Whether you know it or not, you have a ton of habits in your life. They are affecting everything from how happy you are to how much you earn.
We tend to look at habits as little things, such as what we eat for breakfast or the route we habitually take home. But there are so many different habits in our life that we forget that they end up contributing to bigger things that affect our lives in a very negative or very positive way.
The good news is that a bad habit can be dropped, and a good habit can be developed in its place. The bad news is that most people don’t recognize that some of their worst habits are making them into someone they don’t want to be. They just think it is a part of who they are, and that they are destined to be as they are for the rest of their life.
The bottom line is that your little habits are defining who you are. If your life isn’t going the way you want it to, then it’s time to admit some hard truths about the power of habit and the negative effect it is having on your life.
1. Laziness is A Habit
Do you feel like you are not getting anything done with your life? As if you are wasting time? Not doing what you need to do is not something you can’t blame on anything other than your poor habits, such as procrastination, negative thinking, and engaging in things that don’t serve your life well. This applies to people in their personal lives and professional lives, and it applies to businesses that are unwilling to do the work and take the action required to create a strong and successful business.
There are plenty of people who go from morning to night not being lazy. I’m talking about young and old, female and male, healthy and unhealthy. People who get things done habitually do what they need to do until they actually get tired. And when they get tired, they go to sleep!
When it comes to business, the best businesses are in the habit of going the extra mile regarding customer service, while the worst businesses are lazy with their customer service and ignore requests or do the bare minimum to get by.
Lazy people are in the habit of avoiding what they need to do and excusing (habit) their behavior by blaming (habit) things, people, and circumstances. They would rather put off stuff and do nothing important than get busy taking action on what needs to be done. And, the more excuses they make, the more they convince themselves to do nothing, and the less they feel like doing anything.
If you want to see the negative effects of the power of habit, then watch a lazy person. Their life passes them by as they make excuse after excuse and never really get anything done. Their health, career, relationships, and happiness fall apart because they are in the habit of not doing the real work to get the results they want.
The habit of laziness can be changed, though. All it takes is getting up and doing what needs to be done. It requires not making any more excuses about anything. It requires talking positively to yourself about your goals and desires in life and what you are capable of.
2. Not Thinking Things Through Is A Habit
Do you make a lot of dumb decisions? You are probably not dumb. You are probably just in the habit of not thinking things through.
Sometimes it’s important to act off impulse, but usually thinking things through helps you look at things from different perspectives and find answers. Sometimes you just know the answer, through intuition, but sometimes you are not sure whether to do something, meet someone, or take some sort of action. When that happens, you can either make a quick decision without the facts or more information, or you can wait and see what happens to give you a clearer vision of what you should do.
I have a friend who is the habit of telling people off based on limited information. For instance, she won’t hear back from someone online for a few hours, and instead of thinking about the possibilities, such as the person being busy or looking for a solution to her request, she will quickly send them a message telling them how horrible they are for not responding to her. She assumes (habit) that they are ignoring her. Usually, they respond to her and let her know exactly why they didn’t immediately respond, and then she feels bad for being so rude.
The old saying ‘I’ll sleep on it’ is a wise saying that can help you get out of the habit of not thinking things through. It should become a habit that you use when you feel like doing some erratic or something based on little information. It should be used when you feel emotional and are unable to look at things clearly. And it should be used when you are unsure of which direction you should go.
3. Being A Victim Is A Habit
If you are feeling like a victim in life, then you are in the habit of being a victim. You are doing things that keep you in victim status. You are saying things that make you feel like a victim and act like a victim. You are attracting people and circumstances into your life that validate your belief that you are a victim. In short, your habitual way of talking to yourself, interacting with others, and perceiving the world around you is keeping you stuck in a victim mentality.
You don’t have to be a victim in life. There have been people who have gone through horrible things in life, and they do not act like victims. They know that how they habitually think and talk, as well as how they perceive the world is important, so they are in the habit of thinking positively, talking positively, and viewing the world in a positive way. They don’t hold on to what happened to them and let it define them. They take responsibility for their mindset and behavior in the moment knowing that other people and circumstances are not in control of their life, they are.
That’s how to let go of the habit of being a victim. Recognize that no one else and nothing else can control how you behave, think, and react. You are in complete control of those things and, therefore, you are in complete control of what happens to you.
I have a friend who was in an abusive relationship for years. For over a decade she complained (habit) about her husband and how horrible she was. She cried about how pathetic her life was and how unhappy she was, but she never took responsibility for it (habit). She always blamed (habit) him, religion, her mother, and anything else she could point her finger at. All of these little habits created a big habit of being a victim, and she got off on complaining and crying and having people see how pathetic her life had become. Once she decided to take control of her life, she got into the habit of doing just that! She took responsibility for her actions and her reactions. She took responsibility for what happened to her on a day to day basis. She stood up for herself. And, she left the relationship and created a life full of happiness.
4. Saying Yes When You Want To Say No Is a Habit
Do other people have some sort of hold over you and your decisions? Do they make you do things you don’t want to do? No, they don’t. Your habit of saying yes when you really want to say no is what makes you do things for them that you don’t want to do.
Some people believe that they were born with the trait of being unable to say no, but it is actually a habit that we develop thanks to our parents, teachers, peers, bosses, and other influences. When we are kids, we are more than willing to tell someone when we don’t want to do something, talk, engage, eat, or help out. Kids are quick to say ‘no’ until they are told that they don’t have an option, and then they get into the habit of saying yes because it causes less of a fight and is less stressful on everyone.
As adults, saying no doesn’t have to result in a fight. Getting out of the habit of letting other people control your life and into the habit of doing things you want to do is empowering. It doesn’t require you to be rude. It just requires you to be honest with yourself and the people around you. Telling them that you can’t help them because you had other plans is not rude, it is the truth. Telling them that you are tired and need some time to yourself instead of taking care of their needs is not mean, it’s the truth.
Getting into the habit of living your truth is much better than being in the habit of saying yes all the time. No one can force you to do what you don’t want to do except yourself. So allow yourself to get rid of the guilt that comes with saying no, and focus on your health and happiness first.
5. Being Unhealthy Is A Habit
This is one of the hard truths about the power of habit that so many people are trying to ignore. No matter how many different ways you try to look at it, doing unhealthy things is not a good thing. It’s bad for your mental well-being, physical well-being, and spiritual well-being. When one thing is affected negatively by poor habits, it affects everything else. For instance, if you are low in energy from a poor diet, then that can affect your work, relationships, and hobbies.
We know that smoking, drugs, and drinking too much are all habits that cause us to be unhealthy. We also know that avoiding exercise, allowing too much stress in our lives, being obese, and eating a poor diet are also things that cause us to be unhealthy, but we are quick to come up with excuses for these things or try to justify them in some way. Some people even try to say that they are healthy despite being stressed out, eating poorly, being obese, and not exercising. It’s just not true, and we all know it.
When it comes to the power of habit, this is a big one that reaches all across the globe. Too many people are habitually doing bad things that are causing them to be unhealthy and are trying to excuse it in one way or the other. It’s easy to excuse these things because so many other people are openly trying to excuse their poor health too. They pretend that they don’t know what habits are causing them to be sick, tired, obese, and unhappy, and that pretending is keeping them sick.
Moreover, some people are in the habit of ignoring their own problems but quick to point the finger at other people. On a show the other day, a comedian who was smoking told an obese person that she was unhealthy and making excuses for her obesity. However, she had a cigarette in her hand while she was talking. She was in the habit of excusing her smoking, so she did not see the truth that her smoking was also unhealthy, and she had no right to judge (habit) other people.
If you are unhealthy, then you are in the habit of doing unhealthy things. Yes, there are some people who are prone to disease thanks to genetics, but unless you can say that you are habitually treating your body and mind right, then your health is being influenced by your unhealthy habits.
6. Being Negative Is A Habit
Are you a pessimistic person? Do you feel like you were just born that way? I have good news! You probably just have a bunch of negative habits keeping you pessimistic.
Your habits of looking at the world through a negative lens, talking negatively about people around you, and watching negative things or listening to negative people are keeping you stuck in a pessimistic attitude. And because being negative is simply a habit that stems from many different habits, you have the ability to stop doing those habitual things and start living in an optimistic and positive world.
Why would you want to? I watched a family member get more and more into the habit of being negative. At first, he tried to resist it. He tried to see the world through a positive lens. But, the more he habitually watched the news, talked to negative people, and focused on negative things, the more negative he became. Soon, he was the most negative person I’ve ever met, and instead of recognizing that he had fallen into habits that kept him negative, he felt like he was just meant to be a negative person. He alienated his friends, lost his job, and spent day after day being miserable. Unfortunately for him, he never saw that he had a choice to break the habit and develop more positive ones. Instead, he let the habit of being negative eat him alive. He grew sicker and sicker and eventually died with his negativity still intact. He wasted his life away being miserable. That’s the power of habit and not being able to let go of it when it doesn’t serve you.
Being positive stems from habits just like being negative does. Practicing positive things, such as gratitude, positive talk, looking at the bright side of things, and having hope are all things that build the habit of being positive.