Success in both life and business revolves around your ability to effectively communicate, inspire, and work with other people. But those are no easy tasks, and it can be difficult to know where to start in attempting to improve yourself in those areas. Start unlocking your true potential by fixing these five tiny mistakes that everyone is guilty of making.

1. You don't write good emails.

Everyone appreciates an email that is to the point and doesn't waste time. But, all too often people think that that gives them an excuse to use improper punctuation and short, choppy sentences. This leads to confusion and you run the risk of sounding disrespectful, curt and unprofessional. There's a way to write efficiently and still be polite, clear and eloquent.

When writing emails you should always have a polite greeting that uses the name of the person you're writing to, organize your points by importance, and use proper punctuation and sentence structure.

Just by following those three little rules in your correspondences, you'll get more positive responses and begin building better relationships with your co-workers.

2. You don't speak well in public.

Speaking in front of your peers can be frightening and cause you or use phrases that make you sound less confident. The best way to combat your nerves is to practice your remarks and internalize your presentations as much as possible.

If you still find yourself succumbing to your nerves during a presentation, just remember that by speaking slowly and pausing to collect yourself, you'll seem in control of your remarks and more confident.

3. You're not energetic enough.

Your superiors and customers want you to be excited and energetic about working with them. If you become apathetic or low-energy in your career, people will take notice. Practice smiling, using hand gestures, and bringing more energy and excitement into your meetings.

4. You're not agreeable enough.

In business and in life you need to know when to choose your battles. Not every decision or meeting needs a dissenting view. Sometimes, nodding politely, smiling and not making waves is the best thing to do for your relationships and your career.

This doesn't mean that you have to be your company's doormat or not speak your mind. This is simply a word of caution about being perceived as prone to disagreements. If your reputation in the office is that you tend to unnecessarily disagree, then when your opinions are valid and needed during a discussion, you won't be taken seriously.

Make sure that you're building up relationship capital with your peers and customers by being agreeable enough of the time so that when you do have a disagreement, your views will be seen as balanced and reasonable.

5. You're too cynical.

People like being around people who make them feel good. If you're typically the one in the room that points out why everyone should be less excited or happy about something, stop doing that. It should be your goal to make sure that your peers, superiors, and customers want to be around you and seek out your opinions. If you're too negative or too cynical, they'll seek council elsewhere and you're missing out on important opportunities to show your value.

Perception is a powerful thing and it influences people's decisions about promotions, raises and contract renewals. If you're perceived as being difficult, unlikable or unprofessional, then you're unnecessarily throwing obstacles on your own career path. Practice projecting ease, eloquence, confidence and professionalism at all times and watch your career and business improve in ways you never thought possible. Make your success as easy as possible and stop getting in your own way.

Published on: May 18, 2016
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.