Breaking Through the Ceiling

07/08/2010 04:03 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Ever have those moments (sometimes days, weeks, months or years?) where it doesn't matter what you do, you don't feel like you're moving forward?

These can be absolutely excruciating, especially if the time frame drags on. It almost feels like there is an invisible ceiling holding you back from climbing upward. Certainly in the corporate world, the glass ceiling has often been referred to as the invisible, not-to-be-talked about, barrier which women often don't move past when it comes to parity in wages and movement upward to high level management roles.

Actually, you don't even have to work in an office corporate environment to have witnessed this in one's life. I had this surprising experience early on in life before my first year of college. I was working a few summer jobs, one being at a gas station. I was, let's say, second in command and when my boss left -- it was assumed by many that I would move into the lead role along with a pay raise. When another person was hired to help -- I showed him the ropes and taught him what he needed to know to do the job. Come payday, I found out he was making 25 cents more per hour!! I trained him, and he was getting paid more!

While extremely frustrating, it was also a fantastic lesson. It taught me that you have to ask for what you want. You have to be clear.

Now, as I work with my coaching clients -- the other thing that needs to be done is ensure that you're not sending out mixed signals. What I find that happens over and over is that many of us become ADD when it comes to our goals in business and in life. One moment, we're gung-ho, absolutely focused on one amazing goal and in the next moment, we get side-tracked by fear and doubt or something shiny and new that completely shifts our attention to the new thing that we now focus on.

Hmmm, sound familiar?

It's kind of like this... you set a sales target for yourself or your company. You get excited about it at the beginning of the month and your focus is completely on this target. As the month winds down and it's now the 15th, you find yourself getting a little worried and a little doubtful. The state of the economy becomes the scapegoat and you start to get dizzy as you start spinning around pointing the finger at all the reasons your sales target isn't working out.

As the doubt creeps in a bit more, you start to adjust your sales target downward... to be realistic. As we continue to send out mixed signals of doubt and worry, I can guarantee you that you'll get mixed signals back.

Just like me when I was working at the gas station, I had no intention of staying there past September and so while I sent out the signal that I wanted to make more money and take on the lead job -- I also was sending out the signal that I wasn't interested in staying. While these look like completely different scenarios, the mechanics behind them is the exact same... sending out mixed signals.

The next thing about 'the ceiling' is that EVERYONE hits it at some point. Whenever we're wanting to take the next step up in our business or life evolution, we're going to hit blocks. Most of those blocks will be located between our ears. (I wonder if that's where the term blockhead comes from?... Nah...) And, you know what, that's absolutely normal and okay. However, it's not the easiest thing to figure out. These blocks will show up in all kinds of different scenarios often on the outside of us and seem completely logical. As long we let this continue, nothing changes for us and months and sometimes years go by without much change. Sure, we might experience some slight movement upward and then, not long after, we'll see a shift downward again.

This can be changed with some vigilance in your focus. Not allowing doubt to enter your field is mandatory. Getting others on your team to help you will also work.

Don't accept the status quo as your lot in life or that you should just feel lucky to have going on what you have going on. Of course, while you must be grateful -- don't make that an excuse to not move forward!

Go forward, break through the ceiling -- be bold!!!

Remember, if you want this to be easier, contact me and we can work together to make this process easier, faster and with great results!!

Karen Luniw is the author of Attraction in Action: Your How to Guide to Relationships, Money, Work and Health and is a coach who helps people break through blocks in their personal and business lives. For inspiration, check out her Top 10 Law of Attraction Tips for 2010 movie. There are huge clues in the movie to help you move further towards your goals.