November 4, 2020

Success Thinking

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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You know when you have a goal and you keep sabotaging yourself?

Or maybe you keep getting the same feedback at work and you aren’t sure what to do next.

I’m talking today about how your brain works, why affirmations don’t work, and the strategies that will actually help you rewire your brain to achieve any goal.

What You’ll Learn

How your thinking will make or break your progress at work

Why mantras and affirmations fail

How you can trick your brain to work for you instead of against you

How to keep going toward your goals, no matter what limitation comes up

Featured in This Episode

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One of my clients recently shared one of the ripple effects of our coaching.  She hired me to help her with her development plan, identify her career path, and be more decisive and confident in her decisions.  After one of our sessions she shared how she is more assertive with her boss and a better leader to her team.  That even though that wasn’t a direct goal of our coaching, the tools she has learned and the way she has learned to think, has had a ripple effect on many different areas of her life.  She has learned to question her immediate thoughts and to trust herself, that she knows what is best for her team, that she has a valid voice, and she’s using it more than ever.  

Intentional thoughts is something we work on in coaching

This isn’t about mantras and affirmations

Or forcing yourself to believe something you don’t believe

It’s a way of managing your mind so you can do the hard things and achieve your goals because your brain is always going to present evidence to you that things aren’t working, you aren’t getting there.

Think of any idea you’ve had – I can use one for me, having my own coaching business.

It was suggested to me I do this a ton of times, I always came up with a million reasons I couldn’t, or it wouldn’t work.

I thought of it from time to time but always ended up as “that would be nice” or even negative thinking like “it’s nice or Ann over there that has the luxury to do that”

So, whether it’s someone else or yourself – your brain will always go to a place of telling you why it won’t work.

Have you had a boss suggest something new for you – say a new role, moving to management, changing departments, and you immediately think of how it won’t work?

We immediately go to what we don’t know to completely negate the idea and think of all the way things won’t work, isn’t possible for you, you tell yourself you don’t really want it.

Then we just abandon the idea – like what I did for a few years when it came to start my business.

Your brain doesn’t want you to waste energy or do anything difficult.

So, we create confusion, overwhelm, doubt, and we resist the ideas from others and ourselves. The ideas that push us to greatness, to something bigger than what is comfortable.

So how do you do this? How do we get our brains to believe something our brains automatically tell us is wrong or too hard?

You can’t force your brain to think something you don’t believe.  That’s why mantras and affirmations don’t work for everyone.

You have to work with what is there.

So, ask yourself what do you know? How could it work?

You have a part of your brain that wants you to explore these hard things, that believes in what is possible for you.

So, you have some thoughts in your mind that support these lofty goals.

You just have to find them.

You want to make small changes in your thinking to what is possible.

How I do this with clients is we look at where we are, where we want to be, what thoughts we would need to have and then the difference.

The difference is the river of misery or the valley of despair.  It’s the place you have to cross to get to the success on the other side.

So, you have to figure out what are those thoughts that you need to be open to the possibilities for you.

Then I want you to try them on.  

To try them on you want to breathe them in, say them slowly 3-5 times and see how they feel.  

So, if you want to be a senior leader, if you want to start a business, if you want to build an empire…

Choose a thought – 

Breathe it in, say It slowly 3-5 times – how does it feel? Do you find yourself feeling empowered, feeling excited, happy?

Does your brain resist the thought?

If your brain continues to dismiss them, then you may be too far outside of what your brain believes is possible, so you need to take a smaller step.

So, let’s put this into practice – lets’ say you are thinking of going into a leadership position – and you want to make this as part of your development plan.

You have had a couple people tell you how great you’d be and it’s something you think about sometimes.

When it comes to committing to this – making it part of a documented development plan or talking to your manager about it – you question it.

You think “who am I to do this?” “I’m not senior enough” “I don’t have an executive presence”

“I don’t want to take time away from the kids” “I bet the hours would be really long” “I don’t think I can handle it” “Jan took this other job first, so I should work toward that” “I’m happy where I am”

All of these are totally normal thoughts, but they aren’t thoughts that are going to push you to the success you want.

Now, you can work on these without going to a superficial place of “I’m the best leader ever” ha

What you need to do is try the thought on – that you could move into this position.

Say it 3-5 times and really breath its in.  What does your brain tell you?

Does it resist it?  If so, you might need to come up with something like “it’s possible for me to move into a leadership position”

Then ask yourself – how are you already a leader?

How would you moving into leadership benefit your company?

How would it benefit your family?

Benefit you?

What skills do you already have?

What support do you already have?

The answer to these questions is going to help you identify the thoughts you already have that support this development and growth.

It’s going to focus your brain on your sufficiency – on where you already have what you need, not on the lack.

It’s going to prevent you from focusing on the details which is only going to create overwhelm.

With my business, if I had known to ask those questions, that I could focus my brain on where I’m already qualified and what is possible instead of focusing on the challenges, struggle, and people pleasing, who knows what would have happened.  I’m just glad I learned this, so I could make the move in my career that is right for me.  It’s never too late.

Some of the best advice I’ve received was early in my career when I was told “You can’t turn down a job you haven’t been offered”

This is really symbolic for me.  I was getting into all those details, of well what if I apply for this or work towards this and I get it? How would I handle the commute? What would my work day look like? This would be a harder job.  What if the benefits aren’t as good…

But at the end of the day, I was focusing all of my energy on the lack, on the negative, to push me away from going after what I wanted, which was a more challenging and impactful role.

So, a colleague said to me, with love, you can’t turn down a job you haven’t been offered.

I heard that a decade ago and it sticks with me.  I apply it to everything.  Whenever I find myself thinking in the lack, talking myself out of something, I tell myself, I can’t turn down something I haven’t been offered.

First put the effort where you want to grow and the goals you want to achieve.

You’ll figure out the details when you get there.

You have to trust you can do that.

That you will figure things out.  You always have.  You have gotten through 100% of your bad days, of your tough situations.  

Know that your brain is going to try to make things easy, the goal isn’t to deny it, to push it away.  It’s to accept it.

To acknowledge it, to figure out those thoughts that are going to help you, the thinking you already have that is coming from sufficiency.  

Decide to amplify that voice along with the doubt.  It will keep you moving my friends.

If you want to take this deeper and see if coaching is a good fit for you – where we can tackle your thinking and your goals – get you there for sure – without doubt I invite you to schedule a free call with me.  We will talk through your goals for a full hour and decide if coaching is a good fit.  To apply go to  I will also provide a direct scheduling link in the show notes.

Have a great week – keep crushing it.

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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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