If you’ve finally decided it’s time to get ahead in life, you’ll need to leave some behaviors behind.
I know it doesn’t sound fun, but you won’t really miss any of these activities. They were just holding you back, perhaps without you even realizing it.
So, without further ado, let’s get you in shape and ensure you aren’t taking any prisoners!
1) Procrastination/Lack of discipline
Let’s start with the most obvious one – procrastination. We all do it from time to time. That doesn’t mean we’re lazy.
But putting off tasks and responsibilities can lead to missed opportunities and increased anxiety.
You need to develop a proactive mindset and tackle duties head-on to stay productive and make progress.
2) Fear of failure/Avoiding risks
“Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go.” This is my favorite quote from T.S. Eliot.
In other words, how can you know what you’re really capable of if you don’t test it yourself?
Sometimes it’s best to jump at an opportunity without overthinking. It’s like throwing a baby into the swimming pool. You just have to have faith that it will swim (and it will!).
Avoiding risks and staying within your comfort zone may provide temporary security, but it can also limit you from getting ahead in life.
Change is inevitable, and embracing it is an opportunity for learning, adapting, and being open to new experiences and perspectives.
Once you adopt this mindset, you’ll basically hate the status quo and seek ways to disrupt, change, or fix things.
However, you’ll need to eliminate this next behavior to accomplish that.
3) Lack of continuous learning
Can you get ahead in life if you aren’t willing to learn new skills? I don’t think you’re that lucky to have fortune fall into your lap. Do you agree?
Also, if you were this lucky, you wouldn’t be reading this article. Therefore, you need to invest in ongoing learning and personal development.
Stay curious, seek new knowledge, and develop new skills to stay relevant and adaptable in a rapidly changing world.
With the rise of AI, we’ll all need to adapt extremely quickly or risk losing it all. Things will never be the same, for better or for worse.
4) Playing the victim
That being said, it’s fairly easy to play the victim. Oh, the AI took my job, and I don’t know what to do. This is a sentence you’ll hear a lot in the future.
You need to start preparing NOW and think about your future. As a writer, I know I’m on thin ice regarding AI. For that reason, I’m adopting new skills, too, so me and my family are ready when all hell breaks loose.
Shed the victim mentality and stop blaming external circumstances or others for your challenges and setbacks.
Adopt a mindset of personal accountability and take control to make positive changes.
5) Lack of goal-setting
One way of doing that is to set short and long-term goals for your life. Set specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals for a clear roadmap for personal and professional growth.
Then, stay focused, maintain good habits, work towards your goals consistently, and seek out positive and supportive people who inspire and motivate you to reach them.
Once you’re ready, seek feedback from people you trust.
6) Resistance to feedback
If you’re defensive and resistant to constructive criticism, you’re almost certainly impeding your progress.
Don’t become defensive, and try to protect yourself by denying or dismissing the feedback.
Embracing feedback is an opportunity for growth. You should use it to improve your skills and performance.
In me, feedback used to evoke strong emotions such as anger, frustration, or even sadness. This was due to a lack of self-awareness and unwillingness to confront my weaknesses.
But once I started separating feedback from self-worth, I began actively seeking input from people I trusted.
Let’s switch speeds now and talk about money for a second.
7) Impulsive spending
For most people, getting ahead in life includes making more money, too. This has many obvious perks, such as buying your own home, affording a (better) car, buying things for your kids, and affording kids in general.
But one way to stretch your dollar further is not to spend money on impulse buys. That usually means making a monthly or weekly budget and sticking to it. It’s that easy.
The money you save that way, you should reinvest or save in a rainy day fund or deposit for a house, car, or whatever else you’re looking to get long-term.
Apart from spending too much, this next behavior can also hinder your goals.
8) Lack of networking and relationship-building
Networking is something I have been dismissing for a very long time. Frankly, I had fears about networking and actively engaging in relationship-building activities. I would cringe looking at LinkedIn or even Twitter.
However, I have since realized that this was only holding me back and that you can build relationships in many ways and forms, including social media, but also in real life.
It’s true when they say that you never know when an opportunity is going to knock on your door. You just have to be receptive to it.
9) Poor time management
We all have the same amount of hours in a day. This is true for the President, the CEO, the mailman, the sales assistant, and for us. It’s what we do with this time that sets us apart.
The best way to get the most out of our time is to make daily, weekly, and monthly schedules and prioritize tasks, set clear goals, and manage our time effectively.
That way, we get to make the most of our day and achieve our objectives.
This might mean cutting your TV time from 3 hours per day to 1, not to mention cutting back on phone use and social media.
You’ll still get to enjoy these things, but in smaller quantities, making them even more enjoyable and precious.
Okay, now we’re talking. Let’s see what else is in store.
10) Dwelling on past mistakes
Past is a painful subject for many people. What’s worse is that they still dwell on it and constantly go over and over their mistakes in their heads.
That way, you’ll never move forward, and every time you step out of your comfort zone, you’ll be sucked back in by your mind, reminding you of what had happened before.
The best thing to do is to acknowledge your past mistakes, extract lessons from them, and focus on the present moment and future opportunities.
However, be wary of this next behavior.
11) Overloading yourself with commitments
Taking on too many commitments and spreading yourself too thin can lead to burnout and hinder your ability to excel in specific areas.
Sometimes, the culprit is the shiny object syndrome. It makes you chase new things and leave a trail of projects you’ve abandoned.
Learn to prioritize and say no to non-essential tasks or commitments to focus your time and energy on what truly matters.
Stick to one or two things and become an expert at them.
12) Lack of self-care
Disregarding self-care and well-being is another behavior that’s holding you back in life. Lack of time or willpower to prioritize exercise, proper nutrition, adequate rest, and relaxation can lead to burnout and hinder your overall effectiveness.
Tight schedules leave little wiggle room for these activities. But even if we spend only 10 minutes to half an hour per day meditating, doing yoga, weightlifting, stretching, or preparing healthy food for the next day, our body will be grateful to us in both the short and long term.
Speaking of being grateful…
13) Lack of gratitude
I left the lack of gratitude for last, not because it’s the least important, but because it’s very important. And if you only read the first couple of points and the last ones, you’ll see it.
You see, even if you feel like you’re falling back in life and can’t seem to get ahead, having a positive outlook and appreciation for what you already have and what you’ve accomplished so far can hinder your overall happiness and contentment.
Focus on the positive aspects of your life to enhance your well-being and attract more positivity. Positive thoughts bring positive results.
Do you recognize these behaviors? Are they holding you back too? If you’ve read to the end, you’ve already made progress by identifying what not to do anymore.
Luckily, there are many easy ways to get your life together and back on track.