How to banish self-limiting beliefs during a job search

A self-limiting belief is a thought, idea, or mindset that an individual holds about themselves, their capabilities, or their potential, which then hinders their ability to progress their personal or professional development. For example, a job seeker might see an advert for a job that would interest them, however they do not apply as they tell themselves that the company is looking for an older person because the word ‘Senior’ features on the job description. 


Many self-limiting beliefs are commonly recognised and cited regularly in press articles, however we also need to watch out for the ones that are often more subtle and deeply engrained in our subconscious. They may manifest as persistent self-doubt, hesitation, or even avoidance of certain opportunities. These beliefs can include the fear of being too successful, a subconscious fear of rejection, or the belief that pursuing one's passions is a frivolous endeavour. They often hide behind rationalizations and justifications, making them challenging to identify. We may also be resistant to accepting these as self-limiting beliefs. Uncovering these less obvious self-limiting beliefs requires introspection and self-awareness, as well as a commitment to challenging the assumptions we hold about ourselves and our capabilities. Recognizing and reframing these beliefs is a crucial step in unlocking our full potential and achieving our goals.


Below are examples of such beliefs with a potential reframe that might work for you:


The Overqualified Dilemma: Believing that you're overqualified for a job and therefore won't be considered. Reframe: "My experience is an asset, and I can adapt my application to emphasize the value that I can bring to     the role"


Worried about job availability: "I'll never find the right job.

"Reframe: "I have the skills and experience to find a job that's the right fit for me. It may take time, but I'm confident I'll discover the opportunity I'm looking for."


Fear of Networking: Believing that networking is insincere or that you're intruding on others.

Reframe: "Networking is about building relationships and learning from others. I can do this genuinely and respectfully."


Neglecting Transferable Skills: Focusing too narrowly on your current field and overlooking the transferable skills that could be valuable in other industries. Reframe: "I possess versatile skills that can be applied in different contexts. I'll explore diverse opportunities."


Overemphasizing Rejections: Dwelling on past rejections and using them as evidence of future failure. 

Reframe: "Rejections are part of the process and opportunities to learn and improve."


Minimizing Achievements: Downplaying your accomplishments and not recognizing your value to potential employers for fear that this may be perceived as bragging.. 

Reframe: "I have a track record of success and can contribute meaningfully to a new role."


Self-Limiting Belief: "Rejections mean I'm not good enough."

Reframe: "Rejections are a part of the job search process. They provide opportunities for improvement and growth. I'll use them as feedback to refine my approach."


Lack of Leverage: Believing you have no bargaining power in salary negotiations. Reframe: "I can research market rates and advocate for fair compensation during the negotiation process."


Self-Limiting Belief: "I'm bad at networking and self-promotion."

Reframe: "I can develop my networking and self-promotion skills. I'll seek guidance, practice, and build connections to enhance my job search."


Self-Limiting Belief: "I'm not good at interviews."

Reframe: "I can improve my interview skills through practice and preparation. I'll focus on showcasing my strengths and unique qualities."


These less obvious self-limiting beliefs can hinder your job search progress without you even realizing it. By recognizing and reframing these beliefs, you can approach your job search with more confidence and open yourself up to a wider range of opportunities.


November 2023