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05/06/2015

Beware! These Toxic Thoughts are Success Killers


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No matter who you are or what you do I am willing to bet that if you are having any of these thoughts below, then you are holding yourself back from achieving great success. As an executive coach, I am fortunate to work with and get into the brilliant minds of the brightest and most successful executives on Wall Street and beyond. Like the rest of us, my clients have insecurities that we work on recognizing and banishing from their minds. Here is the list of thoughts that are surprisingly common and are the greatest offenders to our success.

Beware of these toxic thoughts.

“People are going to laugh at me” 

This thought develops in our brains so early in our lives that by the time we are in adulthood we don’t realize that the fear of humiliation prevents us from taking action, speaking up and making unique decisions.

“It’s not possible”

This one breaks my heart. We are not talking about complex neuroscience experiments here. Most of us think this way when we think about running 5 miles or losing 10 pounds or getting a great review from our managers. Audrey Hepburn once said, “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!”

“I will do it tomorrow”

If you are postponing an action to another day, then you have increased your chances of never completing this action by 65%. Most of the time the reason we postpone an action is because we are dreading it. Maybe you are nervous or maybe you don’t feel ready. The truth is you will feel the same way about it tomorrow – so get on it now! 

“He/she never did anything for me”

You are probably wondering what this one has to do with your success. Let’s follow the train of though. You are considering helping someone out or responding to a request. Then you think to yourself, “but they never did anything for me.” So you decide not to go out of your way to help them.

According to the bestselling author Adam Grant, who wrote “Give and Take”, this thought process makes you either a matcher or a taker but definitely not a giver. A giver is someone who helps others without expecting anything in return. Adam Grant’s book proves that Givers are the most successful individuals in their respective fields. Giving has proven to build relationships, trust and respect. And those are the pillars that drive success. 

Now that you know which thoughts to beware of, I challenge you to question them as they come up. Start by finding someone who can help you create a mental shift in your approach – basically that can help get you out of your own way.

-Helen Dayen

Helen Dayen is the founder and CEO of Dayen Group. She is a career development & communication coach.

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