We all have habits, but sometimes, those habits hold us back more than we’d like to admit.
You might look at your life and struggle to pinpoint why you can’t move forward, or maybe you feel uncertain if what you’re doing is really helping or hindering your progress.
So, how do you know when these habits are helpful and when they start holding you back?
If you’re curious about the answer, this article is for you.
In this article, I will be discussing a list of common habits that often keep people stuck in a rut. If these resonate with you, it might be time to bid them farewell.
Let’s get started.
1) Ignoring your emotions
When life gets too intense, it’s tempting to just shove those feelings aside and put on a brave face.
But let’s be honest: ignoring our emotions never did anyone any good.
It’s like slapping a band-aid on a wound that needs stitches; it might cover the problem for a while, but it won’t fix the underlying issue.
Whether it’s fear of failure, stress from work, or feelings of unworthiness, ignoring these emotions can keep you stuck in the same place.
Because when you ignore your feelings, you’re also ignoring important signals that something needs to change in your life.
It’s time to take your emotional health seriously.
Start by acknowledging what you’re feeling, without judgment. It might be uncomfortable at first but facing your emotions—rather than shying away from them—can help you break free from the rut.
2) Living in the past
Nostalgia can be comforting—it’s a familiar landscape filled with memories of times gone by.
However, constantly living in the past and reminiscing about “the good old days” can leave you feeling stuck in your present life.
Because when you’re constantly looking backward, it’s hard to move forward. You might find yourself comparing your current situation to a rose-tinted version of your past, which can lead to feelings of unhappiness and discontent.
It’s okay to remember and cherish past experiences, but it’s important not to let them overshadow your present. Instead, use them as stepping stones to guide your future.
Remember, you have the power to create new memories and experiences that could be even better than the ones you’re holding onto.
There was a time in my life when I believed that being busy meant being productive and successful. I found myself saying ‘yes’ to every opportunity that came my way, overloading my schedule with tasks and commitments.
I felt like a hamster on a wheel, constantly running but getting nowhere. I was overwhelmed, stressed, and stuck in a cycle of over-commitment.
It took a while for me to realize that my habit of saying ‘yes’ to everything was actually holding me back. I was spreading myself too thin and had no time or energy left for the things that truly mattered to me.
That’s why learning to say ‘no’ was a game changer for me.
It allowed me to prioritize my tasks better, reduce stress, and focus on achieving my personal goals. It might feel difficult at first, but remember, every ‘no’ you say to something that doesn’t serve you is a ‘yes’ to something that does.
Procrastination is often seen as a bad habit, but did you know it’s actually a way our brains try to cope with stress?
Because when we’re faced with a task that feels overwhelming or unpleasant, our brains will naturally look for more enjoyable things to do as a form of instant gratification.
But as soothing as it may be to put off daunting tasks, it’s a habit that can keep you stuck. This is because procrastination can lead to a cycle of guilt and anxiety, which only adds to the initial stress.
To overcome this habit, try breaking down the task into manageable chunks and tackling the most challenging parts first—a technique known as ‘eating the frog’. This can help make the task less overwhelming and reduce the urge to procrastinate.
So, instead of waiting for the perfect moment to start a task, take one step at a time, and soon enough, you’ll find yourself moving forward.
After all, progress is progress, no matter how small!
5) Playing it safe
Playing it safe can feel comfortable because we often try to avoid risks in fear of having things get blown out of proportion when our lives seem to be going well.
But this is not a good way to be, and I can attest to that because I’ve been there myself.
I remember a time when I was afraid to step out of my comfort zone. I clung to the safety of the familiar, too scared to take risks, even when they had the potential to lead to something great.
I was comfortable, yes, but I was also stuck.
One day, I decided to step out of my comfort zone and take up a public speaking class—something that I had always been terrified of.
It was scary and uncomfortable, but it changed my life.
As I pushed my boundaries, I discovered a newfound confidence in myself and realized that I was capable of more than I thought.
This helped me understand that playing it safe might seem like the easier option, but it can prevent you from growing and reaching your full potential.
That’s why it’s so important to take risks and step out of your comfort zone—it might be scary, but it’s often these experiences that lead to the greatest personal growth.
6) Avoiding change
It’s often uncomfortable and scary, but it’s also necessary for growth. Sticking to the familiar might feel safe, but it can also keep you stagnant.
Personally, I’ve found that embracing change, even when it’s uncomfortable, can lead to surprising and rewarding outcomes.
So, if you’re afraid of change, know that it’s fine. Just know that even if you’re afraid of it, you still have to embrace it if you want to grow.
7) Not setting personal goals
One of the most common reasons we find ourselves stuck in a rut is because we don’t have any personal goals at all.
But without a destination in mind, it’s easy to lose your way.
But don’t fret. It’s a normal part of life, and it’s something we all go through, because before you figure out where you want to go, sometimes you need to get lost first.
Once you start setting personal goals, you will soon find a clear direction and something to strive for.
Many of us are victims of overthinking. It traps us in a cycle of worry and doubt, preventing us from taking action or taking risks.
But it’s okay to make mistakes and learn from them. Because if you avoid making mistakes at all costs, how are you going to learn?
Trust me—the progress you’ll make when you stop overanalyzing and start doing will surprise you.
9) Not taking care of your health
When you’re young, it’s easy to take your health for granted.
But as you grow older, it will become harder and harder to do so.
Your physical health plays a crucial role in your overall well-being. Neglecting it can leave you feeling sluggish and stuck.
Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and adequate sleep can do wonders for your mood and energy levels. More so, you should also seek therapy and practice mindfulness to take care of your mental health.
Remember: all of these are integral for growth.
Because how are you going to achieve your dreams if you’re not even strong enough to fight another day?
So, if you’re still young, remember to always look after yourself and your well-being. Your future self will thank you.
10) Comparing yourself to others
It’s easy to feel stuck when you’re constantly comparing yourself to others.
But everyone is on their own unique journey.
If comparisons are holding you back, try focusing on your own progress instead.
Celebrate your successes, no matter how small, and remember that the only person you should be competing with is yourself.