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If no one saw you, would that still be your goal?

I have worked with and learned from Gillian McMichael, MCC ( over several years and I am happy to say, that I always learn something new. I guess that is what makes her the phenomenal change maker, guide and purpose-led educator that she is.


But this question really stopped me in my tracks when I read it.  It is change making plus!


What do you think when you read it? Please take a minute or two to really let it sink in.


‘If no one saw you, would that still be your goal?’


When working with clients, I often observe that their answers and the way they think about the journey towards their goals are based in what other people might think.


Who are these ‘others’? They’re family, work colleagues, friends, strangers. They might be an undefined but perceived group simply called ‘they’.  Or one person who has grown to represent a whole group of ‘they’.


But ‘they’ are there, making their perceived opinion known and somehow altering the course of action that we would take if we were truly listening to ourselves.


How is this important to careers, change and transition and how might it apply to you?


-       you are in the process of a career transition or,

-       thinking that you would like to make a change but you are struggling to feel good in

the decisions you are taking or,

-       you feel stuck,


it might be that you are getting caught in your own thoughts, held in your own social needs, being influenced by perceived others or actually being influenced by others.  Ultimately, you are not being true to what you want and need.


As humans, we get caught in stereotyping, overgeneralising, filtering our thoughts to the negative, mind-reading, catastrophising or being held by a sense of control and responsibility.  These might have been keeping us safe but now they holding us so very tightly that we cannot make change. We are bound so tight that we fear the change, the uncertainty and it can be easier to stick.


How do you know that this is happening?


You might:

·       find yourself overthinking about how other people will react and what they will say.

·       find yourself craving a reaction.

·       seek the opinion of others, which of course has it’s place, but perhaps you are looking

to be told what to do rather than make a decision for yourself.

·       catastrophise about the impact a decision will have on others.

·       be feeling stuck.

·       find that your values are clashing against each other - it feels difficult to move past the various options in front of you.


** not an exhaustive list **


This is where the question becomes really helpful, so let’s ask it again, what happens to your options when you ask yourself: ‘If no one saw you, would that still be your goal?’


Quick steps to moving beyond your perceived constraints:



Take this answer and work through what that might look like for you - allow yourself to dream a little.


Once you have done this, you can apply an objective filter about how your ideal outcome can practically work for you. 


Hopefully, you’ll have created a space where you can be honest with yourself and open up your natural ability to problem solve and find your way forward.

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