Common habits that are holding you back from success

Avoid failure by eliminating these habits that are harming your performance.

Successful people are highly self-aware and know that their daily habits, routines, and practices shape what they do. So they take great care to enhance their personal development. This includes weeding out bad habits and trying to adopt good ones. How often do you do the same? To get you started here are five destructive habits you’d do well to steer clear of.

1. Your need for perfection
This habit isn’t doing you any favours. You probably think it’s a good habit, but it really isn’t. Perfection doesn’t exist, and chasing it will just make you go round in circles, wasting precious time and energy. It’s a self-harming habit. In your need for perfection, you will never be happy or satisfied with anything; everything will seem to fall short. This isn’t healthy. Remember to stop while you’re ahead and be proud of what has been accomplished, rather than trying to reach for that elusive goal of perfection. And if you do make mistakes, accept them, embrace them, learn from them so that you’re better and stronger because of them.

2. Vague, undefined goals
We’re referring to professional as well as personal goals here. How can you plan and strategise well if you don’t know what exactly you’re trying to achieve? Do you have an idea, a dream or a concept you want to realise? If yes, have you sat down and clearly defined your vision? The details of it? Once you have that you can create a plan, a roadmap to help you get there. Rather than a vague, loosely held idea it is now something concrete you can work towards.

3. Procrastination or inaction
Sometimes this can be tied back to fear of failure, fear of being wrong, or lack of confidence. We put off doing something challenging (that will pull us ahead) because we feel we won’t be able to accomplish it. Fear of failure will always have you hesitating and therefore losing out on opportunities. Perfectionism is another habit that delays action because you’re waiting to create a flawless plan or for the perfect moment to get started. As a leader you can’t afford these drawbacks. You need to be decisive, ready to spring into action and make the most of every opportunity presented.

4. Not venturing outside your comfort zone
We’re all creatures of comfort and taking risks means we’re opening ourselves to failure and criticism. But if we don’t step outside our comfort zone we won’t really know what we’re capable of and the enormity of what can be achieved. The greatest business leaders from Richard Branson to Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, and Larry Ellison have all taken big risks, which in turn have led to some of their biggest successes. By stepping outside the usual, pushing yourself and taking risks you’re creating an opportunity that could lead to something rewarding.

5. Inability to adapt
Are you the sort who sticks to a plan no matter what? It’s great that you have such persistence, but you might want to rethink your approach. Constantly changing circumstances, markets, technologies etc demand that today’s leaders know how to be flexible and change tracks when the situation warrants it. If your course isn’t taking you towards success, you need to examine why and change the elements that aren’t working. You need to be aware of the opportunities around you and quickly take advantage of them. Adapt not react should be your mantra.

Photograph: Kstudio –

Categories:   Lifestyle, Work Buzz


  • Posted: March 14, 2018 01:29


    well said, these are the habits that hold you back! I have few of them that I am trying to get rid of.

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