It’s very easy to sabotage a career.
Not showing up is one way and having a good rant at the boss is another. These are obvious ways of killing your career stone dead, but are you aware of other, subtle ways you could be shooting yourself in the foot?
How we view the world plays a huge part in our future success. The adult we become is shaped by many things: our gender, our upbringing, the society we grow up in, our peers, and education. A child from a poor family will often fail to achieve their potential because they don’t believe they can make the grade, whereas a child from an affluent family with every advantage money can buy is far more likely to end up in a successful, well-paid career.
If your career isn’t working out quite as well as you had hoped, it may be that you need to adjust your mindset. Often, we are unaware of the many ways we self-sabotage. Employee appraisals are useful in that they can shed a light on the things we say and do that affect our career path, but not everyone is self-aware enough to take criticism on board.
Here are five common mindsets that are negatively affecting your life and career. How many of them do you recognize in your everyday behavior, in the workplace, and in your personal life?
You Lack Self Belief
A lack of self-belief is common in the workplace. Some people are full of confidence, even when they lack the skills to get the job done. They bluff their way through every task and manage to convince everyone they are up to the job. It works, of course, as confidence is a very attractive trait.
Then there are those who lack confidence in their abilities. They might be highly skilled and have some amazing ideas, but they are too afraid to speak up in meetings for fear of being ridiculed, so they end up being a dogsbody or doormat for the stronger personalities.
Women often lack self-belief, which is why many women don’t ask for raises, even though their male peers are happy to demand a pay increase without any justification.
You are Stuck in a Rut
It is very easy to end up stuck in a rut. This is known as the scarcity mindset. We tend to stick with a job, even though it’s not what we want to do. A fear of losing what we already have means we are blinded to the opportunities out there. The trouble is that sticking in a dead-end job and “making do” keeps us from pursuing our real dreams. The only way to be a success is to take a chance and chase those dreams.
Do you really want to wake up in 40 years’ time, still playing the “what if” game?
You Are Afraid
Of course, you are afraid. It’s only natural to be nervous about what might happen if you leave your job and try something different. You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t worry about paying the bills or being a failure.
The only way to get past this mindset is to recognize that fear doesn’t have to hold you back. Yes, you might fail, but so long as you learn from your mistakes, it isn’t a bad thing. Plenty of successful people failed big-time before they made it.
It is easy to get sucked into the idea that bad things happen and the universe is somehow deeply malevolent. Bad things do happen, but a fear of what might go wrong is only holding you back from pursuing your potential.
Go ahead, ask for a promotion or a raise. The worst that can happen is that your boss says “no”. At least he then knows you have ambition, which could work in your favor in the future.
Procrastination is the enemy of productivity. Wasting time is holding you back in the workplace. Instead of procrastinating and waiting for the perfect moment to ask for a promotion or move to a new job, just do it.
You are Too Self Sufficient
Being self-sufficient is not a bad thing, but believing that you must go it alone is not the best way to progress in your chosen career. It’s OK to ask for help. In fact, it’s a good thing. Teamwork is the foundation of most successful enterprises, so employers won’t want to promote you if you prefer to go solo all the time. Even if you decide to start your own business, you will still need to collaborate with other people, so get used to the notion of accepting help and advice from others.
If your career is stagnating, it could be down to your mindset. Ask friends, colleagues, and your boss for an honest appraisal, and if you can’t work past your issues, book some career coaching sessions. It works for FTSE 100 executives, so it can work for you.
Elena graduated with a BA in Marketing, but she struggled to find her feet when she first began working for maltasothebysrealty.com. After a poor appraisal, Elena took matters in hand and booked a few career coaching sessions. It made a huge difference to her mindset and now her career is firmly back on an upward trajectory.