Growing through Toxic Habits

Part of personal growth is identifying toxic habits, and allowing yourself to grow through them. I think that identifying toxic habits allows you the mental space to work on letting them go and growing something a little bit better in its place.

However, I think in some respect, these toxic habits can make you a stronger person, because when you actively decide to not be like that anymore, its a challenge and a conscious choice to take care of yourself.

These are the toxic habits that I am trying to grow through.

Relying on validation from other people

This is one of my worst habits! Relying on others to validate who you are as a person is almost like a drug, leaving you codependent and always wanting more. Waiting for others to acknowledge your intelligence, skills or worth in the world means that you are always making yourself up in someones else’s worldview. Stopping yourself from pursuing your own dreams.

Sometimes people don’t have the best intentions for you, or they don’t understand your motivations. Although its harder, if you have validation from yourself, you also give yourself the space to grow. I am still learning this, but it’s like a muscle, it can only get stronger over time.

Constantly attacking and putting yourself down

Negative self-talk dampens every aspect of your life, it shuts down your chances before you even get the chance to begin. Before I submit an assignment I think ‘you’re an idiot’, it’s pretty much crippling at job interviews!

I have learned that one of the most important things is that you have to have your own back. If you consciously practice positive self-talk, you begin to catch yourself before bullying yourself. It puts you in the headspace to give yourself the best chance of success and happiness. Practicing positive self-talk changes how you view the world and makes the world a kinder place for you to grow.

Thinking others are better than you

This is tied to your sense of self-worth, it is easy to see others as inherently better than you when you’re caught up in your own crap. I have been trying to step back and think that everyone has doubts and insecurities.

I am trying to train myself to think that no one is better or worse than anyone else and act accordingly. Sure, some people are better than you at some things but the only one you have to be better than is the person you were yesterday (wow that was cheesy). Thinking that you’re in a weird competition with everyone around you means you’re focusing on everyone else, and not enough time on yourself!

Expecting yourself to fail

This is connected to negative self-talk, but if you go into something expecting to fail, you are way more likely to fail because, in your head, you already have. If you ‘visualise’ yourself succeeding, you put yourself in a headspace of confidence. It’s easier to be successful if you allow yourself to be.

I do this all the time, start things with the expectation that I will fail, but who cares if I fail? At least I tried. I am working on giving myself the respect I need to give myself a chance to succeed.

Living in the past

I have such a bad habit of constantly obsessing about past mistakes, and it’s not healthy! We all get those horrifying flashbacks of something embarrassing we have done in the past, usually at the most unwelcome times. And even though they are not a conscious act, you can still consciously decide to move past them. The past, even if you made mistakes in it, is done. Obsessing about the past is a great way to ensure that you can’t live fully in the present.
I am still learning this, but identifying a problem is the first way to stop it. At least now you have learned the lessons from the past

Not taking risks

This is a great way to make sure you don’t grow, not taking risks limits your chances of self-development. I am guilty of playing it too safe, but I want to make a commitment to myself to take more risks.

Being afraid of change

Change is inevitable, and resisting that change makes life so much harder. I am working on embracing change and trying to see it as a positive thing.


What are the toxic habits that you want to change?

Leave any advice for me in the comments!

15 thoughts on “Growing through Toxic Habits

  1. I’m 54, and can honestly say that you’ve nailed it in identifying the issues that drag down many people. I remember going along, waiting to feel like an adult. In my mid 20s: nope, not yet. I turned 30, and still no. About the time I reached 35, I realized that all of this time the adults I looked up to didn’t know any more than I did. Not that they were stupid, but that their ideas about life were built on their experiences and how they felt about those experiences; there was no secret to adulthood. Consequently, I realized that my experiences and how I felt about them were just as valid as anyone else’s. I wish I could have realized this earlier. I think I knew it on a logical level, but it took a long time for my emotions to catch up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was happier when I was a child but I didn’t have a great childhood. Now as an adult, I have accepted that I am an adult and that most people just settle. I could never settle and am always trying to improve my life. Self-actualization has helped me do that.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Omg several of these points I am guilty of. Leaving social media for a couple of weeks after my laptop broke down actually made me happier. Rather than reading a gazillion more articles on why I should quit to remind myself about why I need to quit, I just quit due to lack of a laptop and the temptations to think about it went away. No more validation seeking for me. Idc if people don’t know the intimate details of my life, or whether my profile picture is 2 years outdated. I don’t care about making more online friends on there only to get caught up in their drama. I haven’t thought about them at all and I feel much more free reconnecting with people whoI actually know face to face. Self-actualization has really helped me live in the present. Everyone should go back to the 1990’s and relive that time. It was a simpler time and I was happier then. Back then I was a child who lived in the present and didn’t give a crap about what people thought of me.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s hard letting them go but you’re so free afterwards. It might take months, even years to heal and time to convince yourself that you did the right thing. I still question my actions, and I feel bad for letting these toxic influences go. But in the end it was the right thing to do. You grow a thicker skin in the process.

        Liked by 1 person

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