I was trying to hide but you found me!

Man is, by definition, and by popular belief as well, a creature of habit.  This has been proven time and again, so much so that the practice of predicting and interpreting human behavior has been taken on by so many people, even those who didn’t spend years in numerous psychology-related studies.

The sad thing about this is that regardless of how predictable the outcome of a given set of behavioral traits may be, many still fall to less than desirable results of these traits, often labeled as “bad habits”.

Why?

Because man is just simply a creature of habit.  Many habits are immensely difficult to break and get out of, leaving many people to suffer from the negative effects of these bad habits.  Some habits are just seemingly so “ingrained” in the systems of some people that they seek the help of professionals and experts in the field of behavioral psychology just to identify these habits and get out of them.

This is easier said than done, since these would not become habits at all had they not been things that are so easy to repeat.  What is needed here is to direct one’s attention in developing habits that are actually beneficial to oneself, rather than those that are detrimental and harmful.  This is why it is implicitly important to identify these habits, so as to better identify them immediately and find ways around them, while there is still time to do so.

There are some bad habits that actually take a lot out of a person, and the person does not really notice this at first, since they have gotten so used to doing it, only realizing later on after the damage has been done already, and the manifestation of the drain becomes apparent, coming in the form of financial drain, when one has a finance-related bad habit, or in the form of emotional drain, when one has a bad habit linked to personal practices that lead to emotional instability.

This is why it is immensely important to identify these bad habits as early as possible, so that possible countermeasures may be taken against them, or at the very least a measure of damage control, so as to better deal with the fallout.

Here are a few of the established counter-productive habits people have, all of which affect a person’s productivity and ability to function at peak performance:

Apportioning blame

This is actually an all-too-human reaction.  This is probably the very first reaction people may have when things go wrong.  While the more critical ones look for the possible source of what caused the failure, those who give in to the knee-jerk response would find the most convenient and seemingly obvious source of the problem and apportion all the blame to it as the primary cause of the failure, rather than take a closer look and see how much they are also to blame for the failure.  The problem here, however, is that most will apportion blame to almost anything and everything apart from themselves, but will really not do anything or learn anything from it.  In some cases, the person is doomed to a repeat of the incident of failure because they had failed to recognize the true cause of the failure itself, which may largely have to do with them.  By taking responsibility for the entire incident, one may be able to better understand what role he or she had in the failure, of any at all.  Moreover, because they were willing to accept the possibility that they might be the cause of the failure, they are also more likely to be able to achieve a personal breakthrough allowing significant self improvement.

Showboating

“How hard could it be?”  These are the most common lines to be heard from people who have a chronic habit to showboat.  This particular attitude needs to be separated from the concept of confidence.  This is because a lot of those who tend to showboat are actually doing so to hide their own fear of not being able to measure to whatever task they are facing.  By going into the task being in utter denial of their own capabilities, there is also the tendency that very little preparation was also done, and this is an almost sure formula for failure.  People who showboat also have a great propensity for not taking into consideration a lot of the needed details, in the misguided thinking that it will all come to them when they need it the most.  Confidence is a very good thing to have, since it may be the kindling that starts the fire of creativity and purpose when doing the actual task, but showboating is just something that has never served anyone well, even if it was done in the guess of psychological reinforcement.

Trying to assume control of everything

There is this prevailing thought among people that “if you want something done right, you need to do it yourself”.  Taken in the proper context, this could actually be helpful, since it means you are taking ownership of a task of project, presumably devoting 100% of your attention and effort into it to ensure success.  This, however, becomes a problem is the task or project needs to be done by several people.  While there are indeed people who have been known to be true multi-taskers, there is absolutely no person who can do the task of an entire group by himself or herself, and have the task come out well.  People who subscribe to the idea that they should be everywhere at once to ensure the tasks are done well tend to spread themselves too thinly, resulting in mistakes, oversights, and other problems which would not have come up had the idea of delegation been looked at instead.  Delegating to other leaders and doing doing a coordinated effort is much, much better than trying to take on everything yourself.

Criticizing others

Unless your opinion was asked about a particular topic, you really have no business pointing out the obvious and all the faults that you see in others.  This is true even for those who happen to be in management.  Instead of just isolating what makes a person much worse or even inferior than others, the better thing to do would be to simply point out how they could make themselves better.  Fault-finding is one of the simplest things a person can do, the more difficult but productive thing is to actually suggest a better way.  There are also studies that have been done pointing to the fact that people who have a habit of pointing out the flaw in others do so because they want to divert the attention away from their own flaws, which may just as apparent, or maybe even more so.

Being a dark cloud

As ironic as it may be, no one likes a person who simply engages in pragmatism most of the time.  Being pragmatic, in this manner, is more of a burden than it is a blessing, because although it equips people with the ability to face the reality of things, it also makes them appear to be cold, callous, or even defeatist to others.  Nobody likes a dark cloud in the group, since many people maintain a confidence that is so easily shaken or dissipated, leaving them completely demoralized.  If you happen to be a pragmatic person, this means you are able to recognize when things are going to an unquestionably bad ending.  This, however, does not mean that you should simply rub this fact in the face of everyone else and leave it at that.  True pragmatic people also happen to those who deal in real solutions, since they are quite familiar with how things can go wrong.  There is no problem in pointing out how something can go wrong, but it would be much, much better if the pragmatic person were to also offer a potential solution to the problem that has been seen.

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