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Are Self-Sabotaging Habits Holding You Back?

Jan 20, 2017 08:52AM ● Published by Caitlin Marshall

The New Year comes with new opportunities and a fresh batch of motivation to follow through on our promises. Inevitably, life happens, and sticking to those resolutions gets harder. If you want to truly transform your life, examine your self-sabotaging behaviors and work to heal them. That's the only true way to lasting growth and happiness. In the spirit of starting fresh (and doing it right this time), here are some of the most common ways we sabotage our own happiness.

1. We settle because we think it's the best we can get.

Many people unknowingly play it safe because they fear rejection. Whether it's an unchallenging job that also fails to ignite our passion or an unfulfilling relationship, settling becomes a subconscious strategy to lower expectations and reduce pain. People crave new experiences and want passion in their lives, but their fear of the unknown is often greater than their desire to reach happiness.

2. We listen to our heads instead of our hearts.

One of the most common happiness-hindering habits is over thinking ourselves into paralysis. This shows up in the form of overanalyzing, being extremely critical, or just generally mistrusting our own feelings. When we rely on thoughts and ignore our feelings, we can get trapped in a web of uncertainty. Thoughts are usually fear-based and lead us to act (or not act) out of fear rather than out of self-awareness and acceptance.

3. We ignore inspiration.

We all have moments of inspiration. Whether it's a nudge to go somewhere at a certain time or speak a truth that's on our minds, acting on those intuitions is part of finding happiness. Most people don't act on those feelings because of the anxiety that bubbles up about where those inspirations might lead you. If you feel stuck in life, chances are you're missing these moments of inspiration.

4. We let fear rule us.

Fear is the cause of most dissatisfaction in life. Fear of pain drives many people to depression, addiction, staying in situations that suck the life out of them, and other self-sabotaging and abusive patterns. Familiarity is our safety net. Branching out into the unknown is extremely unnerving, but transformation requires us to accept uncertainty and embrace the unknown. Fulfillment and security are on the other side of the challenge.

5. We worry too much about what other people think.

Many of us seek reassurance from others and let their opinions keep us from making the choices we need to make to be happy. If you want to leave the job you hate or try something new, you may worry about those closest to you judging you or disapproving of your actions. This can only make it harder for you to reach your goal.

Support yourself. You want to surround yourself with people who believe in you. But you have to believe in yourself first. If you're worried about what others will think, read that as a cue to turn your attention inward and develop confidence within yourself. If you want others to believe in you and support you, first support yourself.


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November / December Holiday Issue 2017