3 Dangerous Habits to Dump Now (365 Days of Spirited Living – DAY 278)
“This could be the day you stop doing that self-destructive thing you do.”
The start of each new year is often a time of making resolutions, changing old ways of thinking and patterns of negative behavior, and being intent on doing better in the coming days. Too many people though wait until the start of something new to actually change some habit in their lives that has been holding them back all along.
You don’t have to wait until the week turns into another one, or until October rolls into November before you set about making important mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical changes. Any given moment you choose to change your mind and way of life for the better is the perfect moment to do so.
Some habits are worth dumping immediately. Here are 3 of them:
1. Relying on the past as an accurate dictation of your present and future.
Just like a whale tethered to a boat by a thin cord is conditioned to believe it cannot escape, many people allow their past to rule their present and control their future. Having a bad past does not mean your present or future will turn out the same way. Your past is what it is. Giving it free reign over your life is a choice that you make.
Some people are conditioned by past experiences and encounters to think that every present or future experience or encounter will be the same way. And that is simply not the case. Much of psychoanalysis is centered around going deeper into the past to understand the self. At some point, you have to learn to leave your past where it is and stop revisiting it. The past is important to the extent that you learn from it, not revisit it, and certainly not live there.
2. Giving our lives away to fear.
Fear is like a prison without bars. It holds us so tightly in its grip and will keep us there unless we choose to break free from it. The world might be a harsh place, but it isn’t a scary place. Your life may be difficult, but it isn’t something from which to run from or hide. Most of everything you’re afraid of is a result of your perception and uncertainty about the unknown.
Some fear is legitimate. This is why we have locks on our windows and doors, we turn on security devices before we leave home, and most of us don’t roam the streets after dark. Illegitimate fear is deeply rooted in our subconscious and if you need help overcoming fear of any kind, don’t be afraid to ask for it. But spending your days locked in your room, hiding in the closet, avoiding people, and running from your problems is dangerous to your very survival.
3. Looking for meaning by comparing ourselves with others.
One of the most self-defeating and mind-altering habits we have is looking for validation, approval, and meaning by measuring ourselves up to someone else. In so doing, we fail to be ourselves, we hide our flaws, fight against vulnerability, run from the truth, and defeat the whole purpose of living life. Your situation, your talents, your experiences, your skills, your thoughts, and your actions are completely different from anyone else and unique especially to you.
You can’t compare oranges with pineapples just because they’re both fruit. Likewise, you can’t compare your failures to someone else’s failures or your successes to someone else’s successes. Those who spend much of their time comparing, trying to measure up to other people, and evaluating themselves against other people so they can feel good do so to their own detriment. It’s a dangerous habit that is worth dumping
“The secret to permanently breaking any bad habit is to love something greater than the habit.”
— Bryant McGill