20 Habits That Will Make You A Loser

1 12 2013

20 Habits That Will Make You Fail

Goldsmith’s work centers on helping people identify and break the bad habits that are getting in their way. The meat of What Got You Here Won’t Get You There is thus his elaborate and revealing discussion of the “Twenty Habits That Hold You Back from the Top.” They are:
1. Winning too much: Goldsmith notes that the hypercompetitive need to best others “underlies nearly every other behavioral problem.”
2. Adding too much value: This happens when you can’t stop yourself from tinkering with your colleagues’ or subordinates’ already viable ideas. “It is extremely difficult,” Goldsmith observes, “for successful people to listen to other people tell them something that they already know without communicating somehow that (a) ‘we already knew that’ and (b) ‘we know a better way.'” The fallacy of this sort of behavior is that, while it may slightly improve an idea, it drastically reduces the other person’s commitment to it.
3. Passing judgment: “It’s not appropriate to pass judgment when we specifically ask people to voice their opinions … even if you ask a question and agree with the answer.” Goldsmith recommends “hiring” a friend to bill you $10 for each episode of needless judgment.
4. Making destructive comments: We are all tempted to be snarky or even mean from time to time. But when we feel the urge to criticize, we should realize that gratuitous negative comments can harm our working relationships.” The question is not, ‘Is it true?’ but rather, ‘Is it worth it?'” This is another habit Goldsmith recommends breaking via monetary fines.
5. Starting with “No,” “But,” or “However.” Almost all of us do this, and most of us are totally unaware of it. But Goldsmith says if you watch out for it, “you’ll see how people inflict these words on others to gain or consolidate power. You’ll also see how intensely people resent it, consciously or not, and how it stifles rather than opens up discussion.” This is another habit that may take fines to break.
6. Telling the world how smart we are: “This is another variation on our need to win.”
7. Speaking when angry: See number four.
8. Negativity, or “Let me explain why that won’t work”: Goldsmith calls this “pure unadulterated negativity under the guise of being helpful.”
9. Withholding information: This one is all about power. Goldsmith focuses on ways even the best-intentioned people do this all the time. “We do this when we are too busy to get back to someone with valuable information. We do this when we forget to include someone in our discussions or meetings. We do this when we delegate a task to our subordinates but don’t take the time to show them exactly how we want the task done.”
10. Failing to give recognition: “This is a sibling of withholding information.”
11. Claiming credit we don’t deserve: To catch ourselves doing this, Goldsmith recommends listing all the times we mentally congratulate ourselves in a given day, and then reviewing the list to see if we really deserved all the credit we gave ourselves.
12. Making excuses: We do this both bluntly (by blaming our failings on the traffic, or the secretary, or something else outside ourselves) and subtly (with self-deprecating comments about our inherent tendency to be late, or to procrastinate, or to lose our temper, that send the message, “That’s just the way I am”).
13. Clinging to the past: “Understanding the past is perfectly admissible if your issue is accepting the past. But if your issue is changing the future, understanding will not take you there.” Goldsmith notes that quite often we dwell on the past because it allows us to blame others for things that have gone wrong in our lives.
14. Playing favorites: This behavior creates suck-ups; rewarding suck-ups creates hollow leaders.
15. Refusing to express regret: “When you say, ‘I’m sorry,’ you turn people into your allies, even your partners.” The first thing Goldsmith teaches his clients is “to apologize — face to face — to every coworker who has agreed to help them get better.”
16. Not listening: This behavior says, “I don’t care about you,” “I don’t understand you,” “You’re wrong,” “You’re stupid,” and “You’re wasting my time.”
17. Failing to express gratitude: “Gratitude is not a limited resource, nor is it costly. It is abundant as air. We breathe it in but forget to exhale.” Goldsmith advises breaking the habit of failing to say thank you by saying it — to as many people as we can, over and over again.
18. Punishing the messenger: This habit is a nasty hybrid of 10, 11, 19, 4, 16, 17, with a strong dose of anger added in.
19. Passing the buck: “This is the behavioral flaw by which we judge our leaders — as important a negative attribute as positive qualities such as brainpower, courage, and resourcefulness.”
20. An excessive need to be “me”: Making a “virtue of our flaws” because they express who we are amounts to misplaced loyalty — and can be “one of the toughest obstacles to making positive long-term change in our behavior.”
Goldsmith even includes a bonus bad habit: Goal obsession or getting so caught up in our drive to achieve that we lose track of why we are working so hard and what really matters in life.


20 And Pregnant In school by Amy Ford

28 08 2013

 20 And Pregnant In  school, I Chose Life With No Regrets By Amy Ford

When I was 20, I was living with my boyfriend and doing my party scene. We were really living our life, having a lot of fun. We were going out and enjoying time with friends. I thought I had my life made for myself. I finally met a man that my mom actually approved of and I saw my “happily ever after” with.

Right when I thought I was in the fun time of my life, things began to feel different with me …
I started to notice that I had become extremely exhausted all the time.
I remember I was watching Juno, the movie and caught myself thinking “oh my gosh … I have all the same symptoms Juno is having.” Just a flurry of thoughts were bombarding my mind. “No no no, there is no way. I couldn’t be. Could I be really pregnant?”

The next morning, after my Juno movie night with my best friend, I took about 12 pregnancy tests. The first one, the + sign immediately popped up. Still in shock and denial, I needed to take 12 more before it finally sunk in. I called my boyfriend and told him we needed to talk when he got home. I then called my best friend, and told her. I remembered her pulling over to the side of the road and just her pausing on the phone. She asked the question “What are you going to do Amy?”
I hung up the phone with tears in my eyes asking myself the very same question. What am I going to do?
After hanging up the phone with my best friend, I called and scheduled a doctor’s appointment. Shortly after, I texted my mom. I told her that I really needed a friend and someone to talk to. Her mother’s intuition kicked in full gear. She replied with, “What’s going on? What’s wrong?” She knew immediately I was pregnant. The breath was taken from me.
After finding out I was 5 weeks pregnant, the questions started flashing through my head. My boyfriend started getting into my head on how we couldn’t afford a baby, how we’re not ready, how we couldn’t provide the life our child would deserve. I went to a clinic feeling so disgusted with myself for being at the one place I always told myself I would never go to.

When we pulled up, there were protesters standing outside the clinic. I went inside and quickly signed in. I still kept questioning my decision but before I could decide on an answer, a counselor called out my name. She began discussing my options … I remember them pricking my finger to check my iron level. They said to me, “I’ve never seen someone so devastated…”
I was moved into a room to do an ultrasound to check on my embryo. I couldn’t keep my tears in. I kept thinking please let there be a sign, anything to show me what to do. The nurse looked at the screen and said, “I think you need to give this another week or two to think about. We can’t see an embryo, so come back in 2 weeks and we’ll check again and see if this is what you really want to do.”
I got up and walked out. I remember my boyfriend being so confused on why I didn’t go through with it. I couldn’t explain it to him. He was a guy and he’d never understand what I had to go through. We raced out of there quick.
Those 2 weeks I thought so much about it and decided that I really couldn’t go through with an abortion – living my life with tons of “what if’s” was too much to even imagine. I would never regret having this baby but there is a chance I would regret not …
Two weeks later, I went back to the clinic. They called me back and I told the counselor I had decided I going to keep my child. She smiled at me, and said good luck. I remember walking out of the clinic with my friend and a protestor came up to check on me. I looked at her and said, “Thank you. Thank you so much! I am keeping my baby!”
My mom had always supported anything I would decide but she said, “Make sure it’s a decision you can live with.” I told my boyfriend I was keeping my baby. I couldn’t go through with an abortion. He was not happy with my decision. He got scared and he left me. I was devastated.
I had my mom and my best friend by my side. The day I found out I was having a little girl; I was excited for all the cute little things I wanted to get her. Since little girl stuff is so adorable! My mom was at every sonogram appointment with me, cried with me at each one and was excited for me at the same time.
When my sweet baby little girl Harlie was born, I felt at that moment that the world had stopped just for me. She was the light of my life. She was the reason for living, my reason to do better and to push myself to the limits I never thought I would go. I cried. She was the most precious baby I’ve ever seen weighing 9 lbs 21 inches. I felt so blessed.

My mom cried with me tears of joy. It really made me realize that my mother was incredible. She’d been my motivational cheerleader my entire pregnancy. When I had no one else, she was there with me every day. I craved to be just like her to my sweet little Harlie as she was a single mother of two.
Life as a single mom was definitely harder and different but SO worth it.
When Harlie was 6 months old, I decided to go finish a college and become a dental assistant. I did it! I finished and graduated. I have been a dental assistant for 3 years and I’m getting ready to go back to college for either Therapist/Counselor, Children’s Psychology, Labor and delivery nurse.
My life is so full and rewarding. When I get stressed out, I’m exhausted but I would never trade any of it for the world. She’s my reason for changing my life. She’s my strength, my growth, my reason for everything.
Those of you, who go through pregnancy alone, don’t be afraid. Life does get better. Life can be SO rewarding and full.
Never lose faith.
Originally published on Embrace Grace blog on June 22, 2012.

%d bloggers like this: