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5 Internal Roadblocks: Break Down the Barriers to Your Success

By Jennifer Tucker, Writer and Content Creator  |  May 1, 2024
6 Internal Roadblocks: Break Down the Barriers to Your Success

Navigating your career sometimes feels like a journey into the unknown. It’s something you approach with a mix of ambition and anxiety, expecting you’ll encounter both opportunities and challenges along the way.

What you might not anticipate, however, is the nature of the barriers you’ll battle. Realize it or not, many of them are of your own making. Fears, insecurities, and self-doubt can emerge as unexpected saboteurs, hindering your progress and impacting your success.

Breaking down these internal roadblocks is crucial to clearing the way for a fulfilling career that empowers you to achieve your full potential. Each one you dismantle leads to greater clarity and confidence, allowing you to define success on your terms.

5 Internal Roadblocks

Here, we’re exploring five of the most common roadblocks you might encounter on your career journey and offering an antidote to each.

Roadblock #1: Ego

Ego manifests as a preoccupation with self-identity and self-image. When ego surfaces, you might be reluctant to let go of your current role for fear that change could result in “less than” the status you hold today. You may be consumed by the level of vulnerability and exposure that comes with seeking a new role or changing professions.

The Antidote to Ego: Embrace a humble mindset and acknowledge there is so much more to career fulfillment than your rank in the organizational hierarchy.

Roadblock #2: Identity

Identity roadblocks arise when your sense of self is influenced by external expectations, leading to a disconnect between your personal values and professional identity. You might feel constrained by what you think you “should” do or be, which clouds your judgment and decision-making.

The Antidote to Identity: Rethink your identity in broader terms. Write the statement “I am…” followed by all the things that make you uniquely you—your values, strengths, and passions. Accepting that there is more to you than your job can make the idea of change a lot more palatable.

Roadblock #3: Fear

Fear is often an irrational or exaggerated concern about potential negative outcomes. As humans, it’s normal to want to be safe, but if you operate mostly out of fear, you limit your potential to find and do the work you love. For example, the fear of failure might prevent you from taking a calculated risk. Those missed opportunities can keep you stuck, impeding your personal and professional development and overall career satisfaction.

The Antidote to Fear: Challenge your fears by questioning them with curiosity. Asking yourself, “What’s the worst that could happen?” and “If that did happen, would I survive?” can be helpful to understand what’s really going on in your mind. Embracing your fears with curiosity allows you to see reality more clearly so that you may take courageous action.

Roadblock #4: Limiting Beliefs

Limiting beliefs are deeply ingrained assumptions that inhibit your perception of possibilities. For example, you might think you lack the skills or experience to pursue the job you really want. Your limiting beliefs about your potential can hinder your growth.

The Antidote to Limiting Beliefs: Challenge your limiting beliefs by exploring alternative perspectives. Replace your self-imposed constraints with empowering beliefs by asking, “What else could be true?” and actively seek evidence to support your potential.

Roadblock #5: Uncertainty

Uncertainty is a given in today’s ambiguous and complex environment, and it often triggers feelings of anxiety or indecision. Failing to effectively cope with uncertainty can paralyze you from pursuing what would bring you true satisfaction in your life and your career.

The Antidote to Uncertainty: Embrace uncertainty as an inherent aspect of your career journey. Knowing that you’re not alone and everyone faces uncertainty when considering a job shift can be a helpful first step to calming your nervous system. Articulate a vision for your future that guides your decision-making and grounds you in what is most important. This can create excitement about your future and keep you moving in spite of uncertainty.

Take a Step Toward Self-Discovery

Breaking down internal roadblocks on your career journey isn’t just a navigational necessity; it’s a step toward self-discovery. When you find the courage to confront these barriers head-on, you can transform obstacles into opportunities. Doing so empowers you to emerge as a stronger, more confident version of yourself, which will pay dividends at every stop on your path.

At Transitions Careers, we help people explore what it means to be human and how that shows up on their career journeys. Meet the Transitions Careers team here and learn how we can help you break down your inner roadblocks and map a doable path to finding work you love.