Over the past few months I have been lucky enough to deliver a number of employability sessions across a couple faculties at GSM. I’ve been really surprised- no, actually shocked – by the improvement in student awareness and confidence over such a short period of time. I approach each session with the notion that students need to see the solutions to ‘their situation’ because when we know (or perhaps ‘believe’ is a better word?) there is a solution to a particular problem, the brain channels huge, relentless resources and energy to overcoming that problem. When we ‘know’ we cannot solve a problem, our brain effectively turns off the energy supply and stops looking for a resolution. Limiting Career Beliefs may be such things as ‘I am too young or too old, my boss would never promote me, I don’t have the skills or experience, I could never …’ Or the most common one of all – ‘I’m not good enough’.
What might be holding you back from taking big steps forward in your studies or thinking big about your career aspirations? Write down all the reasons and beliefs. Next differentiate between absolutely hard facts that can be proven, and your limiting beliefs (you may notice that your beliefs may seem like hard facts at first).
The first step is obviously to recognise what those limiting beliefs are, and note which (there are probably more than 1!) are the most disabling. Try to imagine asking yourself how different things would be if you didn’t hold these limiting beliefs.
At GSM, I’ve been keen on developing students’ awareness and use of reflective practice in employability sessions- in particular, by asking them to set goals and reflect on whether or not these goals have been met. Keeping a success journal is a really useful tool to maintain overall confidence and keep goals on track. While I was living and working in Japan I kept something similar to a ‘success journal’- I felt that I needed to have something to keep me focused on my goals in a foreign country. At the back of the journal, I wrote the limiting beliefs and awarded a number from 1 – 10 how true they feel (1 being low to 10 being very strong). At the front, I wrote the opposite to the belief. For example, at the back ‘my fluency in written and spoken Japanese’- 8. At the front I wrote `My Japanese is better than Dave Spector’s!’ (Google: ‘Dave Spector Japan’ to see what I mean).
The stronger the belief, the more evidence you will note that contradicts your belief. The evidence does not have to be major e.g. `I made good eye contact with the interviewer at last week’s interview’. This is evidence that you are not lacking confidence in every part of your life, which means it is not true that you are not a confident person. It simply means that, like everybody else, there are certain parts of your life where you are less confident.
Remember the words that Henry Ford once said:
“If you believe you can, or you believe you cannot, you are right“.
Good luck in your journey to success