Decisions, decisions, decisions. A seemingly simple choice you make can trigger an entire chain reaction of habits that slowly gets ingrained in your lifestyle. At some point, we’ve all been guilty of unknowingly clinging to toxic habits. Engaging in such causes unnecessary misery but some people might not even realize that they’re doing it.
To save you the trouble, here’s a list of some toxic habits you might be doing that should immediately be put to a stop if you want to lead a happier life.
Comparing yourself has to be the mother of all toxic habits. It’s inherent in everyone, especially with those who are overachievers. Nothing good ever really comes out of nitpicking tiny flawed aspects of yourself and comparing it with a glorified version of another person.
In rare occurrences, comparing yourself could be a positive act if you take your remarks as constructive criticism to better yourself. However, if you notice these notions impeding your mental health, maybe it’s time to step back and recalibrate your thoughts.
Abiding by perfectionism
When you think about it, being a perfectionist isn’t really that much of a compliment. Even though it’s masked under the notion of a good work ethic, this is one of the toxic habits that you should stop this instant.
Sure, there’s a chance that you may get lauded whenever you submit your perfectly executed work but more often than not, this trait pulls you back and limits your potential. For each fleeting minute you spend incessantly revising and polishing your work, more opportunities slip through your fingers. When this happens, there’s a high probability of you ending up even more frustrated with your work and experiencing burnout.
Contrary to popular belief, multitasking is one of the toxic habits that are ineffective in terms of doing focus-intensive tasks. You would think that you’re more efficient since you’d feel like you’re getting more things done. As good as this feels, the fact of the matter is that you’re just unnecessarily spreading yourself out too thin.
Sure, you could squeeze in a few other tasks if you’re just waiting for your cookies to bake. However, if both of your tasks require heavy mental or physical power, you might just want to do these tasks one at a time. If you don’t, you’ll just take a longer amount of time doing both of these simultaneously and you’ll end up tired more than usual.
If you let this bad habit perpetuate, you can easily experience burnout that dampens your overall productivity in the long run.
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Searching for validation from others
Searching for validation elsewhere is also high up on the list of toxic habits that people still engage in until today. Don’t get me wrong, it’s perfectly fine to ask for someone else’s opinion on a certain thing. It just becomes increasingly dangerous if you start depending on these nuggets of validation frequently.
Usually, most people seek for validation when they’re doing something that’s against their natural system of beliefs. Some, on the other hand, do this due to the fear of possibly making a mistake.
You shouldn’t be looking for validation from anyone else besides yourself. You don’t have to live up to their expectations of who you should be. You’re the only one who can dictate that for yourself. Once you get past that hurdle, you’ll feel more empowered to do the things that you really want to do even if they’re out of your comfort zone.
Surrounding yourself with wrong people
If there’s one thing I learned during freshman year, it’s that quality trumps quantity when it comes to the people surrounding you. A lot of good people can lose their sense of direction just because of the type of people they hang out with. If they don’t identify with your beliefs and principles, then maybe you shouldn’t be sticking with them in the first place.
Truthfully, it doesn’t really matter whether you surround yourself with a large clique or even with just 2-3 close peers. As long as they are sources of good influence and positive energy, you should be good to go.
Depriving yourself of self-care
Depriving yourself of self-care is one of the toxic habits that present its repercussions in the later parts of your life. You can tolerate the “I’m busy” excuse all you want but sooner or later, you’ll notice your performance slowly decreasing. If you keep on neglecting these needs, you’ll never be able to achieve your best self. Needless to say, practicing the art of self-care should be a non-negotiable service that you should be providing yourself with.
Leaving life up to chance
A single seemingly unimportant decision can greatly affect the rest of your day or even your entire life. If that’s the case, then you might as well make all your decisions worth it.
“If it’s meant to be, it will be” has been my go-to mantra whenever I’m too afraid to achieve something. I hid myself behind this excuse too many times already and whenever I look back, I just ended up regretting my decisions.
At that very moment, I realized that I’ll never run out of excuses but I’ll run out of time. Chances are, you’re also holding back on doing something that you’ve been wanting to do for a long time already. Don’t wait for the universe to hand you your dreams on a silver platter. Be proactive and take matters into your own hands. This way, if you still don’t get your desired results, you can argue that you gave it your best shot.
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Even with just a few months left for this year, it’s never too late to drop all of these toxic habits you know you’re guilty of doing. Trust me, you don’t need to postpone this much needed habit detox until the new year.
Breaking toxic habits proves to be just as hard as initiating good habits, if not harder. Your brain’s already hardwired to think a certain way and successfully changing these thought patterns can take some time—but that’s okay. It doesn’t really matter if you’re going slowly; little progress is still progress.
Don’t worry if you slip up every now and then because that’s totally normal too. Belittling yourself for not being strong enough to stick to your plan isn’t going to help anyone. Relieve yourself of unnecessary mental and emotional burden by just being kinder to yourself.
You might think that you’re weak but in reality, actively choosing to be a better version of yourself takes a great amount of strength. With that in mind, give yourself enough credit for all the great work you’ve done whilst treading the path of self growth.
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