7 behaviors to eliminate if you really want to change your life

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We all have habits that shape our existence, but sometimes those habits are more harmful than we’d like to admit.

You might look at your life and struggle to see the progress you want, or feel trapped in a cycle of behavior that is not serving you well.

How do you know if what you’re doing is truly detrimental to your growth, or just the typical ebb and flow of life?

After reflecting deeply on my own life and observing the behaviors of those around me, I have identified 7 behaviors that could be standing in the way of your personal and professional growth.

If these ring true for you, it may be time to confront and change these behaviors.

1. Living in the Past or Future, Rather than the Present

We are all guilty of this behavior to some extent. It’s easy to get caught up in past regrets or future anxieties, failing to appreciate the present moment.

You might find yourself constantly replaying past mistakes in your mind or endlessly worrying about what the future holds.

It’s normal to reflect on the past and plan for the future, but when these thoughts start to dominate your mind, they can prevent you from truly living in the present.

You may miss out on opportunities that are right in front of you, or fail to enjoy and appreciate the good things you have now.

If you notice that your thoughts are frequently focused on anything but the present moment, it might be time to re-evaluate.

Mindfulness techniques and strategies for staying present can help shift your focus back to where it truly belongs – on the experiences and opportunities available to you right now.

It’s a difficult shift, but a necessary one if you want to change your life for the better.

2. Fear of Taking Risks

Life is full of opportunities, but they often come with a level of risk.

You might find yourself shying away from new experiences or challenges due to the fear of failure or the unknown.

This behavior, while it may keep you within your comfort zone, can also stifle your growth and prevent you from achieving your true potential.

It’s normal to feel anxious when faced with uncertainty.

However, if this fear is holding you back from trying new things or pursuing your dreams, it’s a sign that this behavior needs to change.

Taking risks doesn’t mean acting recklessly.

It means having the courage to step out of your comfort zone and embrace the potential for failure as a stepping stone towards growth and success.

3. Constantly Seeking Approval from Others

We all want to be liked and accepted, but when this desire turns into a relentless pursuit of approval, it can become a roadblock to personal growth.

I’ve experienced this myself. I used to constantly worry about what others thought of me. I would second-guess my decisions, change my ideas, and even sacrifice my own happiness – all in an effort to please others.

This behavior didn’t just drain me emotionally, it also held me back from expressing my true self and pursuing what I genuinely wanted.

It was only when I recognized this pattern that I was able to start breaking free from it.

Recognizing the difference between healthy social interactions and an unhealthy need for approval is crucial.

If you find yourself constantly seeking validation from others, it’s time to re-evaluate your behaviors.

Start by learning to trust your own choices and embrace your individuality. It’s not easy, but the feeling of freedom and self-confidence that comes with it is truly rewarding.

4. Neglecting Physical Health

It’s no secret that our physical health significantly affects our mental and emotional wellbeing.

Yet, in the hustle and bustle of modern life, it’s easy to neglect this essential aspect.

Did you know that regular exercise can enhance your mood and reduce stress levels? It’s not just about maintaining a healthy weight or looking good.

Physical activity stimulates the release of endorphins, neurotransmitters in the brain that act as natural mood elevators.

Yet, many of us prioritize work, social engagements, or even screen time over physical health.

If you find yourself compromising on sleep, skipping workouts, or indulging in unhealthy eating habits regularly, it might be time to reassess your priorities.

Remember, taking care of your body is an investment in your overall wellbeing and a crucial step towards changing your life for the better.

Incorporating even small changes, like a daily walk or healthier food choices, can make a significant difference over time.

5. Avoiding Difficult Conversations

This was something I struggled with for a long time. I would often avoid difficult conversations, fearing they would lead to conflict or strain relationships.

But in doing so, I was not only preventing the resolution of issues but also hindering my own personal growth.

I recall a specific situation at work where I kept quiet about a colleague’s behavior that was affecting my productivity.

Instead of addressing the issue, I allowed it to fester, causing unnecessary stress and tension.

It wasn’t until I finally mustered the courage to have a candid conversation that things started to improve.

Avoiding tough conversations might seem like the easier path in the short term, but it usually leads to more problems in the long run.

If you find yourself dodging difficult discussions, it’s time to make a change.

Respectful and open communication is key to resolving conflicts and fostering healthy relationships.

It might be uncomfortable at first, but with practice, it becomes easier and can truly transform your life.

6. Constantly Comparing Yourself to Others

In the age of social media, it’s easy to fall into the trap of comparing your life to what you see online.

I’ve been there too, scrolling through endless feeds of seemingly perfect lives, only to find myself feeling inadequate.

This behavior can be incredibly damaging. It’s important to remember that what we see on social media is often a highlight reel, not a true representation of someone’s life.

Constant comparison can lead to feelings of inadequacy, jealousy, and even depression.

If you find yourself constantly measuring your worth based on others’ achievements or lifestyles,

it’s time for a change. Instead, focus on your own journey, acknowledge your achievements, and set personal goals.

It’s not about being better than someone else, but about being the best version of yourself.

Remember that everyone’s life is unique and everyone has their own pace.

You are where you need to be right now, and every step you take is bringing you closer to where you want to be.

Stay focused on your own path and celebrate your own progress. This shift in perspective can truly change your life for the better.

7. Procrastination: The Thief of Time

Procrastination is a behavior many of us are familiar with, and it’s one that can silently sabotage our growth. It’s the act of delaying or postponing tasks that we know we should be doing.

Whether it’s putting off a project, avoiding making a decision, or simply not starting a new habit, procrastination can be a major roadblock.

You might tell yourself, “I’ll do it tomorrow,” or “Now’s just not the right time.”

But as the days turn into weeks and weeks into months, you realize that the perfect moment you’ve been waiting for never comes.

I’ve been there, pushing tasks to the next day, only to be overwhelmed when deadlines approach. It’s a cycle of stress, guilt, and regret.

But why do we do this to ourselves?

The reasons can vary. Fear of failure, perfectionism, or even the lack of motivation can all be culprits.

But the result is the same: lost time, missed opportunities, and a nagging feeling of unfulfillment.

If you find yourself constantly delaying tasks or decisions, it’s essential to confront this behavior.

Understand the root cause of your procrastination. Is it fear? Is it a lack of clarity? Or perhaps it’s simply a habit that’s become too ingrained.

Once you’ve identified the cause, you can start to address it. Break tasks into smaller steps, set clear deadlines, and reward yourself for milestones achieved. Create an environment that encourages productivity, and surround yourself with people who motivate you.

Remember, time is the one resource we can’t get back. Every moment you spend procrastinating is a moment lost.

By tackling this behavior head-on, you can reclaim your time, achieve your goals, and move closer to the life you desire.

It’s never too late to start. The best time to begin is now. Don’t let procrastination steal any more of your precious time. 

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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