Are Your Habits Holding You Back?

man stands on seaport looking at strong ocean wave in sunset sky
by Anne McKeown

Have you seen the movie Groundhog Day?  Do you know why it was so popular?  One reason is that everyone could relate to it: the boring repetition of daily life, the predictable patterns, the same old habits.  We all have repetitive behaviors in our life, some more positive than others.  An important question to ask yourself is, “is this habit moving me forward or holding me back in life?”

All the patterns listed below vary in severity and nature, they all have one thing in common: a tendency to recur in one’s life be it daily, monthly or annually.

  • Loneliness
  • Financial worries.
  • Irritated all the time.
  • Judgmental of others.
  • Always being too busy.
  • Start and never finish tasks.
  • Weight loss, weight regain, repeat.
  • Attracting the wrong type of partner.
  • Recurring conflicts around the same topic.
  • Constant struggles with relationships at home and/or work.
  • Addictions: food, alcohol, shopping, sex, cigarettes, computer.

What’s interesting is that most of us know our bad habits, but few of us question why we own them.  For example, one client of mine was a yoyo dieter and no matter how hard she tried she couldn’t keep the excess weight off.  Delving deep to the core of the issue we eventually uncovered the fact that she came from a large, poor family and when she was young food was scarce.  From the age of four she learned to hoard and hide food.  Forty years later she was still doing the same thing even though she had an abundance of everything she could ever need.  When she realized that she was still living that old habit she didn’t know whether to laugh or cry!

Another example, is of a successful businessman that I coached. He constantly complained and worried about his lack of money.  I found this hard to believe because he had a high-ranking job and was paid very well.  Through discussion I discovered that he supported many charities and was very generous towards friends and family.  We highlighted the underlying issue, which was approval.  He wanted to be liked and thought of as kind and generous.  So, he unwittingly used money to impress people and when he had no money, he believed that he had no value and therefore no self-worth.  Eventually he was able to love himself and now has far more to give than just dollars and cents.

Which bad habit do you continue to own? Ask yourself why? What would you like to do about it? Reach out if you need help finding ways to replace this negative behaviour with a more positive pattern.

To learn more about emotions see: Reignite your Spark

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