Feel like you’re stuck? You see your friends succeeding in life, but you just can’t get a grip? Although there could be many reasons for that, have you looked into your habits lately?
Some of them could be holding you back and not letting you fulfill your true potential. Here’s what you need to look out for:
1) Neglecting personal development
Personal growth often requires intentional effort. If you neglect it, you end up stagnating in both personal and professional life.
If you look at what other successful people are doing in their spare time, do you think they’re spending all their free time watching Netflix? Probably not.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a movie junkie, but I only watch movies that deserve my time.
Plus, we all think we don’t have enough time for reading, taking courses, going to workshops, etc., but have you inspected your calendar closely? There’s plenty of time every week or month for these things.
Invest in learning new skills, pursuing meaningful hobbies, and setting goals for self-improvement. It’s the only way to go up.
2) Avoiding risk
“Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t know.”
Playing it safe is not only boring, but it can also seriously limit your personal and professional growth.
While not all risks are worth taking, calculated risks can lead to new opportunities, personal development, and success.
For example, staying in the same position for years because you’re comfortable and afraid of change.
I’ve been there.
You get to love the status quo even if you hate the job. The human mind is incredible that way. You prefer the devil you know more than the devil you don’t know.
However, pursuing a new job opportunity in a different company or industry that aligns with your long-term career goals is extremely beneficial.
Experts agree that you should change your job every one to three years. That way, you:
- Get new experience
- Get salary increase
- Challenge yourself
Most people who avoid taking risks live in the past or future, so let’s talk about that a bit.
3) Living in the past or future
Dwelling on past regrets or worrying excessively about the future can prevent you from fully experiencing the present moment.
You need to make choices that align with your values and long-term goals, which requires a clear and focused mind. So, staying in the present is paramount for growth.
But thinking all the time about the past, future, or both can also have a harmful impact on your mental health.
You end up with anxiety and stress worrying about things you ultimately don’t have control over. I mean, can you change your past? No. What about ending the war in Ukraine or famine in Ethiopia? Hmm, probably not.
If you want to feel better about these things, donate money or time to charitable causes and raise awareness. But don’t spend sleepless nights over it.
Additionally, what has helped me break the cycle of deep worry was practicing mindfulness and engaging in positive self-talk.
4) Blaming others
Playing the blame game is yet another habit that holds you back. You need to take responsibility for your actions, acknowledge mistakes, and work on finding solutions to problems, preferably with others.
When life throws you lemons, blaming other people and other things is the easiest thing.
Listen, sometimes it really isn’t your fault. Many times, the system is squared against us, and we have to dig deep to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps.
For most of my life, I wasn’t poor enough to get help from the state, yet I also wasn’t rich enough to invest a considerable amount of money into my endeavors.
That’s when persistence, grit, and resourcefulness play a crucial role. Or you can just not pursue your dreams and blame everyone and everything for it.
5) Avoiding feedback
Getting feedback from others and putting yourself out there can be daunting. I mean, what if the thing you created isn’t good enough? What if they tell you this is the worst thing ever?
That’s where the mind instantly goes, right? It’s why some of us fear getting feedback from other people, especially those whose opinions we cherish.
Fear of criticism results in a reluctance to seek feedback, which is essential to get ahead in life.
You need to embrace feedback as an opportunity to learn and improve and actively seek it out.
If you don’t know where you stand, how can you improve?
6) Neglecting your network
I’ve often neglected this part of personal development. Mostly because I hate corporate culture, office politics, and LinkedIn.
But when I realized networking is the single biggest thing that can help me get ahead in life, I embraced it.
You see, building and maintaining a strong professional network can open doors to opportunities and provide valuable support and mentorship.
Most of the time, it’s not what you know; it’s who you know. Especially in smaller towns and communities.
That’s why you need to regularly engage with peers, mentors, and colleagues to nurture these relationships.
7) Lack of financial planning
Money isn’t everything, but it sure makes life easier, right? Failing to manage your finances is the single worst mistake you can make.
It can result in debt, financial stress, and limited opportunities for personal growth. There’s a reason why there are so many financial gurus out there.
People really want to know how to handle finances properly. It’s something we don’t learn in school even though that should be the most important class.
To get ahead in life, develop a budget, save consistently, and invest wisely. Your future self will be grateful.
8) Lack of resilience
Resilience is the ability to bounce back from adversity. Without it, setbacks can feel unbeatable.
But to develop resilience, you need to build coping strategies, seek support from others, and view challenges as opportunities for growth.
Take Bethany Hamilton, for example. She’s a professional surfer who survived a shark attack at the age of 13, resulting in the loss of her left arm.
She not only returned to competitive surfing but also became an inspiration to many by her resilience and determination.
Be like Bethany. Get back on the surfboard even when a tiger shark bites your arm off.
9) Information overload
Today, we have access to so much information. If you Google the surfer I mentioned above, you get countless articles, videos, photos, etc. That’s both amazing and terrifying, right?
However, consuming too much information without applying it results in overwhelm and indecision.
Social media is the ultimate time suck. Many people spend hours every day scrolling mindlessly and losing valuable time they could spend to improve themselves and their situation.
Focus on the information that’s most relevant to your goals and take actionable steps based on it.
Believe it or not, perfectionism is bad. It can lead to a fear of failure and a reluctance to take risks.
It’s often unattainable, and you’re better off embracing imperfections if you want greater creativity.
Perfectionists can suffer from many things. Even unknowingly.
For example, they could have a deep-seated fear of failure because they’re so focused on avoiding mistakes and imperfections.
And what about constantly worrying about meeting their own high standards? This can take a toll on their mental and physical health. Stress-related symptoms like insomnia, headaches, and muscle tension start creeping in.
But perfectionism can also negatively impact relationships. They have unrealistic expectations of themselves and others, leading to frustration and disappointment when those expectations aren’t met. This can strain personal and professional relationships.
Some people take pride in their ability to multitask. But more often than not, doing tasks one by one is a far superior tactic.
Contrary to popular advice, I don’t like doing the hardest thing first thing. I like to get some easy wins like clearing my email inbox, taking the dog outside, or getting my kid dressed and ready for the day.
When I attempt to juggle multiple tasks at once, I’m way less productive and just stress myself out.
That’s why I always recommend focusing on single-tasking giving your full attention to one task at a time, which often leads to better results.
Apart from the obvious bad habits like substance abuse, there are countless other habits that can stifle your development.
My rule to gauge whether a habit I have is harmful to me is simple – If you think something’s wrong/bad, then that thing probably is.