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5 Things That Hold You Back In Life And How To Get Rid Of Them

5 Things That Hold You Back In Life And How To Get Rid Of Them

Habits: they are the things that we are used to doing on a daily or a weekly basis — or, basically, whenever there is an action that repeats itself in regular intervals.

After living a quarter of your life or so, you may think that what you’ve developed in your childhood is what will define you for the rest of your life. Even if some of the habits and personal traits that we’ve developed are holding us back, our mind often chooses to ignore the damages and to resist any kind of change that might usurp the status quo.

“There was plenty of time for that, now I have to live with the cards that I’ve been dealt.” After all, the fast-paced life, having (or not having) children, and a regular job can have you wanting for a routine that will define you and help you cope with everything. However, if the routine is damaging to your mental health and your self-improvement, maybe it’s time for a change.

The routines that we develop and our immediate surroundings (people we see every day or on a regular basis) can sometimes even hold us back and prevent us from fulfilling our life goals. It’s imperative to recognize these poor influences and elevate yourself above them, and the first step towards it is to realize that you are stagnating. There are some definitive signs of stagnation and here I will try to present them to you and (hopefully) show you how to tackle them.

Negativity

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    Have you ever started planning something that is supposed to change your life/make you rich/perfect your skills, only to have the mental piece of paper with the plan crumpled and thrown to the back of your mind because “it would never work”? This happens a lot to people. The current global situation (which, actually, has never been better), your material situation, or a lack of will can all keep you pinned in place. Like the link above says, it seems that it’s never been a better time to be a pessimist.

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      News flash: it’s been worse every step of the way in human history. Black people in the US were segregated until 1964, yet that has not prevented the likes of Ray Charles, John H. Johnson, Jackie Robinson, Tommie Smith, and John Carlos in succeeding in their respective lives, just to name a few.

      Today, people have more freedom than they ever had. There is no reason to think that something will fail because “it would never work.” You cannot know until you’ve given it a well-planned try.

      However, negative thinking is not entirely your fault. It can also come through…

      Negative Environment

      This starts with your friends and family, but is not limited to them. Oftentimes, it will be your friends who will poke holes in your plans because they want to try and keep you in the status quo. They will not do this because they have ill intentions, instead, they will see it as doing you a favor and being honest with you. People like the status quo and do not like to see it changed. It will threaten their comfort zone (more on that later) and put them in situations they have not prepared for. Of course, none of this is on the forefront of their logic and most of the time they are not even aware of this fact.

      While this is no reason to abandon your friends completely and sever all ties to them, sometimes a change of environment can do a lot of good. Have a new hobby? Start hanging out with people who have the same one. Or, sit at a bar or café alone and try to find someone interesting to talk to. Talking to new people brings new perspectives on life. Sometimes, that is all you need to push ahead.

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      Inability to Make a Plan and Stick to It

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        When you do finally make a plan, the hardest part is actually sticking to it. For example, you want to improve your physical wellbeing by going to the gym. You’ve found a program that will get you fit and help you improve your conditioning. The plan involves daily exercises.

        You may do it for three or four days and then skip one — because, hey, you deserve a break. Or you just start procrastinating from day one, thinking how you’ll work twice as hard tomorrow, or something like that.

        This will effectively prevent you from making a change. The most important part of every plan is sticking to it. This may take a lot of willpower, but the change will be worth the mental effort. You can do it and you can do it today. Not twice as much tomorrow, not in a couple of days, but today, as it is the only day when you can fulfill what you planned, and it’s all up to you.

        This part may also include doing away with some things, like…

        Your Comfort Zone

        It is a popular saying nowadays that “you can’t make a joke in 2016 without offending anyone.” Everyone has their “safe space,” which works like a bubble of your beliefs and habits which comfort you, telling you that things are alright and nothing needs to change. Stepping out of it, sometimes even for a moment, brings about anxiety, panic attacks, or just a flat-out denial that there is anything good on the outside.

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        If you wish to change, there will be a lot of things that will lie outside this bubble. It will involve doing things that you have never done before or even heard of. And it’s always easier to default back to the comfort zone and feel content with what you have than to step outside of it and feel outright lost. But it has to be done. It is the only way to achieve personal progress.

        No one is good at everything at the first try. The whole history of mankind is a trial-and-error process and, without it, we would never get to where we are today. It’s not about “I can’t do this,” but about “I’ve failed now, but I know what not to do next time.”

        Also, living in your comfort zone almost always leads you to feeling like you know it all, and to…

        Not Identifying Your Weaknesses

        Habits and routines developed during childhood and teenage years slowly take over your life. We are all looking for stability. Once you are buried in your routines, you will not see that some of them are, actually, your weaknesses.

        Have you, perhaps, developed a habit that is hurting your health (mental or physical)? Do you have work to do, but you’ve decided to play videogames instead? You’d think that these habits simply help you to relax, take your mind off things, or just help you get the job done, but they will also prevent you from seeing how they are hurting you.

        Realizing that you have a weakness is the first step towards improving in that field. Smoking marijuana, for example, may relax you, but it will also keep you lazy and can even leave you unmotivated to do anything.

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        Alcohol may be good as a social lubricant (by far the best description of it that I’ve seen in my life), but drinking every day (even regular binge drinking) can create a habit. You think that everything is normal, but it actually heavily influences your decision-making and, in the end, can ruin your life. It is essential to see things for what they are, not only for the good that they bring you.

        Once you’ve realized that you have a weakness, you can choose to rectify it yourself, but this is not always possible. Some habits grip us hard and they (or we) do not wish to let go. That’s when it’s the time to talk to a professional and get some advice.

        Basically, habits can hold us back. The world is in constant change and we must change, too, in order to stay on top. There is no recipe for a perfect life, as much as you think you’ve found it. Challenge yourself at every step and step out of that comfort zone. After a while, you’ll feel that it was all worth it and that life has meaning again.

        Featured photo credit: https://pixabay.com/en/users/jill111-334088/ via pixabay.com

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        Vladimir Zivanovic

        CMO at MyCity-Web

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        Published on August 14, 2018

        17 Versatile Work Skills Employers Want to See in Potential Employees

        17 Versatile Work Skills Employers Want to See in Potential Employees

        When we look at a job advertisement, it can seem as though employers want an exhaustive list of experience and technical skills from their new hire.

        They list desirable qualities such as ‘initiative’, ‘team player’ and ‘strong work ethic’. Those words can mean a variety of things to different people and it can be quite hard for employers to illustrate fully the combination of technical and soft skills they want their potential employees to have.

        What they often want is a mix of versatile skills that make it easy for them (and you) to adapt to the changing needs and demands which occur in businesses today.

        After all, adaptability and innovation are what make businesses thrive.

        In today’s ever-changing environment, versatility is a mandatory attitude every working person needs to have. With the following seventeen work skills, you will not only make your employer extremely happy and confident that hiring you was their best decision, you will experience greater personal satisfaction and results.

        1. Know what you want but more so why you want it.

        Employers need to sense you have a solid idea as to why you are a fit for their role and their organization. They need to sense you have your own sense of purpose.

        However, it can be a double-edged sword to say you know exactly what you want to achieve and gain if you are successful in your application and interview.

        Some employers can perceive this as arrogance; your needs first, theirs second. What employers are really looking for is your internal sense of knowing that potential to join their organization is a winning combination for both of you.

        2. Diplomacy and conflict resolution skills save money, lost productivity and efficiency.

        Can you agree to disagree? Can you evaluate without passing judgment or at least be self-aware of your own biases? Can you put these aside to find solutions for the betterment of the team?

        Employers look for versatility in soft work skills that bring peace, lower stress and contribute to creating harmony. If you have ways with words to help heated arguments reduce to a simmer so there is space for compromises, negotiations and reasoning to take place your employers’ respect for you will jump at least tenfold.

        Peace-making skills are invaluable in changing workplace culture, particularly toxic ones. Any good employer knows a strong in-house negotiator will save them thousands of dollars in engaging an external mediator.

        3. Know how to set and reframe your own goals.

        Much research has documented that when employees have a clear purpose, mission and goals, they are more likely to be highly productive. They are less likely to flounder around in many directions nor be busy and not produce results that matter.

        Employers know well that employees who develop their own goals and can align these with those of the company are more self-driven, self-sufficient and take greater ownership for performing their role.

        And the benefit is not only to the employers. You personally will find greater personal satisfaction from achieving targets you have chosen to set yourself. Everyone wins!

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        4. Great time management and organization skills make you highly productive.

        Being able to exercise versatility with these work skills needs no explanation. Great time management does not mean multi-tasking. It actually uses more brain power and reduces effectiveness.

        Having great skills to prioritize your activities and demands, being able to assess how long things might take you to address are planning skills which greatly aid effective and better execution.

        Working in harmony with your colleagues’ timetables makes for better teamwork and workflow plus a less stressed environment.

        In today’s working world, any strategies for reducing stress-invoking opportunities are like finding golden nuggets. Your employer will want to hold on to those for dear life!

        5. Be a flexible team player by being able to change roles when required.

        Employers will be looking to see how flexible a team player, a potential employee could be.

        If you are a natural leader, being a better team player might, in fact, mean you stepping down from the helm and encouraging someone else to exercise and step into their leadership potential.

        It might be more beneficial to your employer to play the role of Indian as opposed to the Chief in certain situations. Stepping into different positions on your team not only helps you grow but also the rest of your team.

        Employers relish having a versatile work team which can adapt and is ready and willing to play different roles, even if uncomfortable when crises happen.

        6. Initiative, self-motivated and driven.

        When you have your own internal reasons for looking to undertake a role your motivation is driven by something sizzling inside of you.

        There is a personal drive and desire for the satisfaction you will experience when you meet a certain target that no other person will be able to give to you.

        When you can genuinely identify and demonstrate your own personal connection to the role’s objectives and the greater goals of your employer’s business, they will see you have an internal drive that they don’t need to whip and flog to keep the momentum going.

        Any employer will be grateful they just need to help navigate you and support you with the right tools and network and off you go.

        7. Be confident but not arrogant.

        Imagine if you were conducting initial telephone interviews with shortlisted candidates and one of the questions they asked was:

        “How long would it be until I’ll be eligible for a pay rise or promotion?”

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        There is a significant difference between being confident and arrogant. Employers are not looking for confidence purely in you being able to perform every aspect of your role at gold star level.

        It comes with being comfortable to say you don’t understand, you have made a mistake, you need support, further training, acknowledging what your limits are and being willing to risk stepping outside your comfort zone.

        When you’re a new kid on the block, respecting that you may need to learn to walk before you can run is essential. Unless it is your job to start making significant changes from day one, chances are you’re going to create enemies if you’re so confident your new methods and ideas should replace existing processes.

        8. A positive attitude.

        Demonstrating positivity as a work skill that will truly win over your new employer is about being genuine and actively applying strategies which look for the glass half full.

        Recruiters and employers are not dumb. They can easily see through short-term bright smiles, nervous giggling and general ‘you just need to think positive’ statements.

        In the face of grueling challenges, employers are going to look much more favorably on that candidate who can acknowledge the negative features of a situation but still encourage another solution-focused perspective to be adopted.

        Even better, if you can use language effectively to demonstrate how you have adopted a positive perspective and helped turned around a tough situation.

        It is one thing to have a positive attitude but your potential employer will see you as a superhero if you can show them how you have successfully applied it.

        9. You are resourceful but know the value of asking for help.

        There is nothing more unproductive (let alone frustrating) than that person who simply asks out loud a question to their team when they could simply have Googled the answer.

        Or worse still, they have a manual at their fingertips which has the answer to their question…they were simply too lazy to look for themselves.

        Be that person with Sherlock Holmes as their middle name who sleuths like a dog after a buried bone. You can research and turn over stones to discover and learn what you need but you also are able to ask for help and assistance when you need to.

        Any employer will relish that person who looks to discover the answers to their own questions first before reaching out and asking for help.

        10. Emotional intelligence creates a harmonious workflow.

        Despite the level of seniority of your role having a strong ability to handle emotions is fast becoming an essential work skill (and also life skill).

        It is even more desirable for any employer when your work skill set includes the ability to detect, adapt to and have skills in managing certain emotional patterns of others you need to work with, manage or report to.

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        So much time, energy and productivity is lost due to individuals’ lack of skills in this area. Any manager who can see you possess and can demonstrate such versatile work skills will think they’ve won the managerial lottery!

        11. Be able to adapt your learning style.

        There is no real evidence that using preferred learning styles actually increase the rate at which we learn nor the effectiveness of certain styles.

        However, being able to make changes to what we are given to learn and adapting it to suit our needs and preferences does help us settle into a new work transition sooner.

        We also need to recognize that even though we feel uncomfortable learning a new skill a certain way, it might actually be the way we need to receive it to cement the learning. It is also likely that our new employer only knows or has a budget to deliver training in a certain way.

        Either we can choose to adapt or resist but we know for sure the latter is not going to benefit to anyone.

        12. Flexible leadership style.

        Dan Goleman has conducted extensive research on different leadership styles, emphasizing that being versatile to switch between different styles (e.g. authoritative, coaching, affiliate, coercive, pace-setting) and knowing when to do is a fundamental skill for any leader.

        Being able to change your style to lead other people is as important as how you lead your own role responsibilities.

        13. Incredible communication skills that actively listen and give clear messages.

        Strong and effective communication across all mediums takes time, life experience and highly developed intuition.

        Knowing when to use email, a face to face conversation or telephone discussion is one thing. Another is to use words which emotionally connect and influence the receiver to accept, hear and heed your message.

        Great communicators know that it is their responsibility as much as the receiver for good communication to take place. However, they also know that the receiver may not feel this is the case.

        When you can listen equally, be sensitive to read between the lines to hear the message of ineffective communicators and can respond kindly with inspiring, equalizing and encouraging words, your influence and general likeability as a new addition to your employer’s team will develop in leaps and bounds.

        14. Accountability, responsible and dependable.

        We’ve all worked with people or managers at some point who lay external blame the instance something goes wrong.

        Contrary to popular belief, making mistakes and owning up to it is a highly desirable and versatile work skill that gains loyalty and understanding particularly when mistakes occur.

        Owning up to errors early allows both yourself and the business to recover quickly and shows you’re willing to take responsibility to continue forward on when you have stumbled.

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        When you illustrate you can do this, you build your employer’s trust and faith in you.

        15. Exercise proactive self-awareness.

        Self-reflection is a highly empowering work skill that contributes greatly to becoming better and performing better.

        When you actively look for the achievement, celebrate your success and look for pockets of where mistakes you have made can be corrected you improve faster, become more effective and make your work easier.

        When you start to look at your own errors, receiving feedback from your employer about the same errors can feel far less confronting and having corrective conversations is easier, transparent and far less stressful and emotional.

        You naturally increase your resilience and make life easier for yourself and your employer if you conduct regular self-check-ins and keep your employer updated.

        16. Apply a problem-solving growth mindset.

        When faced with a problem or challenge, your ability to activate a growth mindset is a highly versatile work skill employers love. Not only are you able to reduce the pain and anguish that a fixed mindset can sustain but your ability to remain open to possibilities to find different pathways or ideas is refreshing and helpful.

        If your thought patterns automatically ask: “How can we?” or you often think “there must be a way”, you will only contribute to creating growth opportunities for your organization and inspire others to think the same way.

        17. Be teachable.

        If you have ever tried to teach someone a new skill or technique and they keep reverting back to traditional ways that are familiar to them, you might have become frustrated to the point of giving up.

        Don’t be that person who’s stuck in tradition which no longer serves the business. Whether you are entering a new environment, learning new software or negotiation skills, know that all employers need people who are open to being taught.

        Innovation is a core concern of every business. Innovation means change and change means doing something different.

        Stay versatile and keep learning

        Technical skills can often be taught. Ray Croc illustrated how well a systemized franchise can dominate the planet. Over 36,000 McDonald’s establishments around the world are run by managers barely in their twenties!

        Soft work skills, however, take time to develop, learn and confidently apply.

        There is a key combination of work skills that would make any candidate employer’s dream. However, the essential factor underlying all of these work skills is versatility.

        Equip yourself with these 17 work skills, stay curious and keep learning; and you’ll always nail the job you want.

        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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