Search
Advice » Job Hunt Strategy» Career Assessment » Stop Undermining Yourself at ...
Stop Undermining Yourself at Work

Stop Undermining Yourself at Work

From time to time, you may undermine yourself on the job with your behavior. This form of self-sabotage not only prevents you from performing at your full potential, but also gives colleagues and customers an opportunity to think less of you as an individual and professional. 

With self-awareness, determination and practice, you can minimize these negative behaviors. Try this three-step process.

Name Your Behavior

The first step is to understand exactly how you undermine yourself. Three of the most common ways are:

  • Dwelling on the Negative: Whether in a recurring internal dialogue or conversations with colleagues, the themes are the same. You focus on what is bad about your situation versus what is good, what is not possible versus what is. You remember all the bad things that have happened to you, not all the good things or your accomplishments. 
     
  • Falling into Work-Habit Traps: We all have bad work habits that act as traps we walk into again and again. Common examples include procrastination, tardiness, careless communication and sloppy work.
     
  • Listening to Your Gremlins: Gremlins are the limiting beliefs and assumptions that subconsciously sabotage your progress. They tell you that you aren't good enough somehow -- that you're not smart enough, not worthy enough or just not up to the challenge. They embody your biggest insecurities.

Zero Tolerance

The second step is to decide which behaviors you will commit yourself to improving. Recognize that it's easier to overcome some behaviors, such as bad work habits, than others, such as deeply held, limiting beliefs. Also consider how failing to change certain behaviors could cost you professionally both now and later. Once you decide, put your personal integrity on the line and make a commitment not to tolerate those behaviors from yourself any longer.

Support the Positive

The third step is to create structures and systems to support the positive behaviors and discourage the negative. Here are some examples:

  • Begin noticing when you're undermining yourself. When you find yourself complaining, falling into a work-habit trap or heeding a gremlin, stop. Tell yourself what you are doing and correct yourself. One common way to raise self-awareness is to snap a rubber band around your wrist each time you realize you've fallen into one of your old patterns. 
     
  • Remove yourself from environments that encourage the behaviors you're trying to change. For example, if you always talk negatively about work with the same people at lunch, break the pattern by refusing to engage in such conversations or by having lunch elsewhere or with different people. 
     
  • To avoid falling into work-habit traps, design ways that support your good behaviors and discourage or minimize your bad ones. If you undermine yourself by being late, schedule buffer time in your calendar. If you procrastinate, set an early, artificial deadline for projects. Immediately determine what you need to do and get to work. 

    This strategy can also help combat some forms of negative thinking. If you think your failures outweigh your successes, objectively reflect on your wins. Collect positive performance reviews as well as emails and letters containing positive comments about you and your work. Build the collection and refer to it whenever you need a boost. 
     
  • To quiet your gremlins, you may need help from a therapist, mentor or career counselor. If, for example, you avoid challenging assignments because a gremlin tells you you aren't up to snuff, a therapist can help you understand why you think this way and work out strategies with you to overcome that limiting self-perception. A mentor or coach can help you focus on your goals, highlight your strengths and encourage your forward progress.

When it comes to undermining yourself, you are both the cause and the solution. By successfully managing such behaviors, you allow yourself and others to experience your best qualities.

[Ian Christie founded BoldCareer.com to help individuals build bold, fulfilling careers and help organizations attract, develop and retain talent. A career coach, consultant, three-time entrepreneur, former senior director at Monster and former retained executive search consultant, Ian is an expert in the fields of careers and recruitment. He believes that career management is a central theme to both personal and organizational effectiveness. BoldCareer.com offers career services to companies and individuals as well as free career resources.]

Latest Jobs

Kforce Inc
Posted: 10/25/2014
Wshington, DC, 20006
Social Hire Incorporated
Posted: 10/25/2014
Richmond, IL, 60071
ARMI, Inc.
Posted: 10/25/2014
Lonoke County, AR, 72023
Buckeye Promotions Group
Posted: 10/25/2014
Columbus, OH, 43215
Buckeye Promotions Group
Posted: 10/25/2014
Columbus, OH, 43215

Want more personalized results?  Update Your Profile

 
 
 

Monster Communities

Teaching Community
Where teachers meet and learn.
ArtBistro
Create and connect.
Excelle
Networking for the career-minded woman.
Nursing Link
Where nurses call the shots.
More Monster Communities

Monster Partners

Scholarships
Scholarships, financial aid and more ways to pay for school.
Education.org
Find top campus and online degree programs.
Military.com
Military portal for the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
Financial Aid
Scholarships & financial aid.
Staffing for Government Jobs
Staffing and hiring solutions for federal government agency jobs.
More Monster Partners

Job Hunt Strategy

Six Ways to Make a Recruiter Hate You
If you want to blow your chances with recruiters -- and, by extension, with the companies they work for -- here are six perfect ways to do so.

Resumes & Cover Letters

Rev Up Your Resume to Relocate
Hoping to relocate? Get the ball rolling on landing the right job in the right location with these expert resume and cover letter tips.

Interviewing

100 Potential Interview Questions
Interview questions can run the gamut. You probably won't face all 100 of these, but you should still be prepared to answer at least some of them.

Salary & Benefits

10 Questions to Ask When Negotiating Salary
Most of us aren't natural negotiators, but asking these 10 questions during salary negotiations can help you get everything you deserve.

Employee Sourcing

Alt text
November Monster Employment Index Grows 13% Year-Over-Year, Tenth Consecutive Month of Positive Annual Growth.

For Seekers

Campus and Online Degrees
Advance your career and earn more with an online degree.
Free Salary Wizard
What are you worth? Find out and negotiate a better salary.
Research Careers
Get information on jobs and career paths to help guide your choices
Questions & Answers
Find answers to all your career related questions -- powered by Yahoo! Answers
Resume Distribution Service
Our distribution service puts your resume right in the hands of recruiters.
Resume Writing Services
Our experts will craft a keyword-rich resume that stands out in the crowd.
More Career Resources

For Employers

Career Ad Network
Target your job posting to more candidates on thousands of websites.
Hire Right Background Checks
Explore our background check packages to improve the quality of your hires.
Hiring Home Page
Find the best candidates for your business with Monster hiring solutions.
Job Postings
Find the right solution for your hiring needs. Starting at $99.
Power Resume Search
Monster's new search technology precisely matches people with your jobs.
Resource Center
Find staffing insights, labor trends, HR best practices and more.
Target Post
Connect with skilled, hourly and administrative candidates for only $99.

Social Media

Jobs on Twitter
Find jobs in your area and industry.
Monster Careers
Tune into our career advice and discussions tackling a wide range of topics and industries.
Monster Corporate & PR
Stay up-to-date on the latest news. Get the 'Who', 'What', 'When', and 'Why' on all things Monster related.
Monster Customer Service
Got a Monster question? We've got the answer. Whether you're a job seeker or employer, we can help you find the answers you need.
Monster for Employers
Find advice on hiring.
Follow Us
Check out our many pages and stay connected with the latest industry news, events, career advice and job openings.

Other Links

Monster Company Profiles
Explore companies and get information to guide your career decisions.
Compare Salaries
See how your pay stacks up to others in your field.
iPhone Application
Download the Monster app for iPhone and iPod touch.
Monster Job Seeker Blog
Monster Job Seeker Blog.
Monster Thinking Blog
Monster's Recruitment Trends Blog.
Jobs & Career Resources
Search Jobs:
For Employers: Post Jobs | Search Resumes | Advertise
About Monster | Work for Monster | Advertise with Us | AdChoices | Partner with Us | Investor Relations | Social Media
Terms of Use | Privacy Center | Accessibility Center | Help | Security | Contact Us | Sitemap | Mobile
©2014 Monster - All Rights Reserved U.S. Patents No. 5,832,497; 7,599,930 B1; 7,827,125 and 7,836,060 MWW - Looking for Monster Cable? - V: 2014.4.65.72-221
eTrustLogo