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13 Common Bad Habits That Hold You Back From Success

13 Common Bad Habits That Hold You Back From Success

Habit-forming goes hand in hand with success. There’s no ‘if’s’ or ‘buts’ on this one; it is essential to create solid habits that align with your values for you to make a success in whatever area of your life you wish. Creating habits that will serve you is all well and good, but have you ever honesty sat down and assessed the areas that might be holding you back?

It’s almost as if you are sitting in your car, foot firmly pressing down the accelerator, but you are going nowhere. Until you release the handbrake you are not going to move. Bad habits are your handbrake and for every great idea you will need to release the handbrake. Below are 15 habits that are currently holding you back from getting exactly where you want to go.

1.Waiting for the right moment

There never really is a right moment, so waiting around for one is pretty much a waste of your time You have to pick your moment – the one that suits the direction you want to go in right here, right now.  Waiting for the right moment can be disguised as procrastination, or if I may say so, fear. If you live true to your values then every moment should be acted on within the best of your interests. In every second of each day you have total control of each moment so aim to make each one fit right with you. Be aware, take the opportunity and create, create, create.

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2. Needing approval from others

Once you understand that you are responsible for everything that has come and gone in your life you’ll realise that everything from here onwards depends on you as well. Taking action and having faith in your own decisions will make you a leader and therefore will not wait around for the opinion and approval from others.

3. The need to always be perfect

Striving for perfection is almost a form of self-harm.  It’s like being that dog in the cartoons chasing its tail. It’ll never happen, because perfection doesn’t exist. Think about it: when is anything ever perfect? Life is always yin and yang so you have to accept that striving for perfection can be damaging to your success. It brings with it unhappiness as there is always ‘something else to do’ when at times its better to be proud of your achievements thus far.

4. Too stubborn to let go

Ideas will come and go, so will good people, business colleagues, employees, partners… but for your creativity to blossom you have to find a way to allow these things to leave your universe as easy as they came in to it. Nothing lasts forever so learn that letting go will allow you the freedom of thought to make better of your life and move you further in the direction of success. Be careful not to create an emotional attachment to things, as they will become harder to let go. Know that the person, idea or whatever you are holding on to does not define you so there is not need need to cling to it. Lose the emotion, lose the stubbornness and make way for the new.

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5. Not apologizing for making mistakes

Apologizing can really hurt your pride, right? Admitting liability for things gone wrong is not something that we are too comfortable with. What about stepping out of your comfort zone and having a look around you? The people you value the most, and have the best connection with, are the ones that are honest and open to you. If you want to move on in business and in life and want to be respected learn that apologizing for your mistakes is vital in moving forward. People respect honesty and any trust barriers will be broken.

6. Not learning from people “less” than you

I was once told by good friend that “everyone has something to offer” and at times when I’ve felt like like I haven’t needed input from anyone else I have reminded myself of this and allowed myself to open my mind. The truth is there is no one “less” than you and once you accept that your stubbornness will disappear. This doesn’t mean you have to take in everything that everyone says, but listen and give people your time as you may find that you will discover a little diamond of information that you just needed.

7. Not willing to do something beyond your duties

A little more effort goes a long way. You’ve heard the saying “you get out what you put in” right? Well it’s true, and you’ll find that those that are super successful do not sit around and revel in their accomplishments, they are always figuring out how they can do more and continue excelling. This also extends to stepping out of your comfort zone a little and surprising yourself by doing something you don’t usually do. You’ll feel great about it too, and it’ll become addictive.

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8. Spending too long worrying about the outcome

We all worry at times but letting worry take over you is not going to propel your success. There is only so much in your control so you can do something about it but there are many things that are out of your control and therefore will not serve you to worry about.  put in the hard work and from there onwards relax and let be what will be.  if you worry you will clog up your brain power and lose your creativity to continue your creative work.

9. Comparing yourself to others

Success should be a personal matter. Each individual should define what success means to them and you have to be doing that yourself. Find what’s important to you and what success looks and feels like to you and be in total control of that feeling. Looking at others and always knocking yourself down because you haven’t achieved what they have or own what they own is unnecessary. You have your divine right to create the kind of success that you have worked for.

10. Not assessing your mistakes

Mistakes are part of life; we all know that, but if you’re making the same ones over and over again don’t you think that there is something going seriously wrong? It’s time to assess your mistakes honestly. Break them down and ask yourself honest questions, first of all why they may be happening and why you didn’t act differently from last time. This will help you find better solutions for the future.

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11. Not working on your weaknesses

I’m sorry to break the headline news to you, but yes, you have weaknesses. That’s a great thing, though, because for every weakness, you have a strong area. Once you identify your weak areas spend a short amount of time each day working on ways to improve them. For example, if you know you need to improve your anatomy knowledge for your work, spend 15-20 minutes a day reading up on areas that you find difficult to understand and slowly but surely you will gain a much better understanding of what you need to learn.

12. Spending too long doing the things you don’t like doing

Is this contradictory of the point above? It certainly isn’t. What I’m getting at here is different to point 11. If doing your accounts drives you mad and takes up far too much of your valuable time, then hire an accountant and the job will be done properly. People often think about the expense of getting others to do work for them but trust in others’ expertise and let your mind focus on the things that you do well.

13. Taking life too seriously

Life can get you down for sure, but when you feel like the world is caving in on you remember how wonderful life is and think about all the great people and moments that have contributed in bringing you to where you are today. Remember when you were a child and you used to run around with youthful exuberance free of pain, stress and worry? Sure we have a lot more on our agendas as adults, but bring yourself back to that feeling of freedom because at any one time when you feel yourself sinking you have the freedom to take off and act upon making things better.  Your success is important, but you have full control of making of it what you wish. Smile more, love more and great things will inadvertently come your way.

Featured photo credit: brian carlson via flickr.com

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Last Updated on September 22, 2020

How to Wake Up Early: 6 Things Early Risers Do

How to Wake Up Early: 6 Things Early Risers Do

You have probably heard the success stories about people who wake up early. Apple CEO Tim Cook, Oprah Winfrey, and Olympic medalist Caroline Burckle all talk about the positive impact of waking up early on their lives.

Even though many assign a portion of their success to waking up early, many find it difficult to make the switch. While most people know what needs to happen to change their life, they find then difficult to implement consistently. To understand how to wake up early, you need to tap into the wisdom of those already doing it.

Here are the 6 things early risers do:

1. Stop Procrastinating

The first thing you need to do when you want to learn how to wake up early is to go to sleep earlier. Stop procrastinating. You will find it much easier to wake up when you are getting the proper amount of sleep. Set a bedtime that allows you to get 8-hours of sleep and hold yourself accountable.

The problem most of you will have at first is how tired you will feel. If you are someone who goes to sleep after midnight, waking up by 6 a.m. will not be easy. The reason you need to push through that initial difficulty is that you are going to be very tired at the end of the day. Realistically, you probably would fall asleep at your desk or doze off on your lunch break. Either way, waking up early no matter how you feel will motivate you to go sleep at the proper time that night.

Think of it as someone who procrastinated until the night before their project was due. Having done this myself, you do what you need to do to complete the project, whether that means working all night or cutting some corners because you don’t have time to triple-check your work.

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After you turn in your project, you feel both exhaustion and jubilation. After you make it through the workday and crash at home, you promise yourself you’ll never wait until the last minute again. This same feeling will happen when you force yourself to wake up early no matter what time you went to sleep. You are going to promise yourself you will go to bed at the right time.

Most people don’t go to bed when they should because they know they will ultimately make it up in the morning.

2. Pace Yourself

If you want to start waking up a couple of hours earlier each day, you may not be able to make that change all at once. It stands to reason the more drastic the shift, the more difficult it will be.

So, instead of trying to adjust your sleep pattern by several hours, start in 15-minute or 30-minute intervals.[1] If you wake up 30 minutes earlier each week, you will be a morning person by the end of the month. This may feel like you are drawing out your goal but in reality, you are accomplishing it much quicker than most. Most people who are naturally night owls find it difficult to completely change their sleep habits overnight.

Think of it as someone who is trying to quit drinking coffee. Outside of the fact you may enjoy the taste of coffee, your body is used to operating with a certain amount of caffeine and sugar. Some will be able to quit overnight and their body will adjust accordingly. And if you are one of those people, then do what works for you.

However, if you were to take an incremental approach, then you may first start drinking your coffee black. Then, you could switch to decaf before slowly lowering the amount of coffee you drink each day. As you can see, this approach will help minimize the feeling of withdrawal while getting the results you want.

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3. Watch Your Lighting

Light reduces your body’s production of the sleep-inducing melatonin hormone. In practical terms, your body naturally wants to be awake when the sun is up and go to sleep when the sun is down. This is called your circadian rhythm.

In the technology-driven world we currently live in, you likely look at a screen or two before bed. Studies show television and phone screens trick your body into thinking the sun is up. As a result, your body starts producing less melatonin. To help you fall asleep, you should stop looking at screens at least an hour before bed.

This can also mean that if you want to wake up before the sun, looking at your screen when you wake up can help you to stay awake.

Peter Balyta, the President of Education Technology for Texas Instruments says he wakes up at 5:20 a.m. and scans his emails before starting his day. This is also true for M.I.T. president L. Rafael Rief. He wakes up around 5 or 5:30 a.m. and checks his phone for anything urgent.[2]

4. Make It Worth Your Time

Have you ever woken up early but went back to sleep because you didn’t have a reason to stay up? To put it another way, have you ever fallen asleep because you didn’t have anything better to do?

If you want to be excited about going to sleep and waking up early, then you need to give yourself a reason to be excited. You can accomplish this by listing the three things you want to accomplish the next morning. Notice I said “want” and not “need” to accomplish. You don’t want to be dragging yourself into the next morning kicking and screaming.

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Your list should not only include what you want to accomplish but also why you want to accomplish it. If you want to take it a step further, list the consequences of not waking up early.

People who have figured out how to wake up early are shown to be more successful, persistent, and proactive in their life. They tend to be happier and handle stress better. It is also shown that people who wake up early procrastinate less.[3] If you find any of these benefits something you want to add in your life, then waking up early is shown to help.

5. Avoid Binging

There is a difference between sleeping and getting a good night’s sleep. Sure, you can drink alcohol and fall asleep, but you will not be getting quality rest. You will wake up feeling as though you slept for only a couple hours.

It is best to stop drinking at least 4 hours before bedtime. Binge drinking is known to impact your sleep-inducing melatonin hormone levels for up to a week. The same holds true with eating a large meal right before bed. It is not that your body can’t process food and sleep at the same time. The main concern has more to do with the possibility of indigestion or heartburn than anything else.

If you find yourself dealing with either of these symptoms, then you may want to stop eating at least two hours before bed.

6. Get the Blood Flowing

Those who have mastered the technique of how to wake up early tend to start each morning with movement.

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Your first movement is to get out of bed. To help you get out of bed, have your alarm far enough away that you need to get up and turn it off. Before you allow yourself to contemplate going back to sleep, take a moment, and do 10 push-ups or 10 jumping jacks. Think of each exercise as you taking one step further from being able to go back to sleep.

Mellody Hobson, President of Ariel Investments wakes up at 4 a.m. each morning. She starts each day by exercising. Her exercises include running, weight lifting, swimming, and cycling.

You decide for yourself how you want to get your blood flowing. Whether you want to go on a walk, workout at the gym, or do something at home, make sure you are scheduling time to exercise.

Final Thoughts

The key to understanding how to wake up early is to recognize that it is heavily driven by the actions you take the night before. You will wake up early if you go to bed at a good time and get the proper amount of sleep.

By taking the time to prepare yourself both mentally and physically each night, you can ensure you are positioned for success the next morning. Once you have taken the proper actions the night before, make sure you use that momentum to start your day, on time.

The goal is to make the actions you want to take as easy as possible. The key to changing your life is to discover a way to have the wind at your back, going in the direction you want.

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Featured photo credit: Laura Chouette via unsplash.com

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