Every single one of us has, at some point or another, developed a bad habit or two. We are human after all. And while some bad habits may not seem like a big deal on their own, if we aren’t careful, collectively these habits could seriously impede us from living our best life and stop us from achieving our long-term goals. At the end of the day, if we want to perform at our optimal we need to assess our lives and ourselves. We need to identify the positive habits that will align with our goals and help us become the best version of ourselves. So without further ado, these are potentially some of the bad habits that could be hindering your success in life.
1. You are Always Late
We are all late for something at some point in life, whether it be a dinner date with friends, a doctor’s appointment or a meeting. Accept that it’s going to happen and is just one of those unavoidable aspects of life. But, the truth of the matter is, is that consistent tardiness is not ayoba, especially in a professional setting. If time is money and the one thing we all have in common is our amount of hours in a day, then surely one of the most valuable commodities in life is efficiency (i.e. achieving maximum productivity with minimum wasted effort or expense). If you are always late, it means you are not being efficient in your planning and how you do things. Not only that, but you could be wasting someone else’s time and hindering their efficiency. The most successful people in life are the people who know how to get the most value out of their time.
2. You Hold Grudges
Stop holding grudges and just let it go. Look, I know this is easier said than done and it’s a natural human tendency. We all get hurt at some point in life, but, the key to a better life is to not dwell on it. I am not saying you now need to hold hands with everyone and sing kumbaya. What I am saying is that holding a grudge uses up valuable time and energy, which detracts from doing things that will actually move you closer towards your goals and the life you want to live. In an article for Web MD, Mike Fillon cited one Hope College study that found that holding a grudge can even have negative health effects. So learn to let things go.
3. You Conform
Conforming was a survival tactic in primary school, but you’re an adult with a career now. Stop caring so much about what other people think and falling in line just for the sake of getting along. Does that really make you happy? Or are you just doing it because you are scared of the repercussions of going against what is deemed ‘socially acceptable’? Some of the greatest humans in history were people who weren’t scared to deviate from the norm because of how much they believed in themselves (e.g. Einstein, Jobs, Picasso). So, find what works for you and go all in because the people who truly matter won’t give a shit either way. If you want a bit of inspiration, I highly recommend watching the series GENIUS on Showmax.
4. You are Controlled by your Ego
This is something that Jay Shetty talks about all the time and I have to say I completely agree. Your ego is your level of self-importance. You may think you don’t have an ego, but, I hate to break it to you, you do. An ego is something we all have, whether we choose to believe it or not, because it is intrinsically linked to our expectations, belief system and perspective. Think about it this way, when we judge others, we are assuming we know better than them #ego. By letting go of your ego (or at least trying to) and by being more open-minded, you are opening yourself up to more possibilities, different ways of thinking and more fulfilling experiences, therefore, increasing your chances of success.
5. You Overspend
If money’s always burning a hole in your pocket, then you’re setting yourself up for future financial woes. Saving money and/or investing in assets is crucial for your financial future and long-term success. I know it can be hard because, well, we live in a capitalist society and are constantly being bombarded by companies haggling us to spend, spend, spend, but don’t give in to the temptation. It may take a bit of willpower and discipline, but you can beat the habit by identifying the psychological triggers that cause you to overspend.
6. You Procrastinate
I’ll tell you all about the downsides of procrastination later, when I muster up the energy to write something. Just kidding. Procrastination is tied to my earlier point about efficiency. Your indecisiveness could be losing you time, money, and even the respect of those around you. Sometimes you need to buckle down, bite the bullet and just get it done, son!
7. You Lie
This one’s pretty simple, if I am honest. Be honest. Once you fall into the trap of weaving small untruths that stretch into bigger and bigger lies, it can be difficult to break that habit. And yeah, there are success stories about cheats and liars who schemed their way to the top, but that doesn’t mean you should develop a dishonest streak yourself. Remember Karma is a b*tch and you don’t want to be caught on the wrong side of it.
8. You Burn Bridges
Listen, in life and your career, it may be necessary to burn some bridges, especially if the person on the other side is toxic. However, those cases should be the exception, not the rule. As you move through different phases of your career, don’t alienate the people you come into contact with based on an emotional reaction. Be the better person and keep it civil. You don’t want it to come back and bite you in the ass if you cross paths with them later on.
9. You don’t take Care of Yourself
You could have all the success in the world, but it won’t mean much for long if you don’t maintain your health. Don’t allow stress to drive you to stop exercising, eat poorly, and/or neglect yourself because, sooner or later, those choices will catch up to you and might just derail your life. You want to be around to enjoy the fruits of your labour, don’t you?
10. You have Bad Body Language
I was forced to learn this lesson from quite an early age because of my birthmark and is one I am extremely grateful for. Body language makes a big difference in how people perceive you and is often more important than the words you speak. Bad body language habits, like poor eye contact and slumping posture, can reveal your insecurities and you could be sabotaging your opportunities before you even open your mouth. Even if you’re feeling uncomfortable, learn to fake it ’til you make it.
We don’t often realise the cost of our bad habits, especially if we are only looking at the short-term. If you want to live the kind of life that others dream about, then you need to be doing the things that others aren’t. You need to be living your life the same way a high-performance athlete lives theirs, by applying focus, determination, and dedication to everything that you do. If an athlete doesn’t train, eat or recover well, then they are not going to perform at their best which could then provide others with the opportunity to beat them. Remember, giving into bad habits is easy while breaking them is hard. But, overcoming the hard stuff is where you will find true, long-lasting success.