Thoughts are a powerful tool. The things you think about and plan for are the precursor to every action you take; something as simple as your attitude can be crucial when it comes to realizing your dreams. What this means is that thoughts, no matter how inconsequential they may seem, play a pivotal role in your success.
Just like a coin has two sides, there are two types of thoughts. You can either think positively, emphasizing your triumphs and making an effort to overcome obstacles, or you can let negative thoughts control you. The choice is yours to make, but keep in mind that your attitude can be a determining factor in whether you succeed or fail in a given area. . Good thoughts give you confidence, positive energy, and motivation, and they enable you to take decisive action. Contrast these with negative thoughts, which encourage you to tear yourself down, rather than building you up. Which mindset would you choose?
Negative thoughts often put people off track and hamper personal growth, thus preventing them from reaching their full potential. What’s worse, most people don’t even realize that their mindset is the thing holding them back. As a result, they struggle with getting over these negative thoughts, which continue to act as a roadblock between them and success.
In this article, you’ll learn how to recognize 16 toxic thoughts that hinder success, both in your life and your career.
1. Comparing Yourself to Others
“Don’t compare yourself with anyone in this world. If you do so, you are insulting yourself.” —Bill Gates
Don’t get me wrong: we’re all guilty of comparing ourselves to others from time to time. We do it to get a better idea about where we stand in comparison to others, but what you may not realize is that everyone is different, and everyone has a different journey. Successful people know that there is no point in comparing themselves with others. Instead, they focus on being a better version of themselves every day. This enables them to constantly improve and get better with each passing day.
2. Living in the Past
“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” —Buddha
If you are preoccupied with thoughts about things you did in the past, it not only prevents you from enjoying the present moment, it can also cast negative shadows on your future. Things change with the passage of time, and the person you were yesterday is not the same person you will be tomorrow. Even if you’ve had failures in the past, it does not mean that you will face the same fate in the future. Don’t let your previous nightmares stop you from achieving your dreams.
3. Worrying About the Future
Just like living in the past can be detrimental to your chances of success, obsessing over the future can have a similar effect. That’s why the best thing you can do is live in the current moment. There’s nothing wrong with planning for the future, but things can go awry when you start to think about the future more than you think about the present. If you’re not focused on the here and now you will never be happy, which has obvious negative implications on your chances of success.
4. Trying to Be Right All the Time
We are all human, and humans make mistakes. Instead of rejecting advice from others, you should use your mistakes as an opportunity to learn and improve. If you are rigid in your stance and habitually assume that you are right, it will not only hamper your personal life, it will also impact your professional life. Whether you are leading a team, doing business with clients, or trying to maintain a healthy relationship with your family, admitting to your mistakes is the best thing you can do to improve you and your work.
5. Caring About What Other People Think
We all have that one friend who cares more about the opinions of others than anything else. Keep in mind: no matter how good you are at what you do, you cannot please everyone. People will always have different opinions about you—some of those opinions will be negative. Most successful people have learned not to care about what other people think and say about them: instead they focus on what they have to do in order to succeed. Don’t let yourself get bogged down because some people are making negative comments about you. Always remember: most successful people faced a similar situation in the beginning, but they stuck to their plans and managed to make their dream come true.
6. Not Believing In Yourself
“Believe in yourself, and the rest will fall into place. Have faith in your own abilities, work hard, and there is nothing you cannot accomplish.” —Brad Henry
One of the most prevalent mindsets among people today is that destiny is pre-written, and you cannot change it no matter what you do. Unfortunately, this line of thinking makes it impossible to achieve your full potential. The truth of the matter is, you can shape your own destiny, and the power to do so lies within you and you alone. To become successful, you have to believe in your abilities and reject the idea that destiny is out of your hands.
7. Not Being at Your Best
There are always instances where we begin to doubt our abilities—it’s a part of life The problem arises when this self-doubt becomes a constant state of mind. This usually happens when you face challenge after challenge without getting validation for your efforts. If you face every problem thinking that you’re not good enough, you will never be able to utilize your full potential.
It might feel difficult to end this vicious cycle, but if you have the courage and confidence to overcome thoughts of self-doubt, you can achieve anything. Streamline your work and boost your productivity by reminding yourself that you are capable of everything you put your mind to. Focus on your strengths, rather than your weaknesses, and use them to reach your goals.
8. Chasing Perfection
“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.” —Vince Lombardi
Reading this, you may be thinking: what’s wrong with chasing perfection? Let me explain. If you are constantly trying to be perfect at everything you do, you will not only fall short, you will exhaust yourself in the process. When perfection is your standard, you will always think you’ve fallen short of your target, even if you gave it your best shot. As a result, you may end up thinking of yourself as a failure.
One of the worst enemies of success is procrastination. Procrastination, the act of postponing a task for no reason, can lead to poor performance and create self-doubt in your mind. Moreover, it can lead to significant career setbacks and damage your personal and professional relationships. When you procrastinate, you are more likely to miss your deadlines and fall short of your own standards. This just means that if procrastination becomes a habit, it can lead to disillusionment and a lack of motivation, which can negatively impact your performance in all areas of life.
10. Losing Hope
Whether it’s personal or professional, life has many ups and downs. It’s like a roller coaster ride: you will come across some good times and some bad times, and you never know which is coming next. Unfortunately, some people do face more hardships than others. If you have encountered more than your fair share of challenges to the point where it is taking a toll on your mental state, make sure you don’t lose hope.
Just like there is always light at the end of the tunnel, bad times will eventually pass, irrespective of how long they last. Visualize the things that motivated you to succeed in the first place. These are the things that will continue to motivate you through tough times.
11. Lack of Trust
If you have ever been in a relationship, you’re probably aware of how important trust really is. Relationships won’t last long if you’re unable to share and connect with another person. It’s good to be careful with your loyalty, but remember that there’s nothing wrong with trusting people. Begin by trusting your own abilities, which may make it easier to place your faith in others.
When you trust someone, you create a bond with them that can transform into a long-lasting relationship. Since you can’t achieve success alone, you’ll need these bonds for support as you achieve your goals. That is why it’s important to hire a team that you trust. If there is a lack of trust between you and your teammates, you won’t be able to delegate roles, and you’ll end up micromanaging them instead of empowering them. This makes your employees feel less valuable, which may be why they’re reluctant to give things their full effort.
Are you surrounded by toxic people? If so, they might be injecting a lot of negativity into your life. This can have a profound impact on your mental state. Instead of being optimistic about things, you may begin to look at life pessimistically. You might find yourself dwelling on negative thoughts. If this becomes a long-lasting habit, it can significantly impede your chances of success.
Thankfully, there are many ways to flush out negativity from your system. Some examples:
- Exploring Nature
Instead of focusing on the negative aspects of everything, you should try to do the opposite. Find the positive sides of even the worst case scenario. It will completely change your perspective about life, and this change of mindset will lead you to success.
13. Having a Victim Mentality
One of the biggest problems with the victim mentality is that people with this mindset will always blame others for what happens to them, irrespective of what the situation or problem might be. This is not fair to anyone involved. Your destiny is in your hands, not anyone else’s. Only seeing yourself as a victim hinders personal growth and acts as a roadblock that prevents you from moving towards success. Instead of blaming others, you should think about what you can do to improve the situation. Take personal responsibility and play your part instead of just complaining about your situation. That way, you’ll be in a much better position to turn the tables.
14. Changing Other People
Motivational speaking has become a lucrative profession recently. If you are inspired by the motivational speakers you’ve seen and think that you have the same power to change people for the better, you definitely have an altruistic goal, but you may be hampering your own ability to succeed. I learned this lesson the hard way. Irrespective of how hard you try to change someone, if they don’t want to change, all your efforts will go down the drain. Instead of trying to change the people around you, you should focus on your own shortcomings and take action to improve them. Who knows? You might even inspire others to do the same.
15. Expecting Too Much from Others
Another mistake many people make is expecting too much from others, a habit that usually ends in disappointment. You might think that your expectations are reasonable, but not everyone else will share the same opinion. In fact, they might actively disagree. You need to understand that your expectations are the product of your own biases and personal experience, and as a result, they’re going to vary greatly from person to person.
16. Your Past Will Determine Your Future
Some people live in the past.Others obsess over the future. Neither of these are productive styles of thinking, but there is also a third category that makes similar mistakes as well. These are the people who think that their past failures are getting in the way of their future success. If you are one of these people, you need to change your thinking. If you label yourself as a failure based on your past, you will never be able to succeed in the future. Shrugging off that mentality is the first step to unlocking your full potential, and it’s a step you won’t regret taking.
Which of these toxic thoughts have prevented you from achieving success in your life? Feel free to share it with us in the comments section below.
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About the Author
Irfan Ak is an experienced digital & content marketing strategist at Branex Mobility. He is a regular contributor on various websites. He has worked with several brands and created value for them.