Power Moves for Professional Women: Navigating Barriers

Navigating barriers can be daunting and we can often get lost or even stuck if we can't find away through. Most of the time these obstacles can be self inflicted, but there will be times when they are set there by others with the intention to block us from reaching the desired goal. Their issues have now become our issues. I don't know about you....but I've got enough on my plate without someone else unloading their limitations on me! So how do we overcome these challenges?? A good step in the right direction is to unwind the constraints we put upon ourselves.


To start with there must be NO EXCUSES!! Make this your personal mantra and then exercise these strategies:


Monitor your own self-talk.

Try and form an awareness of the tendency to beat up on yourself. You wouldn’t let anyone else bully you, would you? It’s time we start silencing the inner critics by reminding yourself just exactly how amazing you are! Try making a list of all of your goodness – even in the small things because they are important too. Post it somewhere so you can see it every day and READ it out loud like you are preaching to the choir. Seriously…this works.


Reign in your emotions and stop reacting in self-defeating ways.

Women are emotional creatures – which, in my opinion is a great thing, BUT sometimes we get triggered and just let loose with less than desirable outcomes. When you feel yourself getting defensive or upset – immediately stand up straight, close your eyes, take a deep breath through your nose and slowly exhale through your mouth and count to 10. Reopen and choose your words and actions carefully. You may feel silly doing this in a heated argument with another person, but let me tell you a side benefit. The person on the receiving end of your frustration will see that they have pushed a button and may take that 10-second opportunity to get themselves right as well. Win-Win.


Recognize your own worth

Girl, you’ve got skills! You know you do and it’s time to start tooting your own horn. In a previous blog post called Lead Like A Woman I mused that we as women want to be recognized for what we bring to the table, yet when we do get attention, we get very self-conscious about it and even marginalize the acknowledgement. This confuses the intentions you are putting out there and guess what? If you keep doing that – people will stop noticing you all together. Time to affirm your inner badass by flaunting audacious confidence backing up just how good you really are.


Click here download the worksheet on how to create your own affirmations.


Visualize success

Literally close your eyes and focus in on what that looks like for you in vivid detail. Where are you? What are you doing? Check in with your senses - what are you feeling? What are you wearing? Who is with you? What is the outcome? What represents success to you? Are your goals aligned with your beliefs? Make a conscious decision to choose that vision and harness all of your forces to make it a reality.


Connect with a community that supports you (check!)

Congratulations! If you are reading this blog, you willingly connected with me and the groups I support, therefore, you are on your way. I believe that every woman needs a tribe that will lovingly support, encourage and celebrate her through all things personal and professional. Sometimes this also means holding you accountable and I would advise you to particularly value those relationships. These are the people closest to you who have got your back no matter what and are even willing to tell you the hard stuff, which can be hard to accept. If you are open to the feedback and willing to modify your behavior this can be a huge breakthrough towards inner change for your highest good. If you are accepting of this level of true love you will discover strength you never knew you had. In my own life I have been blessed with such a tribe affectionately known as my Board of Angels. With this army at my back I know I cannot fail, and if I do falter…they will steady me, encourage me, give me a pep talk and cheer me on the rest of the way.


Prepare your plan and assess your skills.

So…. what about those skills? Do have what you need for the journey ahead? No matter what your goal is, you have to have a plan and you must be prepared. Along with a stalwart Captain and a charted course, proper navigation requires all necessary supplies and, depending on the size of your boat, a strong crew. It’s time to grab a glass of wine and put pen to paper by answering the following questions:

  • Where am I going?

  • What will I need to reach my destination?

  • Do I currently have what I need to get there?

The next step is to make your shopping list of needed provisions that will enable you to reach your destination.


Get real and be authentically you.

You can’t be anyone but who you are and you should never, ever try and squeeze yourself into someone else’s box. In my opinion one of the worst habits we have as women is incessantly comparing ourselves to others. It only breeds low self-esteem, pointless competition and is a surefire way to stall your forward motion. How boring would life be if we were all the same? It would be like wearing a white shirt and black slacks with sensible black pumps all day every day. YUCK!


Women are colorful and amazingly diverse with infinite potential but if you can’t love yourself as you are and fiercely embrace your individuality then I promise – you will be adrift. One of the things that helps us navigate in our lives is our inner compass – it is the truest part of ourselves. Without it you will get nowhere and can sometimes end up in very bad situations. When you are living your truth and being genuine you actually break down barriers between you and potential opportunities while freeing yourself to connect with others on a meaningful level.


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Exude Executive Presence

Dress the part, look people in the eye, be present, be prepared, stand in your power and own every minute of it. Period.




Take some time to really think through these strategies. Each one is an important buoy that will guide you safely through – take what you need and set your course for open waters. It’s all smooth sailing from here.


What are your barriers? Join the conversation @calltoactioncoaching on Facebook.

Still wandering aimlessly without a rudder? Please schedule a free call with me so we can talk about it.


Book on my live calendar here.


For all other questions, please feel free to email me at angela@calltoactioncoaching.com.


Angela Highland, CPC

Leadership & Business Coach

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