We can create habits, adopt them or unlearn them. Habits can be fear-based or motivators rooted in benefit.
Here is how you can distinguish the two:
Toxic Habits (Fear-Based)
- When we are reprimanded, scolded or judged repeatedly, habits are created to avoid such scrutiny. These are fear-based, toxic habits. I realized last night that I don’t even use my nice dishwasher, after a year of being with someone who would scold me for being lazy by using the dishwasher to wash dishes and not by hand (as if the creation of a dishwasher is obsolete). Washing dishes by hand is not the worst habit to have but, the birth of it, makes me want to change it.
- Comparing yourself to others is perhaps the most futile, toxic habit that many of us posses. Remind yourself it is not fair to YOU, to compare yourself to others. We are all different with different paths before and behind us. That friend that didn’t go to college and runs a successful business? Perhaps, they have generational wealth and capital you don’t possess. Even still, their journey may be harder than you imagine. You’re just a bystander in other’s lives. However, you control your life – so why waste time with comparisons when you can only control yourself?
- Practice what you preach. Your loved-one comes to you doubting themselves because they didn’t get the job or into the program they wanted. You ENCOURAGE them , check-in and remind them to keep pushing. However, when the same thing happens to you, you engage in negative self-talk. Perhaps you aren’t a procrastinator, or failure – you just have bad habits.
Habits are changeable.
Positive Habits (Motivators)
Working out / Running has been my resolve in tough times. This is not a habit I initiated myself, yet I absorb the credit for maintaining it. Positive habits motivate you and the root of the habit is not as important as the reason or end-goal.
- Present well, even when you don’t feel it. Every interaction is an interview. People make impressions based on what they see, before (or if) they even speak to you. On your worst days, even if you stay home all day or if you just go to the store, present yourself well. Ditch the bonnet, pajamas, baggy sweats and dress as if you going places. From personal experience, this garners so much attention. I remember being unemployed and still wearing my favorite business suit. People would ask what I did for living and I’d say that I am searching. This was in 2019. Someone hired me on the spot to work with their telecommunications company because of my appearance (initially), what my presentation said about my determination and the habit I’d built of great self-presentation.
- Manage your free-time better, use it towards goals. We all love 3-day weekends. It’s easy to get caught up in binging a show or just sitting by the pool. However, if you are not at least 80% satisfied with your income, current place of employment, or location – you should use your free time wisely – to advance and change your circumstances! Watch an episode of Euphoria if you wish, then do a job application. Work your 40 hour week, but use one day of your weekend for your side business research and growth. Study for your certification, start the application process to go back to school. Positive habits will propel you!
You will never have as much energy and as many ideas as you do now. We are getting older each day, not younger. Any ideas you have, start them IMMEDIATELY, or regret it.
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