Shana Lebowitz wrote an article for the Business Insider entitled, 9 Common Behaviors that Hurt Your Chances of Success. The source of the behaviors was the Quora thread, “Which personality traits often lead to failure?” (The link works best with Internet Explorer)
Successful people share many traits in common — like conscientiousness and openness to new experiences. But there are also certain qualities that predict a lack of personal and professional fulfillment. To pinpoint what those are, she looked through the Quora thread.
You are not a permanent failure if you possess some of these traits. Everyone can modify at least some of their behaviors. Of the 9 traits in the original article, four (4) of them resonated with me.
1. Unwillingness to adapt – Pascal Zuta says that “Successful people are often very fast to adapt: They don’t hang on too long to a status quo. They are curious to challenge themselves, and are aware that most of what they believe is likely to be wrong. Those who are opinionated, overconfident, and unwilling to adapt will likely fail.” Adaptability is especially important for leaders because it’s a key part of “learning agility,” or a set of qualities that allows individuals to stay flexible and take on a diversity of challenges. If you’re unwilling to change your perspective, you’ll never be able to tackle the problems facing you or your organization.
2. Blaming others – “People who are successful always take responsibility for their actions, whether good or bad, right or wrong. They accept responsibility fully with no qualifications. Individuals who struggle always seem to find a way to place the blame on someone else. Psychotherapist, Amy Morin, says that “mentally strong people don’t waste time feeling sorry for themselves. Instead, they acknowledge what went wrong and move on to the next challenge.”
3. Poor planning – Pete Ashly says that “distaste for planning out a path to a realistic goal as the biggest trait that contributes to failure.” In fact, psychological research suggests that individuals with clearly defined, written goals are more likely to succeed than those with more abstract ambitions. For example, they might plan to “lose five pounds” instead of simply “lose some weight,” so that they know exactly what achievement looks like.
4. Failure to learn from mistakes – Ray Dalio, says that his success is largely attributable to his ability to learn from mishaps: “Each mistake was probably a reflection of something that I was doing wrong, so if I could figure out what that was, I could learn how to be more successful.” If you’re afraid to make mistakes, you obviously can’t learn from them. “Mistakes are part of learning. People afraid to make mistakes can’t learn. Those who can’t learn new things won’t achieve much beyond what they currently are and can do” says Elisa Pasquali.
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