Career beliefs that are holding you back from success

Career beliefs that are holding you back from success

Challenge these damaging thoughts that are limiting your potential.

Our beliefs dictate our actions. When it comes to our career our mindset can either spur us on to success or prove to be self-limiting. The first step to steer towards a positive change is to identify and counter the beliefs and assumptions that are holding you back. Here are five common ones to start with.

Everything has to be perfect
This need for perfectionism might seem like a strength, but it could actually be holding you back in many different ways. Perfectionism is a myth and by chasing it you’re wasting valuable time, energy and resources. It also means you won’t ever be satisfied, everything will fall short of that perfect result. Your refusal to accept any standard short of perfection is bound to cause stress, anxiety and self-doubt. You’re also likely to procrastinate as you’ll wait for the perfect time to do something, or blow up a small mundane task out of proportion. None of these situations are conducive to productivity. So ask yourself whether holding on to this belief is worth the trouble.

It’s a bad idea to admit your mistakes
Wrong. As a leader you have to take responsibility for your actions regardless of whether they had a positive or negative impact. Owning up to mistakes, instead of blaming others or deflecting the attention, will make you a strong leader. It’s only human to make mistakes, and one can learn a lot from mistakes and failures. So accept your missteps, address the situation and move forward. Letting others see your mistakes doesn’t make you appear weak. Rather people will view you as being trustworthy and honest. It’s also a great example for your employees, who learn that failure is not the end of the road.

I’m really good with feedback
But are you really? Most leaders tend to believe this about themselves, but the ground reality shows they often aren’t providing clear constructive, actionable feedback. They’re tagging it along with updates and status inquiries, which doesn’t really serve the purpose. Feedback is an important tool that helps a leader promote growth and improve performance. So treat it with the attention is deserves. Also receiving feedback is just as important as giving it. So invite feedback from your employees, peers, etc. Provide opportunities for an open, two-way dialogue.

Leaders are made, not born
It is a myth that leadership cannot be learned. While some people make take to it naturally, that doesn’t mean they don’t hone it constantly. A good leader is always on the look out for opportunities to learn new skills, develop them through practice and master them. There are innovative methods, systems, and technologies that can now impart this knowledge and help you become the leader you want to be. So get rid of this self-limiting belief and explore the full extent of your potential.

My job is to tell people what to do
As a leader your role goes much beyond this. In fact, if this is what you believe, then chances are you’re micromanaging all your team’s activities to such an extent that you’re curbing their creativity and decreasing their involvement and investment in their work. Instead, spend your time and energy in helping them innovate, grow, achieve their goals, and take the business to new heights.

Photograph: Dooder/