Since most of our behaviours are habitual, sometimes we are not aware of the effect our habits are having on us. It is so easy just to continue doing the things we do each day without even reflecting on why, what and how we are doing those things.
Having the awareness of what some of our unhealthy or unproductive habits are is the first step in replacing them with healthy and productive habits. Sometimes we become aware of them because our results are not what we want them to be, or someone makes us aware of what some of our habits are.
If we can focus on replacing unhealthy and destructive habits with new empowering habits, we will:
- Create the results we want a lot easier and faster.
- Experience less stress and overwhelm.
- Feel better about ourselves because we will be making progress towards what we want.
Many years ago, an unhealthy habit I had was watching television in bed and falling asleep with it still on. Not only did it affect the quality of my sleep, it affected my level of productivity and effectiveness each day. It was hardly surprising that I found it difficult to concentrate on what I was doing during the day.
The strange thing was that behaviour continued for a while, maybe two to three years, before I decided to make a change. I knew I had to do something because I was generating additional stress by constantly being tired from lack of quality sleep. The only way I knew how to change the situation was to remove the television from the bedroom.
Not only did I start to sleep better, I started feeling more energised, was able to improve my concentration and do better quality work. That all happened simply because I decided to break an unhealthy habit.
While there are many habits that may not be serving us well, here are five habits to be aware of that may be causing unnecessary discomfort in our lives. Once we’re aware of these unhealthy and destructive habits, we’ll be in a much better position to replace it with a more empowering habit.
- Being fixated on all the things wrong with you. We all have flaws and weaknesses. If we constantly focus on the things we think are wrong with us, we will diminish our confidence, self-esteem, and will lack the courage to do things that we consider difficult. A more empowering habit is to focus on what’s remarkable about us as we are all special in some way.
- Focusing more on how you look rather than how you feel. Our modern way of living makes us focus so much on our external image — the clothes we wear, how we look, what possessions we have, etc. rather than focusing on how we want to feel moment to moment. A better habit is to intentionally generate the emotions we want to feel each day by doing things that will trigger those emotions.
- Giving too much attention and energy to what others think of you. Paying attention to what others think of us is ingrained into us from an early age. If we waste valuable energy worrying about people’s opinions of us, we are not focusing on what we want and what is important to us. It’s time to give all our focus to the results we want to create.
- Not acknowledging the knowledge, skills and abilities you have. Every experience we’ve had in life and everything we’ve learnt has helped us acquire wisdom, knowledge, skills and competence but all too often, we believe we’re not enough and not worthy of the success we desire. It’s always important to acknowledge what we have in terms of knowledge, skills and competencies, but also know be aware of what we have to learn to get the results we want.
- Downplaying your successes and achievements. It can be easy to diminish or even disregard our successes if we don’t have a healthy level of self-confidence and self-worth. So many people struggle to really own the wonderful achievements they’ve had in life because all too often, we compare our successes to those who have achieved remarkable success. The key is to remember that everyone has a different journey in life and start appreciating all the success we do have.
Habits are extremely important because they allow us to consciously focus on the things important to us. Our objective should be to turn healthy behaviours into habits and continue to replace unhealthy habits with new, empowering habits. If we develop habits of success, we will achieve all that we want and live a better quality life.
Question: What are some other unhealthy habits we must eliminate from our lives?
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