I have observed four behaviours and one belief that hold ambitious leaders back.
I expect that some of them will look obvious to you, and some of them will be counterintuitive. I invite you to be open to the ideas and feel free to reply with your thoughts. Let’s get started.
1. You are climbing the wrong ladder
Our parents, partners, friends, and society influence what we think we should do in our careers.
So many people will spend years or even decades trying to climb the wrong ladder.
The one that looks more obvious, perhaps safer.
But, long-term, the misalignment between their interests and their job will take a toll, whether in the form of consistent failure or the form of psychosomatic dis-ease.
If you strive to climb a ladder, make sure it is the right one for you.
2. You are pushing yourself when you need to heal
Sometimes, we need to take a pause, slow down and heal. Maybe it is burnout, grief, a family struggle, health issues, or anything else that requires urgent attention.
Once we heal, success tends to feel effortless and progress exponential.
We make the mistake of thinking that progress needs to be continuous and linear. That’s not the case.
There are pauses and sprints. There are flat lines and then exponential growth curves.
We get stuck and frustrated by forcing ourselves to climb when we should be healing.
Consider these mistakes if you are miserably and repeatedly failing.
3. You prioritize work above health, relationships and play
Many of us think that if we focus on work first, the other areas of our life such as health, relationships, and play will benefit.
We will be making more money after all.
The truth is that we have better odds for success if we focus on health, love, and play first.
It is called the happiness advantage.
Happier people have more success at work.
They are more magnetic and they attract more opportunities.
The different parts of our lives should not compete for our energy and attention.
They should act synergistically, supporting each other.
4. You focus on the wrong stuff at work
“What is it that only you can do in your organization?”
“What do you love doing?”
“What would make the most difference to the success of your business long-term?
With these three questions, you can find the priorities for your role.
Focusing on these adds the most value to both your business and yourself.
We so often get trapped doing tasks that would be better done by someone else.
We get addicted to the dopamine hit of crossing small tasks off a to-do list.
It is worth taking a step back and seeing the big picture.
5. You believe that nothing worth having comes easy
I don’t believe the statement “Nothing worth having comes easy.”
It is a dangerous statement that can become a self-fulfiling prophecy for many.
I choose to believe something different:
“It might come easy, or I may have to work for it. Either way, I am in.”
“I am supported.”
“When I am on my path, unpredictable ideas and opportunities flow my way.”
“I have fun experimenting. It will either work, or I will learn something valuable.”
“When I do work I love, I get into flow, and it feels great.”
“My path feels joyful and fulfiling.”
“We live in an abundant universe.”
“Some of the most precious things in life are the easiest.”
“We were all born worthy of everything worth having.”
To succeed, we need to climb the right ladder, know when to push and when to stop, prioritize health, love, and play, focus on what matters at work and get rid of limiting beliefs that lead to burnout.
Which of those mistakes did resonate most with you?