Accelerate Your Professional Success
Are you the only one standing in the way of your professional success? When you weigh up your daily routines, is there anything that’s holding you back? Are you focused on constantly learning and improving your skills? If you want to stand out from the crowd and be successful, then you need to be able to identify your strengths and weaknesses. Let’s take a look at some common reasons why you might not be successful yet.
1. Focusing On Failures
Rather than reflecting on your achievements, do you focus on past failures? Are you overlooking positive feedback and dwelling on negative criticism? Unfortunately, research proves that this is a natural human habit. Remembering our failures can remind us of how far we’ve come, but focusing on them too much can spiral you into a negative mindset.
A study conducted by Teresa M. Amabile, a Professor of Business at Harvard, found that the negative effect of a setback at work has twice the impact on a person’s happiness than the positive effect. If we’re aware of this then we can work harder at honing our positivity. Instead of allowing yourself to dwell on negative criticism, think about your past successes and allow them to influence your future goals.
2. Complaining Becomes A Habit
Can you think of one person in your life who loves to complain? Maybe it’s you! Ask yourself if the two minutes of instantly feeling better after you complain is worth damaging your brain? Not only does complaining deflate positivity, it actually stifles your intelligence. Let’s be honest, nobody likes being around someone who’s always complaining.
Research indicates that complaining actually shrinks your brain and undermines your productivity. Several Stanford University studies have measured the negative impact of complaining on the hippocampus; the part of the brain responsible for intelligent, critical thinking. Complaining actually strips the brain of essential neurons, causing it to shrink.
What can you do to combat this habit? If you want to grow professionally, concentrate on being grateful! Every time you feel the need to complain, write down something that you’re grateful for. Read back over these reasons and it will train your brain to be more positive. In 2011, Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg wrote a thank you note every day; he cites gratitude as one of the main reasons for his career success.
3. Disorganisation Rules
If you want to progress professionally then you need to be organised and manage your work in a competent way. Let’s take your job responsibilities for example; how can you be expected to stay on top of everything if you don’t keep track of what you’re up to on a daily and weekly basis?
If your track record of being organised isn’t great, then simply start by making two lists; one at the beginning of the week and the other at the beginning of every day. Your weekly list is for any big tasks to be completed that week (in an ideal world!), and your daily list is anything you want to get done that day.
This to-do list technique is a great strategy for staying on top of your work; if you lose track of your main tasks all you have to do is check your list. One of the advantages of the daily list is that you can tick off each one as it’s completed; this will give you a great sense of satisfaction! If you ever need to account for your time, you have it all there in front of you.
4. Comparing Yourself To Others
Do you constantly compare yourself to others? Social media provides us with easy access and endless opportunities to compare ourselves to projected, perfected and unreal versions of people. Next time you find yourself scrolling through Facebook and thinking “I wish I was that talented or that good-looking”, stop yourself and write down something you’re grateful for.
An exercise like this distracts your brain and shifts the focus away from thinking about others back to you. But why bother doing this? Is comparing yourself to others really damaging? Comparing yourself to others can decrease your self-esteem, your sense of self and it can ultimately lead to depression. It can also undermine your ability to complete tasks and it causes a loss of motivation.
If you spend your time in work comparing yourself to your colleagues it will impact on your ability to stay on top of your responsibilities. Don’t lose your focus; put your head down and get your work done. Belief in yourself and your ability to succeed – that’s half the battle!
5. Wasting Your Spare Time
Your spare time is for relaxing, but why not dedicate some of this time for self-improvement? If you’re leading a busy lifestyle, why not cut down on your Netflix time and curl up with a book once a week instead? Reading can provide you with access to a world of new knowledge and learning possibilities.
If you want to accelerate your career progress, reading can help you do this by improving your skills. People who read are mentally sharper than those who don’t, they have higher levels of emotional intelligence and superior language skills.
Time and time again research has shown that reading improves your mind, strengthens your memory and expands your brain’s capacity to learn new skills. Reading and learning are fast and effective ways to invest in yourself.
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