What is success? It's different from one person to the next, but one thing we all have in common is that we love to progress. Nobody is happy being stagnant. And, as distinguished psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi notes, we are happiest when we are doing work--but that work has to be challenging and invigorating.
However, few people actually achieve their dreams. But it's not for lack of ability. The truth is that bad habits keep many people from ever achieving the kind of success they dream about.
Three Bad Habits You Need to Break Now to Enjoy True Success:
1. Caring what others think and allowing this to cloud decision-making
This is a really hard one. We are community-oriented creatures and crave interaction with others. We need to feel connected to people in order to thrive, and it is in our nature to want acceptance from others.
However, making career decisions only to look good to others is a success killer. For true success, you need to tap into your own truth and follow your instinct. What is truly right for you may be different from what your parents, community, or society thinks is right. These outside forces will push you in a direction that is right for them, not you.
Break the habit: Let go of what others think. It's hard, but your truth is what will lead you in the right direction. Follow your instinct.
2. Liking your job but not loving it
A job you like can feel like a comfortable couch: There's no pressing reason to get up, and it keeps you in your comfort zone. The couch may be comfy, but soon you will become a couch potato. A comfortable job will slowly drain you of your creative energy and your zest for life. In a comfortable job, you aren't challenged to the hilt. Without these things, you can't achieve greatness.
Greatness comes from growth and going deep into your potential. You can't be all that you can if you are on cruise control. So stop being OK with liking your job. Ask yourself--do you really love this job?
Break the habit: Identify what truly sets you on fire at work, and dedicate yourself to making changes to your work situation to bring in more opportunities for growth and challenge. This could involve talking to your manager about increasing your responsibilities, moving into a different department, or even leaving your current job for a new one.
3. Not believing you can achieve your dreams
The idea of a "dream job" is confusing--we often think of it as a dream that we secretly don't believe could ever happen.
Guess what: if you don't believe in your ability to make dreams come true, it will 100 percent not happen. We all have negative mental chatter that fights to keep us down, and the only thing that can combat this is the daily, ritualistic belief that you can do whatever you have set your sights on. This belief in yourself is grit--a fantastic mix of courage, resolve, and strength of character. As Angela Duckworth said in her TED Talk, grit is the number one criteria for success.
Break the habit: Whenever you find yourself thinking that you'll never achieve your dream job, stop yourself. Instead, identify one thing you can do next to further yourself along the path to your ideal career.
The great news about these 3 habits is that they all are in your control. You can decide today to reverse these habits. If you can do that, great success will come to you faster than you think.