Is your ladder against the wrong wall?

by | Nov 20, 2020 | Research & Insights | 0 comments

How long since you’ve taken a step back from your professional life and considered where it’s taking you?

Sometimes we face difficult questions about our careers. I like to use the metaphor of the ladder:

  • Is my ladder leaning against the right wall?
  • I have my ladder against the right wall, but how do I climb it?
  • My ladder is definitely not leaning against the right wall, but where is the right one?
  • I know what I love to do, but how can I find the right place to do it?

​These questions are a reminder to self-reflect. Without reflection, we will never discover whether our ladder is leaning against the wrong wall.

​A client of mine, I’ll call her Jennifer, is a very competent pediatric dentist. But she doesn’t love her work, and she realizes it’s not where her true gifts lie.

​She had the courage to face her career situation with honest self-awareness and seek help.

A Jungian analysis of her personality type revealed her dominant function is Yellow Intuition. Her work makes a constant demand on her opposite, inferior function, Green Sensation. That’s hard to keep up.

​At age 42, she’s planning a sweeping career change. Since her real interest is in psychology and spirituality, she has enrolled in a seminary and is preparing her transition to a new career.

​Slowly but surely, amazing synchronicities are happening in her life and her future looks bright. Her limiting beliefs that she can’t make a living with psychology and spirituality, are much to her surprise being proven to be false.

Life is not about attaining an imaginary ideal of your parents or society. It is about finding and fully using your gifts.

It’s never too late to reinvent your career. Whether your career needs a small or large boost, self-reflection is the key. Doing the inner work that leads to outer change.

​​There’s one more thing… I recently gave a workshop where I helped participants formulate a personal mission statement. A mission statement acts as a guide or compass.

​A personal mission statement is the result of a series of three discoveries: superpower, passion and service.

When we target our passion with our unique gifts (or superpowers) and put this in service of something greater than ourselves, we have the outline of a mission statement.

​I find the following formula to be helpful, it implies there needs to be alignment between all three:



Superpower x Passion x Service

​Alignment is key. For example, if you’re passionate about chess, but do not have chess superpowers, you’re unlikely to succeed at that mission. Your ladder would be up against the wrong wall.

​For my work as a mental coach for sports teams, I formulated the following mission:

I facilitate sports teams in their growth to new levels of awareness, chemistry, and performance.

​The most important thing is that it “clicks” for me, it rings true, it even makes my heart sing. And it guided me to work with an Olympic team that won a gold medal.

​How can you get the most out of your career? Whether you’re employed, self-employed, or an entrepreneur, your career is a precious asset.

Your success, financial reward and fulfillment tomorrow, depend on your self-awareness today.

This coming Saturday afternoon, I will be hosting a workshop, which is all about creating the professional life that’s meant for you.

​I call it a Career Action Plan Workshop focused on you, your career and your personality.

​You will:

  • Learn how to best apply your personality, its strengths and limitations
  • Discover the key to your genius
  • Find out how align your career with your genius to achieve your career goals
  • Develop a career action plan


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