It’s 9 am. Your work-from-home shift has started and you have to finish a report by the end of the day. Thinking that you have the entire day in hand, you begin to procrastinate and leave the assignment for later. It’s almost mid-day and you haven’t started working on the report. At that moment, you receive an email containing another assignment that you must finish the same day. Now, you begin to panic and rush to finish both the assignments, which throws your routine off balance. Sounds familiar? Even a single bad habit can hamper your productivity and also hinder you from accomplishing other goals.
Therefore, it is important to get rid of the bad habits that hold you back from reaching your dreams. In his book, Put Your Dream to the Test: 10 Questions That Will Help You See It and Seize It, author John C Maxwell writes, “If your habits don’t line up with your dream, then you need to either change your habits or change your dream.”
Breaking bad habits, however, is not that easy, especially the long-standing ones. They are born out of your need to feel good and some of them are so deeply ingrained that you can’t even notice them. But if you are determined to succeed in life, you must develop an awareness of the bad habits that can sabotage your efforts of improving yourself. To help you in your quest, here are the eight most common bad habits that can prevent you from being successful in life and how to overcome them.
Staying in the safety of your comfort zone
If you are holding yourself back from doing something because you are afraid of the outcome, you will never go far in life. Failure is inevitable. But if you view your mistakes as opportunities to learn and grow, success will soon come knocking on your door. Business tycoons such as Bill Gates, Richard Branson, and Warren Buffet also experienced failures but they didn’t let the setbacks stop them from going after their dreams. They persisted and achieved success. So, take that leap of faith and get out of your comfort zone.
Roy T. Bennett, the author of the book The Light in the Heart: Inspirational Thoughts for Living Your Best Life, says, “Real change is difficult at the beginning, but gorgeous at the end. Change begins the moment you get the courage and step outside your comfort zone; change begins at the end of your comfort zone.”
People-pleasing is an unhealthy trait. Those who indulge in this habit feel that they have no other option but to mould themselves according to the expectations of others. A 2017 survey found that there are two types of people pleasers—approval seekers and disapproval avoiders. Confidence coach Dan Munro, who conducted the survey, says, “While approval seekers crave for attention, those who avoid disapproval hide in the shadows.”
While you may believe that pleasing others can make them like you, the harsh truth is that you end up feeling disempowered and invalidated. This bad habit robs you of your self-esteem and makes you feel worthless. Remember, it is okay to disagree. You have your own thoughts and opinions and they don’t always have to match with others.