So, could that be you? How could you know?
You could ask your friends, but they will probably just tell you that you’re great!
So here’s some food for thought:
Which of the following (from one to all, or none) is true about you?
- A Realist
Answer this before you read the next bit!
And make a note of the numbers.
Don’t cheat, write them down.
Have you done that?
Warning signs to think about
So, I think each of these could be a sign of a problem. It might not be, because in moderation these are all fine, but if they are too ingrained it could be an issue. Here’s an explanation of each one….
1. “Realist” = negative?
People who are negative often describe themselves as ‘realists’, but nobody liked a negative person. Teams don’t like to be told that their exciting plan won’t work (even though it’s often good for them to hear that!) and neither do bosses. It can be career-limiting and life-limiting if you are ALWAYS negative, so if you ticked number 1, just have a good think about whether you are sometimes a bit too negative. Can you at least not say it, and work on not even thinking it as much as you do at the moment?
2. “Cautious” = worrier?
If you admit to being cautious then that’s fine at the right time, but if you always take a cautious view that will hold you back because success requires a degree of risk taking. How else can you get ahead of the pack? So—do you worry too much, and can you get your fears under control a bit more? Force yourself to think about the positive side of the possibilities. Plan for what might go wrong, so you are ready if necessary. And don’t worry about things that are outside of your control, that’s just a waste of energy!
3. “Independent” = resistant to advice?
Again, independent thinking is great, but if you list it as a top trait then there is a risk that you’re not a good listener, or not a good team player because you always want to go your own way, have your own way, and you won’t change your plans even if everyone else is against you. Listening to others is a success quality which is worth cultivating. Have you crossed the line from independent to resistant to advice or help or learning? Just a thought!
4. “Chatty” = talk too much?
Do you talk too much? Honestly now. Ideally you’d have your share and no more, so in a group of 4 you’d only talk for 25% of the time. Do you take more than that? And after an evening out do you come home with your OWN voice echoing in your ears, or the voices of everyone else? “But”, I hear you say, “What’s wrong with talking more than other people?” The answer is that when you’re talking you’re not listing, not learning, and most importantly, not being liked. We like people who make us feel important, by listening to us rather than talking about themselves. And being liked is pretty key in life. It’s a thought isn’t it?
5. “Assertive” = aggressive
Now of course there’s a big difference between assertive and aggressive—the first is brilliant and the second is terrible. The first is vital for success in life, while the second is guaranteed failure. But I have noticed that aggressive people often say “I’m just assertive and some people can’t handle that.” So the big question is ARE you assertive or are you aggressive? How can you tell the difference? Well I think you know, really. But if not, then just ask yourself: do you give full consideration to the fact that other people have different views, and they might be right? To the fact that they have rights too—the right to be heard, to feel what they feel, to say what they want to say, to be wrong, to make mistakes occasionally, to be weak or nervous, etc, and it’s not their fault, they are doing their best. For example, if you sometimes say “I don’t suffer fools” then you’re aggressive. If you get a bit irritated and give them “full and frank feedback”, that could also be aggressive. If you prejudge them and therefore don’t bother to hear them out, that’s aggressive too. Sorry but there it is!
…..And nobody’s going to tell you this because aggressive people are too scary to tell!
6. “Unlucky” = games player?
Finally, if you describe yourself as unlucky then you might be, but surely luck would tend to even out, so maybe you’re focussing more on the bad things, or even attracting bad events by expecting them to happen—which can be because you influence the behaviour of other people to make it happen. Why would someone do this? Partly because you can get into a loop of unlucky—expect it to happen again, and it does happen again. But also, by playing the victim, people can get help or sympathy form others, avoid work (“I’ll only screw it up”) and have an excuse if they fail “(I did my best”). But taking a victim position doesn’t actually lead to success in life, it just leads to people avoiding working with you, and to people finding you annoying. So—are you playing games with yourself and others when you say you’re unlucky? A harsh thought, but then, if it’s true and you realise it is, and you change, then wow, that’s a big step forward!
So there we are, six failure habits which can be changed, in order to live a more successful life. I hope you found it useful. Forward it to friend if you think it’s interesting, or if you think they need to hear this message!