The 10 Worst Habits Holding You Back From Success

The 10 Worst Habits Holding You Back From Success

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bad habits holding you back from success

The path of success is often littered by our own trash, obstacles that we place ourselves. Habits, by definition are behaviors that are so ingrained that we no longer become conscious of them; actions that turn into autopilot. The power of habit is severely under-recognized as driving force toward success. When the incredible Brian Tracy was asked about the key to success, he replied, “Successful people are simply those with successful habits.”

While there are many people that possess many successful habits, these habits are being undermined by toxic habits- it is taking one step forward but then two steps back. Breaking the bad habit could be the game-changer that you are desperately needing.

 

 

Here are 10 of the worst habits that are holding you back from success:

 

1. Waiting for the ‘right’ moment

How many times have you said, “I’m just going to wait until I have enough money saved up,” or “I need to research more.” As the Chinese proverb goes, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”

Stop waiting for the unicorn and take the bull by the horns now. Any action is better than no action.

 

2. The approval of others

While it is important to receive validation for your work, constantly seeking that pat on the back from others will get you nowhere. Do not feed into the ego of your ever-needy self-esteem. It is nice to receive good comments on your work. But do not mix up what is good for the ego for what is good for your productivity.

 

3. The need to always be perfect

Perfectionism is crippling. By all means strive for excellence and seek to produce the best product you are able to deliver. But spending far too much time on any task can become detrimental when you have people waiting for you to deliver. If your work meets their expectations, then drop the product. If you exceed it, even better. But do not keep them waiting too long. You could spend an eternity improving a product.

 

4. Giving too much respect

Even Einstein made mistakes. Just because someone is in a prominent position, it does not mean they have all the answers. This habit cripples many people who listen to ‘respectable’ figures who are in a completely different field to them.

How many times have you seen an actor endorsing a product they know nothing about and people listening just because they are famous? Terrible habit.

 

5. Germophobia

It should not only be great leaders that aren’t afraid of getting their hands dirty, but anyone striving after success. Getting your hands dirty means engaging in a task that is outside of your responsibility.

Win the respect of others by doing something beyond your duty.

 

6. Not learning from people ‘less’ than you

Pride is like putting poison into your own glass of water. Great knowledge can come from anyone. But if you simply shut someone off because they do not have a PhD or they are not a CEO, you are potentially robbing yourself of a golden nugget. You never know what kind of experience a person has or who the person may be connected with.

 

7. Rushing the last look

You are so excited with finishing your work that you just want to ship it straight out the door without giving it a final once-over. This is the Achilles Heel for most writers. But what separates a good writer from an average writer is patience- many writers will let an article sit overnight and then make more edits in the morning before sending it. This applies for other industries also, take time to give it one last thorough check. Even get someone else to have a look before you ship or hit the send button.

 

8. Not being vulnerable

It is easy to feel the need to put on a mask in your career, particularly if you are in leadership. No doubt there is a clear line that needs to be drawn between employers and employees. But you need to take off the iron suit every now and then.

Admit to making mistakes, make apologies when you are in the wrong. You will be respected.

 

9. Too stubborn to let go

While grit, tenacity, and perseverance are all great qualities, they can be crippling when they are directed toward the wrong goal. This is difficult with any project that you have poured your heart and soul into. But if it is not profitable nor bringing you closer to your goal, then you need to recognize when you are being stubborn and let go. Treat any humiliation like water off a duck’s back and direct your energy toward the next project.

 

10. The contentment plateau

There is a dark side to being satisfied with your work and accomplishments. Being content and comfortable is the enemy of improvement. Take time during your journey to stop and smell the roses, but do not let be left standing there when the roses are long gone.

Keep setting the bar higher. Knock down a goal, celebrate it, move on.

 

On a final note, Samuel Johnson gives a great warning on the crucial need to break detrimental habits – “The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.” If you are suffering from any of these 10 toxic habits, then you need to nip it in the bud today.

24 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you for sharing your great ideas .So true that any action is better than no action ! In my case I will start my work now because I’m already delayed in my time table.I have to double time and rush things effect of bad habit but Im learning thru your positive ideas and motivations

  2. I appreciate taking work outside of your realm but how do I deal with peers who constantly don’t pull their weight and a manager who watches it happen? It seems good works only reward is more work whilst others cruise along with very little

    • Good point Adam. I have found who cruise along with very little and managers who watch it happen ride a very short wave. Successful works flows out of a successful person. When you look at the greatest men in women throughout history- their work ethic is not only unrivalled but indiscriminate, they do what is in front of them and then if they see something that needs to be done- they do it, no racing around trying to find someone else, just get the job done.

      Those who do little, and managers who expect little, will only ever achieve little.

      • Thanks for the reply. I think, when I have a chance to, that it has actually been a great learning tool as I have now vowed to never let it happen with my team. I want to be a role model but also personally challenge myself day in and day out. This desire helps me sleep at night knowing I have done the best job I could have

  3. Hi Thai,

    My biggest demon is #3. The need to always be perfect.

    I’ve always been a natural perfectionist and like when you said these habits turn on auto pilot and are too weak to be felt until to strong to be broken.

    When it comes to my work there is always something I can add, change or tweak. I now practice daily and I’m aware when I slipping into ‘impossibly perfect’ mode. It’s an ongoing process.

    I also really like #6. Not learning from people ‘less’ than you. Life is a learning journey, you just never know who will be teaching you that something new today!

    Naomi

    • Very right, Naomi. Sometimes, it’s not even just about what these ‘lesser’ people can teach you. It’s also about the life lessons you can learn from teaching/helping these people, that you would otherwise not get from someone ‘higher’ than you. Life is beautiful that way, huh?

      #3 is one my demons too by the way, heh. In the end when I’m finally ready, it NEVER became perfect anyway.

  4. I just wanted to say I love this! Where I live, a sad desert in southern California, I constantly need to remind myself of these. So Thank You for giving me some great motivation.

  5. I like #5. Lots of people are always telling themselves “why should I do this? It’s not part of my job scope.”

    I always respect people who get shit throw at them and still do the things outside their responsibility to the best of their ability.

    But then also, sometimes we must question the kind of environment they are in as well. Not saying that justifies anything.

    • You are right Jeremy, respect always goes to the person stepping outside their responsibility. “The person that gets ahead is the one that does more than necessary. And keeps doing it.” Not sure who said that but very true.

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