Everything does happen in the mind and often our actions are influenced by our thoughts. Each of our habits are conceived, nurtured and rooted deep inside our own head more than anywhere else. So, if you are looking at changing these destructive habits which are pulling you down then it’s about time to first identify them.
Only when you identify them you will be in a better position to correct them and eventually let go of them. Otherwise these very habits will not allow you to move to the next level in your respective profession.
Here are the 7 Destructive habits which I have come across most in common amongst High performing executives.
You Are Your Biggest Critic
What you say to yourself over a period, you begin to believe it and also live it. There is still not much clarity as to from where these thoughts do get conceived and pulls down some extremely talented people. However, one thing is for sure if you feed on these thoughts it will be the beginning of your downfall.
If you are looking at living to your potential, then it is imperative that you begin to develop a mindset which is free of self-limiting thoughts. One of the most effective strategies I personally use with so many of my clients is to replace any of these self-inflicting thoughts with a positive, empowering one. Some of these thoughts which do come to my mind would be
- I am not as good as others Replace this to Others may be good but with persistence and hard work, I will get there.
- My personal life is in a mess. Replace this to Yes, my personal life is not as good as it’s supposed to be. I need to focus on it and ensure that it becomes better than what it is now.
- My education and experience is not best suited for the industry. Replace this to with hard work and effort, I will get to the position I do want.
Once you begin to replace your own thoughts and voice, the next step is to follow up with actions. Walk & talk like someone who is positive and ready to conquer the world. When you think and behave like this, believe me there will be nothing which can stop you from moving into the direction you are aspiring for.
You can go through one of my previous blogs for more insights about the same.
Living In The Past
How many people have you come across in your everyday life who is ruminating the mistakes and regrets of the past? Well, they might not be doing it at the conscious level. However, I will guarantee you that they will be replaying these incidents or feelings at their subconscious level.
Remember that the more time you spend in the past, that is where you will be going forward. I tell these words again and again and do not shy away from telling again here “Your energy does go where your focus is”. So, if you want to expand all your energy in ruminating about the past then with all respect do it for one full hour and let go of it once for all.
When I do realize that the clients I am working with are going through this loop, I make them do this one technique which has worked wonderfully. I tell them to focus on the incident and experience the feelings and write about the incident physically on a paper and then tear it and flush it down the toilet.
What does happen here is that when you physically put your thoughts onto a paper and see that it been destroyed you are conditioning your mind to let go of the incidents. When you do this a couple of times in a day, I will guarantee you that in 7 days’ time the impact will be drastically reduced.
Any dead weight of the past you tend to carry will only weigh you down and slow down your progress. If from this moment you would want to let go of the past, then do yourself a big favor. Stop everything you are doing right now & do the one technique I have shared with you and you will walk out of it with less dead weight.
This article does give an insight into why we should not dwell in the past.
Comparison Is The Thief Of Success
When you compare your life with others, you are turning a blind spot as to what are the good things happening in your own life. Yes, it’s good to be in touch with friends and like-minded people. But the moment you begin to see and believe that the grass is always greener on the other side, then you are entering a rabbit hole of no return.
I see this happening more in the social media nowadays and there is enough reason as to why people are more depressed and unhappy when they are fixated on others lives rather than their own life. There is no one way of working at this but I will share some of the action steps I do suggest to my own clients.
- Reduce time in social media, especially the ones where people blow their own trumpet more often
- Avoid feeding any negative information through media/news or even publications
- Focus on what is happening in your life and take steps to make it better.
- Write 2- 3 things which did happen well for the day.
This brilliant TEDx talk by Sameer Hinduja throws more light on why we compare and how we should go about it.
Everything Is Not In Our Control
We do live in an unpredictable world and there is absolutely no certainty as to what will happen in the next minute. So, working on a “Control Mode ON” all the time be it at work or at home will only stress you and drive you up wall. None of us can predict to the T as to how our life turns out in the future.
When you begin to control everything and everybody around you, then it’s the beginning of the end. Sooner than later you will ensure that you burn out or there will be no one around you. This is one of the reasons why I do suggest my clients to put themselves in an environment where you cannot control the situations.
You will only grow when you begin to adapt to sudden surges and changes in life. Nothing can put you in a better environment than being in the midst of nature. Spending some time in nature will give you a great opportunity to work on this one trait to the maximum.
Seeing The World Through Negative Lenses
Venting your frustration occasionally is fine. It does help you at times to move in the right direction. However, the problem does become real when you begin to see everything through a negative lens and begin to complain about anything and everything.
The more you begin to do this you will become bitter and sadly it does over a period increase your own bitterness and negativity towards the world. I do remember working with a C level executive who had over the years developed this habit.
Initially, he did agree with me that it did help him but when he realized that he was getting mad and going overboard at things which really did not matter, his Ex-boss suggested him to work with an Executive Coach. You can learn more about Executive Coaching here.
When he did reach out to me, he was convinced that the whole world was ganging up against him and he had grown tired of watching his back. He could hardly sleep and was less than 50% productive at his work. The moment his negative lenses were replaced with something positive, he did begin to see the world more positively and over a period, he began to work on his behaviors and patterns.
He is a lot more productive now and when I did speak to him a couple of weeks back, he was excited that he was very close in getting his dream job at his dream city. Now when you begin to see the world positively, you are more than certain to attract the same energy towards you which will give you more opportunities.
Giving Away Your Personal Power
When you work or live with somebody who always insists you to take their permission to do anything then you belong to the category of men/women who have given away their personal power. When you look at other people to decide for you, then believe me it begins to hurt sooner than later.
Once you begin to do things to please others, then it’s just about time when they start dictating your actions and decisions. You will stop living your own life and more and more begin to live other’s lives.
You begin to do things to please others and over a period of time lose your own identity. I have come across many executives who have gone through the similar route both in their personal and as well in their professional lives. The sooner you get a grip on this thought, the better it is for you and for the people who are dependent on you.
Working Through A Tunnel Vision
When your vision for the future is extremely narrow and very specific, then it is often going to make you unhappier in the present. Let me give you an example of an executive who reached out to me a couple of years back. Let’s give him a Pseudo name as Andrew.
Now Andrew was in his early thirties, graduated from a premier Ivy League Institute and was doing great professionally and personally. However, his one fixated goal was to move into a One crore salary bracket within his 35th Birthday. He was fixated on this one goal and believed that his life would change drastically once he fell in this salary bracket.
All his secondary goals were linked in him reaching his primary goal by his 35th birthday. Now, having a clear defined goal is great but linking your happiness and success quotient in reaching this kind of goal is nothing less than being absurd.
Andrew had set in his mind that he can and will be successful only when he reaches this goal and nothing less is going to be a success to him. As you would have guessed it he was feeling like a failure because he was not even close to reaching his goal by his 35th birthday.
Andrew was working through a tunnel vision and he was not able to see so many things going great. I had to spend considerable time in making him realize that working through this mindset is certain to make him unhappier and made him take conscious steps to see what’s happening great around him daily.
Once he began to work things around he has become more practical and has other areas of interest and goals but is also looking at moving into the 1 Crore salary bracket along with other equally important goals.
Andrew has learnt it the hard way that Living through a tunnel vision is not a smart way but will only make him unhappier.
This article does throw some light on tunnel vision and it’s impact.
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