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5 Super Reasons Why We Shouldn’t Try to Be Super Heroes in 2012

5 Super Reasons Why We Shouldn’t Try to Be Super Heroes in 2012
Super Heroes
    Super Heroes by Cyara

    Superheroes are just awesome. They race around looking after everyone and the world. They do all that is expected of them and then race back to their 9 to 5. You will seldom hear them brag about what they have achieved and how great they are. They never complain about how they have too much work and how stress is to blame for their grumpy behaviour.

    Yeah, you guessed it — I’m no Wonder Woman. The closest I’ll ever get to Wonder Woman is wearing a Halloween costume (Mental note: Organize Halloween costume for next year).

    Before the New Year comes and we all go crazy with our resolutions and goals, it’s a good idea to take some quiet time and take a look at the year gone by. Acknowledge and celebrate the achievements and spend some time thinking about the things that didn’t go so well so that you can better understand the reasons why. This retrospective thinking can help us learn and grow — and ensure we don’t make the same mistakes again. My lesson to learn this year is that I’m not Wonder Woman and that no matter how I try I can’t achieve a workload like her.

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    “You can do anything but not everything” – David Allen

    So if you, too, are guilty of catching the “superhero bug”, here are some reasons why we shouldn’t aspire to be super heroes in 2012:

    1. Super Heroes are not real.

    Reality bites, I know, but those costume clad heroes aren’t real and neither is it realistic to achieve all the tasks they aspire to achieve in one day. Realizing what is possible and what is asking too much of yourself is an acquired skill that one learns with experience. There is only so much one person can do without asking for help or burning out…and we definitely don’t want the latter.

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    2. I can’t be all things to all people.

    I’m a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a blogger, a business person and a writer, (I’m also a Muppet fan, but I digress). There are times in my life where I have difficulties fitting it all in. There are times when things suffer because of my choices, but life requires us to make daily choices on how we spend our time. Having a personal vision can help to gain clarity about priorities and values. Having this as a guideline can help while making these choices.

    3. I need time for me.

    Superman flies off to Krypton every now and again to get away from it all; to have some time alone to rest and rejuvenate. We all need it.

    Stephen Covey calls it “sharpening the saw”. Without this time we can’t possibly keep going and giving our best. We all need to de-stress and unwind to be able to perform at our best.

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    4. I don’t need to conquer the world (not today anyhow).

    You don’t have to do everything now.

    I am always guilty of wanting to do it all and wanting to do it now. I’m impatient and have a tendency to push myself too hard. But I have learned that some things can wait. The great plans in my head don’t have to be shared with everyone today. Little by little, it will all get done. The Japanese call it Kaizen — continuous improvement. Robin Sharma tells us:

    “Small daily improvements lead to stunning results.”

    With a bit of clever planning and persistence, it will all get done.

    5. But I look good in tights!

    Even if you look good in tights you don’t have to strive to be somebody else — or try and achieve all that others have achieved. Make your own plans and reach your own heights. We know we can’t do the impossible, but we can achieve great things if we plan and believe.

    So for 2012, set your goals and believe that great things will happen. Plan, pace yourself, look after your body. Do that and 2012 can not only be a super one — it can be out of this world.

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    Ciara Conlon

    Productivity coach, speaker, blogger and author of Chaos to Control, a Practical Guide to Getting Things Done

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    Last Updated on November 9, 2020

    10 Real Reasons Why Breaking Bad Habits Is So Difficult

    10 Real Reasons Why Breaking Bad Habits Is So Difficult

    Bad habits expose us to suffering that is entirely avoidable. Unfortunately, breaking bad habits is difficult because they are 100% dependent on our mental and emotional state.

    Anything we do that can prove harmful to us is a bad habit – drinking, drugs, smoking, procrastination, poor communication are all examples of bad habits. These habits have negative effects on our physical, mental, and emotional health.

    Humans are hardwired to respond to stimuli and to expect a consequence of any action. This is how habits are acquired: the brain expects to be rewarded a certain way under certain circumstances. How you initially responded to certain stimuli is how your brain will always remind you to behave when the same stimuli are experienced.

    If you visited the bar close to your office with colleagues every Friday, your brain will learn to send you a signal to stop there even when you are alone and eventually not just on Fridays. It will expect the reward of a drink after work every day, which can potentially lead to a drinking problem.

    Kicking negative behavior patterns and steering clear of them requires a lot of willpower, and there are many reasons why breaking bad habits is so difficult.

    1. Lack of Awareness or Acceptance

    Breaking a bad habit is not possible if the person who has it is not aware that it is a bad one.

    Many people will not realize that their communication skills are poor or that their procrastination is affecting them negatively, or even that the drink they had as a nightcap has now increased to three.

    Awareness brings acceptance. Unless a person realizes on their own that a habit is bad, or someone manages to convince them of the same, there is very little chance of the habit being kicked.

    2. No Motivation

    Going through a divorce, not being able to cope with academic pressure, and falling into debt are instances that can bring a profound sense of failure with them. A person going through these times can fall into a cycle of negative thinking where the world is against them and nothing they can do will ever help, so they stop trying altogether.

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    This give-up attitude is a bad habit that just keeps coming around. Being in debt could make you feel like you are failing at maintaining your home, family, and life in general.

    If you are looking to get out of a rut and feel motivated, take a look at this article: Why Is Internal Motivation So Powerful (And How to Find It)

    3. Underlying Psychological Conditions

    Psychological conditions such as depression and ADD can make it difficult to start breaking bad habits.

    A depressed person may find it difficult to summon the energy to cook a healthy meal, resulting in food being ordered in or consumption of packaged foods. This could lead to a habit that adversely affects health and is difficult to overcome.

    A person with ADD may start to clean their house but get distracted soon after, leaving the task incomplete, eventually leading to a state where it is acceptable to live in a house that is untidy and dirty.

    The fear of missing out (FOMO) is very real to some people. Obsessively checking their social media and news sources, they may believe that not knowing of something as soon as it is published can be catastrophic to their social standing.

    4. Bad Habits Make Us Feel Good

    One of the reasons it is difficult to break habits is that a lot of them make us feel good.[1]

    We’ve all been there – the craving for a tub of ice cream after a breakup or a casual drag on a joint, never to be repeated until we miss how good it made us feel. We succumb to the craving for the pleasure felt while indulging in it, cementing it as a habit even while we are aware it isn’t good for us.

    Overeating is a very common bad habit. Just another pack of chips, a couple of candies, a large soda… none of these are necessary for survival. We want them because they give us comfort. They’re familiar, they taste good, and we don’t even notice when we progress from just one extra slice of pizza to four.

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    You can read this article to learn more: We Do What We Know Is Bad for Us, Why?

    5. Upward Comparisons

    Comparisons are a bad habit that many of us have been exposed to since we were children. Parents might have compared us to siblings, teachers may have compared us to classmates, and bosses could compare us to past and present employees.

    The people who have developed the bad habit of comparing themselves to others have been given incorrect yardsticks for measurement from the start.

    These people will always find it difficult to break out of this bad habit because there will always be someone who has it better than they do: a better house, better car, better job, higher income and so on.

    Research shows that in the age of social media, social comparisons are much easier and can ultimately harm self-esteem if scrolling becomes a bad habit[2].

    6. No Alternative

    This is a real and valid reason why breaking bad habits is difficult. These habits could fulfill a need that may not be met any other way.

    Someone who has physical or psychological limitations, such as a disability or social anxiety, may find it hard to quit obsessive content consumption for better habits.

    Alternately, a perfectly healthy person may be unable to quit smoking because alternates are just not working out.

    Similarly, a person who bites their nails when anxious may be unable to relieve stress in any other socially accepted manner.

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    7. Stress

    As mentioned above, anything that stresses us out can lead to adopting and cementing an unhealthy habit.

    When a person is stressed about something, it is easy for bad habits to form because the mental resources required to fight them are not available[3].

    We often see a person who had previously managed to kick a bad habit fall back into the old ways because they felt their stress couldn’t be managed any other way.

    If you need some help reducing stress, check out the following video for some healthy ways to get started:

    8. Sense of Failure

    People looking to kick bad habits may feel a strong sense of failure because it’s just that difficult.

    Dropping a bad habit usually means changes in lifestyle that people may be unwilling to make, or these changes might not be easy to make in spite of the will to make them.

    Overeaters need to empty their house of unhealthy food, resist the urge to order in, and not pick up their standard grocery items from the store. Those who drink too much need to avoid the bars or even people who drink often.

    If such people slip even once with a glass of wine, or a smoke, or a bag of chips, they tend to be excessively harsh on themselves and feel like failures.

    9. The Need to Be All-New

    People who are looking to break bad habits feel they need to re-create themselves in order to break themselves of their bad habits, while the truth is the complete opposite.

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    These people actually need to go back to who they were before they developed the bad habit and try to create good habits from there.

    10. Force of Habit

    Humans are creatures of habit, and having familiar, comforting outcomes for daily triggers helps us maintain a sense of balance in our lives.

    Consider people who are used to lighting up a cigarette every time they talk on the phone or eating junk food when watching TV. They will always associate a phone call with a puff on the cigarette and screen time with eating.

    These habits, though bad, are a source of comfort to them, as is meeting with those people they indulge in these bad habits with.

    Final Thoughts

    These are the main reasons why breaking bad habits is difficult, but the good news is that the task is not impossible. Breaking habits takes time, and you’ll need to put long-term goals in place to replace a bad habit with a good one.

    There are many compassionate, positive and self-loving techniques to kick bad habits. The internet is rich in information regarding bad habits, their effects and how to overcome them, while professional help is always available for those who feel they need it.

    More on Breaking Bad Habits

    Featured photo credit: NORTHFOLK via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] After Skool: Why Do Bad Habits Feel SO GOOD?
    [2] Psychology of Popular Media Culture: Social comparison, social media, and self-esteem.
    [3] Stanford Medicine: Examining how stress affects good and bad habits

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