Is Your Past Putting a Crimp on Your Career?

July 9, 2011 at 12:22 pm Leave a comment

Seven Steps to Overcoming Negative and Limiting Beliefs

Do you have great ideas, but find it hard to speak up in meetings? Or maybe you procrastinate and can’t get tasks done on deadline? For every common mental block we face in the workplace, there’s a root cause. Generally, it comes from some negative belief about yourself that you picked up way back in your past, such as Speak when you’re spoken to or Aiming too high leads to disappointment.

Here are seven ways to transform those negative beliefs so you can be more successful at work—and overcome personal obstacles that hold you back from advancing in your career.

Step 1. Think about three or four negative phrases you heard all throughout your childhood and came to believe. Example: You should keep your ideas to yourself.

Step 2. From these, identify one main belief that you immediately recognize as getting in the way of your particular goal, such as speaking your mind in front of older coworkers. Example: Children should be seen, not heard.

Step 3. Ask yourself: How might this belief be limiting me or standing in the way of my career performance, fulfillment, and advancement?

Step 4. Next, take that belief and turn it around to its opposite. Example: My ideas are fresh, new, interesting, and worthwhile.

Step 5. Now, expand Step 4 to a list of three or four more statements. Using the example above, the list might be: I was hired because they want and need a new and younger perspective. Part of my job description is to be an active contributor. The workplace needs young employees like me who want to learn, develop, and grow in the company. The best way for me to learn is to speak up and even make mistakes.

Step 6. Finally, as vividly as possible, imagine a scene at work that’s a direct reflection of your working and behaving in this new way, backed by this positive set of beliefs you’ve created. Pay attention to the feelings and emotions this imagined scene evokes in you.

Step 7. The next time you’re in a situation at work and find your path blocked by the obstacle, try to conjure up the positive feelings from Step 6, and the positive beliefs from Steps 4 and 5. You’re likely to discover that you don’t feel challenged or blocked anymore, or at least not to the same degree


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