Are you self-sabotaging at work? 18 Tips to Learn to improve your work performance and climb up the corporate ladder

jonathan-pendleton-61209We all have a dream of outperforming ourselves at work and staying consistent and moving up in our career.

However, we have difficulties bringing our wishes and expectations to life.

Furthermore, in the fast and highly competitive corporate world, some of our attitudes, assumptions, values, flaws often render us completely ineffective, come in the way of us being the best version of ourselves, from learning new skills, from developing our talents.

The reality is that, despite our best intentions, we are often our worst enemies, are unable to improve our career, to achieve our definition of success, to satisfy our higher purpose.

We thereby harbor dissatisfaction, self-defeating thoughts and resort to self-sabotaging actions.

Wondering how to become a better performer, a better contributor, a better leader in the workplace and control the self-sabotaging tendencies?

Most of the time, self-sabotage takes roots from collaborators sometimes abusing substance, striving too hard for materialistic success.

Self-sabotage also stems from an inability to control extreme negative thoughts and emotions such as anger, guilt or resentment, and an inability to control other people. Indeed, in the workplace, low performing employees and leaders tend to either:

  • complain too much about circumstances,
  • not take action or initiative,
  • doubt their capabilities,
  • be addicted to praise,
  • struggle to live up to other people expectations. Not pursuing your true purpose and implementing somebody else dream cause you to subconsciously rebel against your current situation.
  • act impatient,
  • be unable to follow rules or respect authority figure,
  • be unable to handle the pressures of responsibility;
  • misinterpret the image they have of themselves
  • be busy or lack time management skills,
  • lack conflict resolution skills,
  • fear the unknown,
  • fear criticism, looking ridiculous or being embarrassed,
  • fear change,
  • fear success,
  • feel rejected or reject their own being,
  • fear failure. Failures are usually blessings in disguise.

How to improve these bad habits and become an effective member of the workforce?

Becoming a better performer and contributor in the workplace doesn’t end at solely executing your duties and providing acceptable results, it also means working on your character and core values. To enable effective performance in the workplace, it is necessary to:

  1. Assess your strengths and weaknesses and ground them into reality. I cannot stress enough how self-discovery is an important and long life process that allows to:
    • upgrade your moral compass and create new ethical standards,
    • accept our unique distinctions,
    • evaluate your role and contributions at work,
    • assist, be assisted by coworkers or team members with a complementing set of skills.
  2. Understand your interests and abilities. This way you are able to develop your core capabilities, to choose the work that stimulates you the most, the workplace in which you best fit in and the team that complements you the best.
  3. Keep learning, grow your knowledge and your emotional intelligence that you may increase satisfaction at work, to envision greater possibilities, to overcome obstacles and to be successful in every area of your life by:
    • doing something new, something different, challenging your thoughts and your routine,
    • nurturing your natural curiosity about the world, about what you don’t know,
    • breaking routine and mindless actions to stimulate your imagination,
    • tackling your fears and negative emotions head and listing the consequences of your actions.
  4. Adjust your self-image to reality by writing down:
    • the qualities you have about yourself and the ones you want to acquire,
    • your trigger points. Don’t let identifying your trigger points to get discouraged and give up on yourself. Noticing your self-sabotaging habits is actually beneficial to you: you are probably not in the walk of life that you wish or supposed to be in.
  5. Act responsibility, be proactive, take initiative. Take on more responsibility and assignments, perform them with enthusiasm and motivation in order to become confident in your abilities, autonomous, dependable, emotionally mature and trustworthy. Indeed, the more you take on responsibility, the more you learn about yourself, the more you understand the consequences of your actions, the faster you admit your mistakes as soon as you notice them, the better you remain accountable especially when things go wrong, the more you grow, the more you gain competencies, the more you are willing to take initiative and even risks.
  6. Discipline yourself by inspecting and readjusting your thoughts, actions and behaviors to set standards, and dominating your immediate desires and impulses.
  7. Stay true to yourself. Avoid comparing yourself to others and competing with others.
  8. Allow yourself to think. In silence, without looking for distractions, confront yourself, make peace with yourself, strengthen your decision-making skills, observe bad habits, and therefore learn more about yourself, find your true purpose, learn to trust your intuition and inner feelings. Meditation, quiet contemplation, introspection are the key to staying alert, to increase your performance at work, to develop and recognize good ideas, to stay engaged and more conscious of your life.
  9. Define clear goals and seek better methods to become more productive, more competent in the workplace.
  10. Learn to insulate yourself from the noise in the workplace.
  11. Vary your experiences and get out your comfort zone.
  12. Take care of your physical health. Exercise regularly.
  13. Make a good impression, from day one, without overdoing it and running a political campaign, by dressing appropriately and being punctual.
  14. Respect and treat people the way you would like to be respected and treated. Uplift people instead of bringing them down or being considered as a toxic coworker in the workplace. Develop relationships and properly manage people emotions, don’t impose your emotions on others, don’t create enemies where you can have a supportive friend. As a result, you can become a good contributor and a valuable team member.
  15. Embrace change, renew your coping and self-defense mechanism.
  16. Expect to make mistakes, to learn from them and keep it moving.
  17. Avoid naysayers and haters like the plague. Change your circle of friends if they are the ones bringing you down.
  18. Service others. Servicing others doesn’t mean to submit to everyone and to every order. It means doing your best to get along with one another.

Last word of advice!

If you happen to abuse substance or are in emotional distress in the workplace, don’t be ashamed, you are not alone. Please talk about it to your closest family and friends, or find the nearest Workplace Help Center.

Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!

Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.


About journeytoleadershipblog

I started this blog to improve my leadership skills, to retain and share the tips that I use on a daily basis in the workplace. I also review books that are essential to leadership development.
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38 Responses to Are you self-sabotaging at work? 18 Tips to Learn to improve your work performance and climb up the corporate ladder

  1. This is great information that I will be passing along to a few friends and family members. I will also be Pinning this great info.

  2. momknowsbest15 says:

    Allowing time to think is very important. I do my best thinking when running.

  3. I must admit, I’m not great when it comes to change. I just don’t like it but I’m learning to embrace it! xxx

  4. Thank you so much for this post! 🙂 I appreciate that you give constructive solutions on how to avoid self sabotage! 🙂 I especially like “stay true to yourself” and “expecting and learning from your mistakes”. Very useful for all employees and admins. Great post! 🙂

    • Staying true to oneself is difficult but it is worth it. Staying authentic will diminish your anxiety and therefore reduce your internal fight that will push you to sabotage. Learning from your mistakes, will keep you out of trouble in the future. Thank you for commenting!

  5. Ooh! These are some awesome tips! I’m going to read this again later in more detail and try them out. Thank you!

  6. Those are so true! I will remember all these tips for myself. However, I want to improve the quality of myself.

  7. Ruth Infante says:

    Assessing your weaknesses and try to possibly use it as strength is massive. This is absolutely helpful.

  8. This tips are quite helpful for people to succeed in corporate world. Life is so much easier by following certain tips and rules.

  9. These are really great tips to build your leadership skills and progress in your performance.

  10. Crystal says:

    I love this post! This is such a great topic. Unfortunately I have found I have a few of those qualities for self-sabatoge, but Im slowly working on getting rid of them. Thanks for such a helpful post!

  11. justmegrowingup says:

    I love this post, there’s so much great advice in it! I especially love the tip about EXPECTING to make mistakes and also learning from them. Too often I forget that it’s totally okay to make mistakes and that everyone makes them sometimes.

  12. Becca Wilson says:

    There are definitely some times that I feel like I am my own worst enemy. These are some great tips to be able to combat this and help me out.

  13. I enjoyed reading your post. Since I work from home I don’t have to deal with some of those issues but I still think even working from home you run into some of those. I also agree it is best not to self sabotage yourself and your tips are on point.

  14. I like #6. I think we have to hold ourselves accountable in some way and discipline seems like the way to do it.

  15. John Mulindi says:

    Such a useful work related tips especially the one golden rule: Treat others same way you expect them to treat you.

  16. These are all great tips to improve your productivity level.Thanks for sharing!

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  19. GiGi Love says:

    Love where you mention growing your knowledge! Something I’m doing more often!

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