If you truly want to turn your life around, say goodbye to these 7 behaviors

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You ever look in the mirror and wonder, “How did I end up here?” I know I have. 

Life can be like a rollercoaster with more downs than ups, leaving us wondering where we went wrong. 

I’ve been there, stuck in a cycle of self-sabotage that felt impossible to break. 

But let me tell you, sometimes the only thing standing between you and the life you dream of is — you. 

Yep, our own behaviors can trip us up in the most unexpected ways. 

Ready to make a change? Let’s talk about 7 behaviors you might want to say goodbye to for a new beginning.

1) Talking down to yourself

Even if you don’t actively talk to yourself, each of us has an inner dialogue running in the background.

And unfortunately, all too often it tears us down rather than lifts us up. I myself was shocked when I realized how much my inner voice sounded like a mean bully.

I forgot to call a friend back when I promised? I’m “unreliable” and “a horrible friend.” I made a mistake in a work presentation? I’m “a total failure” and “everyone now knows it.”

All it took was for me to glimpse my reflection in the mirror and the endless tirade of criticisms would begin. 

I realized I was digging my own emotional grave by constantly undermining my worth. The day I decided to be my own cheerleader instead of my own worst critic, things started to shift. 

Because here’s the thing: negative self-talk doesn’t just stay in your head; it seeps into your actions, your relationships, and your potential for success. 

If you want to turn your life around, it’s time to change the narrative. Each time a negative thought crosses your mind, challenge it and talk to yourself the way you would to a beloved friend.

2) Procrastinating

It’s so tempting to put off a task that doesn’t sound pleasant to tomorrow, or the next day, or maybe even the day after that. 

Sound like you? You’re not alone. I used to be a master of delay, convincing myself I worked better “under pressure.” In reality, all I was doing was adding unnecessary stress and wasting precious time.

Many people believe procrastination stems from laziness, but it doesn’t. It’s actually a fear of failure, a fear of starting something we think we can’t finish to perfection. So we don’t start at all. 

But let me tell you, I’ve missed out on some amazing opportunities because I was too afraid to take the first step.

The key to overcoming procrastination is breaking tasks into smaller, more manageable parts. Instead of seeing a mountain, focus on the individual stones you can step on. 

Each small accomplishment fuels your motivation and suddenly, that daunting task doesn’t seem so insurmountable.

When you stop putting things off, you open doors to opportunities, growth, and a sense of accomplishment that makes life genuinely fulfilling. 

3) Blaming others

It feels good to have someone to blame when things go south — it’s so much easier to offload responsibility onto someone else than to admit we had a hand in our own misfortunes. 

But here’s the kicker: blame is a heavy anchor that keeps you stuck in the past and robs you of the power to change your future.

When you’re busy blaming others, you’re handing over your control. You’re saying, “My life is messed up, and it’s not my fault, so I can’t fix it.” But that’s far from the truth. 

The moment you own up to your part — no matter how small it is — in the situations and relationships that shape your life, that’s when the magic happens.

When I made this shift, I was able to see setbacks as opportunities for growth, and I was able to start making leaps of improvement rather than repeating the same mistakes over and over.

And, I was even surprised to discover I could improve parts of my life I had up until then convinced myself I had no control over. You’d be amazed at how much you can do — but only if you can admit it.  

4) Spending time with the wrong people

We’ve all heard the saying, “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Well, guess what? It’s truer than you think. 

I used to hang out with a crowd that was going nowhere fast — complaining, gossiping, and living in a world of negativity. It was draining, but it felt comfortable, like an old, worn-out shoe.

But at one point I realized that their limiting beliefs were becoming my own, and it was sabotaging my dreams.

Deciding to distance myself wasn’t easy. It felt harsh, maybe even selfish. But you know what’s truly selfish? Denying yourself the chance to reach your full potential. 

You owe it to yourself to surround yourself with individuals who uplift you, who challenge you, who make you want to be a better version of yourself.

When you choose a circle that reflects the person you want to become, you’re setting yourself up for success. Their positivity, ambition, and kindness will rub off on you, and before you know it, you’ll be reaching heights you never thought possible. 

5) Seeking validation from others

There was a time when I lived for the “likes,” the compliments, and the nods of approval. Every action felt like an audition for acceptance. I’d adjust my views, my look, even my laughter to fit what I thought others wanted. 

But here’s what I didn’t know back then: the applause of the world is fickle and fleeting.

The day it clicked for me was when I achieved something really important to me, something I’d worked hard for. Instead of savoring the moment, I was anxious about what others would think. 

Would they be impressed? Would they finally acknowledge that I had value? That’s when I understood that no amount of external validation could fill the void inside me.

The harsh truth is, if you’re always seeking validation from others, you’re handing over your self-worth to them, letting them dictate your happiness and peace of mind.

If you truly want to turn your life around, it’s time to start validating yourself. Celebrate your small wins, acknowledge your efforts, and know that you are enough just as you are.

6) Avoiding discomfort

Clearly, discomfort has its place in our lives — it’s a natural alarm system that can keep us safe. It would probably feel pretty darn uncomfortable to trek through a jungle filled with wild animals in the dead of the night — and thank goodness we’re not tempted to do it!

But here’s where it gets complicated: not all discomfort is a red flag waving you away from danger. 

When we turn away from every form of discomfort, we close the door on opportunities for personal growth, deeper connections, and experiences that add vibrant colors to the canvas of our lives.

Don’t let the fear of a little unease imprison you in a world of “what-ifs.” When you avoid the discomfort of a difficult conversation, you also miss the chance for resolution and understanding. 

When you steer clear of new experiences, you forgo the thrill of discovery and the joy of overcoming challenges.

The key is discerning which discomforts are signals to proceed with caution and which are invitations to expand your horizons. This clarity comes only with experience and a willingness to step into the unknown. 

So if you’re serious about transforming your life, embrace discomfort as a friend who pushes you to be your best self. A little discomfort today can pave the way for a lifetime of fulfillment and happiness.

7) Living in the past

Whether it’s the allure of “better days” or the heavy weight of past traumas, the past can exert a powerful pull on your soul. 

But being tethered to it — especially to traumatic experiences — can be like walking through life with a ball and chain. It doesn’t just rob you of the joy in the present, it casts a dark cloud over your future, affecting your ability to connect, to trust, and even to love. 

You don’t have to be a captive of your history. Yes, it’s easier said than done, especially when emotional wounds run deep. But if you’re committed to turning your life around, it starts with making peace with your past without letting it define you.

It’s not about forgetting or pretending things didn’t happen. It’s about releasing their hold on you so you can fully engage with the life unfolding in front of you. 

Give yourself the grace to heal, to seek help if you need it, and to move forward with the wisdom of experience, rather than the burden of nostalgia, regret or trauma.

Get ready to turn your life around

Now you know 7 behaviors you should say goodbye to if you want to turn your life around.

There’s a good chance everyone reading this does at least one of these things — but I say that without any ounce of criticism.

Rather, I see it as something very inspiring — because now you know at least one thing that can bring massive improvements into your life.

So start with just one of these things you strongly identify with, and you’ll be sure to find your way to the transformation you desire. 

Lost Your Sense of Purpose?

In this age of information overload and pressure to meet others’ expectations, many struggle to connect with their core purpose and values. It’s easy to lose your inner compass.

Jeanette Brown created this free values discovery PDF to help clarify your deepest motivations and beliefs. As an experienced life coach and self-improvement teacher, Jeanette guides people through major transitions by realigning them with their principles.

Her uniquely insightful values exercises will illuminate what inspires you, what you stand for, and how you aim to operate. This serves as a refreshing filter to tune out societal noise so you can make choices rooted in what matters most to you.

With your values clearly anchored, you’ll gain direction, motivation and the compass to navigate decisions from your best self – rather than fleeting emotion or outside influences.

Stop drifting without purpose. Rediscover what makes you come alive with Jeanette Brown’s values clarity guide.

 

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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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