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As a professional coach, I have the kinds of conversations that you wish your best friend was trained and willing to have with you: highly intuitive, no bullshit, and consistently relating to you as your best self.

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7 Ways You May be Sabotaging Your Success

How would your life be different if you were willing to let go of the rules you’re given and write your own? Who would you get to be? And what would you get to experience? In this podcast, I’ll invite you to let go of the good girl script and design a life that delights and fulfills you to your core. Hi, I’m your host, Carrie Wren, professional certified life coach, and recovering Good girl. If you believe it’s time to let go of the should’s and supposed-to’s, you are in the right place. Welcome to the grown ass woman club. Now kick off those heels, pour yourself a whiskey and let’s get started.

Hey, everyone, thanks for tuning in today. I’m really excited about this topic. As y’all know, my life coach work involves supporting high achievers to get out of their own way to create the results in life, leadership, and relationships that are truly worthy of them. In order to do that, we have to first identify what those barriers are that are in the way of creating the results they desire. So today, I’m sharing with you all seven of the most common ways I see my clients getting in their own way. I hope you hear some things you can relate to and get a ton of value for yourself today. 


Okay, so first of all, let’s start with one way that you might be getting in your own way, by avoiding taking credit for your own successes. If you want to be recognized for the value you bring in any setting, you must speak up, especially if you notice that your contributions are being overlooked. I see this sometimes with my clients who maybe have gotten passed over for a promotion or undervalued when it’s bonus time or raise time, because they’ve been working so hard and creating a ton of value behind the scenes. And that value has either gone unnoticed, undocumented, taken for granted, or at its worst, someone else has been credited for those efforts. And listen, even though it may feel uncomfortable for you to toot your own horn, being your own champion allows you to ensure that you are being recognized and acknowledged for your contributions.

Another way that I notice folks getting in their own way is and maybe you can relate to this one, trying to control things that are outside of your control. Sometimes I have my clients literally take out a sheet of paper and draw a line down the middle. On one side, I have them make a list of the things they can control. On the other side, they list things they cannot control. For instance, things you cannot control, but may be trying to, include other people’s thoughts, feelings, and choices, things you’ve done in your past, the Supreme Court’s latest decision, who is in your family, these are all things that you cannot control. Things you can control include your thoughts, feelings, and choices, who you spend your time with, how you vote, the energy you bring to a room. Can you imagine the time and energy you could free up if you only focused on the things that you can actually control? Huge, huge.

Number three, you may be getting in your own way if you are tolerating circumstances, (circumstances include relationships) that are actually a compromise for you, or that are not a hell yes for you. Maybe you’re hanging out in good enough territory, afraid of pursuing what you truly want. Now, there may be lots of reasons that you find yourself compromising on your own needs, wants, and desires. Maybe you’re afraid that if you get what you truly want, that you’ll be disappointed or what if it’s not as great as you had hoped or expected. Maybe you think you want too much, or you can’t have what you actually want. Or maybe some part of you believes you don’t really deserve it. Ask yourself where are you tolerating good enough in a job, relationship, or some other circumstance? And what would it take for you to stop compromising with your own self?

Another way that you may be actually getting in your own way is by avoiding feedback. I know, okay, feedback can be super uncomfortable. And that’s because it’s so vulnerable, it’s so vulnerable to ask for feedback. And some of us are so afraid of that discomfort that could come from hearing something we don’t want to hear that we avoid feedback entirely. The downside is that that actually robs you of the opportunity to identify blind spots that you might not be aware of. And if we were to identify those blind spots, and have them be out of your way, you could actually maybe move forward in your projects and the areas of your life you’d like to move forward in. Now, of course, you want to consider the source of the feedback and what their intentions for you may be. For instance, your colleagues whose leadership style is completely off putting to you and others, maybe don’t take their feedback on leadership. On the other hand, your mentor who embodies the qualities that you aspire to and who certainly wants the best for you, that’s probably feedback to not only welcome, but to actively solicit. So, perhaps consider for yourself where you may be avoiding feedback, and whose feedback that you would actually value.

Number five, a way that you could be getting in your own way or slowing your progress is saying, “I can’t” when what you really mean is “I won’t” or “I don’t want to”. For instance, let’s take, “I can’t afford it.” First, maybe that is 100% true for you – only you know your finances. But, what if it’s equally or more true for you to say, “You know, I’d love to, but I’m dedicating my resources to other commitments right now.” Or “that’s not a priority for me right now”, “thanks for thinking of me”, or, “I am currently focusing on saving for my sabbatical and have committed to eliminate non-essentials for the next three months.” See how any one of those shifts in language gets you back into the driver’s seat and restores a sense of power. As an experiment, audit the amount of times in a day or a week where you find yourself saying “I can’t,” when there might be other ways of expression that could be equally or more true, and actually feel much more empowering for you.

Number six, how many of you give yourself pre-traumatic stress. This is where we catastrophize potential outcomes, and get ourselves really worked up about everything that could possibly go wrong in advance. This creates a tremendous amount of stress and anxiety and fatigue that is not only not necessary, but really takes a toll on us. Now, I can imagine some of you saying yeah, but I have to prepare for all the worst case scenarios so that I’m not caught off guard. Well, sure, you could do that. And there could be value in that. And also consider that in the meanwhile, you’re flooding your nervous system with a whole lot of stress that may not be warranted and robs you of being present right now. It could be that in this moment, as opposed to the one in the future that you are projecting, you’re actually okay. And you might actually be able to enjoy this moment, as it is. One of my mentors said to me once, if you’re going to make up a story about the future, at least make it a good one. I concur.

And finally, we’re ending with a big one, you all…number seven of the most frequent ways that I see people getting in their own way is carrying around unprocessed feelings from the past like shame, blame, or guilt. If you find yourself feeling stuck, or like you’re having a tough time moving forward in some area of your life – personal or professional, I highly recommend checking in with yourself to see if there’s anything you might be holding on yourself or someone else that might be getting in the way. If so, I really recommend enlisting the support of a good coach and/or therapist to support you in clearing any of this unresolved energy so that you can move forward in your life unencumbered. 

As a recap, the seven most common ways that you may be getting in your own way of standing in your own way of creating the results in your life, your leadership, and your relationships that are truly worthy of you.

  1. Avoiding taking credit for your successes
  2. Trying to control things that are outside of your control
  3. Tolerating circumstances that are a compromise for you
  4. Avoiding feedback
  5. Saying “I can’t” when what you really mean is “I won’t” or “I don’t want to” 
  6. Giving yourself pre-traumatic stress
  7. Carrying around unprocessed feelings from the past

So that’s it for today, folks. I would really love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Feel free to reach out via email and let me know where you notice getting in your own way. And if you would like my support with moving the things that are in your way, out of your way, let me know that, too. Thanks for tuning in. And we’ll see you next time. 

Thanks so much for listening. If you’d like to connect, send me an email to or find me on Instagram at carrie.wren. Finally, make sure to check out my website for all details about private coaching and upcoming group programs. See you next time.

Thanks so much for being here. If you’d like to hear the full podcast, please LISTEN HERE:




7 Ways You May be Sabotaging Your Success

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