Feeling stuck? There’s a good chance your beliefs about work are contributing to it.
Your beliefs are basically personal rules that you have absorbed over the years from family, teachers, society, or anyone who had influence over you growing up. Think about that, your personal rules are based on other people’s thoughts, fears, and opinions.
Now, this is totally normal. Each of us is influenced by our environment and those we love and who love us, and we take little bits of others to make up our own personality. The challenge comes when these beliefs hold us back from moving forward or doing things that are more aligned with who WE really are.
Here are some beliefs I’ve commonly heard from clients:
- Only “classic” jobs (lawyer, accountant, doctor) pay well
- The most secure jobs are government jobs
- Changing careers means making less money
- After you turn 30 you are too old to change jobs
- I must have a degree to get a job in the field I want
- Going back to school full-time is the only way to get new skills
- Success = money
- The only way to be successful is to work a corporate job in downtown Toronto (ok, this last one was one of my beliefs that I had to overcome to find happiness in my career)
Don’t get me wrong, all of these things can be true in some circumstances, but holding them as fact means that there is little opportunity for other ways of thinking. And almost always there are ways around them.
Here’s an example that has come up with a number of my clients recently. Let’s say you believe that work stability only comes from a government job but you also believe that innovation, flexibility, growth, and financial freedom (your top values) are impossible in that world. Suddenly you feel very stuck because you, seemingly, can’t have it all.
To move past this, it’s important to examine each of those beliefs to see how true they really are. Going back to our example, there are two main areas to look at:
Firstly, what does stability really mean to you? Is your fear of getting fired holding you back from financial freedom? Is this view of stability serving you? Also, is it possible to find a definition of stability in a private company?
Secondly, are there any areas of government known for innovation, flexibility, & growth? How can you start to learn about those areas and explore roles there?
The experience of feeling stuck often comes from seeing a lack of opportunity and if this is the case, it’s helpful to write down your beliefs. See them on a page in front of you and ask yourself if they are universal facts, or ideas that came from those around you.
If it’s the latter, you have the opportunity to choose a different perspective. See if you can come up with a new, more aligned belief that will help you in your career instead of hold you back.
Ex. “Stability, for me, comes from knowing that I am good at what I do and will always have value to add to a company”.
What are some beliefs that have held you back?