If you’re feeling “behind” in life, say goodbye to these 8 habits

Do you ever feel like other people are progressing faster than you?

More importantly, do you feel like you could be progressing more than you are? 

Sometimes we know we’re capable of more, but we sabotage our own progress with old habits that don’t serve us. 

These habits can cause us to feel like we’re falling ‘behind’ in life, which is really just a way to say we’re not doing as well as we’d hoped. 

These habits can be surprisingly small, yet saying goodbye to them can be impactful in creating space for the growth we want. 

So what are those 8 habits?

Let’s find out:

1) Avoiding the small tasks

It’s a common saying that if you want to succeed in life, the first thing you should do is make your bed in the morning. 

The thing is, it’s true.

By getting those smaller tasks in order, you are telling your brain that you are ready for bigger tasks, like going after your goals and ambitions. 

Moreover, when you do the small errands, you’re kickstarting the motion to be proactive about the things you want. 

The hardest part is most often starting – which is why starting with a big task feels impossible and you just want to avoid it. 

So if you’re feeling behind in life, start with creating a routine to regularly get the dishes done, clean your house, make meal preparations, or grocery shop. 

It could be done on a weekly basis or in small chunks daily – just set the intention in motion. 

2) Mindless distractions 

We have more distractions than we ever have throughout human history. 

This means it’s harder than ever to maintain focus on one thing, without reaching for your phone for that quick Instagram scroll or mobile game that becomes an hours-long distraction. 

Before you know it, you’ve wasted an entire day down a rabbit hole about medieval history, a famous murderer, or something else you didn’t even know you cared about!

But there are a couple of ways to combat these attention-suckers that are designed to keep you distracted: 

  • Cultivating self-discipline
  • Creating dedicated work and relaxation spaces 
  • Removing distracting things from your environment
  • Creating a schedule for focusing and for relaxing (that works for you)
  • No screen time before bed

When you want to work on something – whether it’s a personal goal, creative project, or career goal, you can try to break the time up into smaller windows.

This could look like alternating between 30 – 50 minutes of ‘focused’ time and then 10-20 minutes of time to let your mind relax.

This can help those who have trouble staying on track, as it gives you something to look forward to during the focused time. 

You get both and avoiding them blending into one big, inefficient distraction!

3) Forgetting self-care

You know:

It’s also possible to be doing all the things, yet still feel behind in life. 

When you focus too much on being ‘productive’ that you neglect your self-care, you can become exhausted, resentful, and drained. 

This slowly makes each little thing you “have to do” a chore that depletes you, instead of an opportunity that energizes you. 

So ditch the overdoing and try to find a healthy balance of time to meditate, relax, journal, stretch, walk, or do other things that nourish your soul. 

They charge your batteries for everything else on your agenda that’s more proactive, and make them more enjoyable overall. 

4) Over-committing

pic1099 If you’re feeling “behind” in life, say goodbye to these 8 habits

What goes hand in hand with overdoing?

That’s right, over-committing!

If you have a tendency to people-please, you might be putting more things on your plate than are actually realistic. 

This leaves you feeling like you’ve never done everything you have to do, and the things that need to be done are piling up into an invisible mountain of pressure on your shoulders. 

If this is you, you may need to practice boundary setting and saying ‘no’ when someone asks you for favors and you’re already overdue with things that you need to do for your own sanity. 

Remember, like putting the oxygen mask on yourself first on an airplane, prioritizing your well-being before helping out others is best. 

5) Dwelling on the past or future

If you spend a lot of time thinking about your past or future… you’re bound to get caught behind from the present. 

Whether that’s lamenting on past mistakes, being in nostalgia, or being anxious about what’s to come – that time and energy could be used to create something better right now. 

Living too much in any moment but the present often creates feelings about the past that weigh you down, or create fears or expectations about the future. 

So if you want to no longer feel “behind” in life, allow yourself to anchor into the present moment to do something better from past mistakes, or kickstart the trajectory for something you do want in the future. 

There’s truly nothing more powerful than this moment!

6) Self-comparison

Do you compare yourself to others? 

This could be a tricky one to spot – you might even do it subconsciously. 

When you see someone who has something you want, or something you don’t want, notice if it makes you feel better or worse. 

If you feel a certain way in response, you might be comparing yourself without even realizing. This can have a negative impact on your fulfillment in the long-run. 


It’s like relying your self-worth on a currency that is reliant on others, and so is constantly spiking and crashing. 

By not engaging in comparison, you create a steady sense of self-love and acceptance that is always appreciating in value (as long as you keep doing the work to maintain it!).

7) Negative self-talk

To move forward in life, it’s essential to replace negative self-talk with self-compassion, self-belief, and a growth mindset. 

When you talk down on yourself internally or out loud, you’re creating guilt, shame and fear, which will hinder you from growing. 

By recognizing the destructive nature of negative self-talk and actively working to change it, you can pave the way for personal growth to take shape.

These better habits empower you to face challenges, learn from failures, and persevere in your pursuits. 

8) Perfectionism

Perfectionism is more detrimental than it is helpful.

Take that from me – a recovering perfectionist. 

My perfectionism truly did me more harm than good, because it stopped me from even starting things in the fear that it would never be good enough. 

It stopped me from finishing a lot of things, too. It stopped me from sharing a lot of things with other people. 

Sure, it upheld my personal standards in the rare occasion I actually went ahead and took the risk.

But the things I lost out on thanks to my perfectionism? There’s too many to count. 

So if you can, say goodbye to any perfectionist tendencies if you want to move forward in life. It’s not only okay to fall short sometimes. 

It’s actually the most beneficial thing you can do to try, ‘fail’, learn, and evolve.

Final thoughts

By addressing these 8 habits keeping us behind in life, we can unlock the door to personal growth and fulfillment

We must embrace the present moment, practice self-compassion, set healthy boundaries, and prioritize self-care. Let go of the need for perfection and comparison with others, for these habits only hinder our progress.

In the end, the journey forward is not about how quickly we progress compared to others, but rather about the small yet meaningful choices we make. 

Saying goodbye to these habits is the first step toward a more meaningful, purposeful, and fulfilled life. 

So, let go of these 8 habits that longer serve you and move boldly into a future that exceeds your imagination. 

Picture of Shela Riva

Shela Riva

Shela Riva is a Thai-Swiss freelance writer, artist, energy mentor and co-creator of Jaiyen Eco Resort, a creative retreat space in Thailand. She is deeply passionate about our incredible ability to transform and is dedicated to helping each person realize the power within themselves, whether through her writing, empowering custom art pieces, one-on-one work or in-person retreats.

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