7 habits that are holding you back from reaching your full potential in life

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Generally, it’s our habits that can make or break us, not a singular event or bad decision.

The thing about habits is they’re so ingrained into our essence, that we barely notice when we’re doing them. 

And unless they’re corrected, they can chip away at opportunities. 

Before you know it, you’ll be older and full of regret, wishing you could have unlearned certain behaviors while there was still time. 

In this article, I’ll go through some of the typical habits that prevent people from reaching their full potential. 

Are you ready to claim your life back? Let’s dive in! 

1) Procrastination 

Let’s kick things off with an affliction that plagues us all in some way or another: procrastination. 

Most of us have the desire to do well. But desire and action are two different concepts. 

The procrastinator often feels so overwhelmed by the thought of doing a task, that they postpone things indefinitely, sometimes until things get out of hand.  

This behavior can lead to missed opportunities and unnecessary stress. 

As a result of their inaction, a small problem can become a much bigger one. Who wants that? 

When it comes to important tasks, start taking immediate action instead of passively twiddling your fingers or scrolling through TikTok. 

You’ll feel an instant sense of accomplishment and relief. 

This gem from Amazon head honcho Jeff Bezos has always resonated with me: “Stress primarily comes from not taking action over something that you can have some control over.”

2) Negative self-talk 

People make mistakes, sometimes even continuously, for years at a time. Not ideal but it’s not the end of the world either. 

Stop dwelling on past blunders. Nobody is perfect. It’s how we bounce back from trials and tribulations that will ultimately define us. 

Negative self-talk isn’t the most constructive of habits–your self-worth and motivation levels are at stake. 

Once you make the shift from beating yourself up for past shortcomings to using them as platforms for growth, you’ll notice some palpable changes. 

So replace negative thoughts and feelings with self-compassion and positive affirmations–two things that can reinforce feelings of optimism and help break toxic cycles. 

3) Overthinking

Life is too short to constantly be overthinking. 

Ruminating and overanalyzing every interaction or decision you’ve made, whether five days years, or five minutes ago, will invariably deter you from taking future risks and decisive action. 

There was a point in time when overthinking would consume me. 

I’d become so distracted and caught up by intrusive thoughts and anxieties, that I would feel too debilitated, almost catatonic, from moving forward. 

As mentioned in the previous point, failure is a natural part of life. 

It’s how we respond that counts. 

Take it from Michael Jordan, widely considered the greatest basketball player to ever live: 

“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

4) Not setting goals 

Apart from the occasional Powerball winner, you generally don’t become successful by chance. 

Hence, the importance of setting goals

Not setting clear and attainable goals will leave you disorganized and directionless. 

Trust me, once you have a realistic goal and put all your energy into achieving it, chances are you’ll make some significant progress in a matter of months. 

In the pandemic, I racked up a ton of debt. 

I had no choice but to close down my once successful business; and being the CEO, many of our unpaid creditors went after me. 

At first, I was tremendously overwhelmed, regularly handicapped with stress, fear, and even despair.  

My days consisted of getting threatening calls from angry suppliers, receiving the occasional subpoena in the mail, and panicking. 

One day, I woke up knowing things had to change. Coasting through my days, hoping for the best, wasn’t sustainable. 

I made it a goal to be mostly debt-free in six months. 

I began to systematically fix things, taking it a day at a time. 

I spent hours daily brainstorming for creative ways of getting cash. I swallowed my pride and diplomatically dealt with the people I owed money, painstakingly assuring them I was on the case. 

Fast forward five and a half months later, I managed to pay off the majority of my company’s debt. 

This meant significantly lower stress levels for me, which, in turn, opened the doors for further opportunities. 

5) Resisting to change 

If there’s one thing that’s certain in this life, it’s the inevitability of change.

I know people who are immediately averse to anything resembling change, almost like it’s a reflex. 

Father evolutionary theory Charles Darwin said it best: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, not the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”

Look at some of the bigger companies in the world like Apple, Nike, and Diet Coke. 

Yes, there’s no debate that they are highly capitalist institutions with the ultimate goal of hoarding wealth, but we can learn a thing or two from their marketing strategies, which are perpetually evolving to cater to modern tastes and sensibilities. 

They know that to stay relevant, they have to let go of rigidity and embrace change.

So perhaps it’s time to start thinking like Nike in the sense that for future opportunities to manifest, you have to get with the times, so to speak.  

6) Ignoring physical health

What’s the point of being a success on paper when your health is in shambles? 

You ought to be able to reap the gifts of all your efforts; allow yourself that much. 

So if you tend to neglect your health, take this as a cue to start taking control. 

The accomplished people (and I don’t just mean monetarily) I’ve come across in life all have seemed to prioritize balance. 

Meaning, they consciously make time for things like the gym, yoga, or daily self-care rituals.

They look after themselves and take responsibility. 

They don’t get blackout drunk or go on bi-weekly McDonald’s binges. They eat right, they hydrate, they aren’t sedentary. 

Besides, when you’re healthy, you feel good; and when you feel good, you’re in a prime position to reach your full potential

7) Staying isolated

They say no man is an island, and I tend to agree. 

From both a professional and personal standpoint, isolating yourself is incredibly limiting. 

Maybe you want to start a business, but you’re more of a creative person who is great at conceptualizing brands and ideas but lousy at operations. 

Consulting with others who bring different skill sets to the table can certainly increase your odds of success. 

In this context of doing business, networking is your best friend. 

From a wellness perspective, being around others and making strong bonds, as opposed to wallowing in desolate solitude, can keep you happy and entertained–which is great for your overall vitality.  

This is no longer just an opinion or your grandmother passing down anecdotal wisdom–there really is a scientific link between community and longevity. 

Final thoughts 

In conclusion, success isn’t just for other people–you deserve it as much as anyone. 

And the promising thing is, attaining your best self is well within your grasp. 

But you have to start acting. 

Setting out on a mission to achieve your full potential doesn’t really require a Herculean effort. 

Instead, a committed focus on smaller, crucial adjustments to your daily habits is the way to go.

You’re a shift of mindset away. Now get out there and make it happen.  

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Tina Fey

I'm Tina Fey, the founder of the blog Love Connection. I've extremely passionate about sharing relationship advice. I've studied psychology and have my Masters in marital, family, and relationship counseling. I hope with all my heart to help you improve your relationships, and I hope that even if one thing I write helps you, it means more to me than just about anything else in the world. Check out my blog Love Connection, and if you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter

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