Toxic traits that sabotage success
Mistaking struggle for failure
The only universal characteristic that successful people share is having a mindset that struggle equals development. Superficial traits like charm and charisma are nothing compared to believing that if you are struggling with something you are getting better. In today’s society where everyone thinks it should be easy, what will make you stand out is persisting in the face of setback.
Becoming your thoughts
It’s estimated that we have 60,000 thoughts each day. Some are constructive, others destructive, some creative or simply ridiculous. Where many of us go wrong is letting those thoughts become our identity. We have thoughts that we are jealous or we are not interesting or that we are not worthy of love, then suddenly we think we are an unlovable, boring and jealous person. The most successful people are able to have a thought and recognise that it is simply a thought and not get overtaken by it. They can have a thought that they are not worthy of love and belonging and rather than fall into pit of sadness, they:
- recognise the thought
- acknowledge that they had it
- be curious about why they had that thought
- and simply let the thought go.
Thinking it’s not me, it’s you
When people in the workplace get feedback about their behaviour from the people they work with they are often shocked at the feedback. Their response is always “I never knew I acted like that”. We chronically lack self awareness about our own behaviour. Why? Because we tend to judge and look at other peoples behaviour rather than our own. Successful people understand their own behaviour and the impact it has on those around them. Unsuccessful people simply blame and persecute the people around them.
Confusing intention and behaviour
I have met very few leaders who walk into work in the morning and think “I am going to disengage my team, make people feel terrible and drive down their wellbeing.” However the research tells us that most employees think that their leader behaves this way. While their leaders intention is good, their behaviour is off. The challenge here is that we judge our behaviour on our intention while other people judge our behaviour on our actions. You can have great intention and still be dysfunctional at the same time. The most common new years resolution set is ‘lose weight’, yet over 90% of people who set this resolution will fail. Why? because their intention is strong but their behaviour is not aligned to that intention. Successful people have alignment between intention and behaviour.
Not thinking you can grow
Until around 10 years ago scientists thought the brain was set and could not change. This meant that your intelligence, talents and abilities were all fixed and you could not change them. However we now know that the brain is incredibly plastic and we can change it dramatically. With effort and consistent behaviour we can dramatically change our intelligence, talents and ability. Even our personality can be altered. If you are someone that has a quick temper when stressed, by practicing self control and staying calm, after a period of time the brain will start altering its structure so that you are naturally more calm and composed under pressure. Successful people believe that with effort they can significantly change.