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When was the last time you looked at yourself, I mean really looked?
Everywhere we turn, there are people who have specific tendencies, good or bad, that can have a direct effect on them. Have you been able to identify yours?
Let me start by saying that most people’s tendencies are positive. They help them achieve and strive toward specific goals as well; but what do we do with the ones that are not so positive, you know… the negative ones that hold you back from achieving your highest potential?
Many coaches, like myself, try to identify these negative tendencies in the individuals, and help people, like you, in the in development and creation of strategies to capitalize on the positive ones. This method is intended to eventually reduce or even eliminate the negative tendencies all together.
So, throughout this discussion I would like to focus on decreasing or eliminating negative trends we have, to develop a better self. Additionally, as we dive into common negative tendencies, let me note that I have struggled as well; and after coaching and mentoring leaders over the last 20 years, I’ve learned great deal of identifying these negative areas and finding ways to help lessen their impact.
Below are some of the more common negative tendencies that I have found to be harmful to reaching and achieving personal and professional goals:
- Starting tasks too fast and not thinking them through. (I put this as number one because this is my greatest negative tendency, my achilles heal, if you will. For me I tend to have many grand ideas that I want to get into the ring right away. Even though they are good ideas and can be effective, this can be a distraction to other areas that need attention NOW. I suggest you write it down and come back to them at a later time.)
- Skipping or breaking routines
- Not taking proper steps to walk out a developed action plan
- Negative self-talk (self fulfilling prophecy)
- Going too fast on days when you should be taking it easy
- Giving up in the middle of a tough task
- Dwelling on the “bad”
- Poor preparation/Rushing end results
- Ignoring issues or concerns
- Over-scheduling, particularly on key event days and/or before completion
If you have one of the above negative tendencies, or more, no need to beat yourself up; just be aware of them and take them into account today.
Note: Even the best, high-performing people use coaches to help them stay on track. The reason for this is because we tend to be subjective to our own actions and self.
Your personal “Charge” starting today!
Spend some time thinking about the negative tendencies that you are currently struggling with; however, if you can’t see any, I would recommend you find someone. If you can’t think of any, ask someone who is close to you. One who has direct conversations with you throughout the day. For me, I ask my spouse, but this can also be your boss, friend, or anyone who you know will be upfront and direct, or even hire a coach/mentor (This is another great option, because they can be objective).
Ask them to observe you, and elicit open and honest feedback as well; however, be aware, you may hear something you don’t want to hear. Additionally, try to identify these things for yourself as well, and build a daily routine. Further, ask your coach/mentor to meet up and discuss a plan that can help in developing you into a high performer.
Don’t miss the opportunity to make a big difference in self
Once you identify and acknowledge the negative tendencies, make a plan (check out this article I wrote about an action care plan). Trust me, you will see an increase with such a small change in just one of your negative tendencies, and all other areas of your personal and professional life will benefit as well.
Finally Identify & Execute (do the exercise below)
To help in starting the identification process do this as an exercise (take 5 minutes to make a lifetime change)
Fold or draw a line down the center of a piece of paper. On one side, list all of the negative tendencies you think you have. Next, go back to the list and identify them based on priority of easiest to overcome that will have the greatest overall impact.
On the other half of the paper, write down actions that you could take to remove/eliminate the negative tendencies. Think through actions you could take to counteract or interrupt the negative tendencies.
Lastly, tear the paper in half and recycle/reprioritize as you make changes (the side with the list of negative tendencies). The others side with actions, post where you will see it everyday. Keep it in a visible location that you pass as a reminder of your daily requirement of positive actions you are willing to take, this can helping holding yourself accountable.
As you go through this process, you should be pushing yourself to perform at the top of your game, we all know that we may miss a step, and that’s okay, but if this does happen, refocus on the way you are adjusting to new habits and behaviors.
Remember, you are the determining factor in what your mind thinks, it is very powerful and can tell you, YOU CAN’T, when you know more than ever, YOU CAN. As for negative tendencies most are simple behavior patterns that can be changed by focus and a determination to make the change. Commit to yourself and harness the incredible power of self will, and you can make a significant impact on your performance in all areas of life.