We all have destructive habits. I think it’s safe to say that we have all been unhappy from time to time. We’ve all had times where we’ve just felt down, not really ourselves.
Chances are we all know just how easy it is for a bad day to turn into a bad week, month or year.
Once we find ourselves in a pattern of discontent and unhappiness, it’s hard to get out of. We might not like feeling the way we do, but gosh darn it we don’t have the energy to change it.
You might be worn our, burnt out, all out of fucks to give. And we behave in way that reinforce those feelings.
Is being unhappy a choice?
That’s harsh isn’t it. It’s certainly not a conscious choice. No one wakes up in the morning and says eh, you know what, I’m going to be miserable today. It’s far more subtle than that.
We start our day with a series of seemingly unimportant decisions. But the choices we make impact our day, even our lives, in much bigger ways than we might think.
Starting Your Day
It’s 6:00 in the morning. Your alarm is blaring. You have a few choices:
A| You turn the alarm off, roll over and go back to sleep.
B| You hit snooze 1 or more times. Savoring every moment of sleep you can get.
C| You climb out of bed and start your day.
Which of those choices is going to lead to a more productive and less stressful day? Which choice will likely make you happier?
The choices go on.
What do you wear?
A| The first items of clothing you see on the floor? Who cares how they smell or what they look like?
B| Clean but worn and comfortable clothes.
C| Something that makes you look and feel good.
Do you spend time on your hair and make up?
This isn’t to say that appearance has anything to do with being happy. But taking time to take care of yourself, saying I deserve to look and feel good. Acknowledging that you’re worth wearing the nice clothes, or taking the time to look good.
We feel better when we look good. We feel better when we’ve taken a bit of time to look put together.
When we grab our worn, probably dirty clothes we feel lousy. It’s unfortunate because no more energy to put on the pretty dress that’s hanging a couple feet away.
With that in mind, let’s stop making choices that lead to negative feelings and start choosing happiness instead.
Destructive Habit #1: Putting all your eggs in one basket
Do you ever tell yourself you would be happy if/ when…
I’d be happy if I had more money.
I’ll be happy when I get a better job.
I would be happy if my boss wasn’t such a jerk.
I will be happy after I lose this extra weight.
Suddenly our happiness is contingent on something outside of us. It’s somebody else’s responsibility.
You know that saying, “happiness comes from within”? It’s very true.
If you’re not happy now, with what you have at this moment – you’re probably not going to be happy with more money, another job etc.
Don’t get me wrong you’ll probably smile and celebrate for a few hours maybe even a few days after getting a new job. But quickly there will be a problem with it. Before you know it, you’ll be right back to basing your happiness on finding a new job. However, you just started a new job so where does that leave you and your happiness?
Some how, as hard as it’s going to be we have to learn to be content and appreciate what we have. No job, no amount of money, or different boss will ever be enough.
The truth is, we’re essentially wired to seek the next best thing.
Destructive Habits #2: Making Excuses
I’d do this, but…
I’m not good enough for this…
I can’t do this because…
How many opportunities do we talk ourselves out of over a life time? These days we’re seeing more people than ever starting businesses, traveling and generally living their best lives.
Instead of saying I can do this, I want to do this, I’m going to do it… we say the opposite. The fear of failure keeps us from the chance of success.
Take a look at the people who are doing what you want to do. See how many of them have a background similar to yours, use them as inspiration. If they can do it, why can’t you?
Destructive Habit #3: Worrying about what Others will Think
We learn early on in life that approval from our friends and family is important. We’re conditioned to seek approval and validation from those we care most about.
Sometimes we let our fear of disapproval hold us back. We would rather retain the status quo than risk not living up to the expectations others have of us.
Furthermore, it’s not so easy to risk people who are important to us potentially being unsupportive of our dreams.
The fact of the matter is that we have to believe is ourselves, whether or not anyone else believes in us. Listen to your heart do what you need to do to live the life you most want to live.
Destructive Habit #4: Comparing yourself to Others
Whats the point in trying, I’ll never be a good as her.
We are constantly comparing ourselves to our friends, neighbors, random people on Instagram. No matter how good we do, there is always someone who is doing better who has more.
The fact of the matter is there will always be someone who is richer, better smarter than us. This desire to compare our to others to try measuring up to someone else’s standards can leave us feeling negatively and generally unsatisfied with out lives.
We can’t be happy if we’re constantly comparing ourselves to others.
A healthier alternative is to compare our present to our past. Look at how far we have come. Even if we have gone backwards, we know we can get back to where we were, after all we’ve done it once before.
Celebrate yourself and everything you’ve done.
Destructive Habit #5: Always seeing the Glass as Half Empty
If you see the world through a lens never having enough. If you look at the world from the perspective of always wanting more, you can never truly be happy.
You’re going to see failures and set backs as inevitable. When we see the world from this perspective, the game is over before it has even begun.
By making little changes in our everyday thoughts we can begin to see our world in a positive light.
Destructive Habit #6: You’re a Slave to the Past
When things don’t work out, when something doesn’t end the way we intended it to, it’s hard to move on.
Our past failures hold us back, we convince ourselves that we can’t do better – that we won’t.
Living life filled with grief, guilt and regrets can only lead to negativity.
By learning to accept our past, our mistakes and our flaws we can learn to make better choices, to live in the no and be completely present.
What destructive habits to do you have? What do you do to combat them? How do they impact your life?
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