Success looks and feels different for everyone. However, one thing that can be very similar between people is the type of roadblocks that we put in our way to stop us from getting that success. Unfortunately, we tend to be our own worst enemy and not even realize that we are to blame for sabotaging our own success.
However, you can consciously change that direction by considering these 7 common behaviors that block success and learn how you can avoid or alter them.
- You’re not taking enough risks
While it may be prudent to avoid extreme risk, there’s a time and a place for stepping outside your comfort zone in order to generate the change that is necessary to achieve your goals. If you’re typically a risk-adverse person and haven’t been achieving much success, now may be the time to put yourself out there.
You don’t necessarily need to take huge risks; if you’ve been taking the safe route for a while, even small risks can be enough to help propel you in the right direction. Consider volunteering to take on the lead role on a project at work or step outside of your role and help in a different department. Start a side company as the precursor to become a full-time entrepreneur in the near future. Wherever you think you can push yourself farther, it’s time to take the leap.
- You’re playing the victim
You may not consciously think of yourself as a victim. However, if you often find yourself thinking, “He made me do this” or “I had no choice but to…,” you may be giving up more of your power than you should.
While there will always be situations in life where you have little or no control, you shouldn’t consistently find yourself feeling ganged up on, taken advantage of, or unable to change your circumstances. In order to stop playing the victim card, you first have to realize that you are focusing on others’ behavior rather than your own as well as what you can’t do rather than what you still have the power to achieve. If you still truly feel that others are wiping their feet on you, then you need to learn a different strategy for standing up for yourself so you take that power back. If you need to, ask someone else for pointers on the best strategy.
- You try to do everything yourself
It doesn’t matter how smart, educated, or experienced you are, no one can do everything well. If anything, the more you try to do yourself, the more you will actually fail at most of it.
Successful people know they can’t do it all and are willing to delegate to those around them. As a business owner, this might mean letting go of control and outsourcing certain tasks that aren’t in your wheelhouse. In your personal life, it could involve consulting with an expert in the fields of fitness, health or relationships.
- You aren’t able to self-regulate
Research shows that kids who are able to self-regulate their behavioral and emotional impulses have greater success in school. Although we often talk about self-regulation in relation to kids, the concept still applies for garnering success as an adult.
Our ability to regulate our emotions and behaviors is what allows us to act in our own best interest even when our impulses are in the background, trying to push us to do something else. One of the most effective ways we can achieve greater self-regulation is through consistently delaying gratification, focusing on our values and long-term goals, creating a plan that keeps us on track and rewarding ourselves along the way for staying the course.
- You let yourself get too distracted
Distractions can eat up a ton of time — more time, in fact, than you might think. Whether you are sitting in a cubicle or working from home, there are always things around us that grab that time – social media, phone calls and texts, and those YouTube videos.
When you’re distracted from a task, you aren’t just losing the time it takes to switch to your secondary (often less-important) task. Research has suggested that it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back on task after being interrupted. This often leads to lower productivity and ultimately means it takes longer to reach your goals.
Whenever possible, block off dedicated time in your schedule to focus on important tasks as well as allocate limited blocks for those diversions. This will not only keep others from disrupting you, but it will also help you avoid straying from your work and provide essential mental and physical breaks that can help recharge your energy and productivity.
- You’re too afraid of failure
The prospect of failure can turn you into a deer in the headlights. However, in your attempt to avoid the possibility of failing, you may be missing out on opportunities that will actually allow you to be successful.
The fact is that failure is inevitable. As 19th century English historian James A. Froude said, “Experience teaches slowly, and at the cost of mistakes.” You will undoubtedly experience failure on the path to success, but don’t let it dissuade you from making things happen that might not have otherwise if you were still frozen in fear.
- You don’t value your time
As you attain some degree of success, you can count on people coming out of the woodwork who want free advice. These encounters can seriously eat into the time you need to work toward your own goals.
Don’t be afraid to turn down these types of requests when necessary or even suggest a nominal consulting fee. It’s okay to be generous with your knowledge and expertise, but don’t feel bad about protecting your own time. Create your own success first and then you will be able to pay it forward and help others work toward theirs.