure necessarily if she’s going to stay with her company or not, and so we really wanted to flesh that out and give her a solid five year plan. And when we went through this process, she discovered that she didn’t actually want to change departments, that she loved the department that she was in. She just couldn’t see it because she had some beliefs about herself and others she was working with that she wasn’t aware of that were keeping her stuck and like preventing her from seeing herself and her possibilities in a new way.

And this is where that mindset work comes in. And what we discovered using this process is that her ideal role was one that hadn’t been, it existed but she had to find some old job descriptions to find out that it was something that existed a long time ago and not something that currently existed.

And so she worked with her leadership to create a development plan, and I was able to coach her on how to do that, to make it more visible and also to get her on that path of achieving this role that hadn’t existed. So that was all really cool too. So she was ready to leave departments, do something completely different, but going through this framework helped her see what she already had and helped her adjust some blind spots she didn’t know she had and then also discover this career that she very likely can have that already exists.

And she just had to take the dust off of that old organizational structure and bring it to light with her leadership team. So there are three examples, and there are so many more, but we don’t have all day. But I will say that both Angie and Jenna were on my podcast, Navigating Your Career. So if you want to hear more about their stories and how they created these results from their perspective, their words, check out those episodes. You can get them on Apple, you can get them on Spotify, or you can get them online at melissamlawrence.com/podcast.

So at this point, you might be wondering if this is going to work for you because you might be hearing me keep saying that your brain is sneaky, and these were three different ways that clients have used this framework. But I want you to remember the motivational triad. That it’s just a way of keeping you safe and preventing you from change. You know there’s something out there for you or you wouldn’t be here. If you follow this framework. If you keep this information in mind and you manage your mindset, you will 100% meet your goals and likely exceed them, because what you think is the answer is probably not the answer.

This framework is going to guide you to that answer, and then you get to decide what to do about it, which is amazing. With me, I discovered that I wanted to have my own business and to coach people before I had the courage to actually make it happen. I had to work through that and do that mindset work. I did all the planning financially, but I still had a hard time letting go of what I had built in my career. It was part of my identity.

It is what people expected and the fear of trying something new. What if it didn’t work? But that was just my brain doing its job. I worked through that, and from the time I decided to get help and work with someone to the time I actually gave notice to my successful corporate career was six weeks. I sold out in my coaching practice, became fully booked with a waitlist within six months. What you want is possible. If Angie, Jenna, Janet and the countless others can do this, so can you.

If I can, this girl from Wisconsin that came from very little and didn’t even go to college right away can do this, so can you. Follow this process. Use the four step framework. Use the tools I’ve given you to see what’s possible. Apply it and manage your mindset. You will discover the view that’s been there all along that just needed some help, that just needed to relieve themselves of that social conditioning, that just needed to learn the right tools from the right person so you can wake up happier and know that you’re living your best life.

You can do this. I know that you can.


That is our master class series. I’m going to leave it there. There is so much for you to work through. You have seen what is possible. You have created a vision. You have learned the four steps: evaluate, explore, clarify, decide. You’ve learned about your brain and the motivational triad. My beautiful drawings behind me. So much. You have the tools that you need. Now, if you’re thinking, wait. Maybe you want some additional support. Maybe you need someone to help you manage your mindset. Maybe you need someone to help you guide through these steps and make sure that you don’t sabotage yourself and you’re continuously growing and that you really are living up to your potential, having the impact that you can and living your best life.

And you want to take this further and you don’t want to let your mindset get in the way and you want to guarantee your results. If that’s true, I have an offer for you to take this work to the next level, to take your life to the next level. But it is very limited. So if you are interested in learning about it, be sure to keep your eyes open for an email coming your way soon that will give you those details.

Otherwise, on Tuesday we are having a live Q&A at 12:00 p.m. Eastern.

You will get those details so you can attend. Otherwise, just reply, send me a message, connect with me on social and let me know what your questions are. I am here to help.

I get asked all of the time. How do I know if I’m in the right career? Now you can find out. I created a free quiz using my criteria for what makes a great job fit. You can take the quiz at my website, www.melissamlawrence.com and in less than three minutes, you’ll know the answer so you can stop guessing and take some action. And as a bonus, if your job isn’t a great fit, you’ll get some resources to help you decide what to do about it.

Head there now.

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No longer settles for “good enough”

Hi, I’m Melissa.

Career & Leadership Coach for Women in Pharma/Biotech

I'm a former Talent & Development leader in Pharma/Biotech turned CEO and Certified Professional Career & Life Coach. I also host the podcast, Your Worthy Career.

I've been where you are, and I help you create the career you want without working more hours or settling for good enough.

I'm leading a movement of women in the industry who are figuring out exactly what they want and shattering the glass ceiling. The very real ceiling in the industry, but also the one that we impose on ourselves. 

So long, imposter syndrome and overthinking. It's time to step into the impact and life you're worthy of having.

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