Breaking Through the Real Glass Ceiling – Raising our Consciousness
By Phyliss Francis, MA, CLC
Whether you think you’re a loser or think you’re a winner, you’re right. -Henry Ford
When we hear the term “glass ceiling” what image comes to our minds? Most people immediately imagine a barrier that women and people of color confront that prevents them from moving up the corporate ladder. The “glass ceiling” was a term coined after the civil rights era when women and ethnic minorities continued to bump up against a transparent limitation. They were unable to move past a certain point to the next level professionally even though they could see others achieve higher levels. Whether or not you have experienced the “glass ceiling” in the traditional sense, you may have had an encounter that left you feeling held back due to something you perceived in your physical environment.
So how do we move beyond this barrier or glass ceiling in our professional and personal lives? Instead of focusing on the external limitations in our lives, I would like to examine the levels of consciousness that we are resisting within ourselves. I will take you beyond the corporate concept of the “glass ceiling” to the “real glass ceiling of consciousness,” or awareness, within yourself.
If you knew you could not fail, what would you do? Think about this for a minute. Would you be a writer, a pilot, doctor or lawyer? Or would you be an artist, a teacher or entrepreneur? Whatever you desire, allow yourself to step into the possibility of what it would be and dream. Go ahead and play for a moment…
Now that you have that goal or vision in mind, please answer these questions. Why haven’t you done it? What’s stopping you? Your answers might be: I do not have enough time, money, or resources. Or, I am not qualified because of my education, gender or race. In other words, what is your “glass ceiling”?
Take a moment to acknowledge your glass ceiling whatever it might be. You might say: Check my bank account! Look at my schedule! Look at the statistics involving socio-economics, race and gender! But before we take a look at your physical environment, let’s check out what is living in your consciousness and start there. If your outer reality is a reflection of your inner reality, then we must start with your consciousness.
Before you can break through the barriers that you perceive, you must first break through the barriers that are present in your own consciousness. For example, my client 1*Linda hired me to assist her with manifesting a new job. During our first session, Linda complained continually that her work hours were too long and included weekends, her income was low, and she was not inspired. When I attempted to focus Linda on the elements she desired in an ideal job, she would revert back to the external obstacles working against her: I am too old! There are no good jobs available! I do not have enough education, experience or training! These statements reflected her real “glass ceiling.” Once Linda realized these perceived limitations were reflections of her consciousness and not her direct physical experience, she was able to refocus. Within two weeks, Linda was hired for a more flexible, higher paying, new job that suddenly became available within her company.
Like Linda, I believe you can begin to make a shift in your consciousness and break through the real glass ceiling if you follow the five key strategies below.
1.. UTILIZE THE TECHNIQUES OF CONSCIOUS VISUALIZATION
Conscious Visualization allows you to create clarity about the goal or vision you would like to achieve and then picture your success as if it is already happening in your mind’s eye. For example, I worked with Lisa, an interior designer whose goal was to expand her business from remodeling small kitchens and bathrooms to designing multi-million dollar homes. She visualized herself attracting bigger jobs, but we also brought more depth to the visualization by including “feeling tones,” which are the vivid, emotional responses and feelings associated with successfully living your ideal scene out as if it were available now. Through this daily practice of visualizing her ideal career, infused with the feeling tones of confidence and creativity, she retrained her consciousness to believe that she was worthy and deserving of attracting high-end contracts. Within two months Lisa manifested two redesigning contracts, a major hotel in the Caribbean, and a multi-million dollar home. She broke through her “glass ceiling” of consciousness that she was not worthy enough to attract her dream clients.
2. REMEMBER WHAT YOU FOCUS ON EXPANDS
Understand the universal principle, “What you focus on expands.” If I told you today that I want to buy a blue Jaguar, why do we begin seeing blue Jaguars all over the place? Although the Jaguar Corporation did not unleash a warehouse full of blue Jaguars for me because I declared it, I did choose to direct my intention on what it is I want. Consequently, my mind centers on whatever perpetuates my intention. This universal principle applies to our everyday lives whether we chose to focus on what is working in our life or what is not. Move your focus to the many possibilities awaiting you on the other side of the glass ceiling as opposed to the glass ceiling itself. Center your attention on what is working in your life so that you may notice the many positive opportunities appearing on your path.
3. TAKE AN ACTION STEP EVERY DAY
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Create a plan and take an action step every day towards your goal or vision, whether big or small. Action steps can be internal, which include aligning your consciousness with your goal through affirmations or conscious visualization. External action steps can include making a phone call or going to a meeting. Try not to focus on the enormity of the project, so break it down into bite-size pieces. I once worked with Deborah whose goal was to complete her first book, but the thought of writing the book overwhelmed her to the point where she could not take any action. We created a plan to write one page a day. Within eleven months, Deborah’s book was finished! When taking an action step every day, do not forget to incorporate a support system that will hold you accountable like teaming up with a buddy, finding a mentor or hiring a life coach.
4. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH PEOPLE WHO EMPOWER YOUR VISION
Since “birds of a feather flock together,” it is important to fly with people who are moving towards your vision. Surround yourself with like-minded people who not only see your goal, or vision, but feel it. Nothing is more empowering than having people support your dream. Learn from your support group because there is no reason why you need to reinvent the wheel and start your journey from the ground up, especially when there are many others who already have paved the way.
5. BE PATIENT WITH THE PROCESS
Since our outer reality is a reflection of our inner reality, we must remember that it takes time to shift our consciousness. Your current consciousness is a habit that has been formed over years of experience so take time to cultivate the necessary shifts to be reflected in your professional and personal environments. Practice creates habits, so create successful habits. If you want the mountain to move, know that it takes time to move the mountain, so be patient with the process.
Although there are many strategies you can utilize to break through the real glass ceiling, only you have the power to follow them. Remember, if your outer reality is a reflection of your inner reality, then you have the ability to remove “the real glass ceiling” of your consciousness.
PHYLISS FRANCIS, MA, CLC is an insightful and empowering Certified Life Coach and facilitator. Through her company, Stop Talk Coaching (www.stoptalk.net), she coaches people to Live Life Out Loud! Phyliss has extensive experience and training in coaching, counseling, personal growth, self-development, transformation and spirituality. She holds a MA in Spiritual Psychology from the University of Santa Monica and a membership to the International Coaching Federation. Contact Phyliss for a complimentary coaching session: firstname.lastname@example.org (310) 995-3101.