If you really want to become the best version of yourself, say goodbye to these 8 habits

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It’s been said that we are our own worst enemies. And boy, do I know that to be true.

As Lachlan Brown, founder of Hack Spirit and a devout student of mindfulness and Buddhism, I’ve spent a good chunk of my life learning about personal growth. And I can tell you, it’s not always about adding more good habits to your life. Sometimes, it’s about letting go of the bad ones.

Now, let me be clear: saying goodbye to these habits won’t be easy. But trust me, it’s worth it.

Let’s get started. 

1) Overthinking

One of the biggest hurdles to personal growth and becoming the best version of ourselves is the habit of overthinking.

It’s something we’re all guilty of from time to time, myself included. As a mindfulness expert, I can tell you that the mind is a tricky beast. It can twist and turn in circles, creating problems where none exist.

Overthinking is like a hamster wheel. It keeps us stuck in one place, going round and round without making any progress. Not only does it prevent us from moving forward, but it also saps our energy and causes unnecessary stress.

The solution? Embrace mindfulness.

Mindfulness is all about living in the present moment, without judgement. It’s about observing your thoughts without getting caught up in them. It’s about realizing that you are not your thoughts.

When you find yourself stuck in a spiral of overthinking, remember: take a deep breath, ground yourself in the present, and let those thoughts go. They’re just thoughts, after all.

2) Avoidance of discomfort

In my journey towards personal growth, I’ve found that one of the toughest habits to shake is the avoidance of discomfort.

It’s human nature to seek comfort and avoid pain. But here’s the thing: growth often happens outside our comfort zones.

The venerable Thich Nhat Hanh, a renowned Zen master and mindfulness practitioner, once said, “No mud, no lotus.” In other words, without experiencing discomfort and difficulties, we wouldn’t have the opportunity to grow and flourish.

Avoiding discomfort means avoiding opportunities to learn and grow. It’s like refusing to step into the gym because you don’t want to feel the burn of a workout. But without that discomfort, there’s no progress.

If you’re serious about becoming the best version of yourself, start welcoming discomfort as an opportunity for growth. It may be tough at first, but remember: no mud, no lotus.

3) Attachment to material possessions

This one can be a tough pill to swallow in our consumer-driven society. We’re constantly bombarded with messages telling us that more is better, that happiness can be bought, that the next big purchase will finally make us feel complete.

But here’s a raw and honest truth: it won’t.

In Buddhism, attachment to material possessions is recognized as a source of suffering. It’s not the possessions themselves that cause distress, but our attachment to them. The desire for more, the fear of loss, the belief that these things define us – these are the roots of our unhappiness.

True contentment comes from within, not from what we own or how much we have. It’s about appreciating what we have right now and understanding that our self-worth is not tied to material possessions.

If you want to become the best version of yourself, start by letting go of your attachment to material things. It might not be easy, but trust me, it’s worth it.

4) Neglecting the present moment

In our fast-paced, always-on world, it’s all too easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle. We’re constantly planning for the future or ruminating on the past, so much so that we often forget to live in the now.

Here’s some raw honesty: The present moment is all we truly have. The past is gone, and the future is not promised. Neglecting the present moment means neglecting life itself.

Mindfulness teaches us to focus on the here and now. It encourages us to fully engage with our current experiences, to observe without judgment, to truly listen when someone is speaking, and to savor the simple pleasures of life.

If you’re striving to become the best version of yourself, cultivating mindfulness and embracing the present moment is a crucial step. It’s not always easy – our minds are so used to wandering – but with practice, it becomes more natural.

5) Living with a bloated ego

Let’s face it, we all have an ego. It’s part of being human. But when our egos start to overshadow our true selves, it can create a barrier to personal growth.

I’ve grappled with my ego countless times. As someone who has dedicated his life to personal growth and mindfulness, it’s a constant journey of self-awareness. I’ve learned that the ego wants to be the star of the show, but true growth comes from recognizing that we are part of something much bigger than ourselves.

In fact, I delve into this concept in my book, Hidden Secrets of Buddhism: How To Live With Maximum Impact and Minimum Ego. It’s a manual for anyone looking to navigate the tricky waters of ego and personal growth.

If you’re serious about becoming the best version of yourself, it’s time to say goodbye to your inflated ego. Embrace humility, practice self-reflection, and strive to live with maximum impact and minimum ego.

6) Constant comparison

Here’s a truth we often overlook: constant comparison is a one-way ticket to misery.

In the age of social media, it’s all too easy to fall into the trap of comparing our lives with others. We see highlight reels of success, happiness, and perfection, and we can’t help but feel inadequate.

But Buddhism and mindfulness teach us that this comparison game is a form of suffering. It breeds discontentment, envy, and unhappiness. It shifts our focus from our own path to someone else’s, creating an illusion that we are not enough as we are.

The raw truth is this: no two paths are the same. Each of us has our own journey, complete with its unique challenges and victories.

If you want to become the best version of yourself, it’s time to stop comparing and start appreciating your own journey.

The only person you should strive to be better than is the person you were yesterday.

7) Ignoring self-care

In the quest for personal growth, it’s easy to place so much focus on pushing forward that we forget to take care of ourselves. But here’s the raw truth: neglecting self-care isn’t just harmful, it’s counterproductive.

Buddhist monk and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh once said, “To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.” This acceptance starts with taking care of our physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

Ignoring self-care can lead to burnout and prevent us from becoming the best version of ourselves. We need to ensure we’re eating well, getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and taking time for relaxation and reflection.

So if you’re serious about personal growth, make self-care a priority. It’s not selfish; it’s essential. And remember: you can’t pour from an empty cup.

8) Obsessing over goals

Yes, you read that right. While having goals is crucial to personal growth, obsessing over them can actually hinder your progress. Counterintuitive? Absolutely. But let me explain.

Mindfulness teaches us to focus on the process rather than the outcome. When we obsess over goals, we’re constantly living in the future, worrying about whether we’ll achieve what we’ve set out to do.

But here’s the thing: real growth happens in the present moment, in the journey itself. It’s about embracing each step, learning from each fall, and celebrating each small victory.

Instead of obsessively focusing on your goals, practice being present in your journey towards them. Trust the process, let go of the outcome, and watch how you grow.

Conclusion

Becoming the best version of ourselves is a journey, not a destination. It’s about letting go of habits that hold us back and embracing those that propel us forward. It’s about being mindful, living in the present, and understanding that true growth comes from within.

Remember, it’s not always about adding more to our lives, but sometimes about letting go. And in that space created by letting go, we find room to grow.

If you found this article helpful and want to delve deeper into the journey of self-improvement through the wisdom of Buddhism, I invite you to check out my book Hidden Secrets of Buddhism: How To Live With Maximum Impact and Minimum Ego. It’s a manual for living with greater mindfulness, humility, and impact.

Here’s to your journey towards becoming the best version of yourself. You’ve got this!

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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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