12 Bad Habits Smart People Do Every Day

You may think that just because you’re smart, you shouldn’t have bad habits. You may think you’re alone in that. But the same as anybody, smart people have habits that get in the way of them being effective and productive.

And also the same as anybody, those bad habits may limit your potential, circumvent your purpose, and keep you from making a difference. Bad habits can play havoc with your life.

Identifying your habits is the first step to changing them. Look at these 12 destructive habits that commonly plague smart people, and ask yourself what fits:

1. Expecting that life should be easy.

The truth is nothing comes easy to most of us. Success comes when you prepare and work hard. So don’t be passive, but do everything better than you did it yesterday.

2. Not asking for help.

Especially if you’re smart, it’s easy to buy into the “do it yourself” myth. Asking for help not only connects you with needed resources but also sends the message that you’re secure enough to admit you don’t know everything, that you’re authentic, and that you’re willing to learn.

3. Holding on to things you need to let go of.

Letting go of the past can be among the hardest assignments you give yourself. But if you want something better to come in, the first step is to make room.

4. Chasing things they can’t catch.

Some people just love the chase. They go after projects, people, or things that don’t want to be caught. Settle down and put your energy where it can do some good.

5. Trying to hold on to control.

Smart people often think they can control everything. But frankly, that is not remotely feasible. The only thing we can reliably control is how we react to what comes our way. If you suffer from control-freak ways, instead work on doing what you can with what you have.

6. Giving up and giving in.

When you find yourself giving up, and giving in remind yourself who you are, what you’re passionate about, and why you’re working so hard.

7. Running from problems instead of resolving them.

Smarts don’t make you immune to denial, a strategy that’s known to make virtually any situation worse. It requires discipline to recognize and tackle your problems and your fears quickly, but it’s worth the effort.

8. Pushing too hard.

Nothing ever works when you are pushing against the grain. Work with the currents of life and you will get to swim with the tides.

9. Thinking you know it all.

The day you’re no long open to learning–the day you stop cultivating more knowledge–is the day you stop moving forward. Do all you can to embrace new information and wisdom.

10. Doing the same thing and expecting different results.

If you want to be smarter, better, faster then you have to stop doing what you’ve always done. Growth happens when you change and try new things.

11. Thinking smart people never fail.

There is no exclusivity when it comes to failure. Anyone who takes a risk can fail, even the smartest people. It is what you do with that failure that makes you effective.

12. Waiting until you’re 100 percent ready.

Nobody–and I mean nobody–is 100 percent ready when opportunity arises. Most of us are hanging out in our comfort zones, and to be ready for a great opportunity you have to grow into a new mindset. You probably aren’t ready, but take the risk and challenge anyway.

Focus your smarts on eliminating any bad habits that are keeping you from success, and there will be no stopping you!


N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R


What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

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Lolly Daskal is one of the most sought-after executive leadership coaches in the world. Her extensive cross-cultural expertise spans 14 countries, six languages and hundreds of companies. As founder and CEO of Lead From Within, her proprietary leadership program is engineered to be a catalyst for leaders who want to enhance performance and make a meaningful difference in their companies, their lives, and the world.

Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.

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