Bad habits are easy to develop but generally make life more difficult. Good habits may be more difficult to develop, but make life easier and so much more enjoyable. Over our life time we tend to acquire some self-defeating habits. We may have been taught them from well-meaning parents. We may have learned them from watching others who modeled the behavior. They might have come to visit accidently or purposefully by way of our environment, culture, schooling, religion or even the media. No matter which method or means they entered our life, the good news is that we can say goodbye to these unwelcomed house guests once we become aware of their presence.
Below are 8 tips for eliminating several common self-defeating habits. Once you become aware, and you have a desire to change, you only need to commit. Consistency and perseverance will allow you to take control of your destiny and make positive changes a reality for your future.
8 Tips for Eliminating Self-Defeating Habits
1- Say “NO”. You don’t have to do EVERYTHING! Leave some opportunities for others. We all become overwhelmed by all our daily tasks, and from time to time someone else can use their gifts and talents to fulfill the wide array of needs that are presented to you every day. Adding more to your calendar can add pressure that pushes you over the edge. It’s okay to say “No” to some things…sometimes.
2- Edit your circle of friends. The people you place around you should be supportive and encouraging. Your friends are your cheerleaders who will help launch you forward to meet your life goals. As tough as it may be, eliminate or cut back on spending time with those who don’t support you, your wants, desires and needs.
3- Say “YES”….to new possibilities. As you learn to say “no” more often, you will have space to explore new things you could not see before. Challenge can be uncomfortable, risky or even scary. We all fear the unknown, but new experiences stretch our sense of self, build our esteem and leave us with a greater feeling of fulfillment.
4-Practice positive “self talk”. The messages we hear over our lifetime become internalized and run like a repetitive voice mail in our brain. If you were fortunate enough to have parents that regularly told you that you were an awesome kid you likely have a great self-esteem. If you were dealt a different hand of cards, you might believe you are a failure, worthless or unlovable. Either way, it is time you create and practice your own affirmations of greatness. Our inner voice can be trained to be positive and optimistic. You CAN do it! : )
5- Understand that everyone makes mistakes. Nobody is perfect and in fact, nobody should try to be perfect. We are humans and we learn as we go and as we grow. We can only do our best according to what we know. Remember there is a reason why a pencil has an eraser.
6- Be grateful and thankful. It sounds cliché but yes, there is always somebody worse off than us. A man once said, “I complained I had no shoes until I met a man with no feet.” Many of us have suffered financially and emotionally due to the current economic climate. However, if you are reading this…you are ALIVE! Yeah!!! Count your many blessings and remind others of theirs.
7-Forgive yourself and others. It is true that there are horrific and terrible things that happen in our world. Much trauma that is unexplainable, undeserved and nearly unavoidable penetrates our culture. However, the human spirit is resilient. It is important to release the past so you don’t get stuck there. Surrounding yourself with positive friends and family and finding a quality therapist will promote health and healing.
8- Realize that you are the ONLY you. You were created unique and special. Your “being” is always more important than your “doing”. Your well being is what counts more than your production level. Embrace who you are and stop competing and comparing yourself with other people. You have much value….you matter!