In addition to being talented, believing in yourself is a key factor to having a successful and fulfilling career. But sometimes it can be hard to maintain those positive thoughts about yourself when things don't go quite right. Finding ways to stop sabotaging your own success is less about outside influences and more determined by how you view yourself. It can be hard to look within yourself to figure out why things might not be going as planned, and you might not even realize that you're intentionally sabotaging your own career in the first place.
While having a successful career can be defined by how you network, your job title, or how much money you have in the bank, it's also influenced by how you mentally view yourself. If you're the type of person who constantly doubts themselves, is afraid of change, and avoids failure like the plague, then you might actually be doing more harm than good. According to Forbes, imposter syndrome is a psychological phenomenon that can hinder some of the most successful and brightest individuals. It basically means that some people believe they're a fraud and don't deserve the success they have achieved. It destroys one's self-worth and confidence and can be detrimental to a career. If you find yourself constantly second-guessing yourself, undermining your achievements, and knocking yourself down, it might be time to reevaluate your thoughts so your career can bloom into the one you really want. Here are 11 ways to stop sabotaging your career and your success.
1. Be True To Yourself
According to a LinkedIn article, career expert Catherine Fisher said, "Showcase your personality by publishing on LinkedIn and sharing your point of view on industry trends and news in today’s professional world. Also, make sure your LinkedIn profile reflects your personality, aspirations and skills; starting with a good photo, which is like a virtual handshake." Aside from a digital presence, try to be authentic and trust in your own ideas. Just because someone doesn't believe your plan isn't great, doesn't mean that is a bad idea. Be true to your vision, and everything can fall into place.
2. Think Ahead & Be Organized For Job Interviews
One of the best ways to get over your interview nerves is to be fully prepared. Whether that means making sure you bring two copies of your resume, researching the company, or doing yoga beforehand, you want to prepare so you can feel confident in front of your potential new bosses. "Make sure you know your professional narrative cold. An easy way to get in right mindset is to read up on the company, see what LinkedIn Influencers in the industry are talking about and read what employees are sharing and posting," said Fisher.
3. Be Mindful About How You Talk To Yourself
Don't let your negative thoughts control how you view yourself and your career. It can hinder you from challenging yourself because you don't believe you can do it. According to PsychCentral, therapist Sharon Martin, LCSW said,"You can also give your negative thoughts a reality check. Look for evidence to challenge the negative beliefs. Chances are that you’ve actually minimized your good qualities and accomplishments. Purposefully acknowledging your positives can help combat negative self-talk and keep things in perspective."
4. Stop Saying "I'm Sorry"
"Too often we are conditioned to apologize for every little thing. Constantly saying you're sorry can prevent others from ever seeing you as a leader. Take responsibility for mistakes and move on. Don't apologize for asking questions or interrupting," says career & business coach Rachel Ritlop in an interview with Bustle over email. As women, it can be a little bit easier to fall into this apologetic trap. Be mindful of how often you say you're sorry and focus on how you can learn from your mistakes and move forward.
5. Believe In Yourself
The only person you can depend on to make your career flourish is yourself. Start accepting that not everyone is perfect and definitely don't compare yourself to others. Everyone has their own story and yours is just as great. "As a career and business coach, I constantly talk to people who are doubting their skills or expertise. I have interviewed a lot of people, and even the most qualified don't feel like an 'expert' (Hint: that's what makes them so good!) because they know there is always more to learn! Remember, we all start somewhere and employees, just like companies, are constantly learning and growing," says Ritlop.
6. Get Uncomfortable
You're essentially turning down great opportunities if you choose to avoid the feeling of being uncomfortable. You probably won't get far in life if you're only going to do things that make you feel safe. Even if it feels scary at first, making the leap to go after what you desire just might be the biggest reward you could possibly ever imagine. According to Psychology Today, clinical psychologist Lisa Firestone, Ph.D., said "The critical inner voice likes to keep us in a box, pigeonholed by an identity assigned to us and not necessarily one we earned. It can be tricky and flood us with thoughts that are seemingly self-soothing. It’s easier, after all, to recognize an internal enemy when it’s yelling at you that you’re stupid or a failure."
7. Get Enough Sleep
While all-nighters were great in college, getting a good night's rest is essential when it comes to producing good work and positive thoughts. You're not going to feel good about yourself if you're constantly on edge or tired. "No one can reach their full potential if they aren't rested and their brain isn't functioning fully," says Ritlop.
8. Embrace The Fear
According to Business Insider, if you find yourself beginning to fear failure, just imagine how much regret you would feel if you didn't pursue your goals. Rather than trying to avoid failure, embrace it for what it is and learn from your mistakes, if you make any. It's easier to change your future, than it is trying to alter your past.
9. Develop Strong Boundaries
It's important to know what you want out of your life and career. It can be easy to feel overwhelmed and doubt yourself when others are giving you advice or ideas when you're not 100 percent sure as to what you want. According to Forbes, women's career success coach and leadership trainer Kathy Caprino said, "Your boundaries regulate the flow of information and input to and from you and your outside systems. If you fail to understand yourself well enough (including your preferences, needs, values, and visions), or lack the necessary strength to create an appropriate boundary to enforce your non-negotiables, you’ll find success impossible to achieve."
10. Be Aware Of Your Self-Image
You can hurt your success if you let negative energy surround you. Always remember to be kind to others and help people out whenever you can. The way you project yourself to others, people will take notice and they may return the favor by being kind to you back. According to Entrepreneur, showing an authentic interest in other people can make you a great networker because people will appreciate how genuine you are and won't believe there's a hidden agenda.
11. Be More Flexible
Nowadays, companies are looking for candidates that are flexible and have more than one skill who can multi-task in a flash. According to LIVESTRONG, a study by Right Management in the U.K. called The Flux Report, suggests that 91 percent of HR decision-makers believe that potential employees will be recruited based off of how they deal with change and uncertainty.
Don't let your own thoughts and actions sabotage your success. Be true to yourself, believe in your dreams, and get uncomfortable every once in a while. You deserve success and happiness just as much as the next person.