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Limiting beliefs: let's discuss our own

Christine P_ Dela Rosa
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
Sep 13, 2022

What is a limiting belief?

It's a thought you have about yourself that prevents you from being able to do something. 

How might it show up at work? Examples below.

  • We stop ourselves from asking questions or giving feedback, because of an underlying belief that we shouldn't be saying those things. 
  • We may see our identities as a certain type of person who does certain things but not others, and therefore, do not try to do things outside of that identity.
  • We may believe we have not been received well for past performances and don't ever engage in those types of performances again because we think that's not in our wheelhouse.

--Question for the discussion--

What is a limiting thought that you've had in the workplace?

It's been shown that our limiting thoughts may not be ones other people agree with or are even thoughts we future selves might agree with. If you're comfortable sharing, please let us know at least one limiting thought you've had and any context around it.

13 comments

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Christine P_ Dela Rosa
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
Sep 13, 2022

Limiting thought: I don't think I'm a great long-form communicator. 

Impact: as a result, I tend to push back project reports or avoid snapshots of insights I have along the way. What's not great is that my team misses out on lessons learned as well as an understanding of how my work might connect to theirs.

I'm working on it. It's not like I don't share anything. I just need to work really hard to bring myself to share out insights.

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Jenny Kim
Rising Star
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Sep 13, 2022

My limiting thought is I'm too old to switch careers and learn how to code. I've seen friends do it. They have the personality for it. I do not.

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Christine P_ Dela Rosa
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
Sep 13, 2022

I relate, @Jenny Kim . Not to the wanting to learn how to code part, but to the fact that I have a huge chunk of friends who have had similar thoughts. And within that group, there are many who took the plunge and did learn to code, in turn, shifting their job focus. 

My understanding is that demand will only grow for these skillsets and you'll have as much knowledge as anyone younger than you who are also just at the beginning of the learning curve. Except, you'll also have all this other work experience that just might give you an edge.

And finally, even if you continue on the career trajectory you're on, I think learning to code can widen your way of thinking (your way of approaching problem solving, your capacity for empathy for roles that focus more on coding, etc). So even if you don't switch careers, and learning can help you out in the current role you're in.

Truly. I mean this. Good luck with whatever you choose to do next!

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Alex Koxaras _Relational_
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
Oct 11, 2022

@Jenny Kim sometimes I think of that myself. Two java lessons await me in Udemy for a couple of months now. But it's not easy when having kids :/

However, since I'm dealing with Atlassian and Jira, I use that to my benefit and learn on the job. Noone forced me to learn and most likely it was out of my job description. But I want to be better and I like coding :)

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Johanna Pichotka_APTIS_
Marketplace Partner
Marketplace Partners provide apps and integrations available on the Atlassian Marketplace that extend the power of Atlassian products.
Sep 13, 2022

Limiting belief: Not having enough experience to contribute all my ideas especially around product development. 

Impact: I would not say that it has a huge impact. Some of my ideas around this just get lost / forgotten by me and are never shared. It's not the fact that my work environment is not open to ideas, I'm just a person they usually ask because I work in Marketing (although I still use the product and we're all kind of one team) and that makes it harder for me to gather up the confidence to share my ideas. 

I think this has more of an impact on me because every time this happens I feel guilty afterwards for not having shared my ideas. 

It's something I'm always working on and try to get out of my comfort zone to share it. 

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Christine P_ Dela Rosa
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
Sep 14, 2022

I relate so hard to this, @Johanna Pichotka_APTIS_! Even though I think I've come a long way, I also know I still have a bit to go since the thought continues to peek its head from time to time.

  • My take - I too currently work in Marketing and default to assuming product teams would know best on feedback. But I've learned that divergent thinking informs the product development process, where someone who has different audience insights and engagements in mind will widen the range of ideas shared.
  • Consideration - I wonder if sharing this thought with your product development teams might lead to them letting you know what they think of your ideas. That might positively reinforce the behavior of sharing your ideas.

One counter is that I think this may actually have a bigger impact than you think. Besides the actual ideas not shared, there's a missed opportunity for connection with your product development teammates as well as an opportunity cost for adding to group energy by showing that you're invested and interested with your ideas. It may not feel like al to in the moment, besides the obvious emotional impact for you. But I think your sharing ideas also helps the team through relationship development and group motivation.

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Johanna Pichotka_APTIS_
Marketplace Partner
Marketplace Partners provide apps and integrations available on the Atlassian Marketplace that extend the power of Atlassian products.
Sep 14, 2022

I've never actually seen it like that. Thanks for giving me a new perspective on things @Christine P_ Dela Rosa . 

That missed opportunity for connection is something I hadn't thought of till now but it really got me thinking and sparked some new motivation to get out of my comfort zone to share my ideas again. 

I think something like this always takes time but I think this will help me take a step into the right direction. 

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Mel Policicchio
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
Sep 14, 2022

Limiting belief: It's rude to double down on my opinions at work. If I push back on an idea and the other person is resistant, I should accept what they're saying and trust their knowledge.

Impact: I've gone along with projects and ideas that I know aren't as fleshed out as they should be, and even had to redo work after leadership asks the same questions I did. 

Learning the difference between "this person is right and I clearly understand why" and "I'm not confident enough to stand up for my ideas" has been really difficult in my career path. It can be hard to trust your instincts when it seems like those around you are so much more experienced.

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Christine P_ Dela Rosa
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
Sep 14, 2022

@Mel Policicchio, there's a decent amount of research on this limiting belief being gendered. Not saying that is the reason why you feel this way, but there is some socialization (at least in western spaces) that may contribute to your feeling this way. And if you think that's a factor for you, perhaps that can be a bonus reason to push back on the feeling. To undo what might be a product of societal expectations.

As for figuring out where the line is that you mention in your last paragraph, I have one more perspective to add. There may be an option where you don't necessarily agree with the feedback recipient but could let your thought go if you believe they understand your perspective enough. Because, sometimes decision-makers won't agree with folks even with full information. 

Finally, on a personal note, I think that it's hard to find active listeners in those soliciting feedback these days. As a result, it may take an extra round to fully translate one's thoughts enough to fully hit the recipient. I hope you trust your gut on what to do...it's likely right :)

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Mel Policicchio
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
Sep 14, 2022

That is such lovely insight @Christine P_ Dela Rosa =) There really is so much to explore, unpack, and sort through here

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Andy Gladstone
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
Sep 19, 2022

Disclaimer: I have not yet read an other contributions so I won't be afraid to share my own in case it is redundant.

 

Limiting belief: I should know things. I have seniority, so I should understand more of the business, industry and concepts. Asking questions for clarification will reveal weakness.

Impact: I do know things, but not everything. I don't learn what I should because I don't ask the questions I should be asking to inform me more. As a result my conclusions and opinions are weaker and I capitulate more due to a lack of confidence in where my hypothesis and solutions come from.

It's difficult to come to terms with the fact that I may be a senior leader, but my knowledge and foundation is not as matured as my team members that may be more junior, but have tenure in the company and industry. It's hard to say 'I don't know' or 'I don't understand'. I don't know if the block is intellectual or emotional.

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Christine P_ Dela Rosa
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
Sep 19, 2022

In the trust equation below (used by consultants and team coaches), the item I tend to gravitate towards the most is credibility. This is just my experience, but I think you have more credibility when you're honest about what you know and what you don't know. The latter is so much less common and I tend on distrusting my senior leaders when I see it.

So for you to say you don't know something, at least for me, is something that makes me think you're more credible, and in turn, more trustworthy.

@Andy Gladstone, hope that makes you more encouraged about saying you don't know something more often. Because it's something I wish I could see more often, especially from folks more senior than me.

trust quotient.png

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Thank you for sharing @Andy Gladstone and for your answer @Christine P_ Dela Rosa!

I share the same feelings in that I am a product owner of a team of Mendix developers while not having developed in Mendix myself. I recognize that research shows that "leaders" who have content appropriate knowledge do better and have more confidence from their team. 

Thanks to your comments I feel better learning from my colleagues and will not feel bad for having the knowledge that I would have liked to have. In the end, there are other areas in which I do have more knowledge and inticimacy with the team and stakeholders goes well for me.

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Summer.Hogan
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
Sep 20, 2022 • edited

Great topic @Christine P_ Dela Rosa 

 

Limiting belief: I can't lead things because I don't have the knowledge or skills to do so. It's a fear I have. 

 

Impact: I CAN lead things and have many, many times so I don't know why I always think this! The result is actually positive where I do a good job at it and get recognized, but it still happens. 

 

I get recognition for my contributions all the time. I am the first to step up to the plate to get a project going and then leading it through to the end. I do this all the time so I have no idea why I have this limiting belief! I do my best not to let it hinder me though. 

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Christine P_ Dela Rosa
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
Sep 20, 2022

I know you said you get recognition like this all the time, @Summer_Hogan, but reading your thoughts in this group alone makes me agree that you are thoughtful and knowledgeable. 

I'm no medically educated therapist, but I am curious if you feel that way only about "leading." Or, if you feel unknowledgeable in other roles that are in a supporting capacity as well. And if the former, if perhaps there are aspects of leading, and not the role itself, that might be at play. For example, is it the attention, or the interactions with certain people, or maybe the need to facilitate conversation in conflict...or maybe it's truly how you see your own identity and whether that aligns with leading folks?

Whatever the case, know that you appear engaged and helpful for folks in the Teamwork Lab. A true demonstration of leadership whether you realize you do that for others or not.

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vikram
Rising Star
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Sep 21, 2022

Hi @Christine P_ Dela Rosa good topic, my

Limiting belief :- I am capable of doing things that I believe it won't go wrong but from somewhere I fear, it will go wrong. 

Impact:-  No much impact, I recover and say to myself, if it goes wrong it is a learning for me. 

vikram P

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Christine P_ Dela Rosa
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
Sep 21, 2022

Let's hope that fear is something only seen as fear and not a truth, @vikram. May you continue to have that learning-mentality about you :) 

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John Funk
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
Oct 07, 2022

Limiting belief : Am I expressing something more from opinion or from fact?  And is my opinion really any better than those that have already been expressed>

Impact: This causes me not to speak up sometimes because I feel like I might just be adding noise to the conversation. 

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Christine P_ Dela Rosa
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
Oct 07, 2022

I feel that, @John Funk. Though I do think both sharing facts and expressing opinions are both important. The part that gets me is this:

 

...is my opinion really any better...


If it's any consolidation, I've heard folks share they have this thought regularly. Which is to say that many people coworkers are thinking this about themselves during and after meetings. And maybe if we're all thinking it, but not judging each other at the same rate, perhaps we think most everyone has something valuable to say. 

That's^ a bit of roundabout thinking, but it reminds me that other people probably find what I have to say valuable.

And finally, what you have to say need not be any "better or worse" than what others have to say. Because simply having something "different" to say helps divergent thinking, and ultimately, innovation. At least I think so :)

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John Funk
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
Oct 08, 2022

Yes, at the end of the day, I just have to think that maybe I have provided another point of view not thought of already. And maybe that helps someone in the room to think a little deeper on the subject. And that brings me a sense of comfort.  :-)

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@Кристин П. Дела Роза

Thanks for the topic with limiting beliefs.

I suggest finding limiting beliefs in the agile manifesto.

  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools.
  • Working software over comprehensive documentation.
  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation.
  • Responding to change over following a plan.
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Marta Woźniak-Semeniuk
Rising Star
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Dec 05, 2022

First thing - this is a great topic, and a hard one. As a life-coach [I have a diploma and I do life-coaching apart from my "daily" job as Agile Coach]I love working with my clients on their limiting beliefs - it can be eye-opening, but it usually also stirs some feelings and thoughts that take a while to be processed.

Limiting belief: 
I am not good enough to do this yet, I need more <skills, courses, books, trainings...>

Impact: This belief can be motivating but for me it became limiting - I rarely truly believe I can do something and give it a rest. I feel constant pressure to be enrolled in at least 2 courses/ classes and learn. This makes me tired and it gets harder to enjoy the things I do. 

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Christine P_ Dela Rosa
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
Dec 05, 2022

The neverending growth checklist is, as you mentioned, @Marta Woźniak-Semeniuk,  exhausting and detracts from the benefits of learning. 

What happens if you flip it? I know some people (myself included during certain phases of my life) where skipping a day of exercise would make me feel like I was behind. So I flipped it where I said "I have to get at least two rest days/week." That way, instead of feeling bad about not exercising that day, I made myself excited that I was meeting a "rest" quota.

So, what does being proud of letting your mind be exposed to other activities--non-training activities, specifically look like? Because I do think there are benefits to not always adding in new information. I think there's something to creativity being better when you have breaks from thinking about something too much. Perhaps you can be proud of yourself allowing time for non-classwork :) 

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Marta Woźniak-Semeniuk
Rising Star
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Dec 07, 2022

Thank you @Christine P_ Dela Rosa that's a POV I have not considered. Sending big virtual hug your way for this :) 

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one of my limiting beliefs that I've come to realize has stopped me before, is my perception of my role within the company. As part of a large multinational organization with many distinct units, each with their own set of moving parts, it's sometimes easy to fall into a pattern of staying within your lane - However, what I've discovered is that my insight is often beneficial to other teams. Employing a mix of curiosity and helpfulness has led to my advice, guidance, and knowhow helping other individuals and teams to achieve success!

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Christine P_ Dela Rosa
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
Dec 06, 2022

Sounds like you're aware of both your limiting belief AND why that doesn't need to be your belief. Well done :)

Limiting Belief: feedback and teamwork should be harmonious without conflict.

Impact: I struggle to give feedback or ask questions if I think it can be perceived negative and can thus result into the recipient getting angry.

 

I am working on moving out of my comfort zone. So far I have found that it is easier to ask a question to a colleague (e.g., why they picked a lower priority story to work on) than to comment on it. It is still scary but I am slowly getting better at it. Hopefully soon I this belief will not limit me anymore. Hopefully.

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Christine P_ Dela Rosa
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
Dec 07, 2022

Your acknowledgement of this being a slow and steady race really resonates with me, @Floris van Himbergen. My physical therapist has reinforced that body movement normalization and building strength are best chipped at little by little. In fact, they have reminded me that using a lot of force on the body is not a shortcut to little improvements over time.

Since you have already found the experience to emotionally make things easier each time you practice getting out of your comfort zone, then you have the proof that this belief may one day no longer be limiting :)

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Dan Breyen
Rising Star
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Apr 05, 2023

Being new to an organization, I would say some limiting thought are:

'Will I fit in'

'Even though I have the skills, what will people think when I give my opinion?'

'How do I keep from coming across as a jerk for making process improvement suggestions being brand new?'

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Christine P_ Dela Rosa
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
Apr 05, 2023

Those seem like natural nervous thoughts for anyone new. And I agree that those thoughts can hold someone back. 

On my end, I think about what it was like when I was new on a team or to a company and how important and (at least eventually) how fine those experiences were. And if history shows a pattern, I'll be fine here, too.

I don't do this as often, but I have thought about what it's like on the other end, to hear newbies share their opinions upon arrival. I'm really happy to see that and am excited to hear opinions from folks I haven't heard before, especially because I think they're less influenced by a team's historical views. If I'm so excited to be exposed to opinions from new teammates, then I've imagined how great I might make folks feel if I'm new and want to share something different.

What are some tactics you use to overcome these kinds of initial beliefs? 

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