“I would be so successful if someone just gave me a shot!”
Many people out there have mindsets and attitudes that set them up for failure. When confronted with possible reasons for failure, or a lack of personal success, they often end up just making excuses. Here are 10 particular bad habits that keep those people from achieving success.
They’ll write that novel just as soon as they’re done with their favorite show. Oh, but now they’re hungry. They’ll get started after a snack. Oh, but now that snack has made them sleepy–a little nap couldn’t hurt, right?
One of the hardest, and the most obvious, parts of achieving success is the actual work. Procrastinating, making excuses or tricking themselves into loafing is just going to cement the fact that nothing will ever get done. It might not sound pretty, or even too easy, but the easiest way to get to success is to just jump in and get going (which is exactly how I got started).Advertising
It’s not their fault they’re not successful. The industry is bad, they don’t have the money, etc. When it comes down to it, however, who is the one responsible for their success? Themselves.
This is the day and age where people are launching successful start-ups in a few months, getting published online and finding their way to success one way or another. Some things might be out of their control, but blaming others is just going to waste the energy and time they need to get going.
3. Sour grapes
Being envious of the success of others is almost as bad as blaming them. All the time and energy they could be putting into their own goals is going towards a person who more than likely has done nothing but show them that the goal is attainable. They don’t have to be applauding their success, but being envious and sour about it is a waste of time–let it roll off the shoulders and dig down towards accomplishing goals.
4. Minimizing others success
Again, they don’t have to be cheering and raving about the success of others, but minimizing their accomplishments looks bad on them and on their own goals. If they attained success, would they want others rolling their eyes and treating it like it is not a big deal in the slightest? I highly doubt it. “So they climbed Mount Everest, big whoop. Plenty of people have done it before.” Have they?Advertising
They’re going to do this, they’re going to do that–the proof is in the pudding, ultimately. Talking about their goals and what they’re going to accomplish is all well and good, but talking time is better spent actually doing. Talking about goals has actually been shown to make you less likely to reach them, so zip up those chattering lips and dive in.
6. Making assumptions
You know what they say about the word ‘assume’, it makes an (inappropriate word I’ll leave out of this article) out of ‘u’ and ‘me’ . Unsuccessful people are the best at making assumptions without considering other outlets or opportunities. Missed chance after missed chance can put anyone behind, or completely ruin something that they poured a lot of hard work into. People are often surprised at what happens if they take a chance instead of listening to that little pessimist inside their heads. ‘Never assume’ is good advice and it is a mindset they should get out of as quickly as possible.
This one is obvious, isn’t it? It’s about the same as loafing, but even worse because it applies to multiple areas of our lives. That big project? Eh, its not due for a week. Dreams? Eh, going to be taking a class to learn how to write in a few months, I’m just relaxing until then.
Procrastination is not the friend of successful people. Many of them had to learn how to either make procrastination work for them or to barrel through it and press on, even with the proverbial sloth demanding you park it on the couch.Advertising
“It will never work. It is impossible, I just can’t …” That is about when it is time to take a good look at what they’re doing. There are a plethora of people out there that once thought the same thing: they can’t get a man into space, they can’t find a way for a human to fly, they can’t cure a disease. Well, people did what was once considered impossible. If they can defy the entire world, why can’t they defy the internal pessimist and get there? Don’t say that it is impossible. In the world we live in today, it seems like impossible is becoming a word that gets weaker every day.
Fast food, energy drinks, trash TV–their brain is sobbing at the thought. With all the time spent taking in things that are not good for their brain or body, how can anyone expect it to happily balance out and produce the stuff they need to achieve success? Output should be greater than input; though they don’t have to take the starving artist spiel literally. The point is, production is where the value is, not the absorption.
“Well, I tried.” Sure, they tried once. That horse is shaking its head and trotting off to find someone who will get back on it. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with cutting losses sometimes. After all, no experience is ever truly wasted, but quitting is the mortal enemy to successful people. If they believe in something, they want to find that success, there is no road map. You may very well have to carve your own path through treacherous jungle. If they give up the first time a mosquito bites, then they’ve doomed themselves already.
Success, in large part, is about the human being in the arena. People cheer for them, their struggle and victory, but the person who watches idly and scoffs, having never tried has also never really lived.Advertising
Mindsets are not set in stone. It is never too late to get started and change perspective. After all, achieving success is completely up to them; they are the one making excuses and holding themselves back. Decide when it is time to stand up and get back into that arena.
Featured photo credit: Boys around a campfire by the water./simpleinsomnia via flickr.com
Last Updated on March 25, 2020
How Do You Change a Habit (According to Psychology)
Habits are hard to kill, and rightly so. They are a part and parcel of your personality traits and mold your character.
However, habits are not always something over-the-top and quirky enough to get noticed. Think of subtle habits like tapping fingers when you are nervous and humming songs while you drive. These are nothing but ingrained habits that you may not realize easily.
Just take a few minutes and think of something specific that you do all the time. You will notice how it has become a habit for you without any explicit realization. Everything you do on a daily basis starting with your morning routine, lunch preferences to exercise routines are all habits.
Habits mostly form from life experiences and certain observed behaviors, not all of them are healthy. Habitual smoking can be dangerous to your health. Similarly, a habit could also make you lose out on enjoying something to its best – like how some people just cannot stop swaying their bodies when delivering a speech.
Thus, there could be a few habits that you would want to change about yourself. But changing habits is not as easy as it seems.
In this article, you will learn why it isn’t easy to build new habits, and how to change habits.
Table of Contents
What Makes It Hard To Change A Habit?
To want to change a particular habit means to change something very fundamental about your behavior. Hence, it’s necessary to understand how habits actually form and why they are so difficult to actually get out of.
Habits form in a place what we call the subconscious mind in our brain.
Our brains have two modes of operation. The first one is an automatic pilot kind of system that is fast and works on reflexes often. It is what we call the subconscious part. This is the part that is associated with everything that comes naturally to you.
The second mode is the conscious mode where every action and decision is well thought out and follows a controlled way of thinking.
A fine example to distinguish both would be to consider yourself learning to drive or play an instrument. For the first time you try learning, you think before every movement you make. But once you have got the hang of it, you might drive without applying much thought into it.
Both systems work together in our brains at all times. When a habit is formed, it moves from the conscious part to the subconscious making it difficult to control.
So, the key idea in deconstructing a habit is to go from the subconscious to the conscious.
Another thing you have to understand about habits is that they can be conscious or hidden.
Conscious habits are those that require active input from your side. For instance, if you stop setting your alarm in the morning, you will stop waking up at the same time.
Hidden habits, on the other hand, are habits that we do without realizing. These make up the majority of our habits and we wouldn’t even know them until someone pointed them out. So the first difficulty in breaking these habits is to actually identify them. As they are internalized, they need a lot of attention to detail for self-identification. That’s not all.
Habits can be physical, social, and mental, energy-based and even be particular to productivity. Understanding them is necessary to know why they are difficult to break and what can be done about them.
Habits get engraved into our memories depending on the way we think, feel and act over a particular period of time. The procedural part of memory deals with habit formation and studies have observed that various types of conditioning of behavior could affect your habit formations.
Classical conditioning or pavlovian conditioning is when you start associating a memory with reality. A dog that associates ringing bell to food will start salivating. The same external stimuli such as the sound of church bells can make a person want to pray.
Operant conditioning is when experience and the feelings associated with it form a habit. By encouraging or discouraging an act, individuals could either make it a habit or stop doing it.
Observational learning is another way habits could take form. A child may start walking the same way their parent does.
What Can You Do To Change a Habit?
Sure, habits are hard to control but it is not impossible. With a few tips and hard-driven dedication, you can surely get over your nasty habits.
Here are some ways that make use of psychological findings to help you:
1. Identify Your Habits
As mentioned earlier, habits can be quite subtle and hidden from your view. You have to bring your subconscious habits to an aware state of mind. You could do it by self-observation or by asking your friends or family to point out the habit for your sake.
2. Find out the Impact of Your Habit
Every habit produces an effect – either physical or mental. Find out what exactly it is doing to you. Does it help you relieve stress or does it give you some pain relief?
It could be anything simple. Sometimes biting your nails could be calming your nerves. Understanding the effect of a habit is necessary to control it.
3. Apply Logic
You don’t need to be force-fed with wisdom and advice to know what an unhealthy habit could do to you.
Late-night binge-watching just before an important presentation is not going to help you. Take a moment and apply your own wisdom and logic to control your seemingly nastily habits.
4. Choose an Alternative
As I said, every habit induces some feeling. So, it could be quite difficult to get over it unless you find something else that can replace it. It can be a simple non-harming new habit that you can cultivate to get over a bad habit.
Say you have the habit of banging your head hard when you are angry. That’s going to be bad for you. Instead, the next time you are angry, just take a deep breath and count to 10. Or maybe start imagining yourself on a luxury yacht. Just think of something that will work for you.
5. Remove Triggers
Get rid of items and situations that can trigger your bad habit.
Stay away from smoke breaks if you are trying to quit it. Remove all those candy bars from the fridge if you want to control your sweet cravings.
6. Visualize Change
Our brains can be trained to forget a habit if we start visualizing the change. Serious visualization is retained and helps as a motivator in breaking the habit loop.
For instance, to replace your habit of waking up late, visualize yourself waking up early and enjoying the early morning jog every day. By continuing this, you would naturally feel better to wake up early and do your new hobby.
7. Avoid Negative Talks and Thinking
Just as how our brain is trained to accept a change in habit, continuous negative talk and thinking could hamper your efforts put into breaking a habit.
Believe you can get out of it and assert yourself the same.
Changing habits isn’t easy, so do not expect an overnight change!
Habits took a long time to form. It could take a while to completely break out of it. You will have to accept that sometimes you may falter in your efforts. Don’t let negativity seep in when it seems hard. Keep going at it slowly and steadily.
More About Changing Habits
- 11 Important Things to Remember When Changing Habits
- How to Break a Habit and Hack the Habit Loop
- How to Find Your Keystone Habits to Change Your Life
Featured photo credit: Mel via unsplash.com