Written by Shea Ki
With every start of a New Year, many get focused on positive habits they want to start. Did you know it is equally important to reflect on what you need to STOP doing?
Starting a positive habit will not speed up success unless you also STOP what is not working.
There is likely a divide between what you want to have happen and what is actually happening in your daily life. What you are telling yourself and others could be causing the problem. Often, it is the thoughts in our head or the negative statements we tell others about ourselves that get in the way the most.
Have you have heard yourself say any of these statements to yourself or when talking with friends or family?
"I suck at interviewing."
Worst statement ever if you want to move towards a better job that values your skills and talents quickly. I often hear young adults with impressive backgrounds in leadership roles, helping others, and going the extra mile say this about themselves. I can't tell you how much my blood used to boil and smoke felt like it was going to come out of my ears when I heard it. It is like watching someone who is a super talented swimmer shackle themselves at the foot with a dead weight before their first race starts.
Fortunately, I've changed my mind set about it. When I hear a teen or young adult say they hate interviewing or that they are terrible at it, I see it as an opportunity to help them change their future. Do they need to improve? Yes. Will they get to a job they like faster from interview coaching by a professional? Absolutely. But no one- and I mean NO ONE- who I have met in 15 years of doing this work ever sucks at job interviewing. STOP saying this!
"I'm lucky to at least have a job."
I'm a big fan of using gratitude to improve a situation, but not when it is used as a reason to put up with a bad job or toxic work environment. Appreciating where you are at in your work journey is motivating as long you also are planning your next positive step, too.
If you believe that there are not better opportunities out there or that you are not good enough for them, then you will stay in "at least having a job". Think of what actions you can take because you do deserve more. You have the power to connect to a job that you care about and at a place that cares about you. That starts when you STOP saying and settling for "at least"!
"Other people have more and better experience than I do."
This statement often leads to more negative self-talk where a great case is made to not reach for more. Employers seek those that can be trained, are dependable, show initiative, and can adapt to ever-changing circumstances. Often those with less work experience do have these qualities but lack knowing how to demonstrate them in a job interview. Believe more in your unique gifts. You will make a better first impression to employers when you STOP comparing yourself to other people.
It may not seem like a big deal at the time when you hear or say a limiting belief or damaging comment. We all slip up and sometimes just need to vent. However, letting negativity become a pattern over time chokes your career progress, shrinks your wallet, and erases your general well-being.
The good news is that this is one area of your life that you can control--your mind set. With practice and support that includes great career coaching, you can learn new ways to improve your thoughts and your behaviors to help you get unstuck.
Your turn: Share in the comments below how you keep yourself motivated. How do you handle those tougher days when you are not getting call backs from employers or everything seems to not be going your way?
Most of all, believe in you. I do.