Borrowman Baker, LLC
“Of all the liars in the world, sometimes the worst are our own fears.” ― Rudyard Kipling
When you take a good look at your career achievements (or lack thereof), do you sometimes feel that your biggest enemy is yourself?
“We have an infinite capacity as human beings to tell ourselves stories, and the most important one we tell ourselves is about ourselves,” says performance coach Jennifer Lea, director of client relations at Johnson & Johnson’s Human Performance Institute. Sometimes a limitation is based on truth: a skill set that is still being developed, necessary training that has not yet occurred. But, other times, our lack of progress is based on self-imposed limitations, usually stemming from a sense of uncertainty and fear.
So, how can you identify and break free from these self-imposed boundaries?
Using “I CAN’T”: Notice when you are using the words “I can’t”. Are you sure?? Why not? Evaluate the motivations behind this word. Are you really stating something that is fact, or are you imposing a limit on yourself based on a false belief? These false beliefs are usually based on fear, and it takes a good deal of self-awareness to be able to recognize and confront them.
Watch out for “They” Language: “They won’t let me,” “They won’t give me a shot,” “They’ll know I’m not experienced enough,” etc. If you find yourself saying things like this, consider that you are giving “THEM” way too much power. Unless someone has given you an express limitation, don’t assume you know what is going on inside their head. Chances are, you are psyching yourself out, and people will be more willing to give you a chance than you think.
Choose a Challenge: Once you decide to take a step of faith and believe in yourself, it’s time to choose what challenge you want to tackle. Evaluate your motivations: what brings you meaning, purpose, joy? Then, pick a goal that heads in the right direction. If it scares you, all the better; try to do one thing each day that is outside of your comfort zone.
Ask for Help: This one is pretty self-explanatory. It can be intimidating or embarrassing to ask for help, but no man is an island. Everybody needs help at some point, and you may be surprised at how happy others will be to support you in your goals.
Push Through Discomfort: Any move towards a new challenge is bound to bring some level of psychological discomfort: feeling vulnerable, fear of rejection, fear of failure, or even fear of success! Our brains are programmed to keep us in a place of safety, and we have to accept that we will feel discomfort on the way towards accomplishment. Once acceptance is in place, the feelings of fear will diminish.
If you are feeling self-doubt, consider what boundaries you may have self-imposed; if anything holds you back in your career, don’t let it be YOU.