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8 Toxic Habits You Should Get Rid of to Improve Your Quality of Life

8 Toxic Habits You Should Get Rid of to Improve Your Quality of Life

Avoiding them might change your whole life.

When I first tapped into personal development, I tried to build as many positive habits as possible.

I set up a morning routine, started to meditate, went to the gym frequently, and read at least one book per week. Yet, a year later, I didn’t feel happier, more fulfilled, or improved. And I didn’t understand why my life didn’t change even though I built all these new, powerful routines.

 Change your habits and you’ll change your life  is one of the bold promises of the self-help world and I didn’t know why it didn’t work for me. But it’s true: Your routines can change your life. Yet what I overlooked is that those good routines aren’t worth much if you don’t let go of your negative habits first.

Quite often, it’s our little, harmful routines that break our success, not the lack of good ones. The following habits are certainly not easy to give up, but once you let go of them, you won’t only feel relieved but also much more energized in your daily life.

You make a mountain out of a molehill.
Did you ever make a great decision because you spent lots of time thinking about it? Me neither. The truth is that we never make good choices by overthinking.

According to Malcolm Gladwell, we make all our choices in the blink of an eye. Yet, we are not aware of it and want to have a logical reason. That’s why we over-complicate most of our decisions.

In his book Blink, Gladwell explains how all our decisions are based on our intuition. We don’t make the right decisions by thinking logically, we just try to find arguments for decisions we already made based on our gut feeling.

But life is so much easier and fun if you go with the flow, allow yourself to make mistakes, and correct your course on the way. Spending time to think about problems or decisions might sound smart, but it isn’t. Most people are overthinking everyday situations and end up spending hours and hours without producing results.

How to change it:
Small steps can lead to enormous changes: Why not try to choose your next meal in a restaurant quicker than you’d usually do?

Why not be the one who suggests where to go and what to do when hanging out with your friends instead of saying, “I don’t know.” or “I don’t care.”?

Try to take control of the small things in your life. Give your best to make the unimportant decisions as quickly as possible.

You are obsessed with other peoples’ opinions.
How often do you get discouraged because of other people’s opinions? The odds are high that your answer is too often.

The bad news is that you’ll never be able to satisfy everybody. The good news, however, is that it doesn’t matter. You have one life and you don’t need to waste it by living up to the standards of others.

How to change it:
You can’t be everybody’s darling, but you can indeed be your own hero and save yourself. Stop muting your inner voice to satisfy others and start sharing your light with the world.

You are living for the weekend.
So many people waste their lives looking forward to the weekend. This is a particularly dangerous trap for people who aren’t happy in their jobs and spend the whole week surviving instead of living.

But the truth is that weekends are just a small part of your life. You can’t be unhappy from Monday to Friday and expect the weekend to compensate for these negative feelings. A week is a great period to set small, realistic goals and track your progress. And if you like what you do, each Monday is a new opportunity to create an amazing week.

How to change it:
Nobody hates Mondays. You either hate your job, your coworkers, your boss, or something else related to Monday, but certainly not the day itself.

If you live a life you love, you’ll appreciate each day as an opportunity to share your gift with the world. Stop blaming Monday and identify the part of your life you really hate. That’s the only way to eliminate it and create a week and life you truly enjoy.

You are fearing change.
You don’t have to be cheerful about everything that happens in life. Yet, your fear shouldn’t hold you back. We all know that things could be way worse at any point in our lives.

Even the fact that you are reading this article right now indicates that you are among the wealthier, more privileged people of the world. Life is changing faster than ever before and we might be facing new challenges every single day. That’s why the most adaptable people will always win in the long run.

How to change it:
Stop being afraid is easier said than done, but it’s probably one of the most underrated pieces of advice. Even if changes might be uncertain, there is almost always a positive aspect to them.

Most of us grow up being taught to play it safe, get a well-paid job, build security, and avoid changes. Yet, change can also mean improvement. Every challenge in your life will help you to improve and become a better version of yourself. Be courageous, keep your eyes on the positive aspects, and try new things.

And if it still gets too scary, ask yourself the following question: What’s the worst thing that can happen? Quite often, you’ll realize that the worst thing isn’t that bad.

You are trying to please everyone.
How often do you find yourself doing something just to make someone else happy? Sure, sometimes, it’s great and necessary to do something just for the sake of making someone happy, but most of the time, the problem is our inability to say no.

If you can’t say no to the wrong things, you won’t be able to say hell yeah to the projects, people, and opportunities that truly excite you.

How to change it:
Be aware of your self-worth. Remind yourself of what you want and what you need to do for it. Saying yes to others often means saying no to yourself. If you always try to please others, you’ll be ignoring your own desires.

The first step, however, is to know what you are actually aiming for. You need to be aware of your life purpose, your goals, and your priorities. Once you know your priorities and the things you want to achieve, you will waste less time on the wishes of others.

You are living paycheck to paycheck.
Every single day, we’re being bombarded with thousands of sales pitches. Making purchases is simpler than ever before and great marketers know how to catch our attention, even if we don’t need anything.

Yet the harsh truth is that overspending will not only ruin you financially, but it’ll also harm other areas of your life. You can’t increase the quality of your life if you always live paycheck to paycheck and are surrounded by stuff you don’t need.

How to change it:
Get used to saving your money before spending it and avoid the trap of wasting your entire paycheck on consumer goods. Sooner or later, you might face unexpected emergencies.

When these situations occur, you’ll be glad to have a safety net instead of waiting for your next payment.

You are living in the past.
The surest way to live a miserable life is by spending too much time worrying about the past. If you want to be happy and fulfilled, you need to learn how to be present and enjoy the small joys of everyday situations.

Instead of thinking about your past mistakes or fearing the future, try to be fully present right now. Because now is to only time you can influence and change. You can’t change anything about the past, and you can’t determine your future. But you can give your very best to enjoy every moment and live intentionally.

Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment. — Buddha
How to change it:
Start focusing on the now. What can you do today to live your best life? Set daily intentions, focus on your goals, and think of all the things you are grateful for.

Journaling, for example, is an excellent method to be more present and focus on the given moment. By writing down what you’re grateful for and what you feel at any given moment, you’ll learn to be more present and listen to your inner self.

You are talking yourself down.
Imagine having a friend who followed you 24/7, telling you things like:
  • “You’re too fat.”
  • “You’re ugly.”
  • “You can’t do that.”
  • “You aren’t worth it.”

Would you enjoy the company of that friend? You probably wouldn’t.

Yet, too often, we are this friend ourselves. Most people are professionals in talking themselves down. But your relationship with yourself is the most important one.  You are the only person who’ll be with you forever. 

So make sure to get on well with yourself and be your own cheerleader instead of your own critic.

Watch your Thoughts, they become your Words; watch your Words, they become your Actions; watch your Actions, they become your Habits; watch your Habits, they become your Character; watch your Character, it becomes your Destiny. ― Lao Tzu
Focus on your strengths and achievements.
It’s easy to be confident and proud when you accomplish great things, but you need to be your own fan, even if you fail miserably. Throughout your life, you will meet so many people who’ll try to discourage you or don’t respect your achievements.
But no matter what others say, you need to stay true to yourself.

Photo by:  Pexels  
Sinem Günel

Sinem Günel


Entrepreneur, Coach & Dreamer. I write about Personal Growth & Business. Grab your Personal Growth Toolkit:

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