“Good habits are as addictive as bad habits, and a lot more rewarding.” – Harvey MacKay
Every one of us has bad habits. This is normal and part of being human. It does not matter how successful is the person, there is always something that can be made better. Interesting enough, successful people are well aware of their bad habits and limitations. But they do not focus on them; they like to be aware and work on getting rid of them. It is hard, but it is possible. So, if you are like me, trying hard to be successful and leave a good impression on the people you touch, focus on the following bad habits first; then, as you get addicted to the good counterparts, your life is going to snowball into a never ending quest for improvement. Let’s not procrastinate and move on!
1 – Procrastination
This is one of the most repulsive ones and quite hard to notice. Procrastination can take various forms, some of them dressed in nice clothing. It comes associated with a lack of prioritization. That makes its action easier. If we don’t establish what needs to be done first, why do anything at all? Another way it presents itself is with the need to get some rest or have some fun. Don’t take me wrong, I know we need to rest and have fun, but not all the time! Balance is a key word here. After we get rid of procrastination we normally acquire the good “can do” habit.
2 – Fear of rejection or failure
Again, this is a bad habit that comes associated with good ones. Like, for example, the need to survive. The fear of rejection also comes associated with low self-esteem and some superiority complex. If you don’t put yourself to the test, no one can say you failed... However, failure is the best teacher. When we fail we have the opportunity to learn. To fail is normal. No child stands up and walks without falling. We need to try to stand, gain equilibrium and practice each and every step. With time and practice we learn to run! After we get rid of the fear of rejection we open a world in front of us - we open ourselves to lifelong learning opportunities.
3 – Not assuming responsibility for success or failure
It might sound strange, but this bad habit can be associated with another bad habit – the need to be right. It is easy to see the association when a person does not assume responsibility for failure. However, it might come in a false modesty disguise when the person does not assume the responsibility for success. Anyway, we are responsible for our decisions and actions. They are the seed we plant now and will have to harvest in the future. Our present is the result of what we did in the past. The good part is realizing that our future will be result of what we do today. In other words, today we have the power to create our futures! When we get rid of this bad habit we become aware of what we need to do to create the future we want.
4 – Fear of change
This is a hard one. It comes associated with the fear of unknown and with the desire to control everything. However, life is in constant change. Every second we change, the world changes, technology changes. This is nature at work. When we get rid of this habit and embrace change we let our minds evolve, learn, and grow. Getting rid of this habit is the key to going beyond our limits.
5 – Be surrounded by negative people
We are naturally attracted to people like us. It is comfortable and comforting. They assure us that we did the right thing. Even if it the worst we could do to us... They are not bad, they are just like us. This bad habit is associated with the need of reassurance and fear or going beyond our comfort zone. However, if you are feeling too comfortable, you are probably doing the wrong thing to you... To change and evolve we need to get surrounded by people that have the habits we want to grow in ourselves. Their example will foster the same habits in us. We will be inspired by their success. It is well known that success is contagious. When we surround ourselves with positive people we open the doors to happiness.
6 – Talk about experience instead of accomplishments
This is a subtle bad habit. We all have some sort of experience. Most of them are good. However, when we keep talking about them we put a blind over our eyes and do not see the changes that happened around us. For example, having experience with very old computer hardware has very limited use nowadays. Anyone that focus on this experience will be depressed because they cannot use it. However, if they talk about what they accomplished at that time they will feel elevated and will naturally want to accomplish something of the same stature now. By changing this habit we will want to keep doing the same good work.
7 – Request help instead of helping
Don’t get me wrong. We all need help and we should request help. However, this cannot become a habit. It needs to be planned and we need to identify the right person to help. On the other hand, we are able to help. Even if we don’t believe we have the what it takes to help. Helping others is one of the best tools to learn how to overcome our limitations. When we have a true desire to help we go beyond our perceived limits. And as we gain the good habit of helping others we start to notice that, hey, maybe we can do something for ourselves too. This is a game changer. My suggestion for anyone is to start now and invest time helping others.
8 – Delve on negative thoughts
This bad habit usually comes coupled with wishful thinking. It is also associated with some difficulty in analysing the facts as they are presented, free from confusing emotions. I do not mean we need to be cold-blooded. We are emotional beings and this is wonderful. That’s what makes us humans. But when we concentrate on negative emotions and thoughts we get naturally confused by them; we start to believe they are real and we start working hard to make them real. There are several techniques to change this and I shall cover the subject in a later article. By overcoming this habit you enable your mind to identify not only what is good in life, but also how to get there.
I could go on and mention other bad habits anyone can benefit by changing. But, let’s be real, no one can really change all of them at once. We need to work on our bad habits one at a time and, as we improve, personal growth becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.
Jose Cid is a Business Intelligence Consultant, an Educator and Coach. Throughout his life he has been helping people inside and outside of the work environment. His motto can be translated into a simple equation: Knowledge + Intelligence + Action = Power ©. Please visit www.josecid.ca for other articles and services.