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While I like to focus on the positive aspects of advancing careers, it’s important to look at the things that take our career journeys on unnecessary detours. One of the biggest detours I often see is that people think they have enough mental toughness, grit and guts to motivate themselves.

Unfortunately, we don’t know ourselves as well as we think we do.

In job searches and in everyday projects, weekly – and sometimes daily – rejections come with the territory. This can affect your behavior and frame of mind before, during and after opportunities for you to prove yourself arise.

The problem is that people often don’t even realize this is happening. That’s why you need a plan to keep yourself positive and your self-esteem up. Here are a few ideas:

  • Talk with friends who you know will positively encourage you and keep you accountable; steer clear of people in your life who tend to be negative
  • Periodically remind yourself of your value by reading your resume and remembering your past successes
  • Schedule weekly contact with culture of some kind; art museums, plays, and movies remind us that what the mind can believe, it can achieve

You can learn more about career detours to avoid, plus strategies on how to take the wheel and put your own career in drive in my book, From Roadkill To Roadmap.