Success is the result of many good things coming together. It takes a lot to get to a point of success. As if it were hard enough some things hold us back from success. There are plenty but today I want us to discuss a particular type of thing that holds us back. These are behaviours that many of us have learned and accepted as a normal way of life but they are actually negative behaviours that tear us down and we don’t realise how much. Let’s look at five such behaviours and how we can correct them.

Working for your problems

This is a phrase I like to use when people spend a lot of time articulating their problems. They come to you with a problem, you proffer a solution and they spend time articulating why it won’t work or how big their problem is. I won’t delve into the psychological effect of such an approach. The problem I will articulate with such an approach is how much time you spend in service of your problems. I get it. Some problems are ridiculously complex. At some point, you have to put energy into finding the solution. Better you put more time and energy into finding a solution.

Asking poor quality questions

As a person who is in a position where I am asked many questions by many different people, I have seen a lot. Perhaps not seen it all but I’ve seen my fair share of questions. When you are looking for answers it may help you massively to learn to ask the right questions. I always say “the answers don’t matter if you are asking the wrong questions”. Instead of asking me “what’s the best business to start” try qualifying the question and ask something like “I have skills in IT and experience in hardware, what business do you think I can start with these things in mind”. See the difference? Learn to qualify your questions. Sometimes people are reluctant to help you because they realise the back and forth it will take until they understand your question.

Working with assumptions

Those who know me outside of the article writer will also know that I say “the only thing I believe is evidence”. This is a position I take when it comes to recommendations and advice. What I mean by this is that I prefer to take advice or instructions that are backed with evidence. Unfortunately in many cases, I see people work with assumptions or incomplete information.  This makes the success journey very complicated especially when you are confronted by the fact that your plan doesn’t match things on the ground. Read this great article about why working with assumptions isn’t a good idea and what you can do about it.

Consulting the wrong people

This one is a bit tricky but I believe there is a lot of it out there and it also ties nicely to my last point. It’s a cardinal lesson in one of the most favoured books on personal finance, The Richest Man in Babylon and I stand by it. When consulting on your plans and ideas, whichever the case is, it is really important to consult the right people. Who are the right people? Well, this depends on the situation but you will find the right people who have experience, knowledge, insight or all of these things. There’s one tip I give for discernment in this area, make sure they make you understand. Do not understand for the sake of it or to seem like you are smart. Continue to demand clarity until you understand.

Not trying

This will differ with different pursuits. Some pursuits require an initial investment in terms of money. But when you are faced with a pursuit that involves no cost in terms of resources to get started or to test the waters I say go for it. Even where there is an initial cost involved if it is something you can afford then really trying is the only thing to do. It could be something as simple as taking your first course, sending that application or finding customer number one. Whatever your affliction is, you are better of trying than not.

Which other behaviours have you observed which are holding people back?