Don’t let these 7 Limiting Beliefs hold you back at work

Do you remember graduating from High School?

It was the first natural passage to adulthood. You had probably been through a stressful time applying to college, figuring out a major, and deciding where to go for the next four (or more – no judgment!) years.

And college?

For most, college is the first time in life where we are on our own. We want to find out who we are and what our true passions are.  Maybe you tried out a few different majors in pursuit of passion. Eventually, that major led to a summer internship and a full-time job offer. College graduation ended a pivotal phase of life and was a passage to a new 9-5 normal.

The beginning of a career can be both exciting and scary.  

You are an adult making your own money.

Yessssssssss! Cha-ching $$$

You are working in a corporate job and learning so much. Maybe it was a rotational program where you got to move around and try different roles and departments. Perhaps it was just the newness of it all that created excitement. Maybe the cool products or services you contribute to keep you lit up every day you come into the office.

After a couple of years pass, the newness wears off. Slowly something has changed.

This happened to me.  I started to feel stuck – not only by my role but also by my thoughts. As an introvert, I thought there was so much that held me back. That’s why I am passionate about helping introverted women break through obstacles in the corporate workplace and achieve their extraordinary goals.

You don’t have to stay stuck. 

In today’s post, we’ll look at seven limiting beliefs many Introverts fall victim to that keep you stuck.  

The good news?  With practice, you can get your brain on board by debunking these common stories and moving through these limiting beliefs by creating new thoughts to replace them.

7 Limiting Beliefs to Drop Now

Belief #1: Labels define you.

Truth:  You are more than a label

Introvert. Quiet. Shy. These are all three labels with which I have personally identified. What labels do you carry?  Labels appear harmless. But these labels can feel impossible to overcome, and your thoughts about them can keep you stuck.

The truth is, you are more than a label. You can choose to identify as your authentic, true self. Your authentic self can be successful at anything you desire.

Belief #2: Being introverted means there is something wrong with you.

Truth:  There is absolutely nothing wrong with you

Plain and simple – you are perfect the way that you are. I know – this is easy to say but harder to believe. The pressure we put on ourselves to fit in or do things right can be worse than the outside pressure from a Boss or company. Give yourself some space, and look at all the ways that you rock. Maybe 

Belief #3: You have to become extroverted to be successful.

Truth:  Focus on your strengths, manage your weaknesses

Studies show that focusing on strengths makes us happier and leads to quicker growth. Does your company focus on leveraging strengths for success? Does your boss approach performance management by focusing on strengths or areas you need to develop? Start to pay attention to the outside feedback you are receiving. Then decide if you align to that advice. Spend some time thinking and build your list of strengths, so you prepare for these discussions.  

While we all have strengths, your career path will inevitably require skills that don’t fall clearly in your “strength” column. The key is determining how much focus to put on areas of development. I am a firm believer that development areas change with each job role. It is natural to take a new job role and shuffle the factors you want to develop. For example, maybe your last position was analytical, and you worked alone, but you need to give presentations to a group in a new role. Now, presentation skills are something you need to sharpen. It doesn’t mean you must set out to become the World’s Greatest Presenter.  

Belief #4:  Self-promotion is for the egotistical and is a bad practice.

Truth: Promoting yourself and your work helps you grow professionally.

Have a good idea? Speak up, girl. Execute on that idea and get great results? Then, go and toot your own horn! Maybe this feels outside of your nature or uncomfortable because you think of it as bragging. But the truth is if you don’t stand up and take credit, someone else will. You are working hard, and it needs to be recognized. Self-promotion is vital for growth in your career.

Belief #5: I haven’t done it before, so I can’t do it now.

Truth:  Confidence. Confidence. Confidence.

Our brains are tricky things. It is so easy to remember the negative events of the past and use them to keep ourselves feeling small. Like that one meeting – you were called on unexpectedly and froze up like a deer-in-headlights. You imagine what your face looked like as you stumbled out a few words. It makes you cringe. And it kills your confidence in meetings.  

Try this – set an intention to focus on growing your confidence. Set a time to reflect at the end of each week. Write down areas of your work responsibilities. List accomplishments in each area from that week. No victory is too small to write. For meetings, your week one goal could be simply preparing one statement on the topic to say in each meeting. Small step? Yes. But can you do it? Absolutely.  

Belief #6: It’s an extroverted world, and I just don’t fit in

Truth: There’s always a place for people who live authentically.

If I had a nickel for every time I had this thought, I would be rich today! Statistics show that introverts make up 25-40% of the population. It can feel like you are alone in a culture or corporate environment that seems to covet the extrovert ideal – outgoing, gregarious, and assertive. We can’t change society as a whole or single-handedly change the culture of a company. But it is possible to strike a balance between nurturing your inherent tendencies and successfully meshing at work. Focusing on your strengths and finding ways to manage the extrovert culture norms is possible.

Belief #7: Introverts can’t be leaders.

Truth: Introverts make good leaders

There is no lack of examples of introverts – real or fictional – who have been successful leaders.  

Bill Gates. Mark Zuckerberg. Jeff Bezos. Warren Buffet. Marissa Mayer. Former First Lady Laura Bush.  These are all introverts with significant leadership roles.  

Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games. Batman. Dr. Gregory House in the TV show “House.” All were leading quietly but with confidence.

Leadership takes many forms, but most important is to develop your brand of leadership. Study leaders that you admire and determine what qualities they exhibit. Maybe it’s a mix of humility, integrity, and empathy. Or confidence, passion, and empowerment. You have the chance to create your recipe for successful leadership in your career.

As an introvert, bringing awareness to these seven limiting beliefs has helped manage my brain at work. And they can help you too, with focus and practice.

What’s holding you back? Drop a comment and let me know what resonates with you!

PS. Are you finally ready to kick your limiting beliefs to the curb? In my weekly newsletter, I get deeper into these topics and debunk other introvert experiences.  Join here.

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