If you’re thinking this, you’re holding yourself back

So often, the limits that are keeping us from being our best are completely within our control.

They exist in our mind.

If you’re saying any of these things, be careful. It’s a sign you might operating under false constraints that are holding you back.

“But, I’m just ________________.”

“I’ve only been in this position for __________________.”

“I’m not sure it’s the right time to __________________ yet.”

Whenever these thoughts creep into your mind or you hear them come out of your mouth, go back to the facts:

  • The corporate world is getting flatter.
  • We have big problems to solve.
  • The bold are the ones who succeed.
  • Your boss, manager, team mates desire contribution not seat warming.
  • While you may not be the most senior person in the room, you’re (likely) an expert in some subject matter and your voice needs to be heard.

I worked for a leader (we’ll call him Sam) who told a story of a time he worked directly for the man who was now our current chairman of the board (we’ll call him Tom).

Sam shared that throughout his career, he would walk into Tom’s office with ideas. Lots of ideas. Most of the time, Tom would send him packing with questions he wasn’t able to answer or reasons the idea wouldn’t work. But, sometimes…sometimes, Tom really liked the idea and he’d implement it. Sam shared that he kept going back, because, statistically, he’d eventually land some ideas and make a massive difference at the company.

It took courage.

It took setting ego aside.

It took resilience and a desire to learn.

And, it resulted in impact.

No surprise that when Sam took the harder road, he realized massive gain as his career accelerated and he made an impact on the business.

So, next time you hear yourself say “I’m just ______________ [an analyst, a new employee, a person who had an experience]” shut that voice off.

Instead, say this: “I’m just the person who cares enough [to say this, take a risk, put it out there, ask the question, offer the idea]”.

Then, do it. (And, remember, the same phrase that guides you to make the right decision every time can serve as your compass in this situation too).


Take it one step further:

Don’t just take my word for it. For the next six months, keep a running list of the times you push through and take action rather than waiting to be comfortable or to be asked. At the end of six months, review the impact to your career, your reputation and credibility.


Photos by rawpixel on Unsplash


  1. Awesome blog and very apt to what I am going through right now!

    1. I’m glad it’s helpful, Emma. Go for it.

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