Levels of Disempowerment The “I Can’t Do This!” Syndrome — Where Are You Disempowered? Written by: Kathy Caprino

Greetings! I’ve created this blog to be a voice of advocacy for professional women across the country, as well as to provide a much-needed forum for working women to discuss, share, and connect with each other about the common challenges we face today in creating a life of meaning, satisfaction, and fulfillment.

Each month, I’ll be posing some key questions aimed to inform, stimulate, challenge, and inspire women, as well as offer an opportunity for each of you to personally contribute to the book I’m developing tentatively titled I Can’t Do This: The Professional Woman’s Guide to Overcoming Crisis and Claiming Your Power and Purpose (slated to be published in Fall 2008 by Berrett-Koehler Publishers). This book is based on my research with over one hundred professional women across the country who have faced professional crisis, overcome it successfully, and lived to tell the tale.

I hope you will join me and many others in giving voice to the concerns and obstacles you face in being all you wish to be in life and work.

This month, my question for you is:

Of the four areas listed below, which one do you think best represents where most of your challenges reside in terms of building and maintaining a satisfying and joyful professional life?

Are your challenges mostly in:

Your relationship with yourself (meaning: how you perceive, feel about and evaluate yourself)

Your relationship with others (meaning: how you relate to and interact with others, and how they relate to and treat you)

Your relationship with the world (meaning: how effective you are in the world, how able you are to use your talents, and how capable you feel you are to get what you need physically, emotionally, and intellectually)

Your relationship with your highest self (meaning: if and how you embrace your higher purpose [why you are here on this planet now] and your interconnectedness, and how empowered and supported you are to live your higher purpose)

We would all benefit from hearing your thoughts on which of these areas poses the greatest challenge for you, and what you are doing to overcome the hurdles that get in the way of a smooth journey to success and joy.

Thank you so very much for your generosity in sharing your insights. I have no doubt that your comments will be helpful to many others.

All best,

2 thoughts on “The “I Can’t Do This!” Syndrome — Where Are You Disempowered?”

  1. This column really hit home for me. I have “postponed” goals and plans so many times I lost count. In trying to decipher which challenging area I identify with the most, I think is the relationship with me that has kept me stuck. It is in fact small thinking disguised as limited self value and fear of not being good enough.
    The intriguing part is the “looking back feeling”, the feeling I get when I look back and wonder what could have been. I have learned that I function best when part of a two person team, where I don’t hold myself solely responsible for the “whole” thing. In reading Thomas Leonard, I have learned that surrounding ourselves with the people that will do the parts that we know we lack confidence or proficiency in, is a major step forward. Now, to do so one would have to let go of the control. Ahem, ahem. How ironic, my own control has kept me thinking small. The first thing I will do this week is to write up what I would like to see myself doing in 6 months. I will contact a coach and will start seriously writing my first script. I truly would like to submit it to the next Sundance Festival. Inevitable, writing clarifies my thinking. Thank you for the question Kathy.

  2. Dear Yamel:
    Thanks so much for your comments. I think a great many of us are “gapped” in the area of our relationship with ourselves, and those gaps become ever-clearer as we attempt to marshal our efforts to move forward toward bigger dreams and goals.

    Bravo in commiting to getting the help of a coach, and to writing your screenplay. Can’t wait to see it on the big screen! Enjoy the journey.

    All best,

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