If you’re feeling stuck in life, say goodbye to these 10 habits

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Ever feel like you’re stuck in a loop, doing the same stuff every day and getting nowhere?

You’re not alone.

But guess what?

Sometimes, we’re the ones holding ourselves back. We’ve got habits that keep us stuck in one place.

The good news? Habits can change!

In this article, we’ll talk about 10 habits you should kick to the curb if you want to move forward in life.

Habit #1. Procrastination 

Ah, procrastination—the art of putting off today what can be done tomorrow. Or the day after that. Or even next week.

We’ve all done it, and it might seem harmless in the moment.

But here’s the deal: procrastination is like a leaky faucet, slowly draining away your time, energy, and chances for success.

The more you put things off, the bigger and scarier they seem.

Then it becomes a cycle: you avoid doing the task because it feels overwhelming, and it becomes even more overwhelming because you’re avoiding it.

Before you know it, you’re stuck in a loop of stress and wasted time.

So, what can you do? Start small. Break down big tasks into smaller pieces. Instead of saying, “I’ll clean the house,” try starting with, “I’ll put away the dishes.”

The idea is to make the task manageable enough that you can’t talk yourself out of it.

Once you’ve started, you’ll find it easier to keep going.

Habit #2: Negative Self-Talk

Ever catch yourself saying things like, “I’m not good enough,” or, “I’ll never get this right”?

Trust me, I’ve been there too. And let’s be honest, we all have those moments when we’re our own worst critics.

But here’s the thing: the more you put yourself down, the harder it becomes to lift yourself up.

Negative self-talk is like throwing mud on a clean window.

At first, you might still see through it, but the more mud you throw, the less you’ll see.

Eventually, you’ll believe there’s nothing good to see at all.

It’s time to flip the script. Instead of saying, “I can’t do this,” try telling yourself, “I’ll give it my best shot.” Replace “I’m a failure” with “I’m a work in progress, and that’s okay.”

These little changes in language can create a huge shift in your mindset, and believe me, a positive mindset can be a game-changer.

Habit #3: Comparing Yourself to Others

You scroll through social media and see someone’s perfect vacation, perfect family, or perfect job, and you think, “Why can’t I have that?” I get it; it’s easy to fall into the comparison trap.

But remember, what you’re seeing is a highlight reel, not the full story.

Constantly comparing yourself to others is like trying to measure your worth with someone else’s ruler.

It’s unfair to you and doesn’t give you a real sense of your own accomplishments.

You end up feeling bad about not being where they are, instead of appreciating how far you’ve come in your own journey.

So how do you break free?

Here’s a simple yet powerful tip: start a gratitude journal.

Take five minutes each day to jot down three things you’re thankful for.

They don’t have to be big things—sometimes, it’s the small stuff, like a warm cup of coffee or a call from a friend, that makes the biggest impact.

Doing this shifts your focus from what you lack to what you have, and helps you appreciate your own path in life.

Habit #4: Being Too “Realistic”

Wait, isn’t being realistic a good thing?

Sure, it’s important to have a grounded view of the world. But too often, we confuse being “realistic” with being pessimistic or limiting ourselves.

Ever had an idea that you were excited about, but then told yourself, “Nah, that’ll never work,” even before giving it a try? Yep, that’s what I’m talking about.

The danger of being too “realistic” is that you can end up setting the bar too low, effectively capping your potential before you even begin.

It’s like you’re putting a ceiling on your dreams and aspirations, which can be stifling and disheartening.

Try embracing what I like to call “positive unrealism.”

This doesn’t mean you start believing you can fly if you jump off a building.

Instead, it means allowing yourself the space to dream big and then take small, actionable steps toward that dream.

You’d be amazed at what can happen when you give yourself permission to aim a little higher than what you think is ‘realistic.’

Habit #5: Avoiding Discomfort at All Costs

Nobody likes to feel uncomfortable.

Whether it’s a difficult conversation with a friend or tackling a new skill that makes you feel like a total newbie, discomfort isn’t fun.

But here’s the thing: avoiding discomfort is like staying in the shallow end of the pool forever—you’ll never learn how to swim.

Life’s richest experiences often come from stepping outside your comfort zone. When you avoid discomfort, you’re also avoiding growth.

It’s like refusing to climb a mountain because you’re afraid you’ll trip.

Sure, you won’t fall, but you’ll never experience the breathtaking view from the top.

Ready for a practical step to beat this habit? Take the “Small Risk” challenge.

Identify something that scares you a little but isn’t life-threatening.

Maybe it’s speaking up in a meeting, joining a new social group, or trying a cooking recipe that seems a bit complicated.

Commit to doing that one thing this week.

Even if it doesn’t go perfectly, you’ll learn something valuable. And who knows, you might even surprise yourself!

Habit #6: Overthinking

Do you ever find yourself stuck in a thought loop, going over and over a problem without finding a solution?

Trust me, I’ve been down that rabbit hole too many times to count. It’s like your brain is a merry-go-round that just won’t stop.

Overthinking not only steals your peace of mind but also paralyzes you from taking action.

You end up thinking so much about what could go wrong, you talk yourself out of doing anything at all. Instead of getting closer to a solution, you find yourself drowning in a sea of “what-ifs.”

Here’s a personal trick I use to battle overthinking: The 5-Minute Rule.

Set a timer for five minutes and give yourself that time to think all the thoughts, worry all the worries, and fear all the fears.

But once that timer goes off, it’s time to take action. Whether it’s jotting down a plan, making a phone call, or doing some quick research—do something that moves you closer to a solution.

Trust me, action is the best cure for overthinking.

Habit #7: Ignoring Your Mental Health

Look, I’m going to be straight with you: Ignoring your mental health is like ignoring a leaky roof.

At first, you might put down a bucket and think, “I’ll deal with this later.”

But the longer you ignore it, the more damage it causes, until one day, the whole thing comes crashing down.

We live in a society that often glorifies being busy, always being “on,” and pushing through no matter what.

We wear our stress like a badge of honor and say things like, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” But the truth?

This attitude is not only unhealthy; it’s unsustainable. Ignoring your mental well-being is a one-way ticket to Burnout City, and trust me, you don’t want to go there.

So how do you start paying attention to your mental health?

Begin with a simple daily “Check-In” routine.

Take a few minutes each day to ask yourself, “How am I really feeling?” Be brutally honest. If you’re not okay, that’s okay.

The important thing is recognizing it and taking steps to take care of yourself, whether that means talking to a friend, seeking professional help, or even just taking a day off to recharge.

Habit #8: Always Saying “Yes”

You might be thinking, “Wait, isn’t saying ‘yes’ a good thing? Doesn’t it open doors and create opportunities?” Well, yes and no.

While it’s great to be open to new experiences, always saying “yes” can actually be a trap that keeps you stuck in a never-ending cycle of commitments you’re not passionate about.

When you say “yes” to everything, you spread yourself too thin.

It’s like trying to be in 10 places at once; you might make a brief appearance everywhere, but you’re not truly present anywhere.

And let’s be real, your time and energy are limited resources. Spend them on things that truly matter to you.

Saying “no” can actually be incredibly liberating.

The next time you’re asked to take on something new, pause and ask yourself, “Is this something I genuinely want or need to do?”

If the answer is no, give yourself permission to decline.

Saying “no” frees up space for you to say “yes” to things that you’re truly passionate about, and that’s where the magic happens.

How’s that for a twist? Saying “no” might actually be your ticket to a more fulfilling life. Are you ready for the next habit?

Habit #9: Avoiding Tough Conversations

Man, if I had a dollar for every time I dodged a difficult conversation, I could probably retire early.

It’s tempting, right? You think, “I don’t want to rock the boat,” or, “This will just sort itself out.”

But let’s be honest, avoiding tough conversations is like sticking your head in the sand.

Sure, you might not see the problem, but it’s still there—and it’s probably getting worse.

Whether it’s a chat about boundaries with a friend, discussing work-life balance with your boss, or confronting a relationship issue, tough conversations are, well, tough.

But they’re also necessary. Dodging them can lead to resentment, misunderstandings, and a whole lot of unnecessary stress.

Here’s a method I personally use when I know I can’t dodge a difficult talk any longer: “Prep, Breathe, Speak.”

First, prepare what you want to say. Make sure you understand both sides of the issue and think about what outcome you’re hoping for.

Then, take a deep breath. Seriously, it helps to center yourself. Finally, speak your truth calmly and clearly.

Trust me, once it’s done, you’ll feel like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders.

You might not solve the problem instantly, but you’ve taken the first crucial step in addressing it.

Habit #10: Living in the Past or Future

It’s so easy to get caught up in what was or what could be. Maybe you’re holding onto past mistakes like they’re trophies in a cabinet of regrets.

Or perhaps you’re so focused on planning for the future that you forget to live in the present.

While it’s important to learn from the past and prepare for the future, constantly living in either can rob you of the only moment you truly have: the here and now.

If you’re always looking backward or forward, you miss the opportunities that are right in front of you.

It’s like going on a scenic road trip but never taking your eyes off the rearview mirror or the map.

You’ll miss all the beauty along the way.

A simple exercise to keep you anchored in the present is what I call the “Here and Now” exercise.

Whenever you find your mind drifting to the past or future, pause and take three deep breaths.

Then, name three things you can see, two things you can touch, and one thing you can hear. This helps to bring your focus back to the present moment.

And there you have it, the tenth habit that might be keeping you stuck.

Breaking free from these habits won’t happen overnight, but acknowledging them is the first step toward a better, more fulfilling life.

So, what did you think? Are you ready to say goodbye to these habits and hello to a brighter future?

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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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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