Photo by sealion of SacramentoInstead of trying to lose twenty pounds with a New Year’s resolution, what if you decided to give up eleven habits that keep you stuck in a place you don’t want to be. We all have mindsets, habits and behaviors we’d like to change. Here are eleven of them to give up in 2011.


1. Give up the need to control

Impatience, complaining, and manipulation are ways we try to change something that can’t be changed. You can’t control the weather, the crowds at the grocery store or traffic. All you can do is prepare, shop at a different time or leave early. In your workplace, ask yourself where you need to let go of control, where you can delegate and how you can learn instead to trust your co-workers.

2. Give up giving and receiving guilt

Whether it’s the voice in your head, or your mother telling you what you should have done, guilt is an energy drain. Guilt only serves a purpose when it helps you change something, or apologize for a wrong doing; otherwise it’s a waste of emotional energy. In your workplace, don’t use the guilt trip to manipulate others, simply ask for what you want. If others use the guilt, pause, take a breath and ask for clarification so you can stop the game playing.

3. Give up changing others

Telling someone who they should be or how they should behave only makes them resent you. The only time someone changes is because it benefits them. Sometimes they change when you set boundaries, or make a request, but only if it serves their purpose. The wisdom comes in remembering you can only change yourself. In your workplace use your employee handbook to change behavior when necessary, otherwise chose your battles wisely.

4. Give up comparisons

Photo by Sun Star

There’s always someone richer, taller, skinnier, smarter and more educated than you. There’s always someone poorer, shorter, fatter, dumber and less fortunate than you. You’ll either feel better or worse when you compare yourself to someone else. Whether you view yourself as better or worse, it’s always relative and when there’s an emotion attached there’s always judgment.  Judgment only blocks your prosperity and blinds you to possibility. Instead of being jealous of your bright colleague,  ask for some mentoring  find a way to create a win-win relationship.

5. Give up self-betrayal

“I didn’t want to go, but I didn’t want to hurt their feelings.” Don’t do things you don’t want to do. Either own that you really do want to do it or simply say “no.” You betray yourself when you do things only to please others. Betrayal of yourself to please another is still betrayal says Neal Donald Walsh, author of Conversations With God. Beware of playing martyr in the workplace.  If you are feeling resentful or taken advantage of, ask for help, or learn how to set an appropriate boundary.

6. Give up the victim role

Making yourself or anyone else wrong is just drama. Ask for what you want, correct the situation or accept it. If you want to completely eliminate the victim role from your life remember that you always have choices. If you lead a team and have a “victim” on board, your role as a leader is to  help that person recognize his choices. Responsibility is the recognition of choice and with the recognition of choices comes empowerment.

7. Give up the rescue role

Saying “yes” when you need to say “no” is rescuing. This includes listening to drama, buying gifts for people you don’t want to buy for, going to parties you hate, spending time with people who bore you, irritate you or otherwise bring out your worst. In the workplace, taking sides, keeping secrets from the boss, or trying to solve other people’s problems only keeps you in the rescue role. Every victim needs a rescuer, so leave the rescue role behind if you want to eliminate the victim behavior among the staff.

Photo by Sun Star8. Give up blame

“I would have been on time but the traffic was terrible. I would have finished my report but I’m just too busy.” All of us blame without realizing it. Instead of blame, say I left too late and that’s why I’m tardy. I had a difficult time saying “no” and that’s why I’m so busy. Take responsibility for everything in your life, including your teamwork, your communication, your attitude, and see how much more powerful you feel.

9. Give up the need to be perfect

Consider the notion that the need to appear perfect may be another need in disguise: the need to avoid criticism. Commit to excellence instead of perfection and you’ll save time, be more productive and get along better with everyone else.  Practice an apology now and then and your associates will see you as more human.

10. Give up the need to be right

How often do we argue a point that really doesn’t matter? Needing to be right will not only drain your energy, it will negatively impact your relationships. No one likes to be around a know it all. Be willing to listen to another point of view without debate or adding one more “good idea.”

11. Give up old cliche’s.

How many times do you find yourself saying, “That’s the way it’s always been,” or “There’s nothing I can do,” or my favorite: “If you don’t like it find another place to work.” Instead ask  a better question: What would you suggest? Or “I would like to have your ideas for making the change,” will spare you from the employees talking behind your back and judging you as just another boss who doesn’t get it.

Marlene Chism is a speaker, author and communication consultant, and the founder of Stop Your Drama. The article originally appeared at her blog, See more of her Good News Network articles by clicking the byline at the top.


Leave a Reply