Top 6 barriers in your career

Posted: Sunday June 21 2020

By: Abbie Coleman

It is often easier to explain the benefits of coaching, by sharing the recurring themes that come up in these sessions. This will help you to identify with others, realise it is not just you and demonstrate how a coach can help you to work through these and reach your true career potential.

By Natalie MacMillan

1. Imposter Syndrome.

Michelle Obama recently shared that she suffers from this too. Yes, really. This came as no surprise to me, as it is nearly always a topic that I discuss with coachees in sessions. This is also, more prevalent in females, as we don’t realise our worth, how good we are and what we offer.

2. Conflict avoidance.

This is rarely about conflict in reality and is usually about not wanting to ask or be assertive. This comes up in various guises, typically around balancing work and childcare, pay rise or saying ‘no’. Coaching helps the individual to gain perspective on the situation and to be confident about stating what they would like in an appropriate way.

3. The desire to be liked.

This is another typically female trait. I have worked with coachees where this has transformed not just their working life and careers but their personal lives too. It is liberating.

4. Rescuing others.


It is human instinct to want to help others. However, it can become time-consuming, emotionally draining and ultimately sees people put others needs before their own. This does not mean that we shouldn’t offer help but working with a coach to understand when and where this is right, rather than every time taking it on as your responsibility.

5. Balancing work/life and self.

This is an ongoing dilemma and one that I find I regularly revisit on a personal level and with coachees. This is becoming an area of increasing interest and is not just women but men wanting to have a greater balance. Coaching can help to step back and look at what is important for you.

6. Loyalty.

This can often be a major factor in decisions around career opportunities and development. A sense of loyalty to an organisation, or more typically a team or group of individuals, stops us from taking new opportunities. In coaching sessions, we work through the reasons behind this and importantly, if loyalty is the real reason.

I love coaching people to be the best version of themselves, to have perspective and clarity on their actions and to have confidential space to think. I’d love to know about your experiences of coaching. Always, use a qualified and ethical coach.