We all have habits—quirks and routines that make us unique and human. Unfortunately, they come in both the good and the bad. Some we pick up as we grow older, while some have been with us since childhood. Be it positive or negative, these habits have a profound effect on our productivity, and ultimately on our careers.
We’re here to help you spot habits you should consider laying to rest. That’s not to say that having one or two make you a failure. After all, there are levels to this: some are more damaging than others and some are harder—if not almost impossible—to avoid. If you’re wondering what’s taking you so long to become successful, you might be suspect to some of these habits derailing you in the pursuit of your dreams.
They are jealous of others’ success
Probably the hardest-hitting on the list, we’ve all been guilty of at some point. Comparing yourself to others when you see them winning the game of life as you stumble day-to-day could lead to feelings of bitterness and unwarranted inadequacy.
To avoid this unnecessary burden on your psyche, it’s best to focus on the things that you’re good at and then build from there. List down your skills and how you can maximize them as you navigate your career. Most importantly, avoid looking at other people as competition! Try to analyze why and how they were successful, and take the opportunity to learn as much as possible.
They don’t take risks
On the topic of development, unsuccessful people seem to be unwelcoming of change. They’ve grown so accustomed to their routines that a slight deviation from the norm causes them a great deal of stress. Being close-minded could stem from a bad experience, from fear of the unknown, or from a feeling of superiority—“this is how we do things here” or “it was much better back then”.
Comfort zones exist because we want them to. We seek out what’s real and tangible, and question things that are unfamiliar. This is perfectly normal behavior, but refusing to bend the other way when needed is detrimental to both you and your colleagues. Start small by trying new things. Learn to accept that change is constant, and that learning about things you don’t know doesn’t reduce your worth. In fact, it could only increase it.
They don’t take criticism well
They let emotions take over
“I should treat myself after all that work”, or perhaps “I deserve this”, are just some of the whispering thoughts after an especially taxing day. Unsuccessful people are bad at managing cash flow. One reason is that they let their emotions take the wheel when it comes to spending.
Blindly spending with emotion leads to an expensive habit of compensating negativity with the short-lived happiness of material things. Needless to say, you should always try to clear your head before making a new purchase. Wait it out or—better yet—sleep on it. Before making a purchase, ask yourself again and again: Is it something you really need?
Suppress our individuality to blend in or to seek someone’s approval is a trap most unsuccessful people fall for. True, it does feel good when you share the same interests with someone, but changing who you are to fit only cripples your most distinct advantage.
By conforming, you unconsciously rob the world of the things you could share – things only you know how to do. These could be ideas bubbling inside your head that will never see the light of day. Who knows? These ideas could be the seeds of the next new startup.