Mindset myths: How to overcome them and reach your potential

As we strive to progress in our careers and be the best we can be, insidious thoughts and a negative outlook for the future can hamper our ability to thrive. But there are a number of mindset myths that may actually be holding you back from succeeding in your career. Here are some of the most common myths and how to overcome them.

Myth #1: I’m either good at it or I’m not

While you might come across people in your field who are extremely talented and have the job title to prove it, lacking their talent or skill doesn’t mean that you’ll never climb to the top of the corporate ladder. The reality is that having a strong work ethic is far more important to achieving success, which American basketballer, Kevin Durant, perfectly sums up with this quote: “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”

Rather than having a ‘fixed’ mindset, where you believe you are who you are and that cannot be changed, instead adopt a ‘growth’ mindset – where you believe that learning never stops, and you can always get better with greater experience and by acquiring new skills. Map out where you want to be in 5, 10 or 20 years, then make an honest assessment of what you need to do if you’re going to reach your target. As you begin your upskilling journey, staying focused on where you want to be can help maintain your motivation over the coming months, or even years – it may be challenging at times, but persistence is often quoted as being the main difference between success and failure.

Myth #2: I don’t need to learn more to excel in my chosen field

This laid-back attitude quickly comes undone when a new employee arrives who is determined to make their mark. While you might be good enough to get the job done correctly and on time, that may not be enough to allow you to excel.

Leaders want to see their teams full of people who want to learn more, acquire new skills and generally be better at what they do. You don’t have to burn yourself out trying to be all things to all people, but simply being willing to learn more can open pathways to upskill yourself and lead to exciting new career opportunities.

Myth #3: I don’t have the right connections to boost my career

Networking is one of the most intimidating elements of building a career, especially if you are not a natural people-person. But like most of these myths, it’s all about shifting your mindset.

Approach networking as a way to learn more about like-minded people and find common interests and goals with them. It also has a snowball effect – once you find your feet in networking, it becomes easier to cultivate connections every time you interact with someone new. And who knows where that new connection could eventually take you in your career?

Myth #4: My mind doesn’t need exercising

Most of us disproportionately focus on exercising our physical selves and forget about the mental aspect. For our minds and bodies to thrive, they need to be in optimal condition. So while our bodies need to work hard and then recover, our brains need to do the same.

It’s this ‘recovery’ phase that can often be ignored and ultimately lead to higher levels of stress and career burnout. That’s why it’s critical that you take care of your mind by helping it recover after being exercised from work or study. Everything from meditation to quick mindfulness sessions can support lower blood pressure, a steadier heart rate and calmer breathing.

Myth #5: I’m too old to make a career change

Age discrimination is a harsh reality for many – in a 2022 Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) report, 29% of workers aged 55 and over reported their main difficulty in finding work as being "considered too old by employers”.

The good news is that, in many cases, you can alter the perception of age by how you carry yourself. So when heading into an interview, make sure your tone, language and energy levels match the type of job you are applying for. It’s also worth noting that there are many careers where an older age is of no relevance, and in some cases is actually preferred – such as consulting. The experience you have can actually attract clients, as they see you as having a wealth of knowledge from your decades of experience.

A change for the better

It can be challenging to overcome these mindset myths, especially if they’ve been ingrained in you for years. However, making a change for the better could help get you back on the path to the career you want – and help you become a healthy, happier individual.

Whether it’s a career shift or a major milestone, any change in your life can be a great time to review your life insurance. Guardian Term Life Insurance is one way to help safeguard your family’s future, so consider getting a quote online or call 1300 709 560 today.