5 Bad Habits That Will Keep You From the Success You Deserve
Rev. Dr. Kitty Boitnott, NBCT, RScP
Heart-Centered Career Transition and Job Search Coach | Life Strategies Coaching
Habits are those behaviors that we begin to engage in unconsciously. They are built, sometimes over years, through repetition. Some habits are good Others, not so much.
The truth is that some bad habits can do more harm to your life--and your future--than others. But let's be honest. Any "bad" habit is one that you should probably consider giving up if you want to be successful in life.
Now, to be clear, some habits are "worse" than others. Some habits are relatively harmless. But there are bad habits that can actually hinder your future success.
This post focuses on 5 habits that will keep you from the success you deserve in life.
1) Seeking the approval of others
You will never achieve meaningful success in life if you constantly seek approval for everything you do. First of all, it is a futile effort. No matter what you do, there will be critics and naysayers. You can’t be a leader if you don't have faith in your own ability to make big decisions. Being too concerned about what others might think can also cause you to lose your focus on what you want in your life.
Now, let me clarify. No one likes to be criticized. But consider the people you admire most. Did they play it safe by hiding in the shadows and catering to public opinion? Did they make decisions based on what would be "popular?" Or did they make decisions based on what they believed to be right?
The thing these individuals have in common is that they stood up for their beliefs and values. They didn't let the criticism of others sway them from their goals. These are just a few in the list of many individuals who went against popular opinion because they envisioned something different. They sought something more important than approval from others.
No great leader could be accused of being swayed by popular opinion.
So if you want to be a leader and make any important impact in the world, you will need to give up the habit of seeking others' approval.
2) Making excuses
Blaming others or making excuses for your mistakes is a bad habit. If you are guilty of making this mistake, stop it now. It will definitely hinder your success in life.
Employers don’t appreciate people who are constantly making excuses for their mistakes. Your friends will tire of it, too. It will be impossible to achieve success in life if you insist on blaming others or making excuses for your mistakes.
Instead of making excuses, own your mistakes.
It's not like you're the first person ever to make a mistake. But you will be the rare individual who fully owns the mistakes you make.
Acknowledge that you made a mistake and apologize for the harm caused by it, if there was any. Promise to avoid making the same mistake again. Repair any damage done by the mistake and then move on.
You'll make more mistakes for sure. But they will be fewer and further between if you take ownership of them and strive to do better moving forward. Successful people acknowledge their mistakes and avoid scapegoating others. Learn from their example and embrace it.
3) Giving in to self-doubt
Self-doubt is the leading killer of dreams and success. The only sure-fire way to never succeed is never to try or to quit too soon.
Self-doubt easily creeps into your thoughts, making you doubt your decisions. It happens to all of us.
We all have a little negative voice in the back of our heads that tries to keep us small by giving us reason after reason to doubt ourselves.
Successful people learn to ignore that voice.
They have it, too. But they tune it out and go for their dream.
Self-doubt can cause you to miss out on huge opportunities in your life. It can hold you back from going for the job you want. It can keep you from asking out that person who makes your heart flutter. It can stop you from writing that book you keep thinking about writing.
Self-doubt is insidious. It will try to convince you that you are just "playing it safe." You're protecting yourself from potential disappointment or rejection. Don't buy into that! Believe in yourself and go for your dreams. You won't know what you can achieve if you never try.
If you go into any situation thinking it’s going to be awful, chances are it will be. The same is true if you go into something important with the idea that you will fail. We often experience self-fulfilling prophecies with our own negative thinking.
You may not believe that mindset has such a big effect on the things you do, but it does. Indeed, mindset is behind almost every success or failure.
If you don't believe in yourself, why would anyone else believe in you? You can psych yourself out before any important performance, speech, or interview. Then, of course, the more nervous you are or afraid that you will bomb, the greater the likelihood you will.
Turn your attitude around.
See yourself succeeding! Envision yourself performing with confidence and ease. Imagine the faces of the people in the audience as they listen to your speech. Consider how you can nail the interview because you know you're the right person for the job.
Attitude and mindset can make the difference between success and failure.
Poor listening skills can harm your success. Not listening can get you into trouble in many ways. Whether it's not listening to your spouse or your boss, being a poor listener can harm your life.
It's important to listen not only to the words but the intention and emotion behind the words. A good listener hears more than just the literal words. They also listen to the emotion behind the words.
Too many of us don't listen because we are busy thinking of responding to what someone is saying. You don't have to have a quick comeback every time. Really listen. Respond to what you just heard instead of reacting to it without thinking first.
Good leaders are good listeners.
That's all there is to it. If you can't be bothered to listen, you demonstrate poor leadership, and you are unlikely to be promoted or considered a potential leader. The good news is that like all these other habits. If you are guilty of practicing any of them, you can change your habits with intention and practice.
Bad habits and destructive behaviors like the ones outlined here can lead to many problems in our lives. Unfortunately, we all have our fair share of them with which to deal.
Some bad habits are simply annoying, while others can be detrimental to your future happiness. I hope that by offering these thoughts and suggestions, you can look at which habits you have and want to change to experience greater happiness and success in your life.
Until next time.
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If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.