*this post was previously published
You can’t get a better job because that’s what you think.
Last week, we talked about the fact that your resume could be holding you back from a great job, as well as what a great resume should look like. Today, I want to talk about the most important thing you’ll need before embarking on any career change.
A better mindset.
Is a better mindset all it really takes to get you the job, career or business you want?
It sounds too easy, I know. But have you ever started a strict diet plan, or exercise program, and found out how hard it was about halfway through the very first day? Of course you have, and it’s no different as it relates to making a change professionally.
When we think about making the career change that we desperately feel called to make, it’s not just overwhelming because of the work involved to make said change, it’s overwhelming because our mindset is programmed to talk us out of it.
Your brain will always find the shortest route to ease. It also plays the same thoughts over and over almost every day. In fact, 95 percent of your thoughts are the same ones you have every day. We have roughly 50,000 thoughts a day, and 95 percent of them are the same? Oh my. Talk about hard wiring ourselves for concrete beliefs!
You’re the Reason You’re Stuck
Your own self-defeating thoughts are what is keeping you stuck in a job you hate. It’s not your benefits, it’s not the small city you live in, it’s not the commute, it’s not your lack of a degree, it’s not your crappy boss and it’s not your spouse or your parents. It’s a subconscious decision you’ve made, and you continue to make every day, that you “aren’t” something, or you “can’t” something.
It’s the thought you’ve replayed a billion times that sounds something like, “I would love to, but I can’t because….” and you fill in the blank with limitations that in reality are only speed bumps or opportunities to do something different.
When we tell ourselves something enough times, we believe it, we become it, and it’s the reality we live.
Have you ever heard someone say, “oh, she thinks she’s all that, just look at her, acting like she’s so great…”. Hmmm, why does she “act like she’s so great”, and more importantly, what’s wrong with that?
I’m not suggesting that we all shouldn’t exercise a little humility as appropriate, but unless we think we are a little great, and a lot worthy, we won’t realize the dreams and passions we were born with. Unless we imagine ourselves to be the thing we wish to become, we’ll stay stuck forever, and spend our time pointing fingers at people who are living their dreams and trying to highlight everything that’s wrong with them.
Change Your Thoughts
When we start to change our own thoughts about who we are, what we are capable of, what we are really able to offer, how we can serve others with our talents and skills, and decide that we’re worthy of it all, magic starts to happen.
This is where we start to really see how we’ve been holding ourselves back from the job or career we want to move in to.
Let me give you an example. Let’s say Andie has been in a job for the better part of 15 years. She’s risen to a mid-management position in customer service slowly but surely. Deep inside, however, she’s dying for a shot at a role in marketing. She’s creative, she loves to write, and she loves the idea of selling the products and services of the company in another way. She’s already proven that she’s great with client relationship building, and outside of work, she writes the newsletter, manages the social media, and writes and maintains the website she built for a local animal shelter. She’s spoken briefly to her boss about how she’d “someday like to work in marketing”, but never seriously enough to do anything about it. Why? Because of Andie’s beliefs about herself.
Andie believes she can’t work in marketing because, although she holds a B.S. in business, she didn’t get a marketing degree, she only took some marketing classes, and it was a “long time ago”. She’s believes that she’s been in the same department for so long that she should probably stay there; they need her too much. She has no idea what the pay would be, but she assumes that she’d take too much of a cut for it to be worth it. Even though she has worked at the company long enough to have a friendly relationship with the director of marketing, she’s pretty sure they wouldn’t consider her for a position.
She also believes that she’s put on too much weight over the years, and now doesn’t appear to be young and fresh and eager enough to project the energy and ambition of younger person. Additionally, she’s got two little kids and a husband, and doesn’t think she can learn something new when she’s taking care of a family. She believes that “status quo” and sticking to what she knows, though miserable, is predictable and easy and thus more responsible.
Now, if you were a friend of Andie’s, you’d probably wonder why she just didn’t give it a shot, right? What’s the worst that can happen? Further, you’d probably suggest that she have some conversations with her boss and the director of marketing to find out what steps she could take to start working toward a career in marketing within their company. Could she get a mentor? Are there classes she should consider taking? What level could she realistically start at and what is the pay range?
Andie is suffering because of the self talk, thoughts and beliefs she’s held for years. These are powerful things, and when you give it that much time and energy, it takes hold and shapes your entire life.
Self talk is that sneaky voice that can be friend or foe. It can tear you down or build you up, but what’s easy to forget, is that you drive the self talk bus. You have all the control over that voice. Does it tell you your worthless? Fat? Lazy? Unmotivated? Unable to change? Does it tell you that you always fail when you try something new? Does it tell you your dreams are too big? Too far out of reach? Too outlandish or out of your wheelhouse? Does it tell you you’re too stupid to pull off something like that?
Whatever thoughts you continue to feed are the ones that will shape your life. They’re the thoughts that will turn you into who you are.
Can you use your self talk to your advantage? This isn’t something you do out loud so that people think you’re a pretentious weirdo. “Hey, I’m pretty beautiful and amazing and skinny and successful and gosh, do I look young!” Maybe don’t do that.
What you can do, is start putting self-affirming thoughts on auto pilot. Start telling yourself that you’re smart, you’re hard-working, you’re capable. Tell yourself the truth about things you’ve done, like how you always get above average ratings on your performance reviews, you’ve got excellent relationships with your colleagues and customers, and that you grew that account by more than 20% last year.
Tell yourself that you’re brave, that you love change, that you’re confident, that people generally like you, that you make a great first impression, that you’re friendly, that you’re a good asset to your organization. Remind yourself of the impact you’ve had on your team and in your department.
We’ll revisit this topic again soon, but for now, I want to ask you to consider making a few small changes. Start with the mindset I just discussed, but write a few short affirmations you can look at each day to get you on your way. We’re starting small because we keep it simple here on Mrs. Jones Could Use a Beer. Just write two to three short sentences you can look at several times a day to start shifting your mindset gradually. For example:
- I am confident in my abilities as a leader.
- I am healthy and strong.
- There are so many new exciting opportunities available to me.
You’ll notice a shift in your attitude, mood and confidence level right away. I’m excited for what’s next for you.
Where is self talk impacting your life and your career right now? Try this simple affirmation shift for a few days, and report back to me on what you’ve noticed. I’d love to hear from you about how it’s going.
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