Your thoughts have more power than you give them credit for.
When you build positive thought habits, you’ll likely feel and perform better. Doing the opposite and building unhelpful, exaggerated negative thought habits will put a low ceiling on your potential.
You can be the most talented and experienced tool in the shed, but you will never achieve great things if you can’t take control of your thoughts.
Here are 6 negative habits you may have been doing that secretly sabotage your success:
1. Second-guessing yourself
Reflecting on past choices is healthy, but if you second-guess every single choice you make – you’re sabotaging your success. This is only a waste of brain power you could’ve used on something more productive and beneficial.
Stop second-guessing yourself! Practice the art of mindfulness so you can be fully present in the here-and-now.
2. Stop seeking audience approval
Consciously making efforts to seek approval from others will turn its ugly head on you. Trying to read how the hiring manager is perceiving your answers, for example, could cause you to stammer or ramble on. Or worse – thinking about the other person’s response may cause you to tune out from the conversation altogether.
Stop seeking the approval of others! Stop spending every moment of your life evaluating people’s responses to you and your performance. Instead, focus on doing your best and recognize that whatever they choose to think about you is beyond your control.
3. Catastrophizing the future
Negative predictions can quickly transform into self-fulfilling prophecies. If you step inside the boardroom about to present your pitch thinking, “I’m going to mess up,” – you’ll be distracted. That distraction may then eventually cause to buckle up and mess up.
Stop catastrophizing! Unless you’re drafting up productive plans to counter potential worst-case scenarios, don’t go down into the rabbit hole of “what if’s.”
4. Putting yourself down
It’s difficult to give an excellent performance while your headspace goes, “You’re stupid,” or “You’ve never done anything right.” Negative self-talk sabotages your success before you even realize your potential.
Stop putting yourself down! Talk to yourself like you would a trusted friend. If you wouldn’t say those things to someone else, then you shouldn’t allow your inner critic to use them on you too.
5. Believing self-doubt
Insecurity has fed many dreams to the grave. If you walk into a potential employer’s office thinking, “I’ll never get hired,” that self-doubt will show through and you’ll very much not likely land the job. This rejection will only fan flames to your self-doubt and create a negative cycle that’s hard to break.
Stop self-doubt! List down your talents, skills, and achievements. Come back to this list regularly and when the shadow of self-doubt creeps up on you, remind yourself of all the reasons you’re “good enough.”
6. Making excuses
Pointing fingers to other people or circumstances for your mess-ups or lack of achievement will only keep you stuck where you are and pull you back from moving forward.
Stop making excuses! Recognize your weaknesses and work on them. Celebrate the things that you can do well and find ways to always be improving.
This list has been adapted from this article by Inc.com.