There’s more than one way to succeed in your career; different people have different approaches that work for them.
Often, however, it’s not about what you’re doing right but what you’re doing wrong.
It turns out that there are certain bad habits that many people have that stand between them and success.
So if you’ve wracked your brain, tried a bunch of stuff, and still feel like you’re not where you want to be, the solution may lie in saying goodbye to some negative practices.
Let’s take a look at 12 habits that could be holding you back:
1) Being passive
Look, I’ve come across quite a few eager beavers and overachievers over the years and I know how annoying they can be to the rest of us.
But do you know what?
They’re the kind of people who succeed in their careers.
And while they may be a bit annoying and aggressive in their approach, they’re making themselves seen and heard.
Knowing stuff and being capable will get you nowhere if you’re passive.
If you want to advance your career, you need to step up:
- Volunteer to take on new projects
- Offer solutions to problems
- Be a know-it-all once in a while
Your boss needs to know that you’ve got enthusiasm and know-how and the only way to do that is to be more assertive.
Hey, I’m not judging!
I’m the queen of procrastination, especially when it comes to boring or difficult tasks.
The problem is, if you’re trying to be more successful at work, delaying tasks isn’t the best way to go.
Procrastination hinders productivity, leads to missed opportunities, and gets in the way of growth.
The best way to deal with dreaded tasks and procrastination is to just rip off the band-aid. Tell yourself, “F**k it, I’m gonna get this done now!”
Trust me, it’s the only way.
3) Negative self-talk
I’m no stranger to negative self-talk either.
Actually, it goes hand-in-hand with procrastination!
If something scares or intimidates me, I’ll convince myself that I can’t do it and, yup, you guessed it, procrastinate for as long as I can.
But that’s no way to advance in one’s career, now is it?
So, if you find yourself indulging in negative self-talk, telling yourself, “I’m not good enough”, “I’m not clever enough”, or “That’s too hard” you need to give yourself a good shake and bring yourself back to reality.
These negative beliefs are not the truth, but rather, a product of your fear.
What you need is to cultivate a positive mindset to boost your confidence and resilience.
To help you do that, try replacing your negative self-talk with positive affirmations such as, “I’ve got this” and “I can totally get this done!”
4) Lack of goal setting
It may be obvious to some people, but it isn’t obvious to everyone.
You’re gonna have a hard time succeeding in your career or any other aspect of your life if you don’t have an idea of what it means to be successful.
What I’m trying to say is that you need to set some clear goals to work toward because “I want to be successful” is a bit vague.
You need to find a direction to move in and something to work toward.
For example, “I want to be promoted to regional manager in 5 years” or “I want to run my own non-profit”.
Trust me, once you know where you’re going, getting there will be so much easier.
5) Fear of failure
Unfortunately, we live in a society that teaches us that failure is something bad, something to be looked down upon.
It threatens our self-esteem and the way we’re perceived by others because we need validation in both our personal and professional lives.
But can I share a little secret with you?
Failure is nothing to be ashamed of.
It’s something we all go through on our way to success.
My advice is to embrace failure as a learning opportunity instead of fearing it and seeing it as a setback.
6) Resistance to change
It’s true, change can sometimes be scary.
That’s because it’s full of uncertainty and the unknown, and that triggers a primal fear for our safety.
At the same time, the familiar provides a sense of comfort and security; it has fewer risks.
But you need to learn to embrace change when it comes to your career because it nurtures adaptability, allows for continuous learning, and positions you as a flexible and valuable asset in dynamic work environments.
That in turn increases your opportunities for growth and advancement in your career.
7) Poor time management
Time is money, my friend, and nowhere is that more true than in the workplace.
If you can’t manage your time effectively, it probably takes you twice as long to complete a task than it does your coworkers.
If that’s the case, chances are your boss isn’t going to be very keen on assigning new tasks to you or advancing your career.
They need someone who is productive and will help them make money, not lose money.
In other words, if you want to succeed in your career, you need to stop wasting time being disorganized and learn to be more efficient and productive!
A common mistake people make is overcommitting.
Here are some reasons people do it:
- They’re competing with their coworkers
- They’re trying to show their boss how capable they are
- They’re trying to prove something to themselves
- They want to do it all but are unaware of their limits
Whatever the reason, biting off more than you can chew is a surefire way to slow progress.
Because when you take on too many things at once, you’re choosing quantity over quality. The results won’t be as good as if you’d taken on less work.
But that’s not all!
Overcommitting often means the inability to finish certain tasks on time, and that reflects badly on you.
Learn your limits and avoid taking on too much at once.
9) Lack of networking
Look, I know how awkward networking can be, especially if you’re an introvert.
I mean, it can be strange and uncomfortable having to mingle with people you don’t know. And if you’re new to the whole concept, it may feel like the first day of school.
But if you want to advance your career, it’s a bitter pill you’re gonna have to swallow.
Connecting with professionals in your industry can give you access to job openings, industry insights, and valuable advice.
Plus, networking increases your visibility and enhances your professional reputation, making you more likely to be considered for promotions and projects.
It’s quite simple really, you need to stop looking at networking as something scary and intimidating.
Instead, try to see it as a tool that opens doors to new opportunities.
10) Ignoring feedback
Now, you may have a hard time accepting your flaws and owning up to your mistakes.
You may think you know best.
Well, I have a newsflash for you: Nobody is perfect!
Even the smartest and most knowledgeable people you know make mistakes and that means that even you make mistakes.
Here’s the problem, if you can’t accept negative feedback and constructive criticism, you’re never going to be able to learn and grow.
If you’re seeking professional growth, you need to learn to be able to admit when you’ve made a mistake and to learn from it.
You also need to be receptive to other ideas and open to making changes.
11) Neglecting self-care
Being overworked and neglecting self-care is no way to success.
On the contrary, it’s a recipe for disaster and a surefire way to burnout.
If your life is your work, you have 15-hour work days, work weekends, and still fail to advance in your career, it could be because you’re neglecting self-care.
You may not be ready to hear it but there’s more to life than work and failing to remember that will only contribute to physical and mental exhaustion.
The solution is simple: Give yourself some TLC.
- Be sure to get at least 8 hours of sleep
- Adopt a healthy and balanced diet
- Drink lots of fluids
- Get moving. Sitting at your desk all day is a big no-no! Start jogging, join a gym… whatever gets your heart rate up.
- Don’t neglect your personal life. Laugh with your friends. Go on dates. See your family.
It’s only once you’ve found balance in your life that you’ll be able to fully thrive and find success.
12) Inability to delegate
I know you think that doing everything yourself is the only way to ensure the best results, but the truth is that it will only overwhelm and slow you down.
It’s important to learn to trust and empower others if you want to increase efficiency.
What’s more, succeeding in your career often means leading teams and that means being able to work with other people.
Effective task distribution and collaboration is key to success, so the sooner you learn to delegate, the better.
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