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5 Hazardous Habits That Kill Your Life’s Dream

5 Hazardous Habits That Kill Your Life’s Dream

“Hold fast to dreams, For if dreams die, Life is a broken-winged bird, That cannot fly.”  ― Langston Hughes

The aspiration to achieve our dreams some day keeps us going even during the hopeless hours of life. Yes, we all know this but still we keep on piling habits into our daily life, that unknowingly become the killer of our own Life’s Dream. These habits and behavior patterns become so involved within our personalities that they become our inherent traits, making us weak and fragile, always providing us with an excuse to let go of our dreams. So read on to know these five hazardous habits. If you can feel connected with the given characteristics, hold on and beware, you totally need to get out of these vicious habit that is killing your Life’s Dream:

1. Fear of the unknown

Characteristics: Such a person is always surrounded by various kinds of fears, i.e. fear of rejection, fear of separation or loss, humiliation and even fear of extinction. These fears are always in his mind which prevent him from taking certain steps towards his dreams, from taking risks and he is always enjoying his own comfort zone.

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Reason: Fear of the unknown is a mind condition which is conditioned from our childhood. For example, you have been constantly told in childhood to “not to go outside otherwise a white-bearded man will take you with him.” It sounds funny now but as a kid we were really scared of such things. So slowly and slowly our mind starts fearing things which earlier were fun like screaming for joy, dancing ridiculously or loving someone. We are afraid of being ridiculed or being termed crazy by normal society. And this fear becomes our inseparable attribute that sometimes we feel frightened to cross the boundaries in our banal life. We dare not to start anything afresh, killing our dreams to rest.

2. Addiction of pain

Characteristics: Such a pain addict no longer follows his heart’s voice, the inner conscious. He lives just to perform certain social responsibilities but his inner joy is no more. Everything around him is fake and useless, including human emotions. His dreams have no meaning and are mere fantasies.

Reason: The suffering caused by our daily stressful and busy life enhances the pain in our body, which we mostly try to resist but sometimes we become so prone to distress in our life that we start dwelling in our own pain delightfully. We start rejoicing in the sympathy arising from our pain. In a way we become addicts to pain that generates sympathy for us either from others or from ourselves. This addiction can become so hazardous that it can lead us to total hopelessness or dismal for life.

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3. Procrastination

Characteristics: Such a person is always waiting for a convenient time to fulfill his dreams. He is never certain of the present time and delays his dreams and goals for the future. He is the one always waiting for the right opportunity rather than creating one.

Reason: Procrastination has become a part of everyday life now. We ward off certain things for tomorrow, but with time procrastination can become second nature. We keep on delaying our hopes and dreams for the future as if we are certain that tomorrow would be a better time in spite of the fact that we are not even certain of our existence in the coming moment. This is because we are not confident enough in the present moment (sometimes it is due to laziness). We feel tired, exhausted or we might be looking for perfection. But whatever the reason may be, procrastination is avoiding our present problems and saving them for our future life.

4. Living with the Ego

(Note: please don’t confuse ego with pride.)

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Characteristics: Such a person is living with a false identity of himself. He connects his possessions, whether tangible or intangible, as his own self. For example, his latest smart phone, his collection of high-end clothes and accessories, his relationship with his loved ones etc… Such a person feels hopeless even in the thought of losing his possessions as these are his extended self and without which he is no more, taking him further away from his life’s dreams.

Reason: With the start of our lives we acquire this thing called ego. At first we connect our identity with our toys, this is my toy and if that got broken we would start crying because we perceived that toy as our extended self. And with time this ego started widening the boundaries of our perceived self not only in objects but also in relationships, knowledge and our physical appearances. And the moment someone tries to attack our egos we become aggressive, which is also the cause of various arguments (because our opinions are our perceived self and we can never be wrong). For some people this ego takes a larger-than-life form. As these people put their dreams on a backseat even if they are very well aware that the present moment is not what they expected out of life, they live in the pain of not fulfilling their dreams instead of following them. These people foresee themselves as weak and sometimes quit their current situation, thus moving miles away from their dreams.

5. Dwelling in the past

Characteristics: Such a person in always living his past. He is never in the present moment. His absent-mindedness is his starkest personality trait. He is always busy thinking about something that happened before and how he reacted or someone else thought about what he said to him.

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Reason: We all have certain conversations in our mind about past events but when it becomes so frequent that we are always engrossed in thoughts about why he said that, why I reacted like that or why I should have done this over that, then you are totally dwelling in your past. You are more concerned with what already happened and this could take you away from the present moment. Dwelling in the past moments, good moments or bad, frequently can be hazardous for your future dreams as it will not spare any time to make an action plan for your future endeavors. Your aspirations and dreams depend on your action plans that need to be made in the present not on the past moments.

The above five behavior patterns or habits are present in either smaller or bigger form in all of us. And the first step to bring such hazardous habits under control is through awareness in ourselves. The moment we become aware of them and effects in our life, we consciously become free of their ill effects. So pursue your dreams with full awareness and let success befall your life with joy.

Featured photo credit: ‘Dandelion wish’ courtesy John Liu via flickr.com

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

Reference

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