There is no “secret formula” to becoming a success, but it would be a whole lot easier if there were! What it comes down to in most cases is talent, determination, perseverance, dumb luck, or (most often) some combination thereof. While there may not be a surefire step-by-step road to success, there are certainly some habits that won’t get you there. If you’re looking for ways to become more successful in your career, instead of focusing on what else you could be doing, try thinking about the things you ought to stop, such as:
The fastest way to undermine your own success is to complain too much. Sure, it can be tempting to vent when something doesn’t go your way, but complaining is a quick way to get people to dislike you. Aside from making you universally loathed, by complaining ad nauseam you essentially wire your brain for ingratitude. If you’re not able to appreciate your progress and face adversity with a positive outlook, you will never be able to overcome the obstacles that will undoubtedly stand between you and success.
This is a tough one for many people. It can be very tempting to put off unpleasant or difficult tasks “until tomorrow.” The problem is that “tomorrow” soon becomes “next week” and it’s not long before you find yourself rushing off half-cocked to finish something you should have started on weeks ago. Worse still, you may put off the goal indefinitely. By stopping the bad habit of procrastinating, you teach yourself to tackle challenges head-on and ensure that you always have time to be thorough and thoughtful in your work.
Everyone has told a white lie in their lives, but if you hope to achieve meaningful success in your career, this is a habit you will need to curtail. Being found out in a lie will do irreparable damage to your integrity in the eyes of your colleagues and leaders and the risk is frankly not worth it. Furthermore, by saying “I don’t know” or owning up to your mistakes, you prove to those around you that you are credible and mature. These attributes will take you far on the road to success.
Perhaps the single most damaging habit to success is the habit of quitting. It is hard to persevere when things don’t meet your expectations or start to become difficult, but the ability to do so is what separates successful people from the public at large. You can be certain that you will fail at tasks along the way, but the important thing is that you do not quit them before you see them through. Even if you don’t achieve what you set out to do, the experience you will gain from the process is invaluable. Better still are the times when you will come out on top, having achieved your goals despite the temptation to quit.
If achieving success in your career is important to you, don’t bank on falling into the “dumb luck” category. It’s probably going to take work. The good news is that you don’t even have to take on monumental tasks to get started. By simply putting a stop to the four habits listed above, you’ll be well on your way.