“You gotta believe” is an expression we have all heard – frequently in reference to athletics. When the University of Connecticut women’s basketball team recently won another NCAA national championship 93-60, I’m sure they believed in themselves and their teammates.

Similarly, you gotta believe in yourself to excel in your career or job search. Your belief in yourself, your abilities, your talents, your intrinsic self-worth … such beliefs fuel your self-confidence, which can drive your positive achievements and provide you an array of desirable career choices.

My wife, a Ph.D. clinical psychologist, says that your beliefs spawn feelings, feelings trigger your thoughts, thoughts drive your actions, and actions produce your results. You are literally a machine fueled by beliefs. (Go back and read that last sentence again. It’s important.) Beliefs are the raw materials that you fabricate into results. And those results contribute, on your resume and in your self-presentation, to the quality of your personal brand.

Here’s the good news: No matter where you are in your career or job search today, you can greatly improve your future results and succeed more effortlessly by eliminating negative beliefs and reinforcing positive beliefs.

Do you believe that your age, gender, race, or other such factors are preventing you from having the career you desire? Most likely, you are wrong. The most important factors that are holding you back are your SELF-LIMITING BELIEFS. As mentioned in Chapter two of my career book, Fast Track Your Job Search (and Career!):

You (and almost all other people) have self-limiting beliefs, whether you recognize them or not. It is likely that such beliefs are roadblocks to your higher achievement. A great strategy for advancing your career is to get in touch with your self-limiting beliefs and start taking action to eliminate them.

So, what can you do about this? Start by identifying your obvious self-limiting beliefs and begin honestly questioning their validity. This fill-in-the-blanks exercise is designed to get you started:

1. There aren’t any better jobs for me because of __________________ (the economy, the slowdown in my industry, where I live, etc).
2. I only made/make $_______, so people won’t pay me more than $_______ in my next job.
3. I have no experience in the ___________ industry, so companies in that industry will not interview or hire me.
4. My degree is in ______________ (astrophysics, art history, political science, etc.) and no one wants to hire a person with that education.
5. I don’t have a ____________ (undergraduate, MBA, PhD, marketing, business, etc.) degree, so I can’t compete with those who do.
6. Because I am _____________ (unemployed, short/tall, overweight/skinny, male/female, old/young, overqualified/underqualified, Asian/British, black/white, etc.), I am at a disadvantage in getting a job I would enjoy.

My previous post discussed the importance of your attitude. There is no doubt that eliminating self-limiting beliefs and beginning to build new achievements in your career will reinforce your positive attitude and contribute greatly to improvements in how you convey your personal brand in your resume and in your interactions with others.

You deserve a successful career with strong earning potential and emotionally rewarding work. Make the effort today to eliminate as many self-limiting beliefs as possible and you are likely to find that success will come faster and easier. This will move you closer a universally desired brand achieved by the UConn women’s basketball team: “Winner.”


Richard Kirby is an executive career consultant, speaker on career strategies, and author of Fast Track Your Job Search (and Career!). Richard Kirby’s earlier experience includes managing engineering, human resources, marketing and sales teams for employers that ranged from a Fortune 100 to a VC-funded entrepreneurial startup. For the past 11 years at Executive Impact, Richard has helped hundreds of executives and professionals successfully navigate today’s transformed 21st century job market and achieve better employment for themselves. Richard’s expertise includes career assessments and goal setting, personal marketing/branding, resume enhancement, strategic networking and job interviewing, and “contrarian” job search methodologies. He is a Board Certified Coach (in career coaching) and a Certified Management Consultant (recognized by the ISO).