I’ve spent the last 3 weeks speaking with more than 60 high achievers who shared their biggest career challenges. There were a lot of commonalities, but the #1 blocker for career growth was mindset.
It got me thinking.
What is the mindset shift we need to make to start thinking like an executive and allow ourselves to level up and build a 1% career?
Well, it’s a combination of breaking barriers and removing limitations so we can feel empowered, confident, and motivated to take action.
The 3 mindset shifts
We all have different fears, but when I dug deep I realized there were 3 main beliefs that were stopping professionals from unlocking their own potential and growing their careers:
→ Identity (Don’t believe in themselves)
→ Creating fake limitations (Don’t believe its possible)
→ Have an external locus of control (Never take action)
Let’s break down these barriers.
Research shows that we are incapable of doing things that are not congruent with who we think we are. That means most people can’t rise above their own opinion of themselves. Simply put:
And if you don’t believe in yourself, if you don’t trust that you can be a great leader, you will stand in your own way.
On paper, you will have the skills, but you will let fear and insecurity stop you from actually pursuing senior opportunities.
So how do you break through this limiting belief?
You need to understand that what got you here won’t get you there. There is always room for growth and learning, and in order to get to the next level, you need to become the next version of yourself.
You need to let go of who you were up until now and embrace the person you need to become.
So ask yourself: Do I truly believe that I can become [next role]? Do I trust myself to figure it out as I go? Can I embrace becoming a bigger, better bolder version of myself?
And if you ever need a reminder of what you are truly capable of just look at everything you have done to get here. Look at all the obstacles you’ve overcame. You have come a long way and you are capable of doing anything you set your mind to, as long as you get out of your own way.
Mindset shift #1 believe in yourself and adopt the identity of who you need to become.
2. Fake limitations
The second mindset shift that is holding people back is creating fake limitations.
- There’s no way I can level up if I change employers
- I won’t get the job without an MBA
- I can’t stop working 15-hour days
- It takes 5 years to get to the manager level… I should wait
Often we create barriers that don’t exist because we get tunnel vision and we can’t see the roam of possibilities out there. We are so used to following the herd that we never stop and ask ourselves: is this the best way to achieve my goals?
The way you overcome these limitations is by having a north star - a goal, a vision for what you want and at every crossroad asking yourself:
What is my goal? What am I optimizing for?
Will this move me closer to my goal?
Is there a better path?
When you start with your goal you give yourself an opportunity to consider ALL of the options and choose what is right for you, not just what is right in front of you or what everyone else is doing.
Mindset shift #2: stop creating fake limitations, expand your view, and consider alternatives
3. External locus of control
The last mindset shift is about locus of control. The degree to which you believe you have control over events in your life. Let me explain what I mean by that.
People who have an internal locus of control believe they have the power to impact the events in their life. They believe they have the power to grow and change. People who have an external locus of control think they have no power over what happens to them. They blame everything and everyone and spend their life complaining and feeling like victims.
How do you make a mindset shift?
You need to understand that you can’t win with an external locus of control. It will be impossible for you to take control and drive your own career success. If you want to level up and grow you have to embrace accountability. You may be responsible for your own failures (which is painful) but you will also be responsible for every win. Not to mention, having an external locus of control means nothing is possible, adopting an internal locus of control means anything is possible.
Mindset shift #3: adopt an internal locus of control and manage your own career
Can you really change your beliefs?
When you have the right mindset anything is possible. You get out of your own way and you operate with ease because you remove the biggest obstacle that was holding you back…. you.
They may seem obvious, but these limiting beliefs stop so many people from realizing their potential. They think what is stopping them is an MBA, they think what is stopping them is another certification or a title, but in reality, the only thing that is stopping them is their own beliefs.
Change your mindset - change your life.
I believe in you and I’m rooting for you.