Business, leadership, and life come with complexity and complications.

But sometimes we make some things more complicated than they need to be.

The more we can simplify our complications, the better we can focus and the more effective we can be.

Here are some of the ways you may be needlessly complicating your work and your life.

1. You run from tough situations.

Among the hardest decisions you will ever face is choosing between walking away and trying harder. Keep it simple by tackling what is hard with a tough stand, a tough mind, and a tender heart.

2. You compromise your principles and values.

Who you are, what you stand for, is reflected in what you do. Keep it simple by staying true to your convictions, because strong convictions precede great action.

3. You base decisions on bad or incomplete information.

We often fail to realize how important decisions are until we make the wrong ones. Bad decisions can complicate your life and determine your future. Keep it simple by being smart and staying informed.

4. You try to control things.

The worst thing you can do when things become complicated is to try and control everything. Keep it simple by knowing you may not be able to always control what goes on outside, but you can always control what goes on within yourself.

5. You overpromise and underdeliver.

Overpromising and underdelivering disappoint; underpromising and overdelivering gain admiration. It's that simple.

6. You hold on longer than you need to.

Knowing when to let go is never easy. Keep it simple by remembering that the simple act of letting go is far greater power than holding on.

7. You worry too much.

Worry is one of the most common and destructive daily habits that can complicate your life. Worry won't stop the bad stuff from happening, and it just keeps you from enjoying the good. Keep it simple by choosing joy over worry.

8. You compare yourself with others.

We all do it sometimes, but too often it means comparing our own messy reality with someone else's carefully presented image. Keep it simple and focus on improving yourself without involving anyone else.

9. You lose focus.

It's focus that allows us to concentrate on what we want to achieve. The power of focus allows us to simply do what we need to do for ourselves, for our team, for our organization. Keep it simple and allow everything else to fall away.

10. You wait for perfect.

Perfectionism stalls progress and sometimes paralyzes effort entirely. Keep it simple and maintain high standards while recognizing that we live in an imperfect world.

11. You react with negativity.

A negative outlook holds us captive and colors everything we say and do. Keep it simple and look for the positive.

12. You seek validation.

The approval of others is like a dangerous drug--gratifying at first but not worth the long-term damage. Keep it simple by carving your own path and taking the risks that will bring your goals within reach.

13. You think the world owes you something.

A sense of entitlement never brought anything good into the world. Keep it simple by remembering what you owe to those around you.

Complications beckon us at every turn. Part of our job as leaders is to model the restraint it takes to turn away from them and stay true--to ourselves, to our values, and to our purpose. With that kind of simplicity, you can't go wrong.

Published on: Feb 4, 2016