How to Believe in Your Career List



My clients are brilliant!

These ladies have a strong work ethic, advanced degrees, years of progressive work experience, a loyal professional network, top-notch skills, amazing personalities, and situational lack of confidence. I call it situational lack of confidence because they are confident and bold in so many areas of their lives. When you meet them, they look like the epitome of career goals, but one day they looked up and realized that they were in a job that no longer serves them or struggling to perform to their normal high standards in a toxic work environment. They have put the needs of their employers, team members, and clients before their own personal and professional needs. They know what needs to be done, and even though they help so many other people, they are unsure exactly how to do it.

We are more likely to achieve our goals when they are clear and when they have been written down, so I wrote a blog post titled, “Make Your (Career) List and Check It Twice”, where I challenged us to clarify exactly what we want in our career or next position and write it down. I offered strategies to get clear on what you want and now I want to address the importance of believing that what you want is available to you.

Before I can help my clients develop a career exit strategy or new entrance strategy, we have to uncover the lack of confidence and limiting beliefs that are holding them back. I recognize the limiting beliefs and lack of confidence almost immediately because not too long ago I was in their shoes. I had mastered playing small, shrinking, and self-sabotage.

TRUTH: You don’t need to believe in your career list as much as you need to increase your confidence so that you believe in yourself.

Here are 10 ways to increase your self-confidence:

  1. Acknowledge that there is something holding you back and commit to tackling it
  2. Document your past success and accomplishments
  3. Question the validity of your negative beliefs and replace them with empowering thoughts
  4. Shift your focus to your goals and achievements instead of your fears and doubts
  5. Practice gratitude and speak encouraging words to yourself including affirmations
  6. Stop comparing yourself to other people
  7. Take small steps toward your goals and continue building momentum by taking additional steps
  8. Expect to win and celebrate your successes
  9. Prioritize your self-care
  10. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable

What I do is more than resume writing and interview preparation. In fact, I don’t even like resume writing and plan to outsource that task. I love every minute of helping my clients develop a career strategy and the confidence to make it happen.



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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