5 Things To Avoid To Not Mess Up Your Career

Success or Failure Path ImageWhen I researched hundreds of women business owners and entrepreneurs for my book, I discovered behavior patterns that got in the way of their career success. I want you to succeed!

Here is a list of 5 top things to avoid, along with some tested tips. Read each statement. Select the choice that describes you.
1. I really tend to be a perfectionist, and I can get a bit crazy when things are done incorrectly.

Always    Almost Always    Frequently    Once in a While    Rarely    Never

Give up perfectionism! Perfectionism is the wrong tool for feeling better about you. Many of the women in my study had unloving, critical parents or intimate partners. These women, unknowingly, believed that control was the way to happiness. But you cannot control life or other people! Something often ends up not as planned.


  • Say to yourself out loud or write down: “I am still loved and respected if things do not go perfectly.”
  • Prioritize. Pick no more than 3 things that are most important about this project or task.
  • Think about what could really go wrong, and develop a fallback plan.
  • Get a sense of humor.

2. I dislike delegating responsibility to others.

Always    Almost Always    Frequently    Once in a While    Rarely    Never

Don’t play martyr or look for approval by “doing it all.” You will burn out, and will discover the high of applause and recognition does not last.


  • Say to yourself out loud or write down: “I am not just my work.”
  • Get a more balanced life. Don’t put all your eggs of self-worth in your work basket.
  • Before you hire a person, give them a complex task so he or she can show you their resourcefulness and reliability.
  • Give concrete, actionable, and measurable assignments and instructions.

3. I don’t like to admit it, but I can also be a procrastinator!

 Always    Almost Always    Frequently    Once in a While    Rarely    Never

Conquer procrastination. We all have tasks that are not so desirable. They tend to be overwhelming in scope or detail.


  • Say to yourself out loud or write down: “It is normal not to want to do certain things. I am not a failure or a lesser person than I thought I was if I am dragging my feet on something.”
  • Take a tip from author Ernest Hemingway. He always ended his daily tasks at a point that would be easy to pick up on the next day. This tip helped reduce dread and anxiety. So, pay attention to your endings. Don’t start your day with the most difficult thing.
  • Rehearse in your head what it would look like and feel like to do the task. Your brain’s neural wiring for certain activities is the same for imagining and doing. Athletes imagine themselves doing their sport. Imagining boosts confidence and reduces anxiety.
  • Break up the steps into segments of 10 to 15 minute. Stop and take a breath, get some tea or walk around the room. After a few of these short bursts of attention, your anxiety and dread tends to decrease.

4. My intimate partner takes up a lot of my energy and time.

Always Almost Always Frequently Once in a While Rarely Never

Your choice of intimate partner can either help or defeat your career success. Choose wisely. Too many high-powered, independent women choose men whom they can control. At first, these men can seem like cheerleaders or warm puppies. Feeling warm and loved is important—but so is feeling that you can rely on your partner.

Here is a short list of characteristics you should look for in a partner:

  • Can take care of himself and is not a “baby” who can’t be alone
  • Is your “wingman” you can rely on to do things that range from doing the laundry or cooking meals for the family, to being able to make decisions, solve problems and manage his career
  • Cheers your success and does not compete with you
  • Has career identity and interests

5. I tend to be “all work and no play.”

Always    Almost Always    Frequently    Once in a While    Rarely    Never

Being all work and no play is a risky setup for depression and anxiety. Don’t let your identity be your career. The women in my study experienced serious depression and anxiety when work did not work out. They said they “felt like nothing and no one.”


  • Say to yourself out loud or write down: “I am more than my job.”
  • Develop multiple roles in your life so that your sense of identity and self-worth comes from many areas such as: parent, partner, volunteer, artist, writer, dancer, etc.
  • Laugh! Do silly and fun things frequently!
  • Make time to be with your friends and to nurture these friendships.

Now review your answers. The goal is to have answers from the right side of the choices rather than the left. Use these tips to help you move from the left to right, and be sure to celebrate and congratulate yourself as you make progress!

I hope these tips help. My goals are to make you the best you!


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