Sheree Stomberg: My Pivot Point Taught Me to Reframe my Limiting Beliefs
By Sheree Stomberg, Global Head of Citi Shared Services and the CSC Delivery Network March 14, 2014 04:38 PMTo celebrate International Women's Day, Sheree Stomberg, Global Head of Citi Shared Services and the Citi Service Center Delivery Network, shares a pivot point that taught her to "Reframe her Limiting Beliefs."
Back in 2005, I found myself staring into my bathroom mirror while repeating the words "I am grateful for this career setback because...." Trouble was, I couldn't figure out how to finish that sentence. There was not one good thing that could possibly come from being passed up for a significant promotion and being layered. For half an hour, I stood there saying those same words over and over while I racked my brain, trying to generate an opportunity out of this. Finally, the words came to me: "I am SO grateful for this career setback because it's going to take me to new heights. I'm going to break through these barriers and contribute at multiples beyond what this opportunity would have allowed. I will make this the great motivator and propeller in my life."
I immediately went on a 30-day journey where I set aside at least an hour every day--every single day--and took a much deeper look at my aspirations and capabilities as well as my ultimate purpose and vision.
I made many discoveries.
First, I discovered a limiting belief that I didn't realize I had. Somewhere in the deep recesses of my mind, I had it in my head that if I took a step up in terms of responsibilities I would have less time with my family. This limiting belief was holding me back at some unconscious level. I reframed it as follows: "I can contribute at multiples and still have plenty of delicious family time."
Next, I realized that I had assumed my accomplishments spoke for themselves since I was a one-rated employee (the top rating for Citi employees). Clearly, that was not the case. I immediately got on the networking circuit and also arranged one-on-one meetings with three of the top senior leaders at Citi: the Chief Operating Officer, the Head of Human Resources, and the Head of Operations & Technology. Although it was outside of my comfort zone to do so, I shared my accomplishments at each of these meetings and spoke to the level that I could contribute for Citi.
A few months later, while I was on a business trip in London, I received word that the head of Global Wealth Management wanted to speak with me about being his Chief Operating Officer. I had never met him in my life and honestly did not know a great deal about Wealth Management. Only after I got the job did I learn that three of his most trusted advisors were Citi's COO, Citi's Head of HR, and Citi's Head of O&T, and all three had put my name forward for the position. I am convinced that if I had not met with each of them during the prior 90 days, I would not have been the first name on their lips.
To be clear, it wasn't being layered that led to this huge promotion but how I was able to reframe it that did.
Careers aren't made by how we handle the good times but by how we handle the difficult ones. If things aren't going the way you want, you have to dream bigger, be introspective, and take a deep look at what's holding you back. Ultimately, you're 100% responsible for your own success. And even if you don't exactly believe that's true, how else can you play it that leads to any meaningful results? There is no other way, so you might as well play like your success is completely in your hands by taking massive action and doing whatever it takes. For me, it took networking and declaring my accomplishments even though I wasn't really comfortable doing either.
This approach is now a big part of my tool chest in all areas of my life, from my career to my family to my charity work. If there is any area that is not performing in my life, then I uncover my limiting beliefs and then reframe the situation as an opportunity to take 100% responsibility for the outcomes. It's a much more fun way to live.