Brick Walls and Glass Ceilings Part II: How to Knock Your Roadblocks Down

by Salary.com Staff - Original publish date: January 17, 2012

In Part I of this article we discussed  six common roadblocks faced in the workplace, and how to recognize them. In Part II we’ll talk about specific strategies that will allow you to knock down roadblocks, so you can happily and successfully reach your destination.

Roadblock #1: All talk, no action.

Instead of daydreaming about how great your life would be if you reached your goal, take action.

Strategy: 
Adapt the adage “There’s no time like the present.” Set goals that are SMARTSpecific, Measurable,Attainable, Relevent, and Time-Bound. Taking this important first step will break the cycle of daydreaming and will start a cycle of doing. For every goal you set, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What exactly do you want to happen, and why?
  • What milestones can you implement to measure your progress?
  • Is your goal within your reach, given your skills, experience, and resources?
  • What is the date by which you hope to accomplish your goal?

Roadblock #2: I Think I Can't

Surround yourself with people who say you can, instead of those who say you can’t.

Strategy: 
Minimize your contact with those who criticize your plans and goals, while actively seeking out people who support you. There are several ways to identify like-minded supporters:

  • Find someone who has already achieved what you want to achieve. Ask him or her to mentor you.
  • Join associations, clubs, and chat rooms that include people with your similar goals.
  • Start your own group and invite other like-minded individuals to brainstorm, share ideas, solve problems, and offer encouragement.

Roadblock #3: Getting knocked down . . . and staying down.

When challenges bowl you over, stand up and persevere.

Strategy: 
When Thomas Edison was asked about the number of times it took him to invent the electric lamp, he said, “I have not failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.?When you are faced with failure, instead of giving up realize that failure is necessary to success, and ask yourself the following questions:

  • What did I learn from this failure?
  • How will this failure ultimately help me reach my goals?
  • What will I do differently the next time I try?

Roadblock #4: Staying in your comfort zone.

Don’t let fear of change keep you in your current situation.

Strategy: 
Instead of focusing on reasons why you should stay put, focus on the benefits of change. When you find yourself clinging to familiarity, ask:

  • How will achieving my goal improve my life?
  • What’s the best possible thing that could happen from accepting this challenge?
  • What’s the worst possible thing that could happen if I don’t accept this challenge?

Roadblock #5: Playing the blame game.

Stop blaming others, and take responsibility for your own situation.

Strategy: 
When something goes awry, focus on what you did to contribute to the situation. Implicating yourself in your own success of failure will put you back in the drivers seat, and will allow you to positively change your situation. Ask yourself:

  • How am I responsible/accountable for my current situation?
  • What action could I take to improve my current situation?
  • What could I achieve if I take control?

Roadblock #6: Lacking confidence.

Strategy: 
Assess your skills, resources, abilities, knowledge, and support systems, and make a plan for filling in any holes or gaps. Reframe past “failures” as “learning experiences,” and any time negative thoughts creep into your conscience, replace them without positive thoughts. When feeling insecure, ask yourself:

  • What skills, tools, and resources do I have that will allow me to complete my goals?
  • What have I learned in the past that will help me successfully meet my goals?
  • Why am I a good “fit” for this goal?

Anyone who has ever set a goal knows that roadblocks and barriers are inevitable. But in most cases all you need is a thoughtful strategy to knock them down and achieve success. Good luck!

Related Salary.com Content