Five bad habits you must avoid if you want a thriving business

Have you ever wondered why some businesses continually flourish whereas others become stagnant? It often comes down to the person in the driving seat. The driving force of the business. If you feel your business is more stagnant than progressive, you could have fallen victim to these bad habits:

  • Having a fixed mindset
  • Making assumptions
  • Never finishing what you start
  • Failing to communicate effectively
  • Not taking responsibility

The above habits regularly crop up during my client sessions. It’s easy to spot these traits simply by listening to the language spoken, watching body language and being aware of the actions being taken. Being late for appointments and running over on deadlines is a clear sign of someone not taking responsibility and letting life happen to them.

Even though these habits are negative, restrict business progress and are unhelpful to you, they are easy to turn around if you’re willing to acknowledge them.

Turn a fixed mindset into one of growth

Having a fixed mindset is limiting. Seeing things in black and white, or as right or wrong is narrow-minded. It highlights a fixed mindset, which is one that prevents you from exploring alternative ways to achieve an outcome. It lacks creativity and uses past experiences or future uncertainties as an excuse not to do something or explain why things didn’t work out.

A fixed mindset gets you into problematic situations whereas a growth mindset gets you out of them. A growth mindset is open, curious, relentless and resilient. Obstacles are never debilitating, and mistakes are accepted as part of a learning experience. Everything is achievable with a growth mindset because it focuses on creativity and adaptability, solutions and not problems.

Making assumptions

When assumptions are made you are only seeing what you want to see. As the saying goes, ‘you make an ass out of you and me’. Think about what you could have missed if you assume something or if you jump to a conclusion too quickly?

Assumptions are made from ignorance or from following the masses and not taking the time to fully understand the context, niche or minority.

Try this exercise: take your right hand and make a fist shape. Loosen your grip slightly, allowing a very small hole to be visible where your fingers are curled over. Next, cover your left eye with your left hand and lift your right fist up to meet your right eye, as if you were looking through a lens. What do you see?

Your vision is restricted by the small gap of your tightened fist, so the whole picture in front of you is limited. The focus is too narrow. This is how making assumptions causes you to see things in the world. It limits your perspective by showing only a small part of what is available to you.

Being curious and asking questions, listening, connecting, and communicating with others will help you to ditch assumptions. Seeing the bigger picture will enable you to make better decisions. Expanding your thinking and progressing in life and business is possible because of a much richer awareness of the world.

Finally finish what you have started

There are many reasons why people don’t finish what they start. On the surface, the reasons might seem obvious, such as having no time, not having the right skills available, coming up against an obstacle or not having enough money.

If you look more closely at the reasons why things don’t get finished, you will find a deeper underlying belief. These deeper beliefs are not obvious and can take a bit of digging to find and acknowledge. Common beliefs include feeling unworthy, not being good enough or capable enough, the need to be perfect or feeling powerless. There are many more but once you understand what your limiting beliefs are (and we all have them) you have a point at which you can grow from. Infinitely.

Acknowledging limiting beliefs and working through them removes blocks from your mind about what you can and cannot achieve. This is the first step to finally finishing what you started!

Become open, honest and direct in your communication

Effective communication is necessary in your personal and professional life. Are you being assertive? Are you asking for help when you need it?

Avoiding issues and conflict with other people because you think they will eventually go away or because you don’t want to upset someone will often lead to you being the one who fails or feels let down. It will lead to an unhelpful outcome where it’s a struggle to get what you want, or you don’t get it at all.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you communicate clearly, effectively and that the receiver fully comprehends. With full transparency everyone benefits.

Take responsibility for your actions

You are 100 percent responsible for your actions. Blaming others, justifying, rationalising and denying situations or actions are attributes of diverting your responsibility.

You can choose how to respond in any given situation. It’s true that something out of your control may happen, but you will always have the choice in how you react to it. If you are at ‘cause’ in life, you are creating the outcome that you want by taking responsibility. If you are at ‘effect’ in life, then you will become a victim of circumstance and/or place the outcome firmly in the hands of others. This latter option is giving away your power to others and letting them determine what happens to you. Why would you want someone else to rule your decisions?

Do not fear the future

Feeling doubtful or fearful will prevent you from taking positive action. It’s a bit like shutting off the valve to stop the free flow of water. Eventually, things will dry up because the flow isn’t progressing forward. What happens to a plant, terrain or creature starved of water?

Not acting can be through the fear of what might happen. But if nothing has happened yet, how can you be fearful? It’s either because you are drawing from an experience that didn’t go so well, or because you are assuming the worst. Neither of these thoughts are real for what is happening now. Remember what you read about assumptions?

The best way to mitigate fear is to identify potential risks and create a contingency plan. You may be aware of potential setbacks from experience, but that doesn’t mean the same will happen this time, so get creative. By outlining all possible scenarios you can be confident in taking action, knowing that you are well-equipped to handle challenges and uncertainty.

Remember, with action comes learning.

Eliminate bad habits in your business today

This article has hopefully sparked a few home truths and encouraged you to think of the big picture and question the entrenched beliefs that might be stumping your progress.

If you relate to any of the notions discussed and think you could benefit from working on removing some of the bad habits in your business, why not consider working with an experienced guide to help you overcome them?

Cassie Footman
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Cassie Footman

Over the past 25 years Cassie has worked with thousands of leaders based in over 26 countries worldwide, guiding them through the journey of unravelling personal obstacles enabling them to create magic in their lives and enjoy a better life, better relationships and a better business.