If you’re not living up to your full potential, say goodbye to these 8 habits

by Brendan Brown | May 26, 2024, 8:36 pm

We all have dreams, big plans, and a vision of what our best life would look like. But sometimes, it feels like we’re stuck in a loop, unable to break free and make those dreams come true. 

What’s the reason behind this? 

Well, more often than not, it’s a set of pesky habits that keep us anchored in place, preventing us from reaching our full potential.

So, it might be time for a change. 

In this article, we’ll take a look at eight habits you need to say goodbye to. These are the sneaky, often unnoticed routines that pull us back whenever we try to step forward. 

Let’s dive in!

1) Being scared to fail

Imagine wanting to try something new, but there’s a voice in your head that says, “What if I mess up?” 

Sound familiar? That’s the fear of failure talking, and it’s something we all face. I, for one, have heard that voice in my head too many times. 

This fear can hold us back big time. It’s like a big, scary monster that stops us from doing things we might not be perfect at. 

But here’s the thing—everyone messes up sometimes, even the people we look up to the most. The important part is getting back up and learning from what went wrong.

So, what to do about this fear? Kick it to the curb. Replace the nasty voice with a more pleasant one that says, “All right, let’s try it and see what happens!”

As you can see, it does require courage. And a certain acceptance that yes, you might fail. But how will you know for sure? Again, you’ve got to have that “let’s just see what happens” mindset going on. 

Because on the other side of “you might fail” is the equally weighty “you might succeed.” Don’t you want to find out?

It’s not easy, but each time you face your fear, it gets a little bit less scary. Think of messing up as part of the journey to getting better, not as something bad. 

2) Neglecting self-discipline

Binge-watching. Hitting the snooze button. Giving in to sweet cravings every single time. 

These are things I used to be guilty of. Until I realized that they were holding me back. 

If I wanted to live up to my full potential, I had to learn how to control my impulses. 

See, when we go for what’s easy and instant all the time, we miss out on building a good foundation that will serve us in the long run. 

Because like it or not, it’s only when we consistently choose what’s best for us, instead of what feels good right now, that we become the best version of ourselves

3) Not setting clear goals

Oftentimes, our lack of self-discipline comes about because of another habit we don’t have: setting clear goals.

I mean, if we have no goals to work towards, then why even bother doing the hard work of cultivating discipline, right? 

Having clear goals is like having a roadmap for your life. Without them, it’s easy to drift along, unsure of where you’re heading. 

If this is an area you struggle with, here’s a simple list of steps to start setting clear goals:

  • Find your why: Understand what you truly want to achieve and why it matters to you. This will be your guiding light when the going gets tough.
  • Be specific: The more detailed your goal, the easier it will be to visualize and work towards it. Instead of saying “I want to get fit,” say “I want to run a 5K in 30 minutes in six months.”
  • Break it down: Large goals can feel overwhelming. Break them down into smaller, manageable parts that you can work on daily or weekly.
  • Set a timeline: Goals need a finish line. Decide when you want to achieve your goal and work backward to create a roadmap.
  • Regularly review: Goals can change as you grow and learn. Regularly review and adjust your goals to ensure they remain relevant and motivating.

Once you have clear goals, your life will have direction and purpose, propelling you towards reaching your full potential.

4) Comparing yourself to others

Just like not having clear goals, comparison is another habit to say goodbye to if you want to live to your fullest potential

We’ve all fallen into the trap of comparing ourselves to others, especially with social media nowadays. It’s easy to look at someone else’s life and feel like we don’t measure up. 

But you know what? This habit does nothing but undermine our self-confidence and distract us from our own path.

The truth is, everyone’s journey is unique. We’ve all got different experiences, challenges, and triumphs. So it doesn’t make sense to compare. 

Instead of comparing yourself to others, focus on your own progress. Celebrate your victories, no matter how small, and learn from your mistakes. 

Remember, the only person you should strive to be better than is the person you were yesterday. Embrace your own journey and let it guide you towards your full potential.

5) Neglecting your passions

Let me share a quick story with you here. I used to love writing poetry. But as life got busier, I convinced myself that I didn’t have the time for it anymore. 

The result? I lost a part of what made me, well, me. I always felt like there was something missing. 

The day I decided to pick up my pen and start writing again, even if just for a few minutes each day, I felt more alive, more connected with myself. 

That sense of aliveness extended to all other areas of my life; I just felt more whole. 

I didn’t realize that just the act of staying connected to things I feel strongly about could unlock my full potential

So, don’t let your responsibilities make you neglect your passions. Find some time every day, or even every week, to do what you love. It could be painting, running, cooking, dancing – anything that brings you joy. 

It will remind you of who you are at your core and what makes your heart sing. Trust me, there’s no feeling quite like it!

6) Overthinking

Do you often find yourself stuck in a cycle of ‘what ifs’ and ‘if onlys’? Do you lie awake in bed at night, your body tired but your mind buzzing on and on? 

Overthinking is a habit that can really get in the way of your full potential. How? 

It blocks you from making decisive actions. More importantly, it robs you of peace of mind. 

So, going forward becomes much, much harder. 

The key to overcoming this habit is to learn to let go and trust yourself. As a former overthinker, I know just how difficult it is to get there. 

But you can start with practicing mindfulness, focusing on what you can control, and taking decisive actions. 

7) Procrastination

Well, you probably knew this was coming. No list of bad habits would be complete without procrastination in it. 

Procrastination is a habit many of us struggle with, putting off tasks for later when they could be done now. And sure, it might feel satisfying in the moment, but it can lead to stress, missed deadlines, and lost opportunities.

If you want to overcome procrastination, try these steps:

  • Prioritize tasks: Use a system like the Eisenhower box to categorize your tasks based on their urgency and importance. This way, you’ll know what to focus on first.
  • Break down tasks: Large tasks can seem overwhelming, leading us to procrastinate. Break them down into smaller, more manageable tasks.
  • Set a schedule: Decide on a specific time to work on your tasks. This adds structure to your day and helps you focus.
  • Avoid distractions: Create a distraction-free environment to help you focus on your tasks without interruptions.
  • Reward yourself: Celebrate your achievements, no matter how small. This can motivate you to start and complete tasks.

Essentially, there’s no getting around it – the key to overcoming procrastination is action. If you can get something done today, then get it done, it’s as simple as that. 

8) Living in the past or future

Finally, let me ask you a question: How often do you find yourself caught up in memories of the past or worries about the future? 

While it’s important to learn from our past and plan for our future, constantly living in these realms can hold us back from reaching our full potential.

Dwelling on past mistakes can lead to regret and guilt, while worrying about the future can create anxiety and fear. 

Both of these habits can prevent us from taking action in the present—the only moment where we can actually make a difference. 

How to do that? Practice mindfulness, the art of being fully engaged in the here and now. 

Here are a few ways to cultivate it:

  • Practice meditation. Even a few minutes each day can make a significant difference.
  • Try mindful activities like yoga, tai chi, or even mindful eating.
  • Take time each day to appreciate the moment, whether it’s enjoying a sunset or taking a leisurely walk in the park.

Living in the present allows you to take full advantage of your life as it happens, pushing you closer to your full potential. 

Final thoughts 

Changing our habits is not easy, but it’s key to reaching our full potential. Hopefully, this list has shown you which areas in your life need an overhaul. 

That said, remember to be patient with yourself. Start small and just focus on doing a little better each day. Each step counts; as long as you’re being consistent, you’ll get to where you should be – the best version of yourself! 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *