Am I Really Stuck and Playing Small, Again?



I meant it with every fiber of my being when I said that I will never lead you where I haven’t gone. Integrity is important to me, so I want to admit that periodically I have to call myself out for shrinking back into my comfort zone. Periodically I realize that I’m playing small again. Or am I?

When these emotions surface now, I no longer beat myself up and look at it as being on the hamster wheel. I’ve shifted my perspective away from stagnation or fear. I’ve accepted that we never truly arrive and as long as we’re alive and healthy we keep learning and elevating. That means my internal nudges are good things. I no longer blame it on imposter syndrome or lack of confidence – it is growth. I am grateful for the realization because I am then able to course correct. I am now using these moments to celebrate my elevation.

Once I reach a goal, I will celebrate the accomplishment and then elevate to my next goal.  I will not overlook it and I also won’t get complacent there.

My New Intention: Celebrate Then Elevate

Our lives and careers are intimately connected. I believe there’s truth in the saying that “how we do one thing, is how we do everything”.

I’m setting an intention for work/life alignment instead of work/life balance because I know that things will not be equal all the time and nor usually at the same time. It’s important to also share that this inner knowing usually comes when I’m quiet, not when I’m in hustle and grind mode.

I am not a foodie. I had a few foods that I loved but basically, I would eat so that I did not starve – to stay alive. When my health status forced me to make major dietary changes, I again began to eat to stay alive. I made the commitment and had the discipline to change my diet so I can also make the (re)commitment and implement the discipline to elevate my business. I took the bad things out of my diet then added the better stuff in then progressed to adding in the good stuff. I knew that movement needed to be a part of my success plan, but I didn’t hit the gym, I added in nature walks. I feel so much better, and I have lost a significant amount of weight. Not only was I consistent and committed, I created a specific strategy that worked for me. I defined success on my own terms. This post is a part of the celebration.

Now, let’s return to elevation…

What would I be doing right now if I were taking my own advice? What have I been avoiding that would take my business and your career to the next level?

I’ve been avoiding starting a YouTube channel and/or a podcast and creating more video blogs instead of written blogs.

I am enthusiastically creating a business that feeds my heart mind and wallet by helping you build a career in social work leads that feeds your heart, mind, and wallet – and that includes creating more video content. Done deal!

I love social work and I want to help you keep your love for the social work profession alive and thriving.

“We’re in this love together”, In my Al Jarreau voice.

(Yes, my mind regularly responds in song lyrics LOL!)


Nicki Sanders, MSW, ushers high-performing women of color in mid-level social work and human services leadership through promotion to senior leadership. As Founder and CEO of Nicki Sanders Leadership Consulting, her mission is simple – to eliminate toxic workplaces by developing skilled, empathetic, and goal-oriented leaders who have the vision, support, and resources to create a culture where business prospers, and employees thrive individually and collectively. Nicki has an extensive background in nonprofit management leading high-functioning, multi-disciplinary teams. She is an accomplished professor, coach, trainer, and group facilitator who has combined her gift for authentic relationships, Master of Social Work degree, and over 20 years of diverse work experience to create a life and career aligned with her values and purpose. Nicki is a lover of cupcakes, travel, and 80’s hip hop and R&B music.

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