We’ve all heard about the infamous glass ceiling. Chances are if you are a professional in the minority or female population, you might have visions of white males tap dancing on top of it. What if I told you that chances are your personal glass ceiling is probably thicker than the Wall of Constantinople and that YOU put it there? We all can reach a level of “success” before our progress meets that invisible barrier that inhibits our abilities. Over ten years ago, my head slammed into my glass ceiling and the Wall of Constantinople was paper thin in comparison. I had to chip away at it to free myself from my self-built prison.
You can’t dance freely or live on purpose encased in the glass bubble you have created for yourself. Here are simple things that you can do to soar to new heights in your life.
1. Become Self-Aware
Heighten your self-awareness when you are at a low point. Approximately 13 years ago, I hit one of those low points when walking out of a job with a box that held my belongings, shortly after arriving to work. I have had low points before and after that time, but this time was different. After blindly stepping on a political land mine, my month of hell ended when I unjustly lost my job. This time I took responsibility and challenged myself to look beyond the obvious and do the work to trace back to see how I got to the place that I was standing at in the Bank of America in Atlanta feeling a familiar shame of not being good enough.
Next time you are at a low point, don’t wallow; force yourself to autopsy the situation.
2. Get to Know Yourself
There was a time I would go to the doctor and could not tell her when something started hurting or the circumstances that caused the pain to get worse. I was not only unaware of my physical self, I was also not aware of my emotional self. There are times when my doctor will ask me if I am having any pain and I will confidently say no, only to yelp when she touches certain areas of my body. How did I not know I was in pain … and why was it obvious to my doctor?
Just like I had to get proactive about my health and get to know where I hurt when I had pain and what triggered it; I had to do the same with my soul. Get to know yourself–know what makes you sad, mad, excited, insecure and glad. Getting to know what makes you tick will lead to a sense of self-comfort that I cannot even explain.
3. Take Care of All of You
You are probably like many folks: more comfortable with going to the doctor than the thought of seeing a counselor. I do think it is great to go to your spiritual leader and, of course, pray without ceasing. I do advocate seeing a professional as well. God has put too many tools for you to use to limit yourself to a one-dimensional solution. Your mind-body-soul alignment is THE most important ingredient to live a purposeful and fulfilling life. A good counselor or life coach is a good tool for helping find the chisel you need to chip away at your personal glass ceiling.
You may be thinking “Jowanna, this does not sound simple at all.” Oh, but it is. Simple yes–easy no. As you do this work you will find that you will dance like nobody’s watching even though the entire world can see you. Invest in yourself in 2014.