I can’t do any better…

By November 13, 2016Blogs

I’m not an expert. I’m just a guy who likes to think about stuff.

“I can’t do any better.”

“I can’t do any better.”

“I can’t do any better.”

If you’re contemplating leaving your job, does this sentence run through your mind? If so, you’re not alone. I believed I couldn’t do any better for a long time. But why would I let such a destructive and unproductive dialogue hold me back?

At my first job out of school, I thought I was doing great. I did whatever my boss told me to do. I thought I was the ideal worker. Then the day of my first performance review came around. My boss had never voiced displeasure at my work – until that day. Judging from my review, I was the worst employee who ever existed in life. “I didn’t show initiative” was the biggest criticism that I remember. I was completely blindsided, as I had no clue that my boss had any issues with my performance. I was so angry after the review, I thought about looking for another job. But then I thought to myself that if my boss thought I sucked, another boss would think so, too. I was lucky to have a job, I told myself. In other words, “I can’t do any better.”

At my longest tenured job, I started off great. The company was brand new, and there was a lot of work to be done, some of which I had never done before. After a couple years, though, I got stuck doing the same work over and over again. It made work a drag. I remember thinking that I wanted to find another job. But when I looked at job listings that interested me, I didn’t have many of the required skills. I had been doing the same thing for so long, and companies didn’t want the skills I had. Frankly, I didn’t think another company would want me. “I can’t do any better.”

After I quit one of my jobs, it took me 8 months to land another one. When I first quit, I thought I’d be out of work for a month – two months tops. But one month turned into two, which turned into the entire summer, which turned into the holiday shopping season. I ended up taking the first job offer I received. It was a contract job at a small company. Even though the contract was supposed to last for a year, the company let me go after five months. It took me 8 months to find the contract job. What made me think that I’d get my next job any sooner? I was leery to look for my next job. After all, “I can’t do any better.”

“I can’t do any better” is an absolute growth killer. It keeps us in situations that don’t benefit us. Rid yourself of the “I can’t do any better” dialogue. Sure, my first boss thought I was a poor employee, but so what? My next boss liked my work so much that I ended up joining him at a company he founded. Once I got over the fact that I was doing the same work at one of my jobs, I took it upon myself to make myself more marketable by taking courses after work. In fact, it was one of my certifications that piqued the interest of the company that hired me for the contract job. After I finally got over the fact that I was without a job again after the contract job, I decided to work for myself so that I’d never be let go again. And believe me, working for myself has definitely been better!

The excuses keep on coming. Stay tuned!

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