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By Khalilah Starks
When we think of bad habits, the first one that typically comes to mind is Procrastination – The “I can do it, I shall do it – tomorrow” syndrome that has afflicted many from time to time. While that’s probably the most common, there are many more bad habits that will keep you from achieving the big win that you seek in your career.
Below are five awful habits that will surely keep you from getting ahead!
1. You Are All Over The Place. You start one endeavor and get easily tempted to start another before seeing the first one to fruition. This temptation typically sets in when the going gets rough and you haven’t seen the results that you desired quick enough. So, you give up and jump to the next best thing. And, then you jump to something else, leading to mediocre results in everything that you do. You never quite figure out the idea that will catapult you into a sphere of massive success because you don’t stick with anything long enough to figure it out. In a nutshell, you lack patience, focus and get discouraged easily.
Solution: Pick a project or endeavor that you’re passionate about and stick with it. No matter what you choose, there will be ups and downs. Jumping for what seems like greener pastures or an easier route will continue to leave you with mediocre results because you haven’t stayed long enough to fertilize and nurture the soil where you planted your initial seeds. Similar to gardening, there’s a period where you can’t see the growth. It can even seem hopeless. But, you have to trust that if you continue nourishing that endeavor, success will surely follow.
2. You Are Negative. And, you don’t even realize it. Instead of thinking about what could go right, you focus on what could go wrong. And, before you know it, you’ve talked yourself out of moving forward.
Solution: There’s an art to positive thinking. And, if you’re wired or preconditioned to think negatively, you’ve got some mental reprogramming to do. I was introduced to the world of affirmations about a year ago. Affirmations are essentially positive statements that describe your desired outcome. For example: I have a highly successful blog. 🙂 It may sound crazy, but if you tell yourself something enough times, you’ll start to believe it and act accordingly – whether it’s positive or negative! This is just the tip of iceberg though. A great book to get you on the path of thinking more positively is “What To Say When You Talk To Yourself” by Shad Helmstetter, Ph.D.
3. You Value Other’s Opinions More Than Your Own. You’ve got a great idea that you’re super excited about! So, what do you do? You run and tell everyone so that they can share in that excitement! But, instead of excitement, you get lukewarm responses and even some negativity. And, then all of a sudden, your great idea starts to seem like it’s not so great after all. In comes Doubt, the cousin of Pessimism. And, before you know it, you’re not so excited and considering not even moving forward with it.
Solution: Keep your business to yourself and trust that your initial excitement is a sign that your idea needs to be pursued even if it sounds crazy to some. It’s a good idea to seek out a trusted mentor for advice. This should be someone who is goal oriented with a proven track record of success that has traveled down a similar road. Running your dreams by your family and friends who play it safe and are too fearful to step out of anything conventional will only get you skeptical responses with no real feedback on how to make it happen. Tune out that noise. It’ll be there. The larger your dream or goal, the louder the noise will be.
4. You Play The Blame Game. It’s never your fault. Now, you’re totally responsible for anything good that happens. But, regarding anything bad that happens…well, that’s someone else’s fault. There’s an excuse for everything bad that has happened in your life that has absolutely nothing to do with your actions.
Solution: This is going to be harsh, so brace yourself. I want you to take your index finger and point it directly at yourself. The problem is YOU. It’s not bad luck or someone else’s fault. Your current situation is a product of every decision that you’ve made. Sure, some of the things that happen to us are out of our control. But, for the most part, your current situation is dictated by your decisions. And, until you learn to stop playing victim and take full accountability for the good and bad, your dreams and aspirations will suffer. Some of the best lessons come from mistakes (I know this to be true personally), but you’ve got to be honest with yourself in order to find the lesson.
5. You Let Fear Punk You. “The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.” – Joseph Campbell. I love that quote! Something that I absolutely love about children is that they will enter cave after cave in order to find their treasure, unless restricted by an adult. But something happens as we age. The unknown becomes fearful. Anything different becomes fearful. And, instead of facing and pushing past that fear, we run away from that cave straight towards the situation that we know, whether it’s fulfilling or not.
Solution: Massive success takes a willingness to move out of your comfort zone and to face your fears. It’s hard. I know. I’ve had to face and push through so many fears during my entrepreneurial journey. But, I’ve found that once you make a decision to push through your fears, the first step is the hardest. It’s awkward and filled with anxiety. But, as you continue stepping forward, you eventually find yourself on the other side and realize that it really wasn’t that bad after all. And, before you know, it seems quite natural.