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St. Louis Post Dispatch career column

Below is an excerpt from my latest St. Louis Post-Dispatch Career Column. Read the whole column here.


During a recent vacation, I picked up the book “From Chaos to Confidence, Surviving Strategies For The New Workplace” by Susan M. Campbell. It was an enlightening read. I was specifically impacted by her concept of how to practice the art of letting go and I think you will be, too.

Since several of my speaking/training programs focus on how to manage change in the workplace, I was delighted to see how Campbell’s book supported my beliefs and yet also deepened my own understanding.

Her point-of-view is we have trouble with change because we don’t approach life or work as a continual learner. We find confidence in what we know rather than continually looking for a greater understanding/learning and that ultimately holds us back.

Here’s a quick look at six common ways we block learning by holding on, as featured in Campbell’s book.

1. Holding on to a self-perception or habits that no longer serve you.

The main thing to take away from this point is we too often hold on to patterns in how we work and live because we benefit from them, giving us a false sense of security or confidence. These pattern benefits won’t last forever (in fact they may have already expired) and we need to recognize by persistently trying to learn, we can constantly build new habits that benefit us.

2. Fear of the past repeating itself.

We’ve all taken risks or put ourselves out there and then it didn’t work out. If we hold on to that fear, we let it drive our careers and lives — which never gets us to our goals! You can’t move forward until we let go of the past.

3. Fixating our attention on things we have no control over.

I see this all the time. The key is to turn your attention to what you can control and let go of things you can’t do anything more about.

Read ways 4-6 here