If you are talented, hardworking and ambitious – why aren’t you in the career position or business that truly actualizes you? What has gone wrong with the way you manage your work life? Why are so many people ignoring you, turning you down or letting you go?

If it’s happened once or twice in your life – that you were overlooked for a promotion or downsized out of a company that stayed in business – it’s an anomaly. If you’ve had more experiences of being undervalued and underpaid, then it’s something you are doing. The regrettable behavior is probably unconscious.

There is something wrong with your brain.

Well, not exactly your brain, more like your mind.

In Dr. Daniel Siegel’s new book, Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation, there’s an exquisite discussion about what’s wrong with your neural wiring and synapse firing. The good news is, you can fix this, if you are truly motivated. Your brain remains elastic and trainable at any age.

If you’re not motivated by the less than stellar circumstances you’re in now, then you may continue to pound the path from your couch to your refrigerator (with a side trip to your bathroom), through more days, weeks or years of mediocrity or worse, until you are motivated.

By then your personal brand and work history might be sufficiently flawed so there’s no one who feels good about hiring you or recommending you. Motivated now?

Check up from the neck up! A good guess is you’re failing to manage your prefrontal lobe functions. That would be the part of your brain that forms your mindset under stress, including:

1. Bodily regulation – breathing, eating and sleeping properly

2. Attuned communication – intentionally listening to other people who are experiencing events that you share with them

3. Emotional balance – managing how you act despite your internal mood spikes or swings

4. Response flexibility – being able to choose how you respond, before you impulsively speak or act

5. Fear modulation – distinguishing the magnitude of concern that’s reasonable during a rebuke from your boss versus being jumped on by a tiger

6. Empathy – appreciating how others must see and perceive experiences differently than you do

7. Insight – understanding what might trigger your over-the-top reaction to situations that other people handle more smoothly

8. Moral awareness – taking stock of what’s good for everyone before you take action with only yourself in mind

9. Intuition – accessing your wisdom based on what has happened in the past

Get Out of Your Own Way – Or We Will

Your business or career may be drowning in a sea of your own unconstructive yet overpowering emotions, moods, desires, physical sensations, and self-absorption. Even if we like you personally, at work we don’t want to deal with people who are difficult, argumentative, unyielding, selfish, aggressive or tiresome.

RX: Act Better

Change your behavior – even if it feels awkward or uncomfortable to do things differently. Try to surprise yourself with your concern for other people, your interest in their well-being, and your acting as if something greater and more precious than your ego, opinion or impulse matter.

There is still time for you to succeed, but only if you’re in your right mind.


Nance Rosen is the author of Speak Up! & Succeed. She speaks to business audiences around the world and is a resource for press, including print, broadcast and online journalists and bloggers covering social media and careers. Read more at NanceRosenBlog. Twitter name: nancerosen