Isn’t happiness the ultimate goal? Whatever it is that you are working towards in your life, whether it is in financial success, good relationships, improving the quality of your life through personal development, is all aimed towards being happy. However, is it possible that you are standing in the way of your own happiness? Here are some toxic habits that may be keeping you from being happy
1. You lack self-discipline
As I write this, I am reading Brian Tracy’s No Excuses!: The power of self-discipline. No wonder that lack of self-discipline is the first thing that came to mind when I thought of toxic habits to write about. Do you know what you want, you have narrowed down your goals and you know exactly what you want but you can’t seem to go get it? You want a certain body but you don’t have the discipline to work at it. You want to start a project of a certain nature but you can’t seem to get started? Or maybe you started and then quit along the way? Have you started several projects and let them unfinished because you lacked the discipline to finish them?
Lack of self-discipline is one of the toxic habits that are enemies to success. Getting self-discipline could be just what you need to achieve what you want. One of the major fruits of lack of self-discipline is procrastination. Are you finding the time to do the urgent things in your life but not the important things? You can easily answer your emails but you keep procrastinating working on the projects that you know will change the quality of your life? Check if all the above describes you and if you are a victim of this toxic habit. It could be just what is standing between you and happiness.
2. You’re filled with self-doubt
Unfortunately, the best of us are filled with self-doubt. In his book Originals, how non-conformists move the world, Adam grant acknowledges that originals, creatives, the best of the best, are full of self-doubt. However, what they do about their self-doubt is what sets originals apart. If your self-doubt is the one toxic habits standing in your day, you need to learn to embrace it and increase the belief that you are good at what you do. We all feel fear, but embracing fear is what will get you what you want. Adam Grant says “Originals feel fear too. They are afraid of failing, but what sets them apart is that they are even more afraid of failing to try”. Think about it, would you rather try and fail or would you rather have not tried at all? If self-doubt is what is standing between you and happiness, consider jumping into what you want to do, even with the doubts, and see your life change. You will live and excel and be happy in spite of your fear.
3. You have some irrational beliefs
I have written in the past about some beliefs that we need to unlearn. You see, growing up, our families and societies may have instilled some beliefs in us which well, are not so good. They didn’t mean any harm, they just didn’t know any better. There are some individuals with the belief that being happy is selfish, and despite the chance to be happy presenting itself, they will avoid it to avoid to be selfish. You could also be thinking that you don’t deserve to be happy. If you had some traumas in the past, you may have developed a belief that happiness was for others, not you. Check out my list of things you should unlearn and see if you can identify a few that you can relate to and they’re contributing to toxic habits in your life. Unlearn the wrong beliefs and teach yourself to be happy.
4. You constantly think negative thoughts
Are you constantly thinking about negative and disapproving thoughts about yourself? Do you think that you don’t have what it takes? Negative thinking is such a toxic habit that it can stand in your way of embracing positivity. Learn to think good thoughts. If you are constantly thinking that the world is out to get you, that’s exactly what you will get. I wrote about 3 thoughts that could completely transform your life, discussing thoughts that stand in the way of our happiness and how we can turn them around and think thoughts that are good for us.
5. You’re constantly seeking approval
This is one toxic habit that many of us have been guilty of at some point. If you find yourself seeking the approval of others before you do something, or seeking their acknowledgment after you have achieved something, consider checking yourself. Constant seeking of approval is a result of low self-concept which contributes to low esteem and low self-confidence. If you want to be happy and live a fulfilling life, learn to stand your ground even when no one is patting you on the back for it. Do things for yourself and not for others. The truth is, people, won’t always acknowledge your efforts, and waiting for approval will leave you disappointed every time you achieve something. Learn to celebrate your achievements alone, and feel the satisfaction that comes from accepting yourself, your achievements and doing it just for you. Now, that’s happiness!
6. You lack of self-identity
Are you constantly moving with the crowd? Do you have a tough time standing for something? Then your self-identity may be lacking. When you lack self-identity, you don’t have a clear picture of who you are and what you want. As a result, you are likely to be swayed in any direction. There is a saying that goes, “one who stands for nothing will fall for anything”. You’ll find yourself in situations you wouldn’t want to be in, but since you can’t stand for yourself, there you are! Lack of self-identity can lead you to the wrong relationships, wrong career, having the wrong company among others.Self-awareness can help you improve your self-awareness and get rid of this toxic habit.
7. You always seek perfection
If you are constantly seeking perfection in everything that you do, you are being unfair to yourself. Expecting perfection is unrealistic. You are not perfect, and neither is anyone. While I am not encouraging mediocrity, expecting everything that you do to be perfect means you will waste so much time at it and it still won’t be perfect at the end of the day. If you are working on a project for example, while you should put in as much effort as you can in it, don’t expect it to be perfect. Instead, as Adam Grant advises in Originals, create more content and it’s from this collection that you will make a masterpiece. However, if you focus on one thing thinking it’s the masterpiece, seek perfection and upon production, it fails, then you’ll be left feeling that the judgment was unfair. To be happier, work on your crafts constantly, you don’t know which one could be your masterpiece until you try!
8. You surround yourself with the wrong people
If you want to improve the quality of your life, surround yourself with the right kind of people. To be happy, learn how to cut toxic people out of your life. Cut out negative people, people who rain on your parade, that don’t root for you, all the negative things you can think of. You don’t need a reason to cut off toxic people. People that are constantly criticizing you and bringing you down are a barrier between you and happiness. Sometimes it can be tricky to tell the difference between toxic friends and people who are pushing you to be better. Here is how to identify toxic friends.
9. You’re being too hard on yourself
You can’t achieve happiness and live an authentic life if you are constantly dwelling on your past mistakes. This is one of the most overlooked toxic habits since many believe being hard on yourself is a good thing. If you made mistakes, learn to forgive yourself and not being too hard on yourself. Guilt is one of the reasons many people can’t be happy because they carry it all their life. They think that the more they allow themselves to feel guilt over past action, they get retribution. Don’t be too hard on yourself. If you did wrong, forgive yourself and strive to be happy. If you hurt others, apologize and most importantly, forgive yourself. You will be surprised the other party probably forgave you a long time ago. Learn from your mistakes and move forward determined that those were lessons and you will not be making the same mistake in the future.
10. You constantly compare yourself to others
Comparison is the thief of joy. I have written about comparison before because comparing ourselves really robs us from joy. Are you constantly comparing yourself, your looks, achievements, and happiness with that of others? You forget that our graphs are drawn differently and while that of one person could be going up, another one is going down. You also forget that how you see others on the outside can be deceiving. In this era of social media, you may be tricked to think that the life of others is perfect. You forget that they only show you the highlights of their lives. To be happy, quit the comparison game. Focus on yourself and your own path. Focus on your own journey. Drop this toxic habit and you will be one step towards being happier.