Are These Bad Habits Holding You Back From Career Success?

It goes without saying that everyone has bad habits that they would love to break one day. But whether it’s smoking, being a couch potato, or spending too much time playing video games, these bad habits can be incredibly tough to stop.

The trouble is, some of these behaviors could be preventing you from achieving your goals, and realizing your full potential. And unless you break them, your career could end up being a disappointment. Let’s take a look at some of the common bad habits that could be forming a significant roadblock on your path to a successful career.


Are you always putting things off until tomorrow? Or are you always waiting for the right moment to turn up? If so, you will never achieve anything, and you need to start taking action right now. This is a particularly bad habit to break as there are lots of potential underlying causes for procrastinating behavior, which you need to fix before you can start being more direct and in control.

It could be because you are fearful of failing, or even because you feel you aren’t in control of your life. Maybe you are suffering from a form of depression that is stopping you from breaking the cycle of your behavior. If you can try and fix these issues and find out why you procrastinate, you should be in a much better position to become more proactive than you are currently.

2. Perfectionism

Perfectionists, unlike procrastinators, actually get down to the business of working hard. Where they slip up, however, is that they are frightened to finish and hand over their work because it isn’t perfect. The trouble is, perfection does not exist – it’s an ideal, not a reality. Whatever you do in life, whether it’s painting a picture or writing a blog post, there will be some people who like it and others that don’t. And if you strive for perfection every time you do something you are fighting a losing battle.

Try and force yourself to work on your next project and take the decision to unleash it onto the world. If you realize you have made a mistake, that’s fine – you will learn something for the next time. But without putting yourself out there, you will never know if you are a failure or, more importantly, a success.

3. Lack of effort

Be honest – are you really putting everything into what you do? Are you willing to go above and beyond the call of duty? If not, then the chances are that you will remain unnoticed in your career, and you will never get to step outside of your comfort zone. This is essential if you want to learn, adapt, and become more successful. So, starting from now, why not do something different? Put yourself forward for a new task at work. Reach out to a potential client. If you want real success, you can’t afford to rest on your laurels one little bit.

4. Unwillingness to invest in education

Learning new skills can open up new avenues for everything in life. But, of course, an education tends to cost either a) time, b) money, or c) a combination of both..And many people use the excuse of not being able to afford to invest in a course or educational activity that could be life changing. This is a big mistake.

Try and put aside some time every day to learn something new. Cut back on your lifestyle extravagances and put the money towards paying for a course. You can even borrow money if you have to – learning new skills often leads to higher earning power, and you should see a loan as a kind of investment. That said, make sure you are careful to borrow money within your means.

The Personal Money Store recommend paying back short-term loans as quickly as possible to ensure you don’t get hit by hefty interest fees. Ultimately, though, whether you have to borrow money from a bank, your parents, or dip into your savings account, paying for an education will dramatically increase your chances of leading a more financially stable lifestyle and your potential earnings.

5. Arrogance

Everyone you meet in life can tell you something you don’t know. And if you are the kind of person that thinks they are better than others below your pay grade, you are missing out on a lot of valuable information, experience, and advice.

Never assume that you are better than anyone else, or that you don’t need input or other people’s thoughts and advice. Arrogance and stubbornness are not attractive qualities in the business world, and if you want to achieve the success, you should be able to talk to people at all levels – not just those in positions of power that you are trying to impress.

6. Worrying

That said, it’s also easy to go the other way from arrogance completely and end up worrying about what everyone thinks. The trouble is that once worrying gets a grip on you, it’s easy to fall into the trap of trying to please everyone all of the time. Don’t forget, worry uses up a considerable amount of brainpower. You could be using it for something far more important, like getting the job done to the highest standard or coming up with creative solutions to problems.

Try to avoid comparing yourself to others, too. Worrying that you aren’t doing as well as your peers is a pointless exercise, and will only end up holding you back. Everyone is different, and everyone has their own time to shine. Yours will come if you focus on the important things in life, rather than concerning yourself with making comparisons.

7. Taking things too seriously

Moving on from the previous point, worrying can also lead to you taking your life and career too seriously. It’s important to be able to take a step back and try and do fun things every now and again – without a little enjoyment of life, you will always feel unfulfilled regardless of how ‘successful’ your resume looks.

Ultimately, we all have to work to live, rather than live to work, and if you feel like you are doing the latter, you will never be happy. Achieving a healthy work-life balance can be tricky, but of all the goals you aim for it is one of the most important. You will find that having that happy balance will help you be more motivated in your career, and help you achieve greater things.

8. Not being accountable for yourself

You are in charge of your own life – it’s that simple. And while we all make bad choices or poor decisions from time to time, if you don’t accept responsibility and learn from them the future won’t hold much success. Accountability is vital if you want to move on in your career, and learning from your mistakes is an important part of the process.

Don’t forget, every successful businessman or woman is likely to have a string of failures, mistakes, and wrong moves behind them. But they also put their hands up when they make a mistake, accept the responsibility, and adapt their behaviors to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

OK, so there you have it – some of the things you might need to explore if you want to become a little more successful in your career. Do you suffer from any of these challenges, or are there any other issues that you think might be holding you back? Why not share your thoughts in the comments section below?

Love, M.