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Bad habits or toxic habits have a way of making it super hard to discover yourself, be confident or change your life to become the best version of yourself. But you already know that. What you dont is which bad habits make it the most dificult to do all those things. And that’s why you’re here.
So Ill get right to the point.
This post will help you become the best version of yourself by learning which of the top 10 toxic bad habits you need to cut out of your life.
In short, this post will help you achieve your goals (if your goal is to discover yourself, improve yourself or change your life)
For SEO sake, Ill repeat my title, so you can skip this part.
In this post Ill talk about:
a) 10 Toxic habits that are holding you back from being the best version of yourself.
b) How to cut out toxic habits.
c) What not to do when you’re trying to cut off a toxic habits from your life.
Lets jump in.
10 Toxic Habits to Cut Out In Your Life
Toxic Habits are things that build over time either consciously or unconsciously.
You might not even realize that you have a toxic trait until someone points it out to you.
And the worst part is that it never bothers you until you actually want to accomplish a really big goal in your life like grow a YouTube channel is when you actually realize you have some habits that need to go out the window..
Now here is where we talk about the worst toxic habits that will hinder you from achieving your dreams.
Staying Stuck in the Day Dream
Someone once told me that day dreams are God’s way of showing us what He has in store for us in the future.
And i believe that…. Because Im a day dreamer. You’ll catch me staring into nothing fantasizing about what my life needs to look like.
Most of the time day dreaming is not a toxic habit.
It becomes a toxic habit when you constantly do it to the point it disrupts your ability to meet deadlines at work and even in your personal life.
And when you miss deadlines, you start feeling negatively about yourself, you beat yourself down. It affects your self confidence and ultimately makes you lose faith in yourself.
But the thing with day dreaming is that it is always triggered by looking at things or people that inspire you. Maybe on Instagram or YouTube. That doesnt sound bad, does it?
Day dreaming in and of itself is not toxic but doing it too much makes it toxic. That makes it very different from any other toxic trait in this list.
And that’s why I had to put it first because I know a lot of people do this and dont really know that it is quite a bad damaging habit if you do it for a prolonged time.
How to Reduce Day dreaming
When I started taking this blog seriously, I knew I had to stop day dreaming. I mean it took majority of my day.
If i wasn’t daydreaming I was creating fake scenarios in my head.
That just means I have too much brain activity. So instead of always thinking about what I’m going to do and what will happen when I do it. I just decided to do what I was thinking.
Simply get out of your head.
Now, because I cannot simply tell my brain to stop daydreaming because I’ve allowed it to be part of me for so long that it has now become a habit. Plus, it also helps me stay motivated.
Instead, I put it off to happen at a certain time or after I’ve been able to accomplish specific things.
For example, I cannot daydream until I have finished two blog posts. And I make sure it only happens for 45 minutes.
There is a whole decision making process that I go over in my post as to how I was able to cut out the daydreaming.
What Not to do When Trying to Stop DayDreaming
When you’re an avid day dreamer, it is quite impossible to shut it down completely especially because it’s what keeps you motivated to achieve your goals.
Saying that you won’t daydream
This is essentially setting yourself up for failure.
Plus, if you decide that you’ll take measures not to daydream you’ll find it difficult to have a goal that your constantly working towards.
Every time I day dream these days I’m always seeing myself traveling and working on my blog.
That can be a reality for me. The only thing is if I stop day dreaming, then I feel as though the goal has become far more difficult to achieve than what I thought.
And believe me when I tell you that I was successful in stopping my day dreams. But then I didn’t like how I was feeling – very unmotivated, and didn’t want to come out of bed.
Sigmund Freud, one of the forefathers of developmental psychology says that day dreams are wishes that humans visualize in a state that suspends reality.
In short, these are your deepest desires that are not controlled by the obstacles that are in the real world.
That’s why it’s distractive to completely stop these thoughts. They give you the motivation to keep doing what you’re doing or to change the course of your life to fulfill your desires.
Comparing Yourself to Others/ Competing with Others
Did you know that comparing yourself to others is an innate sign that you feel that the other person is better than you?
And this is a toxic trait that is mostly seen in women than in men.
But did you also know that you were designed uniquely to be you. Your experience and outlook has shaped you to be a unique individual.
And you might be thinking. But we are so many people in the world. Yes.
Did you also know that two people can go through the same exact event in their life and each will come out of it with a different perspective on it?
The point I’m trying to drive to you is that you have no business comparing yourself to another person or trying to compete with another person.
They will never be like you. And you will never be like them. You stand out as who you are… Period.
How to stop comparing yourself to others/ competing with others
This advice might come off as being self absorbed but it’s not if you’re constantly comparing yourself to others.
Be in love with yourself. Love the way you talk, the way you smile, the way you dress. Be in love with yourself so much that you begin to radiate that love to other people.
And when you go to public places, figure out what you see in the person you’re comparing to.
Often times we compare ourselves to people who we think are better than us but who we want to be like.
And sometimes that might come out as envy or jealousy.
If you find yourself being envious of another person, that’s your cue that you need to work on that part of you so that you can feel better about yourself.
In the case where you find yourself always competing with someone else, stop it and direct that energy to yourself.
For instance, Stacy has bought a car. Now, you go and buy a car even if you don’t really need one.
What you should do is direct that energy to yourself. Compete with yourself instead. If you achieve a specific goal, set that goal a little higher and a little more higher until you make your day dream a reality.
What not to do when trying to stop this toxic trait
Do not dismiss your emotions.
When you secretly compare yourself, take note of that emotion and ask yourself why you’re comparing yourself to that person.
Do not try and make yourself feel better at the expense of the other person.
When we compare ourselves with others, we tend to feel envious. And when that happens we are more likely to lush out at them or humiliate them to make ourselves feel better.
Do not push the other person away.
If you feel the urge to compare yourself to someone, remember you’re the problem. They aren’t. And if you secretly want to accomplish what they have, allow them into your life. That way they can give you advice on what to do and what not to do.
The TikTok Scroll
TikTok has surpassed any other social media in terms of getting you hooked to it.
And once you start the scroll it seems almost impossible to stop the scroll.
Now this is one hell of a.toxic trait because it wastes time. Time moves so fast when you’re on TikTok.
You say you’re going to be on the platform for only 10 minutes. And you lift your eyes up to check the time and 3 hours have just passed as you were sitting there wasting your day.
That’s 3 hours you could have been doing something productive like clean the house, take the trash out, do your errands, write a blog post or film a YouTube video.
Not only that, it also reduces your ability to do tasks that are high resistance.
Human beings hate doing what we need to do but love to do what we want to do. And TikTok allows that.
So instead of washing the dishes, you’d rather watch some TikTok videos. I mean it’s easier than washing the darn dishes.
I can go on and on about how toxic TikTok is on your productivity but I’m sure you already know that.
So how do you stop that TikTok scroll.
How to stop scrolling on TikTok and wasting your day
Set specific days/ times to log on to TikTok
For you to be able to stop that itch to log on to TikTok, you need to set specific times to log in.
For me, I’ll do it when I am done completing my daily tasks.
Also, ill avoid getting on TikTok when I’m in bed because I won’t get out of bed until 11 am. That’s a whole morning wasted.
And finally, I set an actual alarm to log out of TikTok. The sound of the alarm will usually startle me and I’ll leave the platform.
Go in with a purpose.
I know there are those of us who have to use TikTok for content ideas. If you’re one of those people, then go in with a goal and stick to the goal.
Avoid getting distracted by going straight to search for hashtags that you’re interested in.
If youre looking for trends, go directly to the trends section and you’ll see all the trending videos.
If youre looking for trending music, scroll through the first 30 TikTok videos. That should take you around 45 minutes.
Basically you ensure you’re in and out of there like a bank job.
Delete the app.
Go on a TikTok detox for a week and see how you feel about the app after the week is over.
Also, notice how much of the things that need to get done in your life have been accomplished.
If they have, then TikTok was a major toxic trait hindering your productivity. If not, you have other toxic traits you need to slowly uproot.
What Not to do
Shift your attention to other social media platforms.
These platforms are more or less the same. Instead of being hooked on TikTok, now, you’ll be hooked on to IG reels. Lol.
But if you notice yourself doing that then it’s time to give yourself a social media detox.
Secretly watch TikTok.
Hahaahaha. ? I’ve done this before…. I don’t even know who I was hiding it from.
But you’re only lying to yourself and only delaying the ability to get to your long term goals.
Negative Self Talk
This one will not only impact your overall self worth but will also lower your self esteem and can easily lead to depression and suicidal thoughts.
Now negative self talk can come from other people constantly telling you negative things about you that you start to believe them.
Or it can come from childhood trauma if your parents were verbally or emotionally abusive towards you.
In the case where you have childhood trauma, it’s best if you got yourself a therapist/ life coach so that she can go back into those deep childhood wounds and help you heal them.
If youre currently in a toxic relationship where your.partner constantly talks down on you then it’s time to cut ties completely.
Not only are you allowing yourself to be around a person who will ruin your future but also a person who does not care about you in any shape, way or format.
And finally, if you’re having negative self talk because you failed before then here’s what I know even though I haven’t seen or met you.
The fact that you’re even thinking of giving it one last chance or the 59th chance to try and become a success shows how witty you are.
So im going to tell you congratulations. You deserve it.
Two, now that you’re doing it again , you stand a better chance at succeeding this time around because you know why you previously failed.
So even if you look at it in whatever angle, your odds at succeeding are pretty darn high. And that negative self talk that keeps telling you that you failed. It’s about time you responded under your breath and said, “Thank goodness I failed because I would not know the things that I know now that will make me a success.”
What not to do.
- Do not allow negative self talk to lead you into a depression.
Depression is very real and when you begin to believe your negative self talk then you’ll find yourself depressed without knowing how you got there. But if you think you might already be depressed. Here are some of the signs of depression.
Instead every time you start giving yourself that negative self talk, immediately recognize it and turn it into a positive talk even if you still don’t believe it.
That takes us to our next point
2. Turn Negative Thoughts to Positive Thoughts
For example if you feel that youre not beautiful and nobody will love you because you’re a single mom and have a scar from your cesearian operation. Change it really quickly and say. No. No. I am beautiful and worthy of love. My worthiness of love is not dependent on my scars but who I am.
Being a SpendThrift/ Wasting Money
This is one toxic trait that will leave you in a financial hole that is full of debt.
Wasting money can come in all shapes and sizes. You might love spending money on clothes, shoes or baby stuff.
Or you could love online shopping. And you’ve been working that credit card.
Either way, you need to stop the habit.
Im not going to be like.most financial advisors who tell you to save more, spend less or work to increase your income.
Because you already know what you need to do. The problem is the habit that you need to kill.
So lets talk about
How to Stop Being a SpendThrift.
Figure out what you spend money on the most
- Write a List of All the things you buy on a monthly basis. If you have to keep of all the things you buy daily to have a rough idea on what you’re spending on.
- If you’re poor at tracking, get this free app to help you keep track of the purchases you’re making every month.
- Create categories and write how much money you spend on those items.
- This will show you what you waste your money on the most.
Set A Budget that allows you to save
There are many budget systems you can follow that allow you to be realistic with your saving plans and with your current lifestyle.
Visualize what that saved money can do for you – ie clear your debt, buy you a home, help you clear that student loan.
Whatever you have secretly been wishing for, visualize it and set a number that will help you accomplish what you have visualized.
Visualizing helps you understand what your bad financial habits are costing you – long term or short term.
Create a Punishment Cycle
A punishment cycle is basically you punishing yourself for doing the wrong thing.
So for example if you spend $200 on clothes and your budget for the month says you can only spend $100 on clothes to be able to save more money, then you have to send $200 to a fixed deposit account where you won’t be able to touch it or spend it.
The whole point of setting this punishment cycle is so that you become conscious about you’re bad habits and nip them at the root before they ruin your life.
Now chances are you will not punish yourself. That’s why you need an accountability partner.
This app helps you stay consistent with your goals. And if you aren’t consistent your friends/ family can punish you. The punishment includes payment to them or towards something that you’ll all collectively choose.
It’s a way to instill discipline in you to do what you say you’ll do. In your case, financially.
What Not to Do.
- Do not set unrealistic goals. You can’t go from being a SpendThrift to not spending overnight. You need to put systems in place first.
- Do not give someone else the authority to manage your finances for you. You’re not solving the problem rather running away from it.
- Do not hide receipts or buy things and hide. Remember you’re only lying to yourself. And the negative consequences will only be felt by you. Not your friends, not your mom or your family.
Projecting Perceived Emotions of Other People
As a person who has an anxious attachment style with all my relationships, I have had to deal with this toxic trait my entire life.
And only until recently I’ve realized that I suffocate people I get into relationships with even if they are friends or romantic partners.
Now one toxic trait of anxious people is that we project perceived emotions of the people around us.
So if I perceive that the person is being avoidant or ignoring me, I also do the same thing or I start lashing out at them.
Remember the keyword here is perceived. It could be that the person is just relaxing but I’m perceiving it as being ignored.
What i realized with this toxic habits is that other people’s emotions control mine. So I could be having the best day of my life and if somebody looks at me funny my mood shifts to the negative.
That means I have no control of my emotions. Instead others do and that makes me an easy target to manipulate.
Not only that, I’m highly controlled by my emotions. I can’t work when I’m anxious. I can’t read when I’m angry.
So essentially my to do list has to come to a halt so that I can deal with my emotions.
And i end up spending double the amount of time that I should to get a specific task completed.
Its a Toxic habits. And here’s how to stop it.
How to stop this Toxic Habit
- Learning to ground yourself. When I feel my emotions getting affected by someone else’s attitude, I touch things around me to remind me to live in the present and not in my perceptions.
- Breathing exercises. This one only works when I’m not angry but I still use it.
- Controlling my anxiety and thought process. Because I think I know what the other person is feeling then it allows me to act like they would. But if I just stop and ask. How are you feeling? Then I can get a better idea of what they’re feeling. And most often than not I find that I’m wrong.
What not to do
- Do not allow yourself to spiral into the negative possibilities. That will just cripple you.
- Do not allow yourself to think that you’re crazy because you’ll only seek to validate your emotions which will further make you anxious.
- Do not pretend that you’re okay when you’re not. Bottling it up will only cause a larger blow out later on.
- Do not communicate when you feel overwhelmed with emotions. Calm yourself down and then speak later when you can find words that can fully express your needs.
This is one of the worst toxic habits that is the most common in practically everyone.
The reason I say it is the worst is because it affects us emotionally, psychologically and physically.
Yep. You heard that.
In this post, you’ll find the number of things that complaining does to you and the people around you.
- It releases cortisol hormone which is usually released in fight or flight mode and when released regularly causes high blood pressure.
- It makes it harder to stop the negativity in your life which eventually leads to lack of motivation and the attraction of negative things in your life.
- According to Stanford university research complaining shrinks the hippocampus which is responsible for problem solving skills. Essentially deeming you useless in situations where you have to come up with solutions.
As you can see there’s nothing good that comes with complaining yet 93% of the world population is constantly complaining. No wonder we have a ton of people who have HBP and high sugar levels.
And accordingg to WHO, HBP accounts for 12.8% of total worldwide deaths. That’s about 7.5million.
Now why create a toxic habits that can potentially kill you?
Its time to stop it. But how?
How to stop Complaining
Complaining happens when you feel as though things are not going your way or how you want them done.
So instead of complaining, take control of the situation and find a solution to it.
If it is a situation that you cannot control. For example if you have to wait for a long time for something to the point that it’s frustrating you, don’t fall into the habit of complaining.
Instead, tune into the things that you’re grateful for in that moment.
For example if you’ve been standing in a line for so long and you get the urge to turn around and start complaining with the person behind you. Stop for a second and say I’m so grateful that I even have the chance to stand in this line. There are people who wish to just get out of a hospital bed to go and watch birds and here I am complaining of standing too long. I should be grateful for good health. Or something along those lines.
And for pessimists out there thinking that there are no good things in life to be grateful for.
Well, guess what. Be grateful for the eyes you have that are helping you read this text right now. That’s a blessing you’re taking for granted.
Once you’re able to do that, you will automatically change your mood. Now that positive mood change is what we want.
What Not to do when trying to stop being a complainer
- Do not hangout with people who complain alot. It will rub off on you and you’ll have the same negative side effects of complaining just by listening to their complaints.
- Complaining cannot be stopped in one day. Once youve done it a couple times, you create a neuropathy that the brain follows. Much like a pattern. Instead you want to minimize the number of times you complain in a day systematically until you find yourself rid of this toxic behavior.
- Do not listen to your friends when they ask you to tell them about your day/ relationship. And this goes to girls. Remember complaining about your man will not make him a better man. It will just make you bitter.
The lack of accountability essentially means that you cannot be honest with yourself enough to say that you fucked up.
Yeah i said it as it should be. No sugar coating.
And the worst part about it is when you lack accountability you’re also very quick to point fingers at people who surround you.
Eg. I got kicked out of uni because of my mom.
When you read that aloud your next question is – if you are of sane mind. What the hell does your mom have to do with you getting kicked out of uni.
Instead take ownership of your mistakes. It’s the only way they will hurt you so bad that you will shift into changing the course of your life.
This is a toxic habits because it allows you to burrow your head in the sand and pretend that you have no idea what the root issue of your problem is… Not only that, in a bid to remain in denial, you constantly blame other people for your own mistakes or failures.
How to stop this Toxic habit.
In as much as this toxic habit can restrain you from personal growth, it is one of the easiest toxic habits to kick to the carbs.
All you have to do is stop pointing fingers. When you stop pointing fingers, you’ll find that it will be more easier to say. I fucked up because there’s no “protective shield” that you’re putting over yourself.
Essentially, it leads to acceptance. And acceptance is the first step to helping you identify what decisions hurt you and how you can avoid them in the future.
What Not to do to stop this Toxic Habit
- Allow people around you to constantly tell you the same narrative. Example. Your mom is so messed up. She is responsible for you getting kicked out of school.
That only reaffirms the narrative that is only in your head. And not the truth.
Taking the Easy Way you Out of Everything
This is a toxic trait that will never allow you to chase your dreams.
It is one that will keep you in your comfort zone. And we all know there’s no growth that happens in your comfort zone.
Its only when you push yourself out of your comfort zone that you begin to experience real transformation in your life.
But if you’re constantly choosing the easy way out or the easiest decision, then you will not have equipped yourself enough to face a difficult situation.
For example. You’re always used to running away from relationships when they get tough – which is eventually going to happen. So when you meet the person that clicks with you, you’ll find it difficult to stick it out and sort through all the emotions associated with being in a serious relationship. And you’ll take the easy way out which is ending the relationship. In short, you’ll never get to experience what real love means. You know the one that someone loves you even when you look like you just got hit by a bus.
Thats scary. To purposely prevent yourself from experiencing new things and emotions because of getting used to taking the easiest decision. Now that’s what we call suicide to you’re personal growth.
How to stop this Toxic trait
Push yourself out of your comfort zone.
When something feels hard to do/ scary to do, jump in with everything you’ve got.
Youll find over time. You’ll be able to spot opportunities worth sticking out through the bad weather. And those that aren’t.
But if you don’t try you’ll never learn how to spot them on your own.
And no, you can’t learn from other people. This one you just have to do it on your own.
What not to do when trying to stop this habit.
Dipping your feet in the water.
I know you have heard a lot of people give that advice. Test the waters. Dip your feet.
You should not take that advice if you have built a toxic habit of choosing the easiest way out.
Once you test the waters and you have a slight feeling of the difficulty of the situation, your automatic response will be to flee.
Remember you’ve already built a habit. And you want to do away with it. That means you cannot trigger your old toxic habit from surfacing.
So just jump in. You’ll find out if the situation is hard once you’re in the water. And by then you’ll be forced to deal with that tough situation without having the option of leaving the water.
This is not a topic that alot of people want to talk about because of the thin line between what is “accepted” as positivity and where it begins to become toxic positivity.
Positivity only becomes toxic when youre forced to surpres intense negative emotions.
For example when a mother loses her child and someone tells her. Look on the bright side. You have your other 4 kids.
Positivity should not cost you time to mourn. Positivity should change your outlook on life not your reality.
If you’ve lost your job, it’s okay to cry. You’ve lost a source of income. Now after you mourn, you can start looking for other jobs and now be positive that youll get a call back for an interview.
How to stop toxic positivity.
Be present in the moment.
If you feel like crying, do it. Don’t hold your tests saying it will be okay. Ofcourse it will be okay. But at this present moment, it isn’t.
What not to do when you’re trying to stop this behavior
Allow people to pressure you into toxic positivity.
Alot of the times when people are trying to comfort you after something bad has happened. They’re usually at a loss for words. And sometimes in an effort to make you feel better, they might give you a dose of toxic positivity.
Do not listen to Toxic Positivity advice from other people.
This mostly comes from people who want to make you feel better.
They’re coming with good intentions to be there for you but they really don’t know what to tell you.
Also, be sure to express that you just want their presence with you and that will make you feel better.
That will also release a lot of pressure on the people around you to make you feel better when we all know you won’t feel better now or tomorrow.