9 toxic behaviors that hold good people back

Everyone has potential for growth. As long as you believe in your ability to change, change is possible.

But sometimes, it’s easy to fall back into old patterns, making it hard for a good person to avoid toxic behaviors that can hold them back. 

The trick is knowing what these toxic behaviors are so you can avoid them from holding you back.

Without further ado, these are the 9 toxic behaviors that hold good people back.

1) Crippling self-doubt

Having a bit of self-doubt is healthy. In fact, even the most accomplished people can have it despite their great achievements.

But as with everything, it can be damaging when you have too much of it. It’s a toxic behavior that holds good people back.

When you’re plagued by self-doubt, you start to think you don’t have it in you to change, or to be a good person. Self-doubt makes the possibility of change uncomfortable, so you end up not facing it altogether.

To stop self-doubt from holding you back, you must believe you can change

Believe in your ability to break away from your toxic behaviors, your potential for change, and in the possibility of becoming a better person in the end.

Most importantly, believe in yourself enough so you stop refusing to change.

2) Refusing to change

Refusing to change is another toxic behavior that can hold a good person back.

Change is uncomfortable, for sure, and it can be easy to just sit in complacency in your present situation, even if it’s a bad situation, because change means to get up and face the discomfort.

If you believe you’re too good to change, you’re probably not. Everyone has room for growth—yes, even the best people you know. 

So if you want to be on the path to becoming a better person, don’t refuse change. Don’t let yourself be comfortable in a bad situation, and know that there’s always a better place for you to be.

Don’t let this refusal to change make you think that life is just too difficult.

3) Believing that life is just too difficult

It’s true that life is difficult—but it’s never an excuse for being a bad person.

That’s why it’s a toxic behavior that should not hold a good person back.

If you believe life is simply too difficult for you to make an effort, you’ll never be able to be the person you want to be.

The world might often be cold and cruel, but every day, we wake up, get out of bed, and face it. It becomes a little better because of people who make a constant effort to change it. 

4) Procrastination

Procrastination is one of the biggest enemies of a good person.

Personally, it’s still something I’m struggling to overcome. I often find myself paralyzed by the possibility of failure that I end up just not trying, or delaying it until I have absolutely no choice but to do it. 

This is a toxic behavior that can hold a good person back. 

So don’t procrastinate from the things that could make you a better person. Don’t let the fear of vulnerability stop you from seeking help, or your fear of getting hurt stop you from getting the love you deserve.

And when you finally welcome the possibility of change, don’t be impatient for results.

5) Impatience

When I start a new hobby, I want to be immediately good at it. So when I see that I’m struggling, I immediately give up, feeling stupid.

That’s a very toxic approach to life. You can’t expect to be good at everything, especially if you’re just starting—doing so can only hold you back.

If you’re just starting to exercise, don’t be impatient for results. If you’ve just gotten into therapy, don’t think you can overcome your trauma and fears overnight.

Change is a constant process. Baby steps are just as important as big, significant changes. If you keep at it, one day you won’t even realize how far you’ve come. 

If you let the impatience fester, you will end up feeling so scared of making mistakes in the process that it delays your progress. 

6) Fear of making mistakes

Making mistakes is just about the most human thing there is. 

Even if you’re the absolute best person on earth, you’re still capable of making mistakes like everybody else. 

The fear of making mistakes is, to some degree, rational. It threatens stability that you worked hard to establish, and might even damage your relationships.

But the crippling fear of making mistakes holds good people back. When you’re paralyzed by the fear of making mistakes, you won’t make any choice at all. 

Afraid of telling your family you love them? Just don’t ever do it even if you’ll later regret it. 

Anxious about admitting your feelings to a crush? Just don’t do it because it’s more comfortable to second-guess everything than to actually know how they feel about you.

To reach your fullest potential, you must remind yourself that making mistakes is completely normal. It can even be a healthy part of the process that enables you to have the will to achieve your goal.

The fear of making mistakes is sisters with avoiding accountability, so it’s important that you overcome this fear so you don’t end up avoiding responsibility when you do make mistakes.

7) Avoiding accountability

Good people are held back by a tendency to avoid accountability.

It’s perfectly natural to make mistakes, but sometimes, we can find ourselves avoiding it because we lack a sense of responsibility.

So when you make mistakes, you blame it on someone or something else. You say you didn’t intend to do it, and this x thing is the reason why you made that mistake.

But to people who have seen you make the mistake, they will not believe you. It’s more shameful to try to evade the responsibility than to actually take it.

Taking accountability is the mark of a good person. So don’t let your fear of taking responsibility hold you back. It can only make you a better person in the end.

8) Pessimism

Sometimes, pessimism can become a coping mechanism when bad things keep happening to you.

In other words, you expect the worst out of everything so it can’t hurt you when the bad thing finally comes. 

As a former chronic pessimist, I used to think this was a good thing, because when something good actually happens, I’m pleasantly surprised. But when the bad thing happens, I find comfort in knowing I saw it coming.

However, pessimism can still hold good people back, because when you believe too much in your fears, they become self-fulfilling prophecies.

For example, if you’re finally in a relationship with someone who is good for you, you might find yourself wondering when they’ll leave and get tired of you.

So you purposely become toxic to drive them away from you, and you’ll think you were right in your fears when you leave.

And when they do, it makes you believe you’re better off alone. But are you, really? Or are you just letting your fear get the best of you?

9) Trust issues

When you grew up with parents who are good and patient one day, and abusive the next, you get trust issues.

You never trust that anything good can last, so you just avoid it. It’s better for you to be in pain forever than have a taste of happiness just for it to be taken away the next day. 

But letting your trust issues always get the best of you is a toxic, self-sabotaging behavior that can hold you back.

When you know you’re with the right people but you still find yourself constantly on your toes, waiting for the other shoe to drop, it holds you back from being vulnerable.

You’re too scared that your friends will hurt you so you keep everything to yourself instead. What if they hold your secrets and deepest fears against you? It’s the people who love you most who can hurt you the most, anyway. 

But loving and hurting are both essential parts of being human. We must allow ourselves to love even with the possibility of getting hurt, because without it, what are we but empty husks lost in the vast emptiness of the universe?

Joyce Ann Isidro

Joyce is a writer who believes in the power of storytelling and changing lives by writing stories about love, relationships, and spirituality. A bookworm and art enthusiast, she considers herself a creative-at-heart who likes to satisfy her childish wonder through new hobbies and experiences.

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