written by Angie Morgan

What are your bad habits? Come on … you know you’ve got them. To explore further, take a look at the list below:

  • Too impatient
  • Talks over others
  • Blames others for personal failures
  • Too quick to judge
  • Passive aggressive when angry
  • Can’t control your temper
  • Not prepared for meetings
  • Self-doubt and thinks worst case when challenged
  • Can’t manage your time properly
  • Big dreams and little action
  • Indecisive

When I look at the list above, it’s easy to see times in my life when I demonstrated several of them, often to my detriment. (I’m talking to you, impatience and passive aggressiveness.)

The thing about these bad habits is that we often treat them in one of two ways:

  • We – and our egos – deny them, especially when others bring them to our attention.
  • We accept them as aspects of our personality that we just can’t change or aren’t motivated to improve upon.

Here’s the deal. We can always change. To spark change in any of these self-limiting behaviors, here’s an idea that might present a new approach to improvement:

Start thinking less about the impact your bad habits have on you and more about the impact they have on others. 

If I were to tell you that

  • Your impatience makes people skip safety protocols so they can get the job done faster
  • Your temper has a chilling effect on collaboration and engagement, making people not want to work with you or deliver bad news to you
  • Your lack of preparedness for meetings squanders an hour of time of every attendee
  • Your lack of action towards your dreams is showing important people – like your children – that goal achievement is near impossible

… you’d start to pay attention because you’re seeing yourself from a different point of view and you’ve got empathy for others who get to experience you in your less than best moments.

Empathy is a powerful force to inspire change, build connection, and see opportunities for how we might make sure we reduce/eliminate victims of our bad habits.

So, go ahead … the next time you have one of your moments, take a pause and think to yourself, “Who else is impacted by my bad habits and how is it impacting them?” This level of self-awareness and reflection might be the fuel you need to be better for yourself and the great people around you.

Angie Morgan is the co-founder of Lead Star and the New York Times best-selling author of SPARK: How to Lead Yourself and Others to Greater Success, Leading from the Front, and the soon to be published Bet on You. Sign up for Lead Star’s free, weekly newsletter to get timely leadership tips delivered directly to your inbox each Monday.