Speak Up / Speaking Out

5 habits holding you back that you need to break today

. 6 min read . Written by Roopal Kewalya
5 habits holding you back that you need to break today

Breaking out of these five habits can help you achieve true success in life.

Micromanaging behaviour

At home, women find it difficult to share child-care duties with their partners or other family members because they think they know best. So, when your partner does not engage with the child the way you want, you berate the partner making them feel incompetent and at the same time making them reluctant to take up the same job next time.

Similarly, in a workplace, if you insist on going through every single detail of the tasks you have assigned to a person that you have hired to do the job, it gets extremely demotivating for the person involved. No one wants to be treated like a hired hand or a robot who executes orders.

Also, if you continue along that path your family members and your team will distance themselves from you very soon and you would be left all alone to do all your tasks wondering where you went wrong.

If you love to control every small detail of your business or personal life, you are setting yourself up and people around you, for failure much more than you realise.

How can you stop micromanaging?

  • Trust your team: Once, you have assigned tasks to your team, it’s best to manage expectations rather than the tasks at hand. If you cannot trust your team, question your hiring decisions or question your lack of trust and the set out to address the actual issue.
  • Each employee is different: Ask the people reporting to you, how they would best like to be managed. Have discussions at length. Some people like to be assigned tasks and then left alone, others need more guidance and some might need a balance. Your team will then follow the same pattern with those reporting to them and a health work culture can be established.
  • Let them make mistakes: If you let your team make mistakes,  they will learn from it. However, if you continue to control and micromanage, the people will become robots executing orders and will never be able to independently think for themselves.
  • At home, setting expectations of tasks that you think you do better and what your partner thinks he does better is a very good way  for both of you to engage with each other. The child has to be fed, cleaned and put to bed for a nap. These are expectations and can be met. How the partner executes these expectations is something you have to let go of.

Not asking for help

Women don’t ask for help because they are never taught to ask for help.

Girls are raised and conditioned to be ‘givers.’ They are raised to believe that they are multi-taskers and that men can only do a single task at a time. Such myths take a toll not only on women’s mental and physical health but also create more assumptions that women don’t need help with what they are doing.

Add to this, the latest tirade of the world asking women to be ‘independent.’ Of course, all humans should be independent. But with this, the world asks women to do more than they were already doing. Especially in a work situation where women are constantly trying to prove themselves, asking for help is seen like a weakness.

Imagine this: if you are a nurturing personality then you end up looking after everyone at home and at work with no one looking after you. If you are an ambitious woman then you are supposed to achieve your goals independently without asking for support or advice. Calling women and especially mothers ‘superwomen’ has already made the conversation worse because since when did Superwoman need help?

Why should women ask for help?

  • There is no pride in doing it all and burning out and then feeling like a victim and blaming it on ‘this is how society functions.’ You have the power to change it yourself. The first step to getting what you want is ask for help.
  • It is not a sign of weakness. Sometimes, we misinterpret ‘being independent’ with ‘doing it all on my own.’ We are all social beings who need each other all the time and there is no shame in asking for help in times of need.
  • There is no need to be ‘good’ at everything. Accepting your weaknesses and sharing them with others so they know how to help you is a great way to ask for help.
  • Ask for help at work through recommendations from colleagues or senior members in order to move forward in your career.

Putting yourself last

Sacrifice is a virtue that is much appreciated in a woman. Even our films and stories have, for time immemorial celebrated women who have been submissive and put other people’s needs before theirs.

The Kool Kanya survey done last year revealed that many women are expected to either leave their jobs after marriage or move cities or homes because their partner’s career is considered more important than their own. Women play second fiddle to the men in their lives. Our mothers have done it and so have our grandmothers. In the name of tradition, we have been carrying along old practices and ways of beliefs and thought patterns that need to break.

How to take care of your needs first

  • Clarity of thought – Knowing what you want is the first step towards understanding how to put yourself before others. How many times have you cooked a meal day in and day out, without really asking yourself what you like to eat. Change that. Today. At work too, knowing what you want from your job – promotion, higher salary or awards will help you plan your career path better.
  • Drop the guilt – Knowing what you want and going after it with full gusto is not being selfish. If you have the role of a caregiver then it’s most important for you to first take care of yourself.
  • Forget what society says – Distance yourself from the opinions of others and first of all, remove your own judgements about yourself. You do not become ‘needy’ just because you look after yourself.

Not talking about your achievements

While men take the smallest of opportunities to talk about their achievements, women tend to downplay their accomplishments in a personal and professional space. Self-doubt, fear and the absolute inability of women to take pride in themselves contribute to this narrative that weakens their ability to celebrate themselves.

Also, humility and modesty is a quality that is encouraged in our culture. Many men also struggle with self-promotion but because women are also taught to play second fiddle to everyone around them, this habit is more pronounced in them.

How you can talk about yourself

  • Don’t always wait for your hard work and successes to speak for themselves. There is a difference between confident sell-promotion and bragging at the slightest chance. Modesty is also an overrated quality especially when it keep you away from that next promotion.
  • Reach out for testimonials from colleagues you have worked with. Don’t be modest on your CV. That is the one place you need to shine.
  • Do not be guilty about your successes. You have earned every bit of them and you need to talk about them more.
  • Stop self-deprecation. More Celebration. Underplaying your achievements is as bad as not talking about them at all. So be confident about your work. If you don’t promote yourself, no one else will.

Trying to be perfect all the time

There is nothing wrong in striving for perfection but if perfection becomes your only goal, then not only do you lose sight of the journey that takes you there but you also experience constant dissatisfaction because let’s face it – there is nothing called perfect.

Perfection also kindles a fear of failure within you. Like if you are used to coming top of your class, then you would see second position as a failure even though there is a lot to celebrate there.

How you can stop being the perfectionist all the time

  • Control the process but let go of the outcome. Letting go is easier said than done especially if you’re a control freak.
  • Despite controlling everything, sometimes the effects might not be satisfactory. It is in these moments that you realise what you are made of.
  • Drop the shame associated with failure. Failure teaches us a lot more than victory. Confusion helps us reach clarity.
  • Perfection stops you from challenging yourself and keeps you in a comfort zone for life. Get out of that comfort zone and treat this world as a playground. Not only will you find yourself to be more successful, you will also end up enjoying the journey, a lot more.