One of the most common habits that will bring down your chances of success is the fact that you always want to win. Life is not a game like Casino Bizzo. Losing and failure also is part of it. But you can learn from it. But there are more habits which can slow down your success. Here you have a short list of the most common ones.


According to some experts, many successful people have an urge to emerge victorious in every situation – even when it does not matter. However, there is a fine but important line running between reasonable competitiveness and excessive ambition.

Suppose you are planning a dinner with business partners and discussing with your sales manager where to go. You favor the tried-and-true Italian place around the corner, your associate a new French restaurant. Reluctantly, you agree – only to discover that the service is disastrously slow and the food mediocre. Still on your way back, you begin to grumble, “Told you that was not a good idea.” Sure: You want to be right and look like a winner in hindsight. Your sales manager, who was not crestfallen, now feels doubly bad.

Better: make yourself aware of what is more important to you: winning or not damaging the relationship with your counterpart? When in doubt: Just do not say anything.


This habit is a variation of always wanting to win: The desire to contribute to every discussion at all costs. According to these experts, this quickly leads to smart-mouthing, which drives interlocutors crazy. This behavior is particularly common among people who are used to pulling all the strings – as is often the case with entrepreneurs.

An example: Your HR manager tells you what he plans to do to attract new skilled workers. You interrupt him every so often, explaining what strategies you have already tried yourself and offering tips on how you would expand on his ideas.

Successful people have a very hard time listening to others and letting them tell them something they already know without in some way conveying to them (a) ‘I already knew that’ and (b) ‘I know a better way.

The problem with this: your additions may make the hiring manager’s ideas a tiny bit better, but at the same time, you have stymied his enthusiasm and commitment with your smart-ass remarks.

Better: take a breath and consider whether what you are about to bring up is really a valuable contribution. Or whether it just satisfies your need to always have the last word. As soon as you catch yourself wanting to respond to a suggestion with, “Great idea, but …” Bite your tongue and leave it at “Great idea, I like it!” You can still offer your help in elaborating the proposal in detail.



The humorously intended side-swipe at a colleague’s “nice tie.” The thoughtless dismissal of a mistake (“Well, that was clever!”): Such sarcastic comments can hurt and often remain in the memory of those affected for a long time.

Of course, you can insist that this is the way you are and that sarcasm is part of your nature. You may also find that it makes you seem particularly perceptive and witty. Not every coworker will resent a biting remark. But you can’t really be sure that you won’t do a lot of damage to your team with such thoughtless comments.


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