Bad habits – everybody has a few. Maybe you bite your nails, or you forget to text people back. Or maybe you leave dirty dishes in the sink. None of these are particularly damaging to your everyday life, but what about the bad habits that are affecting your business?

Are you stuck in a business rut? If so, don’t panic. It happens to every entrepreneur at some point in their career. But you don’t have to stay stuck. Here are 4 bad habits to keep an eye out for that could be holding you back. Once you recognize them, you can work to change them and get yourself back on the track to success.

You Don’t Trust Yourself

Let’s face it. Sometimes your inner voice is just plain cruel. It feeds you false information to make you doubt your instincts or question your talent. It makes you compare yourself to everyone else and insists that you simply do not measure up. It’s normal to question yourself from time to time, but pervasive self-doubt can be crippling in business. If you don’t trust yourself, why should anyone else?

There are several ways that self-doubt can manifest in business:

  • It is difficult to make decisions
  • You seek approval from everyone else
  • Fear of a misstep prevents you from taking initiative
  • You undermine yourself in front of clients and associates
  • You’re afraid to take on important clients or projects that could help to grow your business

These behaviors serve as a major roadblock to your business. So, learn to recognize your self-sabotaging thoughts. Because the sooner you can spot false self-criticism, the sooner you will be able to silence it and move forward in your business with confidence.

You’re a Perfectionist

It’s wonderful to take pride in your work – your clients and coworkers will always appreciate dedication to presenting polished, professional work. But there is a line between pride and perfectionism that you definitely shouldn’t cross. Aside from perfectionism making it harder for you to actually get your job done, it creates a difficult atmosphere for others to work in.

It’s not that the desire to produce high quality work is such a terrible thing – that drive will impress your clients and help your business grow. But when you have an unrealistic expectation for perfection that impedes your progress because you are never satisfied, then it’s just another bad habit that needs to go.

You Don’t Set Goals

If you feel aimless in your work and are struggling to push forward, it may be time to check your goals. Most likely, you’ve at least established one major goal for your business, as it’s a necessity for any business plan. But if you are not regularly setting new goals for yourself and your business, it’s very easy to lose sight of your path forward. Smaller goals – daily, weekly, monthly, annual – allow you to track your progress and feel a sense of accomplishment. Without them, it is very easy to feel as if you aren’t making progress. So, not only will you feel stagnant in your business, but you’re also more like to feel dissatisfied with your work.

Give yourself reasons to pat yourself on the back on a regular basis – even if your goals are as simple as responding to 5 business emails before heading off to lunch – it will help you move through your to-do list. Small steps are still forward progress that will help you reach your larger goals and eliminate that feeling of stagnancy that’s been holding you back.

You Give in to Failure

Failure feels terrible, that’s a certainty. But within each failure is a valuable lesson to help you succeed the next time you face a similar problem. If you give in to failure to easily, you will miss the lesson and your business may not recover. It’s okay to be disappointed with failure – it happens to every entrepreneur. But if you have a desire to move forward, then this is one bad habit you cannot afford to indulge. Take each failure – yes, there may be more than one – and even if you get knocked down, get back up and keep moving.

Your hard work and dedication to your business deserve to be rewarded with success. You owe it to yourself to kick these bad habits to the curb and find your path forward.

What bad habit is holding you back?