If you haven’t progressed as far as you’d hoped in your career, know that you are not alone. Some 85% of all Americans detest their jobs, says Gallup. Many of these people place the blame directly on their boss, and maybe they are indeed partially responsible. But the quite a bit of the problem is probably staring right back at you in your mirror. Lots of us are making terrible career that are holding us back, claims Skip Prichard, who is the author of The Book of Mistakes: 9 Secrets for Creating a Successful Future.
Why Some Succeed and Some Fail
“I’ve always wondered why some people succeed and some fail,” says Prichard, who’s actually been a CEO for several corporations. “Some of the biggest regrets are not being more true to yourself.”
After evaluating and studying the psychology of leadership as well as conducting interviews on over 1,000 individuals for his blog, Prichard discovered that the big difference between failure and success is the simple avoidance of common pitfalls. Here are five pitfalls that is probably holding you back today.
1) Working on Someone Else’s Dream
Perhaps you chose to study engineering based on advice from your parents, or maybe went into marketing as your manager thought you would be very good at it – in spite of having an interest in finance. “You had a dream but you killed it,” noted Prichard. “When you go through with someone else’s dream, you won’t have the same amount of drive or energy to move forward in your career.”
Having that feeling of being drained is a sure signal that you are not doing what is right for you right now. “When you are doing your passion, you feel energized every day,” he points out. “You might also be doing the right thing in the wrong environment. Perhaps the organization or leadership style isn’t for you. Know yourself, and take the risk to go follow your dream career or company.”
2) Allowing Others to Define your Value
Some say that it actually costs around 11 cents to create a nickel, but we will all have to accept that it is only worth five cents because we call it a nickel, commented Prichard. “How often do you let someone else define your value with statements like ‘You’re not good at sports.’ Or ‘Who do you think you are?’” he often asks.
Successful folks will not accept false labels that have been attached to them. “Be confident, master your strengths, and do not be defined by what others say about you,” urges Prichard. “Why would you let someone else define your value?”
3) Accepting Excuses
This one is huge as it pertains to all that we do, said Prichard. “It’s about personal accountability,” he commented further. “When someone has a lot of excuses, they may be compelling, but not many people care. We’re all busy.”
In the business world, true leaders claim and take ownership. “They say, this is my fault, I tried something and it didn’t work, but I’m going to make it right,” claims Prichard. “They don’t run; they take personal accountability. They don’t pretend nobody noticed, and say, ‘It’s not my fault; the product was the problem.’ People who make and accept excuses are not likely to get promoted.”
4) Hanging Out with the Wrong People
You’ll be the very same person 5 years from now with the exception of the books you have read and as well as the people you have met, the great motivational speaker named Charlie “Tremendous” Jones once claimed. The people that you hang out with turn out to be the voices that are put inside your head, Prichard says.
“What are you feeding your mind?” he likes to ask. “People can’t ignore this one; you will become the people you hang around with. Where are they taking you?”
Pay close attention to your peers and colleagues. Have they been striving to make themselves better? Or do they simply blame the people around them? “Pick your pals as deliberately as you would pick your wardrobe,” urges Prichard.
5) Staying in your Comfort Zone
All growth occurs at the limits of your comfort zone, Prichard states. For instance, at the gym, the very last reps will hurt, but that is when you get to new levels.
“Prime time is in the evening,” he claims. “Are you on the sofa eating chips and watching TV instead of using your prime time to change your future?”
When you pick up a brand new skill, the very first time can be a nerve-racking experience. “Success is about consistently doing uncomfortable things,” said Prichard. “If you let your comfort zone fence you in, you’ll miss it. Work harder on yourself than you do on your job. You’ll increase your comfort zone and become more valuable so you have better earning potential.”
Successful individuals know that there isn’t a finite quantity of anything. “Success is an unlimited resource available to all of us,” points out Prichard. “When you see someone else doing well, go from jealously to curiosity. You can duplicate it and succeed in a different way.”