What does getting ahead in life mean to you?
Does it mean getting a better job, making more money, starting a family, building your own happiness, or achieving your life goals?
Whatever it means to you, there are most certainly some things that are holding you back from getting as far ahead as you might like.
Sometimes, it’s really hard to see the barriers you’ve erected in your own path.
But if you have someone help point them out to you, you might suddenly realize, “My god, have I been doing that to myself?!”
That’s what this article is all about.
I want to help you realize some of the ways you’ve been standing in your own way so that you can change them and achieve your goals.
So, if you genuinely want to get ahead in life, say goodbye to these ten habits that are stopping you.
1) Hurting your body
Everything you do springs from the physical form that you reside in – your body.
So why is it that most people spend so much time treating their bodies like they’re not the temples that they are?
I know “my body is a temple” has become a joke.
Come on, what kind of person is going to focus on only doing good things for their body and only putting good things inside?
People who want to get ahead in life, that’s what kind.
Curb your high-sugar diet, which is only leading to diabetes and heart disease.
Cut out smoking and cut down on your alcohol consumption.
Eat better. Exercise. Rest.
Above all, get enough sleep so that you’re bright and ready to meet each new day at your fullest potential.
2) Being late
Habitual lateness is a bad habit that many people don’t seem to notice is causing them problems.
Making people wait for you is disrespectful, and while everyone knows that unpredictable things happen, being late all the time shows you don’t respect other people’s time.
So, who wants to hire a person who’s always late or do business with them?
And you should also realize that being late adds unnecessary stress to your life.
When you’re running late, you have to rush. You lose focus, forget things, get worked up.
You drive angrily and even put yourself and others in danger.
And you worry about being late and what people will think when you are.
Here’s a simple solution: if you’re always late, set your clock ahead, but make sure you set it for something difficult to add, like 12 or 17 minutes, not five of ten.
That way, you always see the time ticking, and although you know you’ve fooled yourself, the odd timing makes it hard to actually know how much time you have left.
It’s a kick in the pants that you can use until you break this habit for good.
3) Spreading yourself too thin
Doing too many things at once makes you a jack of all trades and a master of none.
Well, guess what?
It’s the masters who succeed in their trades.
The real bad habit here is taking on too many commitments at once, making it impossible to get them all done on time unless you never sleep.
It could be that you’re afraid to say no or that you don’t want to let anyone down.
But you also have to be fair to yourself.
Only take on the commitments that
- are achievable,
- relate to your goals, and
- aren’t going to stress you out unnecessarily.
4) Negative self-talk
If you talk down to yourself or trash yourself every time you make a mistake, this needs to stop.
I know I’ve been guilty of negative self-talk in the past.
I was frustrated that I wasn’t where I wanted to be in life, and I would take this out on myself frequently.
I’d call myself stupid and lazy, and when I messed something up, I’d say I told myself so.
Did it ever do me any favors?
All this negative self-talk did was to reinforce a negative self-concept that I wasn’t talented, able, or deserving of anything better.
This is a nasty habit that reinforces a way of thinking that’s simply never going to get you ahead.
5) Believing in limits
Like negative self-talk, setting limits for your own success and believing in them is an excellent way to stop yourself from getting ahead.
If you think that you can’t do something, then you never will. It’s that simple.
I know what you’re thinking. There are real limits on you, like how long you can hold your breath or how many pool balls you can fit in your mouth at once.
Aren’t you just being practical?
Not when it comes to your skills and knowledge.
There is always something you can learn, and there is always a way to get better at every possible thing in the world.
It may take time and effort, but above all, it takes belief that the limits you once saw ahead of you can be surpassed.
– Pretty much everyone ever
Hey, we all know that perfection is impossible. We have a saying to prove it.
So why do you waste your time and effort striving for something that can never be achieved?
Perfection is just theoretical, and that’s easily proven by science.
Take a steel ball bearing that feels perfectly smooth and round.
Now, look at it under an electron microscope, and you’ll see its surface is actually scratched and rough. Measure it with incredible precision, and you’ll find out it’s not perfectly round because nothing is.
Yes, you want to do a great job and do your best, but you also have to know when a task is completed to a level that satisfies you. It will never, ever be perfect, just extremely good.
So, know when to let go and say, “This is definitely good enough!”
7) Keeping toxic relationships
There are people in your life right now who drag you down.
Even if they’re long-time friends or family, these are relationships that burden you and hold you back from getting ahead.
They might guilt you, make you feel bad about yourself, or simply place inappropriate demands on your time.
For many people, this is one of the top reasons they can’t seem to get ahead.
So you have to ask yourself if these relationships are really worth the negatives they bring into your life.
And you’ll probably find that most of them definitely aren’t.
8) Blaming others
Yes, there are toxic people in your life who can cause bad things to happen to you.
Go ahead, keep thinking of yourself as a victim, and see if that helps you get ahead.
Or you can take responsibility for your own life and the people you allow in it.
Blaming others for your own shortcomings only takes you so far. It doesn’t get rid of them or help you to improve yourself.
Everyone has been dealt a hand in this life, and some are really, really bad.
But that’s the hand you have to play with, and there’s no way around it, so you just have to do your best with what you have and stop wishing for someone else to make things better.
9) Phone addiction
Twenty years ago, people got on computers to check things and watched TV and movies sometimes for entertainment.
They actually did other things, too, like reading and spending time with friends.
But now that we all have the entire wealth of human knowledge and infinite entertainment options with us at all times, it’s hard to survive without it.
Or is it?
Try limiting your phone time and see what that does to your life.
I guarantee that it won’t make you waste more time and likely won’t make you lose any friends, either.
10) Being a people pleaser
This is a hard one for me to recommend because I’ve been a people pleaser my whole life.
But I know it’s one of the things that has held me back.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to make other people happy.
But there is something wrong with trying to make all people happy all the time, especially at the expense of your own happiness.
This just makes you a doormat, a person who can be pushed and pulled in any direction.
At some point, you have to find some rigidity, some backbone, and be able to put yourself first at least some of the time.
Bye-bye, bad habits!
It’s time to say goodbye to these 10 habits if you want to get ahead in life.
These are things you’re doing to yourself that work in direct opposition to your objectives.
Take them one at a time and see what changes you can make. The more habits you can stop, the closer you’ll get to your life goals.
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