There are articles all over the internet about getting to the next level in your personal growth. Checklists for daily tasks that will help you succeed, guides for forming good habits, and advice about all the things you should be doing.
But what about the bad habits that are holding you back? There’s no checklist for all the things I shouldn’t be doing!
If you feel like lately you’ve fallen into a phase of complacency, maybe it’s time for you to take on a new challenge or reevaluate your current lifestyle. Perhaps you’ve hit a rough patch where things just aren’t working out, and you need a change for the better. Lists of forming good habits won’t help if you still have all of these bad habits killing your personal growth.
1. Giving everyone your time…but never making time for yourself
I know I’m not the kind of person that says no. “Want to go out for cocktails tonight?” Of Course! The answer is always Yes.
The always yes approach probably comes from my deep-seated need to be liked. Ever agreeable, ready, and willing to help. Sure I’ll help you move, clean out your garage, change your tire at 2am.
It’s not just saying yes to helping, but to every social outing, gender-reveal party, brunch date, and night out at the bar. It’s the expectation to attend, be involved, and help all the time.
Wherever this saying yes mentality stems from, it’s not growing from a healthy place. There is a real danger in being overly agreeable and giving away too much of your time
This “yes” mentality leads to:
- Spreading yourself too thin (i.e. burnout)
- People expecting you to always say yes and drop everything
- Saying no to yourself
When you say yes, all the time you subsequently say no to yourself. You say no to your goals and priorities. You say no to self care and YOU time. You say no to your personal growth. I’m not saying don’t say yes to anything. I’m just saying, be choosey.
If there is one thing, Quaretnite 2020 taught me it’s to value my free time.
2. Focusing on the negatives and down playing the positives
Here’s one that still creeps in now and again. Being Negative. It is so easy to slip into a habit of responding with negativity. Why is it so much easier to look at the negatives than the positives? The other day I got so hung up on someone drinking my bottle of champagne – it’s not like it was Dom Perignon. Instead of letting it go, I lost it without even asking how? WHY?
If I had, I would have heard the simple explanation – “I didn’t know it was yours” Wala just like that new bottle of champagne in the fridge. No need to panic.
You’re probably letting negativity slip through more often than you realize, especially with all of the negativity in the news, the fear of the current state of the world, the agitation of being stuck in the house all day.
Even though horrible things are happening right outside our door, there are also beautiful things happening; communities coming together, people helping people, songs being sung from balconies.
Kelsey Aida put it best when I asked her for her take on staying positive, “You can spend your precious time worrying about the future, or you can create the future that you want to experience. Your imagination can be to your detriment or to your benefit”.
Perception is reality, you can choose to see the negatives and let it get you down or you can focus on all of the reasons you have to be grateful.
3. Putting everything off until the last minute
A born and raised procrastinator, pushing it off till tomorrow is my motto. (You should see my Asana Task list! LOL) But guess what happens? Those tasks just start to pile up, and before you know it you’re in over your head.
Because I am still working on my time management skills – if procrastination were an Olympic sport I’d have the gold medal – I asked Emma Norris for her insight,
“If comparison is the thief of joy, then procrastination is the thief of time — a non-renewable resource we can never get back! When we have a procrastination habit, we put things off because we don’t feel ‘ready’, because we can’t make a decision, because it’s not the ‘perfect’ time or because we just don’t want to face the discomfort of doing that task. But the future isn’t guaranteed, and the ‘perfect’ time doesn’t exist. The only moment that’s guaranteed is right now, so we need to start exactly where we are with what we have right now.” – Emma Norris Imperfection action coach, A Girl In Progress editor.
If you want more procrastination tips, Emma has a great Procrastinator to Action Taker Course that will definitely take your time management skills to the next level.
4. Putting too much weight into people’s opinions
I remember when I was in the 3rd grade, and I had this super cute teddy bear backpack. It was new, so I figured you know I’m going to switch it up from the princess backpacks and rock this cool teddy bear one. That day at school, the other kids made fun of me, and I never wore it again.
Even though I’ve moved on from teddy bears and princesses the pressure to follow social norms and the need of acceptance from others doesn’t go away as an adult. We are constantly under pressure to fulfill expectations.
“Does this make me look like a bad person?”
“Will people think this is lame?”
“Am I the kind of person that can pull this off?”
This type of thinking is mind poison, and all it does is hold back your personal growth. It makes you hide pieces of yourself from the world that are worth sharing.
Here’s my piece of advice – assimilation is boring. No great ideas have ever evolved from someone overly concerned by the opinions of others.
5. Finding excuses instead of solutions
Marie Forleo has this downloadable recording called “Learn How To Get Anything You Want” I listened to this for the first time a few years ago, and one part really struck a chord with me. Marie talks about debunking your excuses. She has you do this exercise where you write down your top 10 excuses:
I don’t know how how to do that
I don’t have the time
I don’t have the money
Then she has you go through each excuse and call out why it’s BS.
There is a solution to every excuse. You have the option to either see it as the thing that holds you back or the obstacle that you will figure out and learn from.
6. Waiting for the stars to align instead of taking action
Waiting for the right moment is just another way to make excuses for something you don’t feel ready for. It’s not like one day something will click inside you, and all of a sudden, the stars will align and you will be ready.
Waiting to take action or waiting for the right moment kills growth – when you do things before you feel ready, you are forced to think in new ways. If you really want to get to the next level, you should always be challenging yourself.
You don’t have to have all the answers, you just have to take the time to analyze. Is this trait or behavior serving me? Am I happy with the way my life looks? What positive changes can I make to support my personal growth? What bad habits do I need to let go of?
Answer these questions, and you are on your way to leveling up.