Career Managing Self Positive Psychology Values

Think Again: “I don’t want step on any toes.”

Written by Allison Wolf

I don’t want step on any toes. 

Ever had that thought?

This little phrase is one I regularly hear in my coaching sessions.

This is for many very smart people the thought that keeps them playing small.

It is rooted in some closely held core values that can include:

  • Teamwork
  • Collegiality
  • Close relationships
  • Cooperation
  • Friendship
  • Helping
  • Loyalty

Those are great values.

Those values can help you move forward and create a full and meaningful life.

Those values can help you to reach for what is meaningful and important for you without stepping on any toes.

This thought I don’t want to step on any toes is rooted in an idea that someone owns the territory. Or there is scarcity.

This thought sets up a false dichotomy: My fulfillment vs important relationships. The lie being that you can’t have both.

Here’s what’s important to know. When you are satisfied and fulfilled at work you increase your capacity for being a good friend, family member, parent, community member. Professional fulfillment gives you the energy you need in other parts of your life. And visa versa.

Don’t sacrifice meaning out of fear.

Instead engage your smart brain and figure out how to navigate the territory.

Next time you think but I don’t want to step on any toes answer these questions:

  • What is the meaningful pursuit that this thought is blocking you from taking?
  • Why is this meaningful pursuit important to you?
  • What are the ways you could move forward with that meaningful pursuit in a positive way and in alignment with your values?
  • What is one small next step you can take to move forward?

I know you can move forward without crunching any toes.

You’ve got this.

Your future awaits.

About the author

Allison Wolf

I am the founder of AWAL and one of the most senior coaches for lawyers in North America. I have helped countless clients over the past fifteen years, develop thriving legal practices and before that served as director of marketing for award-winning law firms. My specialty is uncovering the thinking traps and gaps holding clients back and helping them acquire the mindsets, skills, and habits for growing successful and rewarding legal careers. After a career in legal marketing and business development with law firms in Beijing, New York, and Vancouver, I was trained as a coach in 2004 at Royal Roads University and now coach clients from across North America. You can reach me at or learn more about my coaching practice from the coaching section of the Attorney With A Life Website.

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