Today I want to share with you 10 Modern Toxic Habits we’re (almost) all guilty of. You may think that it’s not a big deal but the truth is if you want to live a truly happy life you should get rid of them ASAP! And here is how you can easily do it!
1. Quest for Perfection
Perfectionism kills creativity, prevents you from reaching your goals, blocks your success and makes you genuinely UNHAPPY. It’s one of the biggest mental blocks that make you believe that you’re not good enough, there is always a problem for every solution and you will never ever achieve what you want no matter how hard you try. It’s this negative voice in your head that whispers all of this cr*p instead of motivating you to fight for your dreams. Sounds familiar?
Well, most of us struggle with perfectionism, fear of failure and feeling of inadequacy and let’s be honest living in a modern society does not make it any easier. We are trained since childhood to pursue a perfect life, perfect degrees, perfect Alma-mater, perfect career, perfect relationship, perfect social circles, perfect hobby and of course perfect body instead of being encouraged to be authentic and true to ourselves. And correct me if I am wrong, but there is nothing, absolutely nothing good, healthy or positive in all of this modern quest for perfection. Unless feeling inadequate, incapable unless you want to feel “not good enough” for the whole of your life.
Perfection does not exist, it’s just an illusion of the mind trying to control the uncontrollable. So maybe it’s time to stop believing in this big, fat lie about a perfect life and start being true to ourselves? If you’re ready to escape the perfectionism trap and become remarkable in every way here are my tips and tricks to do it:
Tips To Escape The Perfectionism Trap
- Create more realistic expectations and set SMART goals
- Focus on the process more than the results
- Notice, observe and challenge your perfectionist thoughts
- Challenge your inner critic which takes you to the perfectionist trap
- Improve your self-esteem and self-confidence here
- Master your positive self-image
- Recognize the difference between self-improvement and perfectionism
- Think less, do more – or more precisely stop overthinking and start taking intentional action
- Stop comparing yourself to others
- Accept that YOU ARE ENOUGH
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2. Comparing Yourself to Others
If you were born before social media was invented you know how this online world changed our perception of happiness, healthy lifestyle, success, and beauty. Before Instagram people could actually enjoy life’s simple pleasures without the need to tell the whole world about it. So instead of trying to take a perfect Instagram-friendly photo of food, location, beach-ready body or family celebration people were indulging in the authenticity of that particular moment. Now it’s not that obvious. Now it’s more about: “Pics or it didn’t happen”.
Not to mention that social media has brought the comparison trap to a whole new (dangerously high) level. Just ask yourself, how much time do you spend daily mindlessly scrolling through social media accounts of top influencers and comparing their “perfectly photoshopped lives” to your real authentic, not-perfect life? And how does it make you feel about yourself? Let me guess – NOT SO GOOD.
Comparing yourself to others is in general extremely unhealthy, self-destructive and just senseless especially on social media because you are comparing your real-self to some fake highly photoshopped online personas created by people who you’ve never met in a real-life. Social media accounts represent only a small piece of someone’s life documented in usually carefully selected and heavily photoshopped photos. Instagram glam has nothing to do with real life. Nobody is always happy and nobody looks good all the time.
Most people only want to show the good stuff making their lives appear picture-perfect. So they highlight all the positives while trying to hide all the negatives – and that’s completely fine until we all remember that Instagram glam has nothing to do with real life.
So maybe it’s time to stop mindlessly scrolling through social media profiles and start using social networking as a tool for connecting with like-minded people, building your tribe, creating new life opportunities, spreading awareness on an important issue, gaining creative inspiration, gaining a new perspective on something you thought you had already figured out, learning new skills or just relaxing and having fun? Sounds great, right? Life is not about Instagram glam but about meaningful, authentic and real experience.
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3. Trying to Control Everything and Everyone
Sometimes life does not go according to plan. No matter how hard you worked or how detailed your ideal plan was life can unexpectedly change its curse. And when it happens you have a choice. You can start mourning the loss of expectations and indulging in self-doubt because of the failure of your plan A or you can take advantage of the current situation and find the alternative for your original plan. It may seem difficult but it’s actually easier than you think. Everything depends on your mindset.
We all try to plan our life and control every aspect of it but the truth is that we truly never know what is going to happen next. Even if this illusion of being in complete control over events gives us a sense of security sometimes is nothing else than a trap we set for ourselves. Because the fact is, we don’t know what’s best for us or what’s truly meant to be until it just surprises us.
So if your plan “A” fails instead of kicking yourself over it, take a deep breath, get a clean look at the situation, find an alternative for your plan “A” and keep pushing. Upgrade your mindset, change your method and push forward with full commitment. Don’t focus on failure instead focus on what you are doing to succeed. And remember that sometimes plan “A” it’s not the best option. From my personal experience, an alternative plan is usually much better than the original one! Not to mention that improvisation sparks creativity and freedom!
Stop trying to control everything and everyone. Instead, download your FREE printables, set your monthly intensions and SMART goals and start achieving real results!
4. Playing The Victim Card
It’s hard to admit that but looking for excuses and playing the victim card is something we all do for a variety of reasons such as to manipulate others into doing something, justify our own bad behavior or get away with something we did but we don’t want to deal with the consequences. At such moments, playing the victim and blame others for our mistakes, actions, or problems seems very convenient, doesn’t it? Of course, it is. If it wasn’t we wouldn’t do it, right?
However, there is a huge difference between using a „victim card” as a little excuse or a temporary error due to some bad influences and having a full-time victim mentality. The former is just a childish behavior but the latter is an extremely toxic and self-destructive habit that prevents people from being successful. Because failing to accept personal responsibility may work to your advantage only in the short term and in minor matters whereas if it becomes a way of life it’s a prescription for failure.
That’s why you have to be careful not to fall into this trap of making up excuses every single time you feel vulnerable, insecure or just not in the mood. Trust me I know what I am talking about. I used to suffer from a victim mentality for most of my life until I chose to assume responsibility and regain control of my life. So be careful with making excuses, because you really don’t want to pass for a pathetic individual that no one respects. Accepting responsibility for your own life should be always the preferred choice.
5. Not Living in the Present Moment
- Focus on the present moment. Accept what you can’t change and control what you can control. Accept what life is and let go of a sense of injustice. Give yourself permission to feel and experience the authenticity of life. Guide your life with mindfulness and create your own momentum.
- Connect With Nature – contact with nature is highly beneficial to our physical and mental health, it keeps us grounded and mindful. As creatures of nature, we need undeniably and organically daily contact with Mother Earth.
- Practice Gratitude Being grateful equals being humble, honest, respectful and authentic. (Start a Gratitude Jar – Every day write down what you are grateful for and add these “Gratitude Notes” to your gratitude jar.)
- Practice Self- Compassion – treat yourself like you treat people you truly love. Build a strong and healthy relationship with yourself (there is only one person you will spend whole life with and that person is YOU.)
- Feed your passion and keep your dreams alive in the face of reality
- Unlock your creative potential (The best way to do it is through observation, connecting with nature, interacting with others and fueling your passion. Personally, I like to train my creative mind through journaling and communicating with my inner child because I really believe that our inner child is our source of creativity and infinite potential.
So often live in psychological time constantly thinking about the past and worrying about the future instead of focusing on the present moment. But the truth is that there is no past and no future. All we have is now. All we have is the present moment. That’s why you should practice being present instead of constantly thinking in terms of “What if”.
Life is here and now and it’s perfectly imperfect. So don’t ruin the authenticity of the present moment dwelling in the past, you don’t live there anymore and stop worrying about the things that haven’t happened yet. Accept the beauty of not knowing what happens next. Use the time to your advantage but be present. Be mindful. Learn important lessons from your past experience and plan for the future but avoid overthinking and over-scheduling because it will create excessive worrying and unnecessary suffering. Instead, focus on the present moment and start building foundations for your future self. Create your own happiness right now.
Tips To Practice Being Present
- Aura: Meditation & Mindfulness (Android / iOS)
- Stop, Breathe & Think
personalized meditation and mindfulness experience (Android / iOS)
- Buddhify (Android / iOS)
- Shine – Motivational texts (Android / iOS)
- Pocket Yoga (Android / iOS)
- Calm Meditation and Sleep Stories (Android; iOS)
- Happify: for Stress & Worry (iOS / Android)
- Happier (iOS)
- Headspace (Android / iOS)
- Smiling Mind Meditation for all ages (iOS /Android)
6. Feeding Negative Thinking Patterns
So often we don’t realize that we create our reality with the power of our thoughts. Because we think based on how we perceive the world. We feel in terms of how we think. And then we act in terms of how we feel and what we’re thinking in a particular moment. In other words, our behavior and our feelings are actually our thoughts brought forward into the physical world. How crazy is that?!
We tend to let our thoughts control us rather than the other way around. We are so strongly attached to what we think that we do not only identify with our thoughts but also confuse them with actual facts. We assume that what we think is true especially if we think in negative terms. So we indulge in this horrible negative self-talk that creates a negative state of mind that eventually results in a specific behavior. And this is how we let our thoughts control us.
If you don’t believe me just do a little experiment. Sit with your thoughts and analyze them without judgment. Observe your thinking patterns without labelling your thoughts as “good” or “bad. I am sure that what you’ll notice is that most of your thoughts are really strong, extremely negative, very loud and unpleasant to hear. It’s like having a bully inside your head that is constantly bringing you down with the difference that you’re are that bully! So maybe it’s time to evict them and start indulging in serious positive self-talk instead of filling up your mind with extremely negative, super exaggerated and in most cases not even true thoughts?
So if you’re feeling upset or down you should pay attention to your thoughts. Ask yourself a question: What am I thinking right now? And if you are in a good mood you should also become aware of your thought because next time when you feel down, upset or anxious you could recreate those thoughts that can easily put you in a positive headspace. It’s time to use the power of your thought to create positive feelings and positive reality.
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7. Fueling Your Self-Doubt
How do you speak to yourself? What is the tone of your internal dialogue? Are you kind or mean to yourself? Is listening to your inner voice a pleasant experience or rather a torture?
If your inner dialogue makes you feel pretty miserable about yourself it’s time to change this. It’s time to address, challenge and silence your irrationally harsh inner critic. It’s time to evict the bully in your head and rent your mental space to your best friend! You don’t need a negative, pessimistic, punishing voice in your head. You deserve better! Besides, there is absolutely NOTHING good about negative self-talk. It won’t motivate you for better results. but only limit your abilities and stop you from reaching your full potential. So if you are constantly indulging in negative self-talk hoping that it will give you positive results… it’s never going to happen. Only positive self-talk can motivate you, help you overcome life struggles, build a healthy relationship with yourself and unlock your full potential.
Your self-talk is an incredibly powerful force because it shapes your perception of reality and affects all areas of your life. So use this force to your advantage. Stop degrading and punishing yourself. Stop self-loathing. Challenge your harsh inner critic. Start cutting out of your vocabulary all the negative phrases and replace them with positive affirmations. Go stand in front of the mirror, give yourself a big smile and start talking to yourself in a kind, uplifting and positive way. Stop beating yourself up and start navigating your life with kindness, self-respect, and self-love. Work on your relationship with yourself.
Remember that there is only one person you spend your whole life with… and that is YOURSELF. For this reason alone, it’s better to be your best friend than your worst enemy, right? So start making friends with yourself!
Tips To Overcome Self-Doubt
- Start journaling for better understanding of your internal dialogue
- Start paying attention to your inner monologue
- Distinguish between your negative self-talk and your inner critic (The former is judgmental and harmful and the latter one can be really beneficial, in terms of developing self-consciousness and self-awareness.)
- Notice, address and challange your negative self-talk (write down all the nasty, unkind and nagative words you tell yourself and examine the evidence)
- Replace negative beliefs with positive affirmations and realistic statements
- Practice self-compassion and self-love (go on a date with yourself)
- Start a gratitude practice (start a gratitude jar)
- Use the power of your words and create a positive reality
If you struggle with self-doubt and self-limiting beliefs I highly recommend you read these books. They’re definitely worth your time!
8. Labeling Emotions as "Good" or "Bad"
There is no such thing as “good” or “bad” emotion. Emotions and feelings are natural to human nature. They are like a warning system. True, they have different roles, functions, and purpose but they are all needed. Some like anger, fear, and anxiety serve to protect us, others like joy, happiness, and pleasure help us to make social connections and create relationships.
So if you think that some emotions are negative and others are positive you’re wrong. You just need to notice them, acknowledge their presence and learn to use them as a tool to facilitate thinking. The next time you feel a wave of emotions coming, take a couple of deep breaths and instead of freaking out, try to detect what they are “telling you” and let them guide you. In other words, use your emotions to your advantage. Acknowledge them. Accept them. Let them be. Try to understand what your emotions are telling you about yourself and the situation you’re in. Be mindful and trust your gut!
Download Your Free Self-Care Workbook
9. Too Many Expectations
We all have expectations is life. We expect people with whom we interact to behave in a certain way. We expect our significant others to read our minds. We expect to get what we give. We expect opportunities to just fall at our feet. We expect faster career growth and a bigger paycheck. We expect people to be kind and helpful. We expect life to fair and easy. We expect everything goes according to our plan. ALWAYS. And when our expectations don’t happen we tend to suffer.
When things don’t go as we planned we create immediately this negative and pessimistic narrative to describe our tragic experience. And in most cases, we don’t even realize that our expectations were too high or even completely unrealistic. We just keep creating this perfect storyline for our lives and EXPECT the universe to say on our script. And when reality doesn’t meet our expectations and hopes we immediately become a victim constantly asking: Why me?! What have I done?! Just tell me it never happened to you…
Wouldn’t it be easier to stop expecting everything to go your way 100% of the time? You wouldn’t have to deal with dashed hopes and disappointments all the time. High expectations can ruin even the most beautiful experience. So maybe it’s time to let go of expectations and enjoy the process?
10. Not Being Your Best Friend
There is only one person you spend your whole life with, and that is yourself. For this particular reason, it’s better to be your best friend than your worst enemy, right? So it’s time to overcome your self-doubt, silence your inner critic and become your best friend. This is how you can do that:
- Learn positive self-talk by validating yourself and being grateful on a daily basis
- Treat yourself with compassion and respect, in the exact way you treat people you really love and care about. It’s not that hard if you adopt self-care and gratitude mindset.
- Practice forgiveness – forgiveness is NOT about others but about you. Because through the pain we can experience catharsis and spiritual growth. Nothing happens without a reason, you just have to learn how to read signs that life shows you.
- Live a life of personal growth – empower yourself with knowledge. Read, write, study new things, acquire new skills, challenge yourself.
- Be nice to yourself verbally, emotionally, mentally and physically – take care of yourself
- Practice self-care like a boss – FREE DOWNLOADABLE workbook HERE or above
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- The science of motivation HERE
- 10 powerful habits to boost your confidence HERE
and Get Rid of Toxic Habits that Prevent you from being Successful!