People tend to sabotage themselves in myriad ways, including self-doubt, the inability to accept mistakes, and consistent procrastination. Avoiding self-sabotaging habits is an essential part of growing into a healthy person, but it isn’t always easy to do, partly because these habits can be difficult for people to spot in themselves.
However, identifying negative habits should be a priority for young businesspeople who are just starting out, as doing so can save them a lot of time and grief in their professional and personal development.
We asked members of the Young Entrepreneur Council about the self-sabotaging habits they find particularly common in leaders and how to handle them. Here is what they said:
1. Impostor Syndrome
“I don’t actually deserve any of my success; I’m a fraud.” This is a common thought among many successful leaders, and it can have a disastrous effect on the way they function.
To prevent imposter syndrome from impairing your ability to lead, always remember the difficulties you’ve overcome to get where you are today. If you made it this far, you aren’t an impostor. You just need some perspective.
– Bryce Welker, The Big 4 Accounting Firms
Leaders in particular often fall into the self-sabotaging habit of overworking. We think we need to constantly work because we’re entrepreneurs, forgetting that rest and recovery are equally important. This can be avoided by scheduling regular breaks into your workday.
– Frederik Bussler, bitgrit Inc.
3. Not Admitting When You’re Wrong
It seems like a big problem right now is everyone taking a stance on things and not being willing to admit they are not always right. Instead of just simply admitting they are wrong, they double down on their original opinion. Nobody is perfect, and it’s okay to be wrong sometimes. True self-growth comes from the lessons learned and how you move forward in those circumstances.
– Scott Kacmarski, Reps Direct
It’s so easy to allow yourself to dawdle until the last minute, telling yourself you still have more time. Unfortunately, waiting until a project or job has to be completed leaves little to no time to fix mistakes and do a thorough job. You can break the habit of procrastination simply by setting deadlines and mini-deadlines for yourself while working toward your objective.
– Blair Thomas, eMerchantBroker
5. Externalizing Blame
Externalizing blame can be a big impediment to personal growth. I often hear people blaming others when they are unsuccessful in a job, when they let their health go, or when they drop the ball on their personal passions. Owning it doesn’t mean you alone are responsible, but it is freeing and productive because it allows you to accept your part in the situation and grow.