3 Common Career-Wrecking Stories We Tell Ourselves (and How Not to Derail Yourself)

race to the finish line

Introverts aren’t the only people to create stories about their behavior in order to rationalize it and make it “OK.” We all love rationalizations soooo much; we don’t go a day without a few. The problem is that if we keep listening to these career-wrecking stories about what’s going on in our career, we won’t get the pay and recognition we deserve.

Are you mysteriously stalled out in your career?

You might want to pay attention to some of these stories I’ve heard Introverts tell to see if they match up with you.


I Don’t Speak Up in Meetings Because I’m Polite by Letting Others Talk

Don’t fool yourself. We were all taught manners; whether or not people are polite or courteous is another matter. If everyone took that point of view, no one would talk. You will be viewed as passive and not gain the respect needed to be supported for upward career growth.

Solution: First, lose the story. It’s simply not true. Second, yes it’s hard to make yourself speak up, but you need to. Consider simply injecting your opinion about the topic being discussed, even if that opinion has been offered up a dozen times. It’s your opinion and it has as much value as anyone else’s.


My Industry Has Bad Management Because I Have a History of Not Getting Along with Management But I Get Along With Everyone Else

The joke’s on you for not developing strategic relationships with your management. You might not like to follow their direction, but guess what? They’re in charge. And until you are, it’s their opinion that will sway the direction of your career.

Solution: If you can have good relationships with most people but not your management, that alone is an indicator that you have work to do. Spend time with your management. Figure out what’s important to them and then deliver well. Then, communicate what you’re up to. Don’t make your management pull things out of you about your stellar performance – because they won’t. (Like this thought? Tweet it!)


Office Politics Doesn’t Affect Me So I Stay Out of the Fray and Focus on My Work.

Wanna bet? You can choose to ignore the politics of your organization but it will impact you. A big part of your ability to get the support you need to make your star rise is how well you influence those around you at all levels. Politics happens anytime a group of people assembles. It’s about who can make decisions, who can influence who along with rewards and punishment.

Solution: Don’t ignore who has influence other than management. These are good people to form alliances with. Every group has them. It’s simply a person who has chosen to form relationships – therefore gain support – to advance their agenda. You can learn from this type of person as well as bask in the glow of their organizational pull.

Have you been telling yourself one of these stories? Share your experiences in the comments!

Image: Flickr

Brought to you by Dorothy Tannahill-Moran – dedicated to unleash your professional potential.

About Dorothy

Dorothy Tannahill-Moran is the Introvert Whisperer, Career & Leadership, speaker and author.

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