Often, the most dangerous hindrances to personal and professional growth and finding your passion are unconscious. Women tend to blame themselves, rather than looking outward to see what may be holding then back. As a woman once told me, “Like, it’s easier to blame yourself than dig deeper.”
So, if you are interested in digging deeper for finding your passion here are some possible clues. Your relationships with important people in your life may actually be holding you back through what I call invisible strings. Here are six possibilities for those who may be hindering you from finding your passion or moving ahead professionally: your parents, siblings, husband/partner, best friend, boss, and your mother (as separate from your parents).
1. Your Parents: You may be carrying old baggage from your mother and/or father. Did they send you the message you were not to be successful? Did you hear from them that you were “a klutz,” “lazy,” or some other label that defined how you have come to see yourself? Even if they are long deceased, you may still be carrying these messages about yourself.
2. Your Siblings: Ghosts from your childhood relationships with your younger or older siblings can still influence how you see yourself. The images of how they saw you back then can become frozen in time, so you continue to see them and yourself through that old lens.
3. Your husband/partner: The support or lack of support from the important man in your life can have a major influence on your being free to explore the most you can be. If he is not supportive, you may feel disloyal by going ahead with plans that could make you soar – leaving him behind. Usually this is not a conscious decision. But, too often women lose their desires for personal or professional growth if their “he” is discouraging.
4. Your Best Friend: Again, the issue of loyalty comes into play if your best friend is not ready to grow. You may feel you’d be leaving her behind; you may feel bad talking about exciting aspects of your life if she is depressed. And, what is most unfortunately, these feelings may be unconscious, so you may be holding yourself back – without even knowing it.
5. Your Boss: OK, even if your boss is a dingbat (or you fill in the best word here), can you allow yourself to fly? Perhaps you will have to change jobs, but often you can work around the boss – once you realize what is holding you back.
Your Mother: Sometimes daughters, grown daughters unconsciously feel a betrayal if they are more successful than their mother. This is especially true if their mother is resentful of not having been able to use her skills or talents in a career. Because the feeling is unconscious, a daughter holding herself back may not make the connection with her mother’s unfulfilled dreams for herself.