Priyanka Banerjee

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5 mindsets holding you back

What is it that can hold someone back? What can boost someone’s growth and happiness? They say it’s all in the mind – your attitude and your mindset is what matters. While there’s probably a lot more to it, we can’t ignore the value of one’s thoughts. Over the years I’ve realised that there a few types of mindsets that are particularly harmful and can hold me back if I let them get the best of me. I’ve felt all of these at least once through out my life, and I’m sure many of you have, too. This list is reminder to myself that I must strive to overcome them. I hope it helps you too!

Having a sense of entitlement

The moment you start thinking you’re owed something, you’re setting yourself up for trouble. You’re not entitled to your dream job just because you got into a great college. You’re not entitled to constant career growth and opportunities just because you’re working in an organisation. Sure, there are people who’ll look out for you, and some people might go out of their way for you. But in the end, you need to be the one who makes things happen. If you aren’t going to look out for yourself, why should anyone else?

In my first year of college I was quite convinced my college wasn’t “doing enough” to make sure we all had good summer internships. When I realised that it was my responsibility to make the most of my summer vacation, I was able to get past my sense of entitlement and hustle to get the internship I wanted. I’ve been trying to shake off any sense of entitlement I’ve had, ever since.

Not taking shots. Ever.

You can’t win a race without running in it. If you run, you might not win. But if you don’t run at all, there’s no way you’ll win. Even if you think you barely have a shot at that job, or think it’s highly unlikely your idol on the internet will reply to your email, you should do it anyway. Give it your best shot and then let the chips fall where they may. If nothing else, it’ll be a learning experience.

In school, I let go of quite a few debates and competitions thinking I wouldn’t be good enough to win anyway. By not participating, not only did it automatically mean that I wouldn’t win, I also didn’t allow myself to learn and get to the position needed to win the competition. Thankfully, I know better now and am someone who’ll never lose out again because of lack of trying.

Leaving things mid way and not following up 

This point ties up with the previous one quite well. It’s so important to close the loop on things! So you didn’t do well at all in your mock CAT paper. Do you just ignore the mistakes you made? Of course not, right? You’re supposed to analyze what you did wrong and get better at it! Follow ups are so important in communication too. There have been so many times where one follow up email, tweet or ping has really helped cement a relationship for me. Did you reach out to your mentor (or say, a senior manager) for advice? Send them a follow up email letting them know you followed it and how that went. Ideas, questions and advice are so common. Following up and closing the loop can help you stand out as someone taking matters seriously and you’ll learn a lot more.

Ignoring the bigger picture and working only on the short term stuff

Do you know the Urgent-Important matrix where you plot a task based on how important and/or urgent it is? If you think about it, our days end up being full of numerous, small tasks which barely hold any meaning in the long run. So why do we do them? Well, because they’re urgent. You have that one email to respond to. And what about that weekly meeting? It’s right there in front of you, or on your calendar, so your mind just automatically responds to it, and actions on it. But will that weekly meeting really matter in the long term? Will it make a significant change to your lifestyle, your income, or your happiness? Probably not.

Hey, I’m not saying that you should ignore emails or be flakey when it comes to meetings. All I’m saying is that along with all these smaller tasks, don’t lose sight of what’s really and truly important for you – whether it’s taking care of your health, or working on your personal development.

Not knowing enough about yourself

You know that feeling when you know someone really well? It often happens with a best friend, a partner or a family member. You know how they’d react to certain situations, what makes them mad and what makes them feel inspired. Now imagine knowing things like that about yourself. But that can take a lot of self reflection and time since the answers aren’t always that easy.

Over the years, I’ve come to realise how important self awareness is. I mean, yes, I’ve always known life was about “discovering yourself” but I was quite out of sync with my own feelings and thoughts in school. As soon as I started thinking about how I perceived situations and interactions, my life became way simpler. There are a lot of things I’ve discovered that I’m completely indifferent about. And then there are things I care deeply about. Knowing this helps because then I can just focus on what I care about and spend much less time on the other stuff; perhaps even letting someone else take the reigns on it, cause I simply don’t want to think much about it. It’s also important to analyze your feelings – like how did that person make you feel during that conversation? Which part of your day do you dread? What do you secretly hope people will ask you about? Thinking about these things help cause then you can engineer your life accordingly.

Have you had a moment in life where you overcame one of these mindsets and that helped you grow? I’d love to hear your story in the comments below! :)


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