The Habits That Limit Us

habits that limitOur habits can make us or break us. They can be helpful to achieve a goal or they can be harmful and move us further away from a goal. Each of us has habits that limit us to one degree or another… but what are yours?

The Habits That Limit Us

What is a habit exactly? Simply put, a habit is merely an automated behavior that we often act out or engage in without even realizing it most of the time. We all have good habits that have been instilled in us over our lifetimes, such as brushing our teeth first thing in the morning, saying “please” and “thank you” when appropriate… etc.

What about the lesser or bad habits that limit us…  again, they are typically just automatic and “happen” without realizing what is going on or that we are even doing it.

We get into the habit of not being clear about what we want. This is a huge habit that limits us, because if you are not clear and precise about what you want… you open yourself up to stuff that you did not want. Break yourself out of the habit of constantly saying, “I don’t know…” whenever asked what you want and get into the habit of always knowing exactly what it I that you want in any situation.

We get in the habit of making decisions without keeping a goal in mind. We get in the habit of holding onto things that no longer work for us. We get into the habit of allowing fear to dictate our lives. These are all habits that limit us and not one of them is healthy.

The most sinister of habits that limit us and affects many of us on a daily basis are the constant negative thoughts or phrases used in our internal dialogues. This occurs when we immediately make judgments about situations, or people, or things, as bad. Worse is when we judge and label ourselves as bad, not worthy, or not capable of doing something.

Phrases habitually used such as “I can’t do that,” or “I’ll never get that,” only serve to hold us back in our growth and advancement as individuals.

The beliefs that we carry around with us about the world and even ourselves are nothing more than habituated thoughts. They are thoughts that are automatically presumed to be true regardless of anything else and called forth merely out of habit. This is what we base what we want and desire from. This is also how we base our sense of self-worthiness.

Here is a challenge to break those habits. Grab a sheet of paper and write down things that you may want; things that you may want to do, etc. Do not limit yourself. Include things that might seem impossible. After you have done that, then write out each reason why you “think” you cannot have, or do, or accomplish the things listed. Some of these may be accurate assessments of limitations, but in giving it a hard look what things are not accurate?

These inaccurate habituated thoughts or beliefs are what must be changed in order to realize the goals or dreams written down. Which ones are stories told to us by others that we decided to believe? Which ones are stories you have told yourself that are just as inaccurate? Are your beliefs possibly another bad habit to break? All it takes to break those is the decision to do so.

I used to believe that I sucked when it came to handling life’s changes and it took me a long time to realize that was not entirely accurate. Once I concluded that what I was telling myself was a story, I decided and replaced the old belief with a newer one that is “I am a master of change,” which I am… and you probably are too.

Make being aware of your automatic responses and reactions to everyday life a new habit. By doing this, you may then be able to witness the habits you perform out regularly which you were not fully aware of before. Be mindful of the little ones that may stunt your personal progress in life without even knowing it.

The best way to break a bad habit is to replace it with a better one. The best way to replace limiting thoughts or beliefs is to replace those with better thoughts or beliefs.

Which thoughts or beliefs do you experience daily that are merely out of habit and are the habits that limit your personal growth, success, and achievement? What can you do to change the habits that limit you with habits that empower you instead?

Andy Wooten M.A. Counseling – A Certified Life Coach In Aspen Colorado

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Photo By Andy Wooten – 26 September 2016

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