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These Mindsets Are Keeping You Stunted In The Workplace

Workin' Girl

When it comes to success, sometimes we can be our own worst enemies. And nowhere does this ring truer than in the workplace.


With factors like impostor syndrome and self-doubt coming into play, it's easy to feel insecure about our roles in the companies we work for. As a result, we sometimes choose stagnation and making ourselves small as a means to feel safe and secure; not realizing that growth is right outside our comfort zones.

What we believe becomes our realities, and while you're busy allowing yourself to be led by limiting beliefs, your growth and your career will remain squarely in neutral. Subconsciously limiting your potential hinders your progress. Your boss's recognition? Your promotion? They are on the other side of a toxic mindset. Here are a few mindsets keeping you stunted in the workplace and affirming mindsets to replace them with.

“But I'm doing this already.”

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I can't tell you how many times I've rolled my eyes in the past because a manager's sense of urgency somehow became my emergency. The kicker would be that I felt like it was an urgent task that gave me deja vu vibes. In one way or another, the document that he/she asked for, the assignment that needed doing, or the report that needed filing was something I had done a week or so ago and I was too prideful to oblige. It'd get done, but with a whole lot of neck-rolling, teeth smacking, and side-eyeing and under-the-breath vent sessions -- on the low, of course.

Energy is everything and even though things would get done in the end, how I went about it was negative AF. So it'd be a wonder when that energy would return to me tenfold. Whether it be the rightfully passive aggressive nature of my then-employer, being overlooked for an opportunity or an unexpected layoff during a company merger. Suffice to say, the lesson is that having a can-do attitude (even when tasks feel redundant) is the difference between securing the next-level bag and staying at a plateau.

Replace it with: "I'm ready, competent and fully capable. I'll get on that right away."

“Well, this is how I usually/always do things.”

Playing it safe is the most slept-on way to stunt your growth. Be it your personal life or your work life, relying too heavily on old ways instead of rising to the occasion of taking on new challenges is counterproductive. Maybe you have to take on a new task that wasn't initially in your job description. Maybe your boss wants you to switch up the way you tackle filing or reports. Maybe she/he wants you to approach your cold calls in a seemingly new and improved way.

You could protest that it's not the way you've typically done things. You could even say that the way you've been doing things has worked so well, so why change them now? But, you would be wrong. What you might not even realize is that your negative mindset is working against you. You know what they say, the devil's in the details and if you want to succeed in life and in your career, view change as an opportunity to adapt and level up instead of as a hindrance.

Replace it with: "I welcome the growth potential of a new challenge."

“I don’t deserve to be here.”

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Sometimes it's not even a matter of feeling above doing day-to-day operational tasks, and instead is all about feeling inadequate in your position overall. A lot of us in the workplace channel this through minimizing ourselves within our performance, not speaking up during meetings, feeling an impending sense of doom that people will realize you don't know what the fuck you're doing.

You're there but you're not there and instead of owning the fact that you've rightfully aced your interview, got the job, and/or earned the promotion, you're left feeling like it's all a facade and you're a fraud. The latter is commonly known as impostor syndrome, something that an estimated 70 percent of Americans have reported experiencing.

In a 2018 interview with NBC News, psychologist Dr. Renee Carr attributed the phenomenon to individuals feeling "psychologically uncomfortable with acknowledging their role in their success" and that the discomfort is rooted in "pressures — from self or others — to achieve great success."

Minimizing yourself and diminishing your accomplishments to feelings of luck versus achievement is all too common in the workplace. Instead of asking "why me?" to your blessings, ask the Universe, "why not me?" Do your best to stop negative self-talk in their tracks and substitute feelings of undeservedness with worthiness.

Replace it with: "I am worthy and have earned my place here."

“I can’t.”

Lowkey, this goes hand-in-hand with the previous negative mindset. You can't? Why can't you? Oftentimes, when change comes up in our lives, the default response is to resist versus submit. And resistance doesn't just look like saying "no", most of the time resistance rears its ugly head in the form of self-defeat. You're assigned a new caseload or a new project and you doubt yourself from the jump by saying to yourself you can't because new challenges mean potentially leaving the secure space you've created in your comfort zone.

Whenever I feel overwhelmed because of tasks I haven't yet checked off my to-do list coupled by emails that seem to want my attention ASAP and then topped off by my boss needing me to put a last minute rundown of our analytics together, I want to succumb to "I can't" and throw in the towel. But I remember that I am a boss by playing my favorite track from The Carters', "NICE". The hook "I can do anything" is the ultimate mood and just the mantra needed to remind you of the fact that you're only as limited as your fear.

Replace it with: "I can do anything I put my mind to."

So, what do you say? Ready to kick some ass and take names by adopting these new mindsets?

Featured image by Getty Images

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