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Why Smart Women Get Stuck and What To Do About It

Why Smart Women Get Stuck and What To Do About It

Do you ever ask yourself, what should I do with my life, or what can I do that is more meaningful? Or, I haven’t been employed in a long time — who would want to hire me?

It can be daunting to make big improvements in your life, such as finding a new job or switching careers. And, when you're already busy, stretched and overloaded, it can feel downright impossible.

In this Ellevate Network Jam Session, Stacy Kim, Ph.D, founder of Life Junctions coaching practice and author of the book The Lighthouse Method, explains why smart women tend to be more prone to getting stuck. Stacy shares concrete steps for starting on a new path and prepares you for possible pitfalls.

Why smart women tend to get stuck

People often tend to get stuck when making life improvements, such as finding a new job or switching careers because they believe its necessary to follow a “plan-and-prepare-first” method. They analyze all the options, set goals and create a well thought-out, perfect plan. This may have worked well while attending school and feel like a logical way to approach a new endeavor. However, many major life improvements and career trajectories rarely have clear paths or destinations. If you don’t know where you’re going, it’s really difficult to create a map.

Also, since smart women often do things well, people often rely on them, whether its juggling multiple responsibilities or projects at work or caring for family. You may often put others first and not have the time to focus on yourself. This can lead women to feel overloaded and depleted and make it more difficult to try something new.

Pursuing a new path by using The Lighthouse Method

Stacy Kim, Ph.D recently wrote a book called The Lighthouse Method. It describes how she and numerous of her clients discovered successful ways to get unstuck and find rewarding new careers.

The Lighthouse Method is an allegory for finding that new path. When you are trying to go out there and do something new and make a major change or improvement in your life, it’s dark and you can’t fully see the path ahead. For example, imagine you are standing on the shore at night. All you may be able to see is a glimmer of light from a lighthouse in the distance. The Lighthouse Method calls for you to abandon maps, aim for the lighthouse, and row.

The Lighthouse Method consists of five strategies:

Strategy #1: Lose the map

If you don’t know where the lighthouse is, you can’t draw a map so stop analyzing, action planning and goal setting — and just plunge or dive in.

Strategy #2: Less pain, more gain

Don’t row upstream, row with the flow. The idea of this strategy is to do things that bring you joy and to build on what’s going right. That means, trying to get rid of or reduce anything that is giving you pain, as well as figure out what you want to do.

It’s also critical to find time to enjoy, to play and to relax. Doing more activities you like will bring enjoyment to your daily life and give you hints on where your talents lie.

Strategy #3: Bigger is not better

There is no need to go deep diving right away. Start off by just dipping your feet in the water. For example, instead of focusing on not having a job, take small steps such as reaching out to contact or following up with a lead. Baby steps are far better than overwhelming leaps not taken.

Strategy #4: Take your eyes off the prize

Don’t try to keep figuring out what the lighthouse looks like when you reach it — focus on the rowing, stroke by stroke. When we focus or just hone in on the lighthouse, it creates stress and locks up creativity. Try to focus on the small steps instead.

Strategy #5: Quitting can be a good thing

After you start rowing and heading to lighthouse, you can begin to see things differently and may need to adjust your direction. Such scenarios include:

  • Switching lighthouses: You may discover that there are things in your way or that you actually want to head towards a different path.
  • Lighthouses at home: Sometimes when you introduce more enjoyable activities outside your job, you may realize that the current work situation is not so bad.
  • Letting go of anchors: This includes letting go of old ideas and belief systems. Success can be defined in many ways. There are many paths to success. And sometimes you just need to let go of that anchor and path in order to move forward.

For more successful ways to find a rewarding new career, you can view this Ellevate Network Jam Session. Visit Stacy Kim’s website and join her email list at . You can also check out her book The Lighthouse Method on .

In the book, Stacy explains…

  • Why and how smart women get stuck
  • How to set aside doubts and build confidence
  • How to stop ruminating and do something small
  • Why less pain brings more gain

Stacy shares real-life examples and brief explanations from research, giving overworked moms the reassurance they need to make The Lighthouse Method work for them.


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Community Discussion
Grace Marabe
Grace Marabe

I needed to read this today.

September 24, 2019