Last week we talked about some of the reasons that breaking bad habits and making real change in our lives can be so difficult and how we can make these shifts. This month we’re going to dive into 8 habits that we need to stop right now for our own good.
Waiting To Take Action
The Problem: Waiting for the perfect alignment of the stars it seems. We wait for the perfect time, the perfect opportunity, the perfect circumstance before we take action on something. We play it out in our head and we know how we’ll take action when all these things finally come together but until that time comes we do nothing.
Why Change It: This is just a time waster of the worst kind because it’s something that’s totally within out ability to change. When we do nothing but wait for “someday” to come, it almost never does. As a result we miss out on opportunities that we may not even know were coming because we were just sitting around waiting.
The Fix: When you start to find yourself waiting to take action ask yourself what it is about the moment you’re in right now that could help you reach your goal. There’s always something if we’re willing to look for it.
Living In The Future
The Problem: Planning things around something that may happen in the future or always being focused on what we’ll do once we achieve or acquire something. All your time is spent focused on the future events that you are expecting to happen and planning your life around that. Its similar to waiting to take action but we have a better idea of when the “someday” is because it’s in our sights. Now we’re just planning everything around that date and time.
Why Change It: When you’re living in the future you’re never in the present moment. For instance, you know you have a vacation coming next month and all your time is spent daydreaming about being there. You might be moving to a new city in 4 months, but you put all your time into thinking about what you’ll do and what you’ll change when you make the move rather than really living where you are now.
The Fix: It’s important to live all moments to the fullest and find joy where you are right now, not just where you’ll be in the future. When you find yourself fully living in the future stop and ask yourself what you have going on in the present that can give you joy. Don’t wait for some future event to determine when you’ll be happy. Find happiness and joy in the present moment, wherever that is.
Always Looking For Short Cuts
The Problem: Looking for ways to take short cuts toward your goals, whatever they may be. You’re always looking for a way to take a big leap to save time or money so you can get to your end result faster and easier.
Why Change It: When we take tons of shortcuts we miss out on some key lessons we’re meant to learn during the journey of our work. If you’re in a hurry to just get to the end you end up missing the fun of the work and the journey.
The Fix: A lot of the time there is a reason we feel the need to rush. It could be impatience, or it could be that there is something uncomfortable that we’d had to face by taking our time and waiting to get to where we want to go. Ask yourself what it is that has you feeling a need to rush and why you want to make things happen faster. When you find the why here, you’ll get an idea of what you really need to spend time on, because whatever has you wanting to rush is really what needs your deep focus.
Playing It Safe
The Problem: Fear, worry and anxiety has us sticking to a comfort zone that we have created for ourselves. We don’t take risks or try new things because we don’t want to mess up, get hurt or embarrass ourselves.
Why Change It: When we staying in our safe zone we miss a lot of lessons, experiences and opportunities that we might be able to create for ourselves. The more we stay safe the more we miss out on and eventually this can lead to feeling resentful of people around us who are doing big things.
The Fix: When you notice you’re playing it safe ask yourself what one thing is that you could do right now that would be a little risky but that would get you closer to your goals or desires. Even if you have to take that thing and break it down into an even smaller chunk, it helps to do just one thing to break out of that safe zone. Once you make a small move then your next one will be bigger, and soon it creates a snowball effect, and you’ll be out of the safe zone for good.
Focusing On Lack
The Problem: Being focused on what you don’t have rather than what you do. We all go through times of lack in different parts of our lives and we can have a tendency to focus just on the lack and put everything we think, feel and experience during those times in the framework of lack.
Why Change It: Like attacks like. Lack attacks lack. Abundance attracts abundance. Even when you don’t have the abundance if you focus on the lack, you’re only going to find you attract more lack, and that lack won’t come in just the one area of your life where you are currently lacking. If you lack money, and you focus on that lack, soon you find you lack in other parts of your life as well. That’s because lack mindset knows no bounds. But on the upside, neither does abundance mindset.
The Fix: Any time you start to find yourself focused on lack find one thing to be grateful for. Even if it’s something that you’re not overly abundant in, if it’s something you can point to and say that this is something you have, and you’re grateful for, this is the start of pushing aside lack mindset. This one does take time and work so keeping a journal helps. Note what your lack thoughts were about that day and what gratitude thoughts you used to counter them.
Being Mean To Yourself
The Problem: We are our own worst critics and we are really good at saying things to ourselves that we would never let another person say to us in a million years. The more we talk ourselves down the harder it becomes for us to accept compliments and gracious thoughts and energy from others.
Why Change It: We teach others how to treat us, and if someone sees you being completely shitty to yourself then they won’t have a problem with treating you the same way. Also, this creates a block for us being able to accept and even give love and healing. The only person you ever have is you so you should treat yourself better than anyone else does.
The Fix: When you find yourself saying things you shouldn’t to yourself or you are doing things that you know are damaging to your mind, body or spirit simply start by saying “I love and accept myself.” Then do something for yourself that is counter to what you were doing or saying that was negative. Even if it’s just buying flowers for yourself, it’s a way of creating a positive energy that can ripple out for you in other areas of your life.
Letting Emotions Build Up
The Problem: Letting the things that worry us, upset us or anger us stay firmly tucked away inside because we aren’t ready to share them with the people who are involved. We’re afraid of dealing with the uncomfortable conversations and situations that might result in sharing these thoughts and feelings with ours so we bottle it up and leave it to fester.
Why Change It: When we do this we turn into a tightly wound coil that’s going to be ready to snap at any second. When the final bit of energy that pushes us over the time finally comes the end result is never pretty. We end up blowing up at others and we do destructive things to ourselves out of anger and fear.
The Fix: Always have an outlet for getting your thoughts and emotions from your inner space to your outer space. This might be simply keeping a journal. For some people, they need others to be able to hear and see their emotions so you can create an anonymous blog to let your thoughts flow. Other ways that you can get this energy out is through art or even physical actives like dance and exercise. While simply talking to someone is always a great way to go when you know that isn’t something you’re ready to do you still need something, so find one outlet that works for you and use it on a daily basis to let off emotional steam.
Saying Yes When You Mean No
The Problem: Saying yes when deep down in your heart want to say no to people. Whether it’s helping someone with things that you just don’t have the time or energy for or taking on work projects that you would rather not be part of because there are other things for you to focus on, we all go through periods of saying yes when we really mean no.
Why Change It: From time to time saying yes instead of no is just the right thing to do. The reason we really need to change this is to ensure that we’re not turning into a doormat or becoming unintentional people pleasers.
The Fix: If you see yourself as a people pleaser who is always giving to others but never enough to themselves then it’s time to start creating some new boundaries. This can be hard at first but it’s crucial for your well-being. Start by allocating yourself a certain number of yes’s for others for the week. If you decide you’ll only say yes to requests for help or favors 10 times this week you’ll have at least 1 a day plus a few extras that you can work with. That means each time someone asks for help or for you to do something extra for them you have to really weigh it out in your mind. When you say yes, you’re committed to doing that thing wholeheartedly because you want to. But by saying no, you are in a sense still saying yes…you’re saying yes to yourself instead.