10 Habits That Are Really Worth Quitting!
Habits – they are amazing unless they are bad habits!
What if you are allowing habits to linger that are working against you? Habits that are draining you, rather than taking the courageous step and quitting your bad habits? Perhaps fear is keeping you from choosing a better way.
There’s a certain stigma associated with quitting. No one likes to be a quitter. Quitting often feels like failure…or giving up…or not being determined enough to see something through. However, when it comes to your poor habits, the ones you keep hanging on to – they really are worth quitting!
Here’s the positive side to quitting: whenever you eliminate something, you free up space for something new, healthier, and more worthwhile! And that’s a very good thing!
As a leader, professional, or entrepreneur, knowing when and what to quit is paramount! Sometimes it’s letting go of responsibilities or roles. Other times it’s habits including habits like these:
1. Working Too Much!
By nature, leaders are attracted to being productive; they like rolling up their sleeves and taking on challenges. Yet, when work becomes your life, it’s actually counter-productive. Not only do you become a one-dimensional person, but you actually reduce your effectiveness. In fact, you should know that all the extra effort is not getting you the results you desire. That might be a tough pill to swallow, but focused effort trumps attempting to do it all.
That’s why you need to know and accept your limits (your REAL limits) and make a concerted effort to work within a specific time frame. It forces you to trust God more and prioritize. It encourages you to delegate and eliminate those busy-work activities that don’t yield results.
Working less also frees up time for the people in your life and energizing life-giving activities that actually help you apply your best self and work more efficiently.
So, quit thinking you are being effective by working 24/7.
What are your limits? What’s a reasonable time-frame for you keep work within? Who will make sure you honor your limits and boundaries?
2. Stinking Thinking
Nothing holds you back more than negative mindsets. Your thinking influences everything – your decisions, how you interact with others, and it keeps you stuck!
Here are just a few examples of stinking thinking:
- All or Nothing Thinking – thinking in extremes rather than viewing things realistically. Some call it black or white thinking and it causes you to view things as either good or bad, right or wrong, perfect of flawed – nothing in-between. Most of the time it’s some shade of gray. Get in the habit of challenging your perspective and finding what I call the “happy middle.”
- Catastrophic Thinking – thinking that something is much bigger or more serious than it really is. It causes you so see your situation as insurmountable, impossible, and/or detrimental.
While the unexpected might not be desirable, it is NOT the end of the world! It’s an opportunity to get creative!
- Unreasonable Expectations – expecting more than is reasonable from yourself or others. If you hear the word “should,” it is a tip off that this kind of thinking might be at work. Become more aware of your expectations – often we don’t even realize we have expectations until we are disappointed in some way.
- Personalization – assuming that something is about you when in reality it has nothing to do with you. Get in the habit of taking yourself out of the equation and coming up with a slew of other possible explanations for why something might have occurred.
- Poverty Mentality – Believing that there is never enough to go around- opportunities, resources, money, etc. are limited. You operate from a place of lack. When this kind of thinking is at work, you are stingy and hold on tight to what you deem valuable. Sadly, poverty mentality limits you in some significant ways.
The longer you put off doing something, the more daunting the task becomes. Face up to what you’ve been putting off and “git ‘er don”. I guarantee you’ll be surprised to discover that it really wasn’t nearly as big a deal as you thought it was!
Where are you dragging your feet? What role is fear playing? How frequently do you procrastinate at activities that must be done alone? What tasks do you put off because you consider them to be too hard? What do you procrastinate at because it is not fun enough? What would make those tasks more enjoyable? What about not wanting to fail – is that keeping from doing what needs to be done?
4. Second-Guessing Yourself
A wishy-washy leader is not a compelling leader. Not only is it challenging to follow a leader like that, it’s not motivating either.
Even if you make a decision that wasn’t the best, walk it out and learn from it. Remember, it’s OK to fail when you use it as a catalyst for growth. Skip the second guessing!
5. Getting Sucked into the Vortex of the Urgent
Unexpected situations will arise, but you don’t have to let it pull you off center. What makes a great leader: being able to stay focused in the midst of chaos!
Make it a habit to start your day by determining what’s most important – your Top 3. Tackle your Top 3 first! Don’t let the little stuff that will flood your day take you off course. In reality, far more can wait than you want to admit! And when absolutely necessary, consciously re-prioritize on the fly.
6. Saying “Yes”
Leaders love a challenge and welcome responsibilities, the opportunity to influence, and the chance to make a difference. However, if you keep saying “yes” to all that comes your way, you will spread yourself too thin and dilute your efforts.
Once again, come to terms with your limits and reserve your “yes” for the opportunities that are in keeping with your strengths, goals, values, and passions. And most of all, make sure what you are agreeing to do enhances your relationships and will positively impact the results you are after. Not only will you handle your obligations well, but your quality of life will be better too
7. Caring What Others Think
Leading is an out-front job, and everyone has an opinion about your decisions. That’s why it’s critical that you know who you are – your strengths, weaknesses, personality, goals, priorities and more. When you are clear on your strategy and why you do what you do you will care a whole lot less about what others think.
Not as clear as you’d like to be? That’s an excellent reason to work with a coach.
If you think multitasking makes you more productive, you’re not alone! Chances are that you multitask more frequently than you realize.
Here’s the kicker, according to one study, only 2.5% of people were able to effectively multitask. Odds are, that you are NOT one of those who successfully multitasks.
When you multitask, research suggests that the quality of everything you do diminishes –by 40%!
Want to produce great work – quit multitasking!
9. Ignoring Your Priorities
Are you investing the bulk of your energy into what’s most important to you? Your relationships, including God, your goals and values – what you hold most dear? Or is your life out of whack?
Keeping your priorities front and center is essential. It is easier when you trust God.
10. Mind Reading
There’s so much to say on this particular topic! That’s why I’ve tackled it here.
It’s not enough to just quit a habit. In order to truly succeed in ending an unwanted habit, you must fill the void with a more positive habit. Accomplishing that on your own isn’t always easy. If it was, no one would have bad habits, right?
Making the shift to better habits goes quicker and is likely to be more successful when you enlist the help of a coach – someone to help you discover the thinking that’s driving your behavior. And to assist you in creating a strategy to switch up those habits for good while supporting you in the process!
What impact have those not-so-great habits had on you personally and/or professionally?
Which of the above habits do you need to quit?
Great habits are worth the effort! Here are 12 more habits worth having.
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