7 Lousy Habits that Limit Your Potential

bad habits

We have all been there. Where we were tricked by our own limiting beliefs and patterns. We worry all the time that something will not go as planned. We worry and tire our mind sick with this useless “exercise”.

“What if I will not finish my project on time”? “What will people say about my performance”? “I cannot do this because….” This list can continue till the last person’s breath on Earth.

We all fell prey to an old story we tell ourselves about what we can or cannot do. Recall all the moments of worry and hesitation before you made a decision. What did you feel?

During the moment of hesitation we stood still. Caught in the middle. Not willing to take a leap of faith. These drawbacks truly put a stop signal on every attempt to go beyond our limits in order to change, to develop, to grow ourselves and to become even better than we are today.

It doesn’t matter how confident we are. Sometimes on the other end of the rope is a team backed up by self-doubt and never ending chasm of fear. But the good thing is that our hope is stronger than fear.

What holds us back? What lousy habits and patters do we run that keep us where we are?

7 Lousy Habits that Limit Your Potential

1. Distrust in Your Own Abilities

If we are uncertain about our skills, abilities, knowledge – it makes it difficult to be in charge of our decision making process. I read that people are most likely to associate themselves with failure than success that’s why they self-doubt at first place. People are so scared to go out of their “comfort zone” that they assume they would fail without even the slightest attempt to try…

The only failure in life is to never try anything new. 

2. Hey, That’s My Cliché!

We all play roles and wear different masks on daily basis. We do that so swiftly! It’s amazing how our own stereotypical images of us operate.

If you’d ever meet people from my very first school and asked about me, they would have laughed and shared a story or two about how wild, funny, witty, bubbly and also reckless I was. They would tell you how I would go and stand up against any injustice and teachers and fight… How I would argue with my teacher of literature about Pushkin, Tolstoy and Wilde. In their eyes they saw me as that wild flame – always burning and never resting. I got so comfortable with that role. For years I couldn’t break that stereotype even in my own mind.

But moving to London was of great help. Now looking back at those years long gone I sit and wonder about that person I once was. That person seems so distant, almost like a fuzzy dream.

It’s challenging to break free from your own stereotypes and the way you present yourself out there. But it’s possible and well worth it.

3. You Overdid it, Doll.

“You think too much”, “You analyse too much”, “You are lost in thoughts” – does it sound familiar to any of you guys?

Self reflection is great, don’t get me wrong. But when someone is constantly out there floating in that endless stream of thoughts, like myself, it’s not always good.

It takes you out of the present moment and it’s very distractive. It steals our focus from the things we SHOULD focus on here and now. As a rule, these “expeditions” hardly ever lead to anything. We end up procrastinating and obsessing about things in the past or worrying about the future that hasn’t happened yet!

4. Comfortable Inside my Shell. Back off!

Sometimes our excuses to go out there and unroll our potential serve us really well… I mean they serve us so well that they keep us comfortably inside our shells.

Why change anything if you are comfortable as you are? Right? No. The thing is, life does anything but stands still. Like it or not, it will take each and every one of us out of our shell eventually and when it does, it will be on its terms…

It’s up to us how uncomfortable we will feel…

Sometimes we are just too scared to ask life for what we really want because getting it means going through a change that life will offer…

5. False Hopes

I swear I can write a dissertation or two on this subject. It’s unbelievable how oblivious I was in feeding myself stories filled with false hopes that were NEVER backed up by any facts or reasons.

I guess I was wired to hope by default. It’s not a bad thing at all. But when you hope and wait for the dolphins to fly without doing anything – it’s fruitless.

“I was once interviewed for a job at a bank. I really wanted to work there. I really did! And as a common phrase they said that wonderful “We will give you a call”. I went home feeling ecstatic as if I already worked there. Days and weeks were passing by. I was still waiting for that damn call checking my phone every 10 minutes. How naive! And then the phone finally rang. That was a call from another bank. They wanted to hire me. But I was so obsessed with the idea of working at the bank that promised to call me that I asked for a few more days to think. I was sitting and waiting for their call for another days until I realised how silly it was. So I accepted the job from the second bank I am now so happy that I did.”

Stop this irrational thinking. False hopes are very inviting, appealing and… deceiving.

6. Limiting Beliefs are our Traitors

Limiting beliefs remind me of the moment when a skydiver stands before the open door and is about to jump. Those disturbing thoughts crawl in and try to prevent him from any fun experience and pursuit of the things he desires…

Our ego is so intimidated by the things that can change our life. By the things that are meaningful. By the things that “conspire” to obtain the best place with the spotlight on…

Stop listening to old stories. Just stop. When you catch yourself revisiting an old thought – simple take a deep breath and replace that thought with a new, positive and reassuring one.

We have to create new empowering beliefs that would back us up in the moment of doubt.

7. Oh, What Will Others Think?!

Since the young age I loved singing. When my parents told me to go and pursue my dream, I shut that down as I’ve assumed that “my voice is not that great”, “there are too many singers out there… why be one of them?” “people will laugh at me”. Where the hell it all came from is not my place to go and dig.

Did those limiting beliefs play a big role in my life? Oh, yes. Yes they did.

I remember the same thing happened when I first started writing for HavingTime.com. All kinds of doubts broke loose and it felt as if it was their personal responsibility to barge into my mind and tell me what a lousy writer I was. I’m not going to lie. I believed those thoughts. Sometimes I would cave in and I wouldn’t write anything for several months. But then something happened and I just went for it no matter what… I became immune to the opinions of others and to my own doubts. Yes, sometimes I relapse for a while, but then I go back to the positive mindset and do what I love.

I do what I love. People are entitled to their opinions. It’s not any of my business what they think about me personally or my writing skills. I do what I love and it makes me happy.

What makes me even more content is when I receive letters from readers with their life stories, their thank you notes and how they enjoyed reading my posts. I cannot be more grateful to you, my friends. It brought me that understanding, that no matter what we are facing in our daily lives – we are not alone. We are here in this together teaching and learning from each other. It’s priceless to me.

By Lesya Li
Photo from vk.com

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