Life can be challenging; sometimes, we make things more challenging for ourselves than necessary. Without realizing it, we often engage in toxic behaviors that lead to an unhappy life. Things like gossiping or evaluating our self-worth all aim to upset our inner peace and happiness and unbalance our lives.
It’s important to recognize these behaviors to change them and improve our overall well-being. In this post, we’ll discuss 13 toxic things you may be doing that make you miserable and offer suggestions for breaking these patterns for a happier, healthier life.
“Great minds talk about ideas. Average minds talk about events. Small minds talk about people.” We’ve all heard or seen this popular adage, and although it may be a bit dramatic, it is also a bit true. Plenty of times throughout the day, we find ourselves gossiping to fill in social space. We sit in cafes with nothing to discuss and resort to talking about other people, our friends, family, enemies, or anybody when we know we should discuss something more substance. We all know that gossiping is bad, yet we still do it.
Whenever gossip starts to rear its head, try to steer the conversation away to something more positive and worthy. In the moment of defense, you’ll be surprised how many more great things you can come up with to talk about!
Downplaying Your Self-worth
Too often these days, we are presented with opportunities where we feel that we need to evaluate our self-worth based on others, or at least our perception of ourselves against them. We see our friends having great days on Facebook and young people walking around with the most modern and trendy styles. We compare ourselves to them, and more often than not, it becomes an issue of self-deprecation and belittlement.
Learn to love yourself not based on your fashion, hair, age, size, or Facebook posting history. Appreciate who you are and what you offer to the world as a loving and compassionate person with a great circle of friends, family, and influences, and you will rocket to the top of the charts.
Telling Yourself You’re Too Old
Telling yourself that you are too old to accomplish anything you’ve set your mind to is the first step to disaster and an unfulfilling life. I have seen backpackers traveling the world over 65 years old, people starting businesses well into their fifties, or publishing books and memoirs when they are in their old age homes.
There’s no limit to the capacity of any human, and age is certainly not the limiting factor. The only thing limiting yourself is you and your beliefs. We are never too old to continue, and there is no age limit for success.
Not Putting Yourself First
You are number 1. Not your family, kids, boss, work, preacher. None of them. So many of us are people pleasers, making everyone else happy except for you. And you are number 1. Your happiness comes before anything else. Yet, we still have a hard time with this concept.
Start saying yes to you and your needs and no to everyone else. It will feel uncomfortable initially, but eventually, it will be like second nature, and you will feel so much liberation and joy.
Putting Too Much Pressure on Yourself
There are many things we want to get done in our lives and many things we see our friends doing that we want to do as well. People travel, succeed, get promotions, get new things, etc., and we have as much drive to get these things as well. Sometimes, we want everything at once and are frustrated when things aren’t materializing like we imagined.
We must remember that life isn’t as short as we think, and it takes time to get everything we want done. We cannot put too much pressure on ourselves, or we might get overcome with frustration and start to feel unable.
Living in the Past
Grudges, anxiety, regret, anger, hatred, etc. All of these things put unnecessary strain on ourselves but only existed in the past. Holding on to all these toxic emotions will keep you stuck in the past, not to mention miserable.
You should not revisit the past, and all we can do is move forward into the future. Staying in the past will keep us in the past and not give us any hope to look ahead to a brighter life and happier times. Leave all the sorrow, pain, and grudges behind.
Choosing Career Over Family and Friends
This doesn’t happen to everyone, but it does occur often without us even realizing it. We take jobs to enhance our resume or acquire new credentials, but it is at the expense of our family and friends. We sacrifice our time with them for glory, power, success, and accolades. After a while, you’ll realize that your personal life is suffering, but it will be too late by then. Or will it?
Make decisions that positively impact your lifestyle and that of your family. At the end of our lives, it is not money or a good resume we need but the relationships that make us feel fulfilled and have a life of love.
Hanging On To Toxic Relationships
We wait for things to get better. We hold on to the hope that the toxic person will change their ways, apologize, improve, or whatever. But we know that’s not going to happen, yet we still hang on at the expense of our happiness. Know when it’s time to cut your cords and move on so you can have some peace, joy, and freedom in your life.
Worrying About Things You Can’t Control
You can control only two things: your emotions and how you react to things and people. That’s all. You can’t control people or the outcomes of situations, so worrying about what’s going to happen or worrying that things aren’t going to happen the way you want is a waste of time and is sucking all the happiness out of you. And let’s not discount how miserable it makes you.
I know this will be hard to do, but stop worrying and stop trying to control things. Control yourself and how you react to things, and learn to be here now.
Constantly saying things like “I’m no good,” “I’m not smart enough,” or, worse yet, “I’m ugly and no one wants me” are so damaging to your self-esteem and self-confidence. Are you a negative Nancy all the time? These negative phrases will lead you into depression and isolation if you aren’t already there.
You must stop this talk at once. Next time you have a negative thought, stop it, replace it with three positive ones, and watch how things change.
Comparing Yourself to Others
Women are notorious for this. She’s prettier, she’s richer, she’s more popular, she has nicer > insert whatever here. We’re constantly doing this and totally overlooking how amazing we are! We want to be like Felicia, but does she really have it all together? Probably not.
Just be like you. Don’t compare yourself to others because you will spend your lifetime trying to be someone you’re not, and it’s so not worth it.
Pretending to Be Someone You’re Not
Let’s face it: we all want to be liked and likable, but at what cost? When we don’t feel we have anything to offer anyone, we pretend to be someone else for them to like and accept us. In doing this, you’re not only lying to them but to yourself as well. Why would you waste your one true precious life trying to be someone you’re not for people who probably don’t even matter to like you?
Embrace your uniqueness, quirks, and all. Just be yourself, and the right people will gravitate to you.
Not Healing Your Trauma
If you don’t heal what hurt you, you will bleed all over those who didn’t cut you. This is such a powerful quote from Nikita Gill. We’ve all suffered trauma at some point in our lives. The trauma was not our responsibility, but the healing is. You will never be able to move forward in life if you continue to hang on to the trauma from the past.
Do yourself a favor and take the time to heal. Find courses or ebooks to read to help you on your healing journey. You owe it to yourself to do this.
There are many toxic behaviors and habits that can keep us from living a happy, fulfilling life. By identifying these behaviors and taking steps to change them, we can improve our overall well-being and find greater happiness. Remember to prioritize self-care, pursue your passions, invest in your relationships, and live in alignment with your values. With these changes, you’ll be well on your way to living your best life.
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