If you really want to become the best version of yourself, ditch these 7 habits

So you want to become the best version of yourself… fantastic!

I’m sure you’ve already put in conscious effort to make that happen. You may have done some learning, set some goals, and worked on some new habits.

But… what about the habits that you should let go of?

These are silent killers of your progress because they’re so ingrained in your daily life that you don’t even notice them anymore.

And they crowd out any new ones that you want to integrate into your life.

So before you do anything else for your self-improvement, make sure you’ve kicked these 7 habits to the curb.

Let’s go find out what they are.

1) Gossiping

This first habit is a triple danger: it damages your relationships, your productivity, and your wellbeing.

Relationships, because who can trust a person who proves they constantly talk behind people’s backs? If you gossip to someone, you probably also gossip about them. 

Productivity, because let’s be honest, when you’re gossiping, you’re not doing anything that could actually improve your life — like working on your goal, spending quality time with people, or even just relaxing and enjoying yourself.

And your wellbeing, because gossip isn’t even good for the person doing it. It teaches you to fixate on other people’s lives, when you should only be concerned with yours.

There’s only one kind of gossip that’s good: and that’s talking about other people’s successes. 

Whenever someone not present comes up in conversation, if you have anything to add make it something positive about them. 

Let yourself be someone who others trust to say good things about them, even when they’re not there – and someone who ruminates only over inspirational things. 

2) Holding onto resentment

Did you know anger is one of the worst poisons you could put in your body?

The scariest part is how unbelievably easy it is to “consume” it. Heck, many people even willingly grow it inside them!

This isn’t a criticism — it’s a totally understandable thing to do. When someone has really hurt you, how can you not feel upset at them? Doesn’t it feel good, just a little, to think about karma getting them back?

But maybe this will make you think twice.

Studies found that holding onto grudges is the single biggest factor suppressing alpha waves. These are the brain waves associated with relaxation, creativity, and lowering depression. 

But even without the science, I’m sure your best self isn’t someone walking around with hatred in their heart, thinking angry thoughts about the world. 

How do you get rid of this block? It’s simple: forgiveness. 

Simple, but not always easy, of course. It can take time, but practice opening your heart up to compassion and understanding for the people who wronged you. It doesn’t mean you condone their actions — it means you’re releasing a toxic habit to be your best self.

3) Complaining and criticizing

If there’s one thing humans love to do, it’s complain. As kids, we complain that we don’t get enough play time or lollipops. As teenagers, that the homework is so “not lit” (or whatever the kids these days are saying).

As adults, it’s that the coffee machine at work is broken — again! — and there are too many cars on the road.

Think about it for a second: how are these thoughts, feelings, and words adding to your life?

Are they supporting you in your goals? Your wellbeing? Your relationships? Your success?

It may be true that “misery loves company”, but even though it may bring you closer to some people, you are at the end of the day, still steeped in “misery”.

I’m willing to bet your best life looks a little different. It’s probably filled with happiness, love, and relaxation. 

So if you want to actually allow that into your life, you have to ditch the bad habits that are bringing the exact opposite. 

4) Letting your choices run you

Has this ever happened to you? You sat down to answer emails, and 15 minutes later you’re browsing the sale section of your favorite clothing brand. 

Or, after 20 minutes of random scrolling on Instagram, you remember that you picked up your phone to text your sister back.

These are prime examples of something I think of as letting choices make you. Because you didn’t consciously make the choice to do those things — yet there you are, doing them.

This is a result of automatic habits, and also the way these platforms are created. There is always something new to distract and keep our attention. 

It can be difficult to snap out of this habit — I admit, I struggle with it even when I consciously fight against it.

Here are some tips to try:

  • Use a time tracker like Toggl. Writing a task down in the timer can help you focus on just that.
  • Set time limits for apps you know you often waste time in.
  • Turn off notifications. Only open the apps when YOU decide to, not when a “ping!” decides you should.

5) Procrastinating

body language habits that make you look genuinely confident If you really want to become the best version of yourself, ditch these 7 habits

Here’s a habit that we will probably never get rid of. It’s built into our DNA — our brains and bodies are wired to keep us safe, and avoid venturing out into unknown, risky territory.

That might have worked well in prehistoric times, but today we’re not talking about exploring meadows with lions in them, but living a joyful, fulfilling life. 

Putting off answering that important email for 5 days isn’t keeping you safe… it’s diminishing your chances of closing that client.

Constantly pushing back your dentist visit isn’t making potential problems go away — on the contrary, it’s letting them quietly grow bigger. 

I once read this rule in the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: if you can do it under 2 minutes, do it right away.

How many times have you read a text then told yourself you’ll answer it later? And how many times did you actually remember to answer it in a timely way?

Your best self is probably someone who gets things done on time and does it in a relaxed, calm way rather than chasing after deadlines last minute — so ditch this habit of procrastination.

6) Changing your mind too often

I have a friend who has so many great ideas — from fitness goals, to business plans, to simply ways to enjoy life. They are all fantastic ideas. But he never actually does any of them. 

Why? Because he starts one, then changes his mind and switches to another.

It’s impossible to get very far in anything this way. What’s more, he’s spending much longer switching between each goal or task than it would normally take for him to actually finish some of them. 

Esther Hicks once said that the most valuable skill you can have is to decide what you want, then giving your undivided attention to it.

It doesn’t matter if it’s the best decision on Earth — what matters is that you “ride the bus”, so to speak, long enough to arrive somewhere. 

It’s the same principle with starting a business or social media platform. If you change your mind every few months about what it’s about, you’ll never post consistently enough to actually grow an audience.

So stop constantly changing your mind — make a choice and stick to it. 

7) Worrying about what others think

Last, but certainly not least, there is the fear of what other people think.

This becomes much easier to ditch when you realize what this is: just a feeling.

For example, let’s say you want to start a new business where you give job-seeking advice to young adults. 

Excellent! But… what if my friends see my website and laugh at me? What if I look silly in my reels? What if some of my clients don’t like my work and I lose them?

… Then what? What would happen? Well, then I’ll feel embarrassed and stupid.

Aha! So all this comes down to, really, is a feeling. Do you really want to give up on a dream and stop yourself from possibly achieving something amazing, all because of a feeling?

I’m not belittling these feelings — I know how potent they feel. I myself worry about them way more than I should!

But exposing them for what they are helps you let go of them — because at the end of the day, the job of a feeling is just to be felt. You don’t need to let it run your life, if you decide it’s not useful.

Making space for the best version of yourself

Now you know 7 habits that are probably keeping you from becoming the best version of yourself.

What new, better habits will you take on once you let these go? How much farther along will you be in a year?

Just imagine the possibilities for your highest self… 

So go ahead, and decide right now: which habit do you want to let go of first? 

Remember, you don’t have to tackle them all at once — letting go of even just one of these habits will take you so much closer to your vision. 

Silvia Adamyova

Silvia Adamyova

Born in Slovakia, raised in Canada, with a translation degree from University of Ottawa and an editing certificate from Simon Fraser University. Now based back in Slovakia (if you’re wondering why - have you seen Canadian winters?). Full-time freelance English teacher, translator, editor, and copywriter. Part-time avid reader, self-development junkie, and cake addict. I hope my writing inspires you in some way — if it does, find me on LinkedIn or Instagram and let me know!

Enhance your experience of Ideapod and join Tribe, our community of free thinkers and seekers.

Related articles

Most read articles

Get our articles

Ideapod news, articles, and resources, sent straight to your inbox every month.