5 Workplace Habits That Are Sabotaging Your Career Success

It’s surprisingly easy to slip into sabotaging habits that diminish your chances of climbing the rungs of the career ladder and of achieving the success that you dream of. Unfortunately, the polished outer public façade you’ve created to improve professional opportunities and status cannot mask the bad workplace habits you have developed over time.

Poor communication and time management, procrastination, complaining and blaming, inattentiveness, and tardiness are common bad habits that can be transformed into better habits with actionable plans.

Before you can become the successful inspirational leader, entrepreneur, mentor, or role model you want to be, you must cultivate the habits that support your personal and professional growth.

Giving Up Before You’ve Got Started

When you’re trying to break a self-sabotaging habit that keeps scuppering your chances of getting a new job or promotion, any minor setback is likely to feel like a major disappointment.

Each disappointment validates the limiting self-belief that you’ve not good enough and can trigger a defeated ‘what-the-hell attitude.’ Once you’re provoked into a bad mood, you’re more likely to give up on your goals and backslide into self-sabotaging habits.

If you feel that you’ve messed up, don’t let your shortcomings get the better of you:

Treat yourself with compassion, and commit to keeping on trying. For example, when you experience a setback at work, forgive yourself and accept the situation. How you respond to what happens in your life creates the outcome that you experience.

Look back and affirm how far you’ve come. Create a list of your career achievements from finishing your education to the present day. Write in things that you had to deal with and overcome along the way, like divorce, relocation, illness, personal loss, debt, etc.

Pat yourself on the back for the excellent progress you’ve made to date.

Pleasing Too Many People

If you have the disease to please, you seek the approval of others and put their needs before your own. You may offer to take on more responsibility, put in extra hours, and be on call for every emergency. When you see your colleagues getting promoted ahead of you, you become resentful and manipulative because you know that they haven’t put in as much effort as you.

Saying ‘yes’ to everyone is the quickest way to feel overcommitted. Because you have too much to do, you start making mistakes, falling behind on deadlines, and missing opportunities. By trying to please everyone, you fail at pleasing the only person that really matters.

Kick the habit by putting yourself first. You don’t need anyone’s approval to be the real you.

Stand up for yourself and take back the power you have given away. Establish healthy boundaries with others, and know your values so that you can speak your truth.

Map out your path to success, and focus on taking steps toward your goals.

Yes, some people may not like the fact that you’ve changed your ways, but others will admire you for it.

Over-Sharing Personal Stuff With Others

While it’s important to have good relationships with colleagues and clients in the workplace, not setting healthy boundaries can be detrimental to your career success. Although having a joke and laugh with your co-workers is good for morale, over-sharing personal information should be avoided.

There’s a fine line between making it personal or keeping it professional. Having a laidback and informal attitude at work can seriously backfire when you want to be trusted or taken seriously. On the other hand, the personal details that you freely share with other people can hold you back in your career.

In the workplace, your colleagues are the competition – and not friends that you work with. Unless you have made them sign Non-Disclosure Agreements, there is nothing to stop them from using details of your personal life for their own career advancement.

Keep communication open and friendly without crossing the line.

Charm co-workers with your dazzling personality and wit.

Stick to general conversation topics, like business, current affairs, and what’s on TV.

Doing It All By Yourself

If you’re proud of your multi-tasking capabilities, doing everything yourself is likely to be second nature to you. Performing to the best of your ability at work is the daily goal you set and easily achieve.

If you’re naturally brilliant at absolutely everything, it can be challenging to relinquish even the smallest responsibility, as most people don’t have standards that are on a par with yours. Failing to recognize that some of your colleagues possess the expertise you don’t have can, unfortunately, result in you being overlooked for career opportunities within your organization. This is because being afraid to delegate clearly demonstrates that you’re not a team player.

Get colleagues involved by delegating tasks that you don’t want to do or match their skill sets.

Ask others for their creative contribution and input in brainstorming sessions and project management.

If you’re involved in a collaborative project, share the workload and responsibilities equally.

Juggling a lighter workload, and thinking about fewer things, makes your brain work more efficiently than when you’re busy doing it all by yourself. And, of course, improved productivity and performance enhance your chances of receiving the recognition and praise that you’ve earned.

Giving In To Imposter Syndrome

If you’re someone who has observed the habits of successful people and has achieved your goal without too much effort, it’s common to suffer from imposter syndrome.

You may think that you’re unqualified for the position that you have in an organization. Or maybe you worry that your boss will one day call you into their office to expose you as a fraud and to tell you that they made a big mistake in hiring you.

If you have perfection anxiety and unrelenting fear that you don’t belong where you are, it can be overwhelming. This fear has the power to crush positive self-belief and any desire that you have to achieve even greater things. As someone who has the self-sabotaging habit of disempowering yourself, by believing that your skills are inadequate to get the job done, you’re constantly running the risk of attracting the experience of what you think you believe.

Imposter syndrome interferes with your emotional wellbeing and ability to perform. Giving in to it can cause you to diminish the importance of your professional accomplishments and holds you back from striving for your goals. If you faked it till you made it, it could be difficult to accept that your optimism, confidence, and competence are not genuine.

Take credit for your big and small successes.

Turn every achievement into a positive affirmation that you can focus on. For example: if your determination and resilience recently paid off and you achieved a career goal, create a mantra that supports this – “My determination and resilience always pay off to my benefit.”

Remind yourself that other people do possess the ability to see your worth. You wouldn’t be in the position you are in today if you couldn’t do the job.