It’s no secret that successful entrepreneurs have to be innovative and flexible. To have those traits, you also have to be creative. After all, creativity fuels innovation, and when you throw obstacles at a creative person, they’re more likely to meet those challenges and find new solutions than someone who is less creative and more rigid.

You may not know, though, that some habits—which you probably think are totally normal, if you think about them at all—could be blocking your creativity and destroying your chances of more success for your business.

COMPARING YOURSELF TO EVERYONE ELSE 

Whether you’re comparing yourself physically or mentally to others, you’re robbing yourself of a lot of opportunities. When you compare yourself to your peers, you’ll only see your shortcomings or how you measure up to them, not your true potential. Stop comparing yourself to others in your industry and in your life and give yourself permission to be yourself and to celebrate your unique talents and skills.

BEING A PERFECTIONIST 

You may have a vision for how you want things to go for your business, what you want your employees to do for you, and how you want your product launches to be received. All that’s fine, but you have to remember that you live and work in the real world, and things don’t always go as planned.

Not only that, but, thanks to numerous factors, you can’t expect perfect performance from everyone all the time. And you can’t expect your product to reach perfection before you launch. Focusing too much on perfection can get in the way of innovation and progress.

TAKING CRITICISM PERSONALLY

Constructive criticism can be hugely beneficial to new businesses. In the past, taking criticism personally may have motivated you to do better and work harder in the future. However, it can also make you resent the person who gave you the criticism. You might find yourself resisting making any changes in response to that criticism because you feel like that person had some vendetta against you.

If you can detach yourself from your work and ideas, listen calmly, and take criticism gracefully and objectively, you’ll be much more open to new ideas and improvements that could result in better products and more success for your business.

ALWAYS LOOKING OUT FOR NUMBER ONE 

While you should look out for your own best interests, it’s important to note that the most successful entrepreneurs are people who are always looking for better ways to solve problems for others. If you don’t keep your employees, partners, and clients in mind as you make business decisions, you’re not only bound to fail, but you’re also likely to extinguish your own creativity. After all, problem solving is great practice for creative thinking, and solving problems for the people who will help you build your business will put you on the road to success.

These four habits are more common than you might think, but they’re also fairly easy to break. Be mindful of them as you go about your day. Think about whether or not a product really needs more improvement or whether your own perfectionism is standing in the way of your success. Take a breath and try to look at criticism from an objective, positive point of view. And always think of how you can help others so that you can help yourself even more. Break those bad habits, and you’ll notice major improvements for your creativity and your business.

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