It’s a fact. Everyone, no matter how great they seem or how good they are at their job, has room for improvement. As an outsider it’s easy to see where others have shortcomings and where they could be stronger. But when you’re looking at yourself, when you’re taking into account your own behaviors and skills, it’s much harder to identify areas for improvement.
And this is especially true of managers, who are often looked to for guidance or correction of negative habits in others, but often can’t see their own shortcomings. With this in mind, here are some pointers to help you identify and eliminate your own negative behaviors, things that may be holding you back from greater success:
Be honest with yourself — This is a difficult concept to grasp for most people, because for many, the hardest person with whom to be honest is yourself. To be truly honest with yourself, you must find some level of objectivity. Step outside your personal feelings for a moment and examine yourself. Where have you made mistakes? Have you wronged others? Take a moment to consider these things and resolve to do better in the future.
Identify problem behavior — In taking stock of your own actions, have you noticed any repeating patterns? Are there any areas where your own behaviors are causing part or all of a problem? Once you’ve identified problem areas, it’s much easier to take steps to eliminate them.
Step out of the downward spiral — The biggest issue many people struggle with when trying to eliminate their own unhealthy behaviors is stepping out of the circle of negativity. Oftentimes when something goes wrong it leads to more negativity and more unhealthy behaviors. You need to break this cycle and step away from the negativity.
Create a plan — To get rid of problem behavior you need a plan. Formulate a plan to stop the behavior, one that you think will work for you. If you have a problem with anger, come up with some ideas on how you’ll avoid blowing up, maybe by taking a walk. If you want to stop smoking, decide if you’re going to quit cold turkey or gradually step down. Whatever you do, have an idea on how to change and put it into action.
Stick with it — You’re probably not going to completely succeed on your first go-round. That’s OK; setbacks happen to everyone. But what’s important is that you stick with it. Even if you fall off the wagon, get right back up, resolve to do better, and try again. Before you know it, your plan of action will be second nature and your negative habit will be a thing of the past.
While everyone has negative behaviors, it takes a truly mature individual to identify them and try to change. Whatever you do, don’t give up — a better you is waiting!