It was barely a dusting of snow mixed with rain and we received a text at night from the high school alerting us that the schools will be closed the next day due to the snow storm. The media tried to frighten us with a prediction of six-to-twelve inches of snow and the governor warned us to only go on the roads if absolutely necessary. I’m sure you already know how this ends, we received about three inches of snow and it mostly melted by mid-afternoon.
Calling for a snow day the night before on the possibility of a storm, out of fear of what people will say if you didn’t, is a loser mindset. This way of thinking is based upon what could go wrong, being afraid of taking risks, focusing on covering your backside and playing it too safe. Unfortunately, most people navigate their careers in this fashion.They are too conservative and adverse to taking thought-out calculated risks. Most of the day is spent worrying, doing things to cover yourself if something doesn’t work out and agreeing with the consensus discussions out of fear of being original in voicing your opinion. This is a sure-fire way to just plod along in your career and never make it very far. You will be part of the great herd shuffling along with pack. You’ll blend in unnoticed and will be overlooked.
Here are examples of loserthink:
1. You go for a safe career, like being an attorney like your parents, even though you wanted to be a novelist and write the next great American novel. You don’t even take a few writing classes or try to join the college newspaper to prove it to yourself that you have talent.
2. You have a great idea, but don’t share it in a meeting (out of fear) and then someone else brings it up to rave reviews.
3. You work for a boss who steals all of your ideas and holds you back from internal transfers. Yet, you still harbor hope that he’ll change in the future.
4. You don’t accept calls from recruiters because you worry that someone at work may notice and tell on you.
5. You avoid networking events where you can make new contacts due to your self-diagnosed introvert personality. This becomes a perpetual crutch of an excuse for anything that takes you out of your comfort zone.
6. Finally, you are offered an interview for a great job with a terrific company, but you let some inconsequential matter serve as an excuse to cancel the meeting. You rationalize that it had to be done, but next time you’ll be different and go to the interview.
7. You fail to raise your hand for a challenging assignment or an internal promotion, as you feel that you are not ready for it. You tell your spouse that you will go after the next big project.
8. You tell yourself that next year will be the year that you change everything and start really focusing on your career.
9. You don’t ask for a raise or promotion, even when everyone you started with is already a few ranks above you. They all have insider connections, went to the right schools, have the looks, charm and charisma and that’s why they get the promotions. Meanwhile, you know deep down that it’s not entirely true; they just had the courage to ask for it.
10. You go along mindlessly with everyone else (even if you don’t agree) because you don’t want to make waves and be “that person.”
That person is the one who gets ahead. To succeed and advance in your career, you must abandon this loserthink mentality. In fact, you have to reprogram yourself to think the exact opposite. Forget the consensus opinion and offer your own original insights, ask for the raise, volunteer to take on all new challenges, meet with recruiters, search for new jobs, send out your résumé, don’t settle for working for a person who takes you for granted and take some risks to achieve what you truly desire.
If you think and act like everyone else and play it safe, by definition, you will be average at best. If you want to make something of yourself, you must be bold, daring, confident and have faith in your abilities. Once you lose the loser mentality and adopt a winner’s mindset, you will become unstoppable.