Even though you have the desire and the intention to be successful and accomplish your goals, your negative habits may be so ingrained that they are blocking your success. Check out these common bad habits that can become obstacles to your success – and what you can do about them:
If you focus on the positives, you’re less susceptible to fears and worries, which prevent you from success. If you stop giving energy to negative thoughts, you’ll free your mind to start working toward your goals. Becoming aware of your thought patterns is the first step change.
Even if you’ve been a chronic pessimist for years, you can change your mindset to one that will benefit you. This process will require effort in the beginning, however, it gets easier with practice. One way to switch a negative mindset to a positive one is to practice gratitude. Every day, write down 5 specific things you are grateful for. For example; “I’m grateful for my family because they support me and make me laugh.”
2. Making Excuses
Excuses allow you to avoid doing something you know is important and beneficial to you. Some examples are: “I’m too busy.” “I don’t have enough money.” “It’s not the right time.” “I’m afraid of what people will think of me.” “I might fail.” You have probably heard most of these excuses before. In fact, you’ve probably used some of them yourself.
The most effective way to stop making excuses is to catch yourself making them. Then, take massive action on whatever you just made the excuse about. If you catch yourself making a lot of excuses to prevent yourself from accomplishing your goals, make time for self-reflection. Are your goals what you truly want to accomplish, or are they someone else’s goals or expectations for you? The things you want to do the least are probably the things you need to do the most.
3. Over Committing
Are you committing to too many projects and tasks? While it may be tempting to always say yes to others, make sure it is not to the detriment of your own health and wellbeing. If you take on more than you can cope with, you’ll become tired, stressed and overwhelmed and you won’t have enough time for yourself and your goals.
Set your boundaries and get comfortable saying no. In other words, put on your own oxygen mask on first, before you help others. Every time you decline an opportunity that doesn’t serve you or fit with your purpose, you create space for another opportunity that does.
Know that your time is valuable and the tasks you do to achieve your goals are important. Putting off tasks until the last minute is a habit that won’t get you where you want to be in life. Successful people get things done, and they get things done now.
To kick the procrastination habit, Nike says it best: Just do it! At first you may feel resistance when you step out of your procrastination comfort zone. Push through the discomfort and resistance and ignore the doubts and worries that are keeping you from being productive. Tell yourself to do what needs to be done now.
You may believe that striving for perfection will lead you to success. However, the habit of perfectionism results in unrealistic expectations. Successful people are people who want to make things happen fast, they don’t wait for the “right time”.
When you are continuously growing and improving yourself, it’s important to see mistakes as learning experiences rather than failures. Nobody’s perfect, so shift your focus from being perfect to being perfectly imperfect. Repeat this mantra to yourself: “I am perfectly imperfect.”
Do you always have doubts and worries floating around in your head? Are you afraid of change, even if it’s good? Have you ever stopped doing something due to fear of failure or rejection? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then fear is inhibiting your achievements.
Most fears are illusions you create in your mind. In other words, they’re not real. So why let something that’s not real control your emotions and behaviour? It’s not that successful people don’t feel fear; they do. They just don’t let it rule their lives. The next time fear is holding you back from getting what you want, feel the fear and do it anyway.
7. Playing the Blame Game
Blaming is an automatic reaction and it may be something you do unconsciously. Perhaps you’re afraid you’ll look bad to others, or maybe you’re afraid to accept some of the choices you’ve made in your life. Either way, if you blame other people or things for your actions and choices, you are preventing yourself from the success you want.
The best way to stop playing the blame game is to learn to take responsibility for yourself. Be accountable for everything you can control in your life, such as your thoughts, actions and choices. You’ll gain more respect for yourself and from others when you show you can take responsibility.
8. Not Being Present
While it’s ok (and even recommended) to spend time dreaming and planning for the future and reflecting and learning from the past, the majority of your attention should be focused on what’s happening here and now. Be prepared for possible future events, however don’t dwell on potential outcomes until they happen. Why waste time worrying about things that probably won’t ever occur?
If you continuously relive past experiences in your mind or worry about the future, be mindful of your thoughts by asking yourself, “What am I thinking at this moment?” If you’re thinking about something related to the past or future, make an effort to bring your mind back to the present.
9. Getting Distracted
If you get distracted easily, you may find yourself jumping from one project to the next or perhaps abandoning a project you are very passionate about because the excitement has worn off. When a new idea captures your imagination and attention in such a way that you get distracted from the bigger picture and go off on a tangent, you have “shiny object syndrome”. Remember to F.O.C.U.S. (Follow One Course Until Successful).
In most cases, distractions are caused by three factors: boredom, lack of discipline and disorganisation. If you’re bored with the project you’re working on, take a break from it until you’re ready to work on it again. If another person is distracting you, politely tell them that you need to focus on whatever you are working on and let them know you will be able to speak to them when you are finished. If you are distracted by your phone, email, social media or the TV, turn it off. Delete Facebook from your phone for 1 week and see how much more you accomplish!
10. Relying on Other’s Opinions
If you validate yourself based on other people’s opinions, or you don’t think for yourself, you’re not living your life for the most important person in it: you! Although getting other people’s feedback and opinions is okay for guidance, don’t use it to determine your self-worth.
If you are successful, it is highly likely that your goals will go against the norm. Don’t listen to the naysayers, they either don’t understand what you want to achieve or they are jealous of you. Your value does not decrease based on someone’s inability to see your worth. If you believe a decision is right for you, go for it. Do what makes you happy and don’t let others bring you down.
If you would like to let go of your negative habits and replace them with positive ones, click here to speak to one of our coaches for free.