6 Habits You MUST Boot (+ how to get rid of them)
These are addictions that are HOLDING YOU BACK in your personal development. These are toxic and can be hard to get rid of because they are so widespread in society.
Most of these you know you shouldn’t be doing (at least on a conscious level), and that’s OK. I’m not here to say “you shouldn’t do this.” This is just a wakeup call.
First Habit: Unhealthy eating
Yes, this one was obvious. But the truth is a lot of people struggle with this. But chances are that if you do do personal development, you are also into health and wellness.
The problem is that everyone KNOWS they shouldn’t be eating crap, but it’s a hard addiction to break. Also the fact that there are so many loud people claiming that their diet is the Holy Grail of all of them makes the process that much harder.
I’m not trying to be one of those people, but for those of you that need a boost, here are a few tips to get started:
- cut out soda, energy drinks, alcohol, fruit juices, and eventually caffeine (drink only water or tea)
- cut out chemicals, sugars and processed foods
- eat LOTS of vegetables
The other factors such as meat, dairy, and grains are all subjective. I suggest that after you get these first things down you play around with the ratios of these 3. Remember that everyone’s body is different and runs better on different fuels. Go with what feels right to you.
Second habit: Smoking and drugs
Do you really want reasons for this one?
I know most people in the States don’t smoke, but here in Europe where I live, it is widespread (well over half of adults in France do).
Not smoking is more common sense than anything else.
Drugs on the other hand is much more subjective. Disclaimer: I have never used drugs even though I’ve already been offered some.
The main reasons I don’t do drugs is a) health and b) it is my philosophy that if you need a stimulant like a drug in order for you to be happy, then you’re not playing the game of life the right way. You need to reevaluate your strategy.
Third Habit: News, TV, movies, social media
This one should get a good reaction 🙂
Before you protest, let me state my reasons.
First about the news. The news is a constant source of stimulation, and so many people watch it because it’s so easy to just turn on and plug is since it’s always there.
But here’s the problem: the media targets the part of the brain responsible for scanning for danger, the reticular activating system. And when you’re constantly bombarded by negativity, it’s very hard to stay positive and happy and create and extraordinary life for yourself. This is because the compass of the unconscious mind will deviate to where it’s been magnetized the most, which is in this case, negativity.
Other problems include the fact that it caters to people’s need for certainty, it gives a skewed view of the world, and it sucks away time that should go towards personal development. Or spending time on your business, with your family, your hobby, whatever.
So what about the others sources of stimulation like movies and TV shows? Well, I’ve got news for you, they aren’t much better. A few reasons for this are that most require a very low level of consciousness, they suck time out of your day, and they distract you from introspecting if you’re constantly plugged into something. They also subconsciously instill values in you that you have no awareness of or control over (yes, they brainwash you). The example that comes to my mind is many people’s Disney-fied beliefs of true love.
Now, some movies are good because they are true pieces of art. I’m thinking of Citizen Kane, Lincoln, you know, movies that will go down in history as great. Documentaries are also OK because they’re educational. But the blockbuster action movies or comedies, stay away from.
Btw, I strongly suggest getting rid of video games for all the same reasons. Netflix I stay away from because it’s always there and too easy to plug into. YouTube can be a great educational resource, but don’t spend hours watching fail videos or music videos.
Finally, social media. This one is tough because EVERYONE is doing it. It’s too easy to get on and stay for hours. But it comes with all the problems listed above, and more. Have you ever noticed the pang of jealousy you have when you see your friends having a great time at a party or and event, or feel guilty because you see a fitness post and haven’t worked out in 3 days? Yeah that’s why I quit social media. I still use Messenger to communicate with friends and my parkour group, but really that’s it.
The best way to boot the social media habit? Become aware of how it makes you feel. When you feel jealousy at a friend’s post, notice it. When you feel jealous she has more likes than you do, just notice it. Eventually you won’t even want to go on Facebook anymore, you’ll be too conscious (which is a GOOD thing).
Fourth Habit: Multitasking
Raise your hand if you’re guilty of this one ✋.
Yeah, I used to do this a lot. Listening to music while writing, listening to podcasts while eating breakfast. Running around like a squirrel on crack.
The issue here is that, again, it distracts you from all the important things in your life by filling up every little bit of attention you possess.
I also find that multitasking really takes the pleasure out of certain things. Enjoying warm oatmeal in the morning is hard to do if you have to stop to take notes every 5 seconds on the podcast you’re listening to.
It’s also hard to do things well while multitasking. Science has proven that in fact, it’s impossible for our brain to focus on more than one thing at a time! It just flits between the two things very quickly, resulting in neither of them having our attention for more than a few milliseconds. How do you want to do something well if you’re constantly being distracted?
The trick here is to wean yourself off things. For me I started by not listening to podcasts when I’m cooking or eating. Simple. Makes it a lot more enjoyable! Try it and see how you feel.
Fifth Habit: Procrastinating
This is a big one for a lot of people. Bizarrely, I never really had a problem with it, but I know a lot of people who do. Here are some suggestions:
- Don’t beat yourself up for procrastinating. Accept that the resistance to doing the thing is there.
- Unless it’s life-threatiningly important, don’t beat yourself into doing it. That’s neurotic.
- Hold yourself accountable if it’s something you must get done. Make a bet with your friends that you’ll go to the gym 4 times a week for 4 weeks, and if you don’t you’ll give them each $100. There’s some motivation for you.
- Make a reason for yourself to do it. Create a vision in your mind of what this could become. It could be the finished product of your business, or an image of your happily fixed marriage 3 years down the line. Get the image to drive you to take action.
Sixth Habit: Hanging around negative people
It is like watching the news all the time. Certain people do nothing but complain. I was at a dinner party with my parents the other night, and I couldn’t believe how much time they spent worrying about Donald Trump! Not that I want him to be president or anything, but it’s hard to take joy in complaining about how the world’s going to hell. Don’t let that negative influence rub off on you. Life is beautiful.
Complaining isn’t the only form of negativity I have in mind. I’m also thinking about judging people and situations, and resisting reality (using lots of “it should be this way” and “it shouldn’t be that way”), but these are topics that are too deep to cover here.
What about friends and family? Well, friends you can always find more of. Sometimes if you’ve evolved to a point they aren’t willing to follow you to, it’s time to let them out of your life. Family’s a bit harder. The best solution for me has been to limit the time I spend with them if I find them to be in a negative mood.
Hopefully this post woke you up as to how these habits are limiting your personal growth.
Remember that each of these is possible to break, no matter how far gone you think you are. There are many resources on all of them, and you can find groups or coaches near you that can help as well.
Also keep in mind that I’m not here to tell you what you “should” or “shouldn’t” do. Don’t neurotically force your way out of these traps only to fall back into them. It could take months to wean yourself off these things completely.
I suggest you get started on these because I will have another post coming soon on habits that will HELP instead of hinder your growth. It would also be wise to start now because I will go into other, deeper habits that you’re not even aware of, and that suck the happiness from your life.
Comment below which ones you most need to get rid of, and let me know if I forgot any!