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11 Things You Are Doing That Will Always Make You Fail

11 Things You Are Doing That Will Always Make You Fail

Success. What does that word mean to you? Does it mean a high-powered career, tons of money in your bank account, traveling the world, and a huge home? Unfortunately, that’s how many people in the world measure it. However, I prefer to define success as ‘happiness.’ But in order to be successful (in my case, happy), you need to examine your habits so you can uncover and remove the ones that might be sabotaging your journey toward success. Here are 11 things that will always make you fail:

1. You don’t value yourself.

Many people have a low sense of self-worth. They think they are ‘less than’ other people. Well, that is hogwash! Everyone is valuable and perfect in their own way. We all have unique gifts to offer the world. If you don’t value yourself and your talents, then you won’t be able to offer them to the world. Love yourself. You’re awesome. Don’t ever forget it.

2. You don’t have self-discipline.

Hey, it’s great if you have a dream. Fantastic. Congratulations! But wait. You’re watching reality TV? You’re on social media for most the day? You’re texting and surfing the internet constantly? Well, that won’t make your dream a reality. You need to take consistent action in the same direction in order to achieve your goals. And that requires self-discipline. If human beings want something badly enough, they will find a way. If they don’t, then they will find excuses.

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3. You chase perfection.

There is no such thing as perfection. It’s a myth. It’s subjective. What’s ‘perfect’ to me is not perfect to you. And neither one of us is wrong. We’re both right. So stop chasing this idea of perfection. Instead, start chasing the idea of being happy. If you are chasing something unattainable like perfection, then in your mind, you will never be happy or successful.

4. You have negative self-talk.

This one is probably the worst one of all. Your outer world starts with your inner world. And your inner world is mainly your self-talk. If you hear yourself saying things like: “I can’t do that,” “That could never happen,” “I’ll never make that much money,” “I’m not smart enough,” “I’m too fat,” “I’m not a lucky person” – and the list goes on – then monitor your self-talk. Change the negative talk into positive talk.

5. You blame other people for your circumstances.

Personal responsibility seems to be a lost art these days. If you are the kind of person who is always blaming other people for your lack of success, then you need to stop doing that. Instead, look in the mirror. That person looking back at you is the only one who can make you succeed or fail. You have the power to change your life – even if it’s just your attitude. Granted, I know many, many people in the world live in dire circumstances. But if you point the finger at other people and blame them for your problems, then you are doing yourself no good. So take personal responsibility. Actually, it’s the only thing you can do. No one can change your life but you.

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6. You need the approval of other people.

Sure, we all want others to like us and approve of what we are doing. But as long as you aren’t killing anyone, committing another major crime, or hurting people, it’s really no one else’s business what you do with your life. Do what feels right to you. Listen to your own inner voice. Don’t let the opinions of other people drown out your intuition. Follow your gut. It’s never wrong.

7. You don’t take risks because you are afraid of making mistakes.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained. No guts, no glory. I am sure you’ve heard those statements before. But does the thought of taking a risk or making a mistake leave you so paralyzed that you end up doing nothing? Remember, if you haven’t tried, then you have already failed.

8. You stay in relationships that obviously aren’t healthy.

We teach other people how to treat us. And if you value yourself (see point 1), then you won’t tolerate bad behavior from other people. Sometimes people stay in toxic relationships because they are afraid of being alone – or for endless other reasons. But remember, you are who you surround yourself with. Birds of a feather flock together. If you’re not surrounding yourself with emotionally healthy people, then how can you be emotionally healthy yourself?

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9. You spend money foolishly.

One of the problems many people have is impulse buying. Or not saving money. Or not budgeting their money. I could list many, many more. But if you are blowing your money on things you don’t need (remember there is a difference between a need and a want), then you are throwing away your future. You’re burning your nest egg. Or your retirement. Or the money you could use to follow your dreams. Think about that the next time you want to buy something that you know you shouldn’t.

10. You waste time instead of educating yourself.

As I said in point 2 (self-discipline), if you are wasting your time doing things that you might think are fun but really contribute nothing positive to your life or your future, then you are setting yourself up to fail. Instead, read books. Figure out the best way to make a move towards a better future. Without this, you might as well kiss your dreams goodbye.

11. You want to follow your dreams, but you don’t make a plan.

If you want to go to Europe on vacation but you don’t buy an airline ticket or book a hotel, then you’re not going to get very far! Making your dreams come true is no different. That’s great that you have a passion for something, but if you don’t have step-by-step plan for how to get there, then don’t even bother starting. Because if you did start, you would probably just wander aimlessly and never get where you want to go.

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You can’t change what you don’t recognize. But here’s the good news: you can change what you do recognize. Success starts with self-awareness and action. So if you saw yourself in any of these eleven things, then make some changes today.

Cheers! To your success!

Featured photo credit: Pic Jumbo via picjumbo.com

More by this author

Carol Morgan

Dr. Carol Morgan is the owner of HerSideHisSide.com, a relationship and dating website that gives advice from both a male and female perspective. She's also a communication professor, dating & relationship coach, TV personality, speaker, and author.

How to Deal with Insecurity and Jealousy in Relationships What Is a Relationship Timeline and Should You Follow It? Dealing With Anxious Attachment: Advice from a Relationship Therapist Practical Advice for Overcoming Problems in INFP Relationships Learn the Different Types of Love (and Better Understand Your Partner)

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Last Updated on April 11, 2019

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in every phase of your life. This is especially true in the workplace.

I have personally worked with several leaders who were masters of communication. A few were wonderful speakers who could tell a great story and get everyone in the room engaged. Those of us in attendance would walk away feeling inspired and eager to help with what came next. Others were very skilled at sharing a clear direction and job expectations.

I knew exactly what was expected of me and how to achieve my goals. This was the foundation of an energized and vibrant role I was in. What I have found is strong communication skills are incredibly helpful and sometimes critical in how well we perform at work.

Here we will take a look at how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

How Communication Skills Help Your Success

Strong communication skills pave the way for success in many ways. Let’s look at a few of the big ones.

Create a Positive Experience

Here are two examples of how well developed communication skills helps create a positive experience:

When I first moved to the city I now live in, I began a job search. Prior to my first live interview, I was told an address to go to. Upon arriving at the address provided, I drove around and around attempting to find the location. After 15 minutes of circling and looking for the address, I finally grabbed a parking spot and set out on foot.

What I discovered was the address was actually down an alley and only had the number over the door. No sign for the actual company. The person that gave me those very unclear directions provided a bad experience for me.

Had they communicated the directions to get there in a clear manner, my experience would have been much better. Instead the entire experience started off poorly and colored the entire meeting.

As a recruiter, I frequently provide potential candidates with information about a job I’m speaking to them about. In order to do this, I also provide a picture of the overall company, the group they might be joining, and how their role fits in and impacts the entire company.

Time and time again I have been told by candidates that I have provided the clearest picture of a company and role they have ever heard. They have a positive experience when I clearly communicate to them. Even when the position does not work out for them, often times they will want to stay in touch with me due to the open communication and beneficial experience they had during the interviewing process.

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Strong communication skills will provide a positive experience in virtually any interaction you have with someone.

Help Leadership Skills

It’s certainly a skill all its own to be able to lead others.

Being a mentor and guiding others towards success is a major hallmark of great leaders. Another characteristic of effective leaders is the ability to communicate clearly.

As I referenced above, having a leader who can plainly articulate the company’s mission and direction goes a really long way towards being the Captain of the boat that others want to follow. It’s like saying “here’s our destination and this is how we are going to get there” in a way that everyone can get on board with.

Another critical component of everyone helping to sail the boat in the right direction is knowing what your portion is all about. How are you helping the boat move towards its destination in the manner than is consistent with the leaders’ vision?

If you have a boss or a manager that can show you what it takes for not only you to be successful, but also how your performance helps the company’s success then you’ve got a winner. A boss with superior communication skills.

Build Better Teams

Most of us work in teams of some sort or another. During the course of my career, I have led teams up to 80 and also been an individual contributor.

In my individual contributor roles, I have been part of a larger team. Even if you are in business for yourself, you have to interact with others in one manner or another.

If you have strong communication skills, it helps to build better teams. This is true whether you are in an IT department with 100 other fellow programmers or if you own your own business and have customers or vendors you communicate with.

When you showcase your robust ability to communicate well with others while interacting with them, you are building a better team.

Now let’s jump in to how to improve communication skills to help you pave the way for your workplace success.

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How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

There are many tips, tricks, and techniques to improve communication skills. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information, so let’s focus on the things that will provide the biggest return on your time investment.

Most of these tips will be fairly easy to become aware of but will take time and effort to implement. So let’s go!

1. Listen

Ever heard the saying you have two ears and one mouth for a reason? If you haven’t, then here’s the reason:

Being a good listener is half the equation to being a good communicator.

People who have the ability to really listen to someone can then actually answer questions in a meaningful way. If you don’t make the effort to actively listen, then you are really doing yourself and the other person a disservice in the communication department.

Know that person who is chomping at the bit to open his or her mouth the second you stop talking? Don’t be that person. They haven’t listened to at least 1/2 of what you’ve said. Therefore the words that spill out of their mouth are going to be about 1/2 relevant to what you just said.

Listen to someone completely and be comfortable with short periods of silence. Work on your listening skills first and foremost.

2. Know Your Audience

Knowing your audience is another critical component to having strong communication skills. The way you interact with your manager should be different than how you interact with your kids. This isn’t to say you need to be a different person with everyone you interact with. Far from it.

Here is a good way to think about it:

Imagine using your the same choice of words and body language you use with your spouse while interacting with your boss. That puts things in a graphic light!

You want to ensure you are using the type of communication most relevant to your audience.

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3. Minimize

I have lunch with a business associate about 3 times a year. We’ve been talking for several years now about putting a business deal together.

He is one of those people that simply overwhelms others with a lot of words. Sometimes when I ask him a question, I get buried beneath such an avalanche of words that I’m more confused than when I asked the question. Needless to say this is most likely a large portion of why we never put the deal together.

Don’t be like my lunch business associate. The goal of talking to or communicating with someone is to share actual information. The goal is not to confuse someone, it’s to provide clarity in many cases.

State what needs to be stated as succinctly as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some pleasant conversation about the weather too.

The point is to not create such an onslaught of words and information that the other person walks away more confused than when they started.

4. Over Communicate

So this probably sounds completely counter intuitive to what I just wrote about minimizing your communication. It seems like it might be but it’s not.

What I mean by over communicating is ensuring that the other person understands the important parts of what you are sharing with them. This can be done simply yet effectively. Here’s a good example:

Most companies have open enrollment for benefits for the employees in the fall. The company I work for has open enrollment from November 1 to 15. The benefits department will send out a communication to all employees around October 1st, letting them know open enrollment is right around the corner and any major changes that year. There’s also a phone number and email for people to contact them with any questions.

Two weeks later, we all get a follow up email with basically the same information. We get a 3rd communication the week before open enrollment and another one 1 day before it starts.

Finally we get 2 emails during enrollment reminding us when open enrollment ends.

There’s minimal information, it’s more of a reminder. This is effective over communication.

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5. Body Language

The final critical component to how to improve communication skills for workplace success is body language. This is something most of us have heard about before but, a reminder is probably a good idea.

When I am in a meeting with someone I am comfortable with, I tend to kind of slouch down in my chair and cross my arms. When I catch myself doing this, I sit up straight and uncross my arms. I remember that crossing arms can many times be interpreted as a sign of disagreement or conflict.

In general, the best rule of thumb is to work towards having open body language whenever possible at work. This means relaxing your posture, not crossing your arms, and looking people in the eye when speaking with them.

When you are speaking in front of others, stand up straight and speak in a clear voice. This will convey confidence in your words.

Conclusion

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in many facets of your life and most certainly in the workplace.

Good communication helps create better teams, positive experiences with those we interact with, and are critical for leadership.

There are numerous tactics and techniques to be used to improve communication skills. Here we’ve reviewed how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

Now go communicate your way to success.

More Resources About Effective Communication

Featured photo credit: HIVAN ARVIZU via unsplash.com

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