All of us have negative habits that we just cannot let go of. Perhaps we are unaware of the consequences and we would rather stay inside our comfort zones, so we end up keeping on doing them.
But to do greater things and have bigger impact, engineers have to let go of some negative habits. It only takes some realization to make changes in the way think and do.
Brian Tracy, author of Million Dollar Habits, say that there are essentially two habits which have negative impact in what we do: fear of trying anything new and fear of rejection or criticism.
He explained in his book that this behavior starts from the way we were raised. While we are born unafraid and spontaneous, eventually we adjust and change according to the response of other people especially our parents.
The first negative habit, which Tracy calls as the inhibitive pattern, is all about being extremely curious at first and later discouraged by parents when they think about our safety.
For engineers, this has clear pros and cons; but being in a field where you have to try and try until one achieves success, there is little to no room for the fear of failure. We just have to keep going to foster innovation and provide solutions to problems. If engineers always say “I can’t,” before even thinking of trying, then that is a huge problem.
Always remember that we can do anything we put our minds to. With that mindset, we are progressing as professionals.
The second negative habit, which Tracy refers to as a compulsive pattern, is about the fear of rejection or criticism.
When we think so much of what others will say, the odds are that we will not achieve anything in life as engineers. Because we will be stuck – after all, we cannot impress everyone. That’s why we should not be so sensitive about disapproval of others. What matters more is that we are accountable of what we do in the field regardless if they go with or against the opinion of others.
But how should engineers handle these two habits? Tracy says that we should have a higher level of self-esteem.
“In other words, the more you like yourself, the less you fear failure and rejection. The higher your levels of self-esteem, the lower are the fears and doubts that hold you back. The more you value yourself, the more willing you’re to take risks and endure the inevitable setbacks, obstacles and temporary failures that will occur,” he said.