Let Go of the Myths That Are Holding You Back

In the “Power of Losing Control”, author Joe Caruso writes about an informal survey he conducted among people who wanted to lose 10 pounds. The purpose of the study was to determine why 5 percent of the people who try to lose weight succeed and 95 percent fail.

The results of Caruso’s survey showed that it didn’t matter which diet a person picked. In essence, a diet is no more than a list. We all know what we are supposed to be doing, but that doesn’t mean that we will do it. Unfortunately, just giving a person a list of what he or she can eat is not going to change that person’s behavior in the long term.

The individuals who succeeded in losing 10 pounds did it by asking themselves the question, “What do I need to let go in order to lose 10 pounds?” The answer might have been to let go of french fries. Or milk shakes. Or ice cream. But it was the commitment to let go that allowed the person to shift perspective on how to view the problem. Caruso determined that if you could change a person’s perspective, you could change a person’s behavior.

In order to achieve an ambitious goal, you must be willing to let go of something. To acquire a job, you must be willing to let go of the myths that may prevent you from achieving your objective.

Being successful in today’s job market will require you to give up the following four myths:

1. Life is fair.

The sooner we realize that life isn’t fair, the closer we are to achieving our goals. It’s not fair that almost 15 million people are out of work. It’s not fair that individuals can’t find a job after having gone four years to college and spent more than $100,000. It’s not fair that millions of American workers have had their jobs shipped overseas. But it is reality.

In “Life’s Greatest Lessons,” Hal Urban writes: “One of life’s most valuable lessons is when we understand that the world won’t devote itself to making us happy and we begin to accept that responsibility for ourselves.” The same is true for today’s job market. Our happiness begins when we don’t feel the world owes us a job. Understanding that is our responsibility.

The Declaration of Independence talks about our unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It doesn’t say one of our unalienable rights is a good paying job with lots of benefits. It is our personal responsibility, not our government’s responsibility, to find and acquire our next job.

2. Nobody is hiring.

Companies may not advertise they are hiring, but almost all companies are continually looking for good job candidates. Most companies have a certain percentage of employees who are marginal performers. An employer keeps those employees around because they aren’t quite bad enough to terminate. However, if the right candidate presents himself or herself, the employer will find away to upgrade its company directory. It may not be fair, but it is reality.

3. I don’t have a chance.

I believe Woody Allen was right when he said that 80 percent of life is in just showing up. For some reason, the majority of people think other people are smarter and more qualified than they are. So, they don’t even bother to apply. If they do apply, many don’t bother to show up for the interview. If they do show up for the interview, most of them haven’t taken the time to prepare. It’s been my experience that when you show up, show up on time and show up prepared, you will eliminate 90 percent of your competition.

4. I’m not qualified.

So many people psyche themselves out because they don’t think they meet all the hiring manager’s qualifications. Stop trying to be a mind reader! Every hiring manager puts together a dream list of qualifications for the ideal candidate. Ninety percent of the time they never find that person. So they settle for someone with fewer qualifications and less experience than that ideal candidate.

In “The Career Coach,” author Gordon Miller writes: “The rules have changed. Companies are looking for a different type of employee today. They want passionate, flexible workers, people who embrace change and think like small business owners.” Those are the qualities that will get you hired in today’s job market.

Letting go is never easy. But letting go is necessary to change a mindset or behavior and accomplish a goal. As you learn to let go of these four myths, you will move much closer to achieving your goal of winning in today’s job market.

BoomersNextStep Guest Author

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