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6 ways your mindset is holding you back

It’s not always easy to get ahead in the office. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a young intern, there’s always more to learn. As you grow, you’ll become more successful and efficient. However, sometimes it isn’t a specific action or lack of knowledge that’s holding you back. Your mindset is extremely important, and can often be just as influential. While we may not always realize it, the power of negative thinking is strong, as are other mindsets that might not be benefiting you professionally.

Here are 6 ways your mindset may be holding you back.

1. It causes overconfidence

While believing in yourself is absolutely essential in the professional world, ensure you aren’t becoming overly confident. Professionals that are too confident rarely respond well to feedback or ask for assistance or clarification, which are two things that are essential in an office setting. Without a certain amount of humility, you’re likely to make mistakes without realizing them, or waste a lot of time.

The power of negative thinking

2. It creates resistance to feedback

Constructive criticism in the workplace is the very best way to grow as a professional. When a colleague or manager goes out of their way to give you feedback, positive or negative, consider it extremely valuable, and use it to improve. Those that are resistant to feedback are rarely able to learn from their mistakes, and will have a hard time forming relationships with coworkers.

3. It fosters inflexibility

Being open-minded and flexible in the workplace is one of the most valuable traits a young professional can possess. If you’re inflexible to change, you might be inadvertently holding yourself back in the office. Being open minded to new ideas is one of the best ways to get ahead, and stay innovative within your industry.

4. It makes you short-sighted

If you aren’t able to to think and plan ahead, you might miss out on major opportunities. Keep in mind that your ideas and views aren’t necessarily the best, and make sure to always consider other people’s opinions. Think about the future of your project, company or career, and try to make decisions with some foresight.

the power of negative thinking

5. It gives you excessive modesty

Although it can be hard to stay positive about yourself, giving in to the power of negative thinking can hold you back at work. Make sure to give yourself credit where it’s due, as this will help others do so as well. Excessive modesty can prevent you from moving up in your career, and might result in others getting credit for your work. Always put your hat in the ring, whether it’s for a promotion or taking lead on a project.

6. It creates a transitory mindset

If you’re extremely career focused, you might consider your current job or internship simply a step on the way to your next job. While it’s good to think about your future, remember to focus on the present. If you’re constantly thinking about where you’re going next, it will be apparent to your supervisors and coworkers, who might think you don’t take your position seriously. The power of negative thinking can easily take over in the workplace, and it’s important to recognize the positives and benefits of the present.

Now that you understand the power of negative thinking, apply now for an international internship to learn more professional development tips.


1. Business meeting, by Informedmag CC BY 2.0

2. Untitled, by Valtech Sweden, CC BY-SA 2.0

3. Entrepreneur Macbook Pro, by Ryan Morse, CC BY 2.0

Photos and blog by Maeve Allsup

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The International Internships Blog is a collaboration by The Intern Group staff, alumni and current participants to give you career advice & tips, program information, & so much more!