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4 Uncommon Habits Successful People Have That Make Them Stand Out From The Crowd

4 Uncommon Habits Successful People Have That Make Them Stand Out From The Crowd

Have you ever stopped to wonder why some people appear to draw success to them? It’s as if they’re a magnet to an abundance of opportunities.

Sadly, for most of us, life is little more than a daily chore. We work for hours on end, with little job satisfaction, and a pitiful income. The high-achievers climb ever higher, while we’re left to dream of what might have been.

Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be this way. Fortunately, we can learn to adopt some of the habits that all successful people do. Let’s take a look.

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1. Consistency is the master key to success

Every major achievement has been brought about by certain actions being performed time and time again. For example, a world-class violinist is likely to perform the same warm-ups every day for years. They may even have specific pieces of music that they play repeatedly. They know that to be great at something requires constant and consistent practice.

How can you use consistency to help you be more successful? Well, one thing you could immediately try is to wake up an hour earlier than you currently do. The secret here is to use that extra hour per day to do something useful. If you’re a student, use the time for studying. If you’re building a business, use the time for creating income-generating ideas.

2. Blaming others for your problems is no solution

Successful people don’t take life for granted. They instinctively know that to get far in life requires bucket loads of personal effort, energy, and persistence. What’s more, they also realize that blaming others for problems is a surefire route to failure.

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It’s important to realize that life doesn’t owe you something. If you have this mindset, you’re likely to be forever disappointed. Instead of blaming people and circumstances for your problems, start taking charge of your life – and your destiny. And remember, problems are just situations waiting for solutions.

3. Surround yourself with smart people

As popular author and motivational speaker Jim Rohn famously said, “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” In other words, you’re likely to become mentally and emotionally similar to those you closely associate with.

This is potentially good news. Because, if needed, you can surround yourself with smart, positive, and upbeat people. Their influence will (over time) act as a natural booster to your goals, ambitions, and happiness.

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Let’s be clear though, it doesn’t mean removing negative people from your life. Instead, try to focus on spending more time with friends, colleagues, and family members who support and strengthen you.

4. Criticism is worth more than praise

High-achievers have learned the hard way that criticism is a more valuable tool for success than praise. Many of these successful people actually go out of their way to seek criticism of their plans and ideas. The reason is simple: constructive criticism can help us to learn and grow far more rapidly than would be possible without it.

Unfortunately, today’s fragile society has made most of us averse to criticism. We’d much rather wallow in the warm waters of compliments and praise. While there is certainly a place for praise, if you want to join the high-achievers club, you need to be ready and willing to listen to criticism.

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A good example can be taken from the world of sports. Professional players (with a few exceptions) all have coaches. Often, these coaches focus their time on looking for faults in their players’ sporting behaviors. Once they’ve found a fault, they’re able to highlight it to the player and suggest ways to resolve it.

Successful people may appear lucky on first observation. But look again, and you’ll see that they’ve adopted powerful habits that continually propel them towards success.

If you learn and adopt these habits, before long, you’ll be likely to stand out from the crowd and succeed in life like you’ve never done before.

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Craig J Todd

UK Writer who loves to use the power of words to inspire and motivate.

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Last Updated on March 25, 2020

How Do You Change a Habit (According to Psychology)

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.

What Makes It Hard To Change A Habit?

To want to change a particular habit means to change something very fundamental about your behavior.[1] Hence, it’s necessary to understand how habits actually form and why they are so difficult to actually get out of.

The Biology

Habits form in a place what we call the subconscious mind in our brain.[2]

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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.

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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.

The Psychology

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.[3] 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.[4] 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.

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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.

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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.

Final Thoughts

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

Featured photo credit: Mel via unsplash.com

Reference

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