‘I don’t know’
We often find ourselves sleeping on our excuses each night, with our frustrations turning into the numbness of the sleep, we take comfort in our dreams to get rid of or perhaps avoid our problems. For humans, the most common ways to react to problems are:
1. By concluding it’s someone else’s fault.
2. Blaming ourselves.
Whichever of the two is your defense, they are both equally flawed. Here are 10 destructive habits that most of us have been guilty of at one point or another, and how you can change right now:
1. ‘I’ll do it tomorrow’
Turn it in when it’s due.
That very second might fetch you temporary relief, but there are multiple adverse consequences to the (poor) decision that you have just made. Guilt comes in waves, and now, you have to deal with guilt, shame and even higher time pressure. It seems like
‘Buy procrastination & get panic, stress and guilt free!’
And we buy it – like every other bad decision.
How to fix this: If you’re familiar with your habit of procrastination, you need safeguards against yourself.
Set deadlines: Pragmatically evaluate the time you have and how long it will take to finish something. Determine your best working style: Are you a ‘flow’ kind of person? Focus on starting the task. Are you easily distracted? Put all your gadgets off.
Mentally: Set reminders for yourself and focus on the relief you’ll feel when you’ve finished the task.
2. ‘I could never do that. She’s so good at this’
Don’t let insecurities take over.
Insecurities are the primitive tool that helps us sustain self-destructive patterns. In today’s time, no one feels good enough. We’re constantly told to be better and be ourselves.
You don’t take up a task because you think you’re not as good as the other guy in your group. You won’t buy the dress that you want because you think it’s going to make you look fat. You buy everything off the shelf that you think may help you.
How to fix this: There’s no sure fire way to fix this, but it’s a good habit to get into to pinch yourself every time you doubt yourself. A sort of conditioning, if you will.
Focus on your strengths and be aware of your objective weaknesses.
Instead of mulling over your insecurities, work on the source: Feel insecure playing sports? Take one up.
3. “I don’t know. But what if..? What am I doing?”
Go easy on your inner commentary.
We’re all stuck up with our crazy/sane brains 24×7. Imagine how bizarre your life would become if you began entertaining every thought that you had. Letting yourself go easy on your over-thinking daily can prove to as effective as a Panadol for a headache.
How to fix this: Keep occupied in activities you enjoy. When you have a difficult decision to make, instead of overthinking it, counting the infinite eventualities, let it be for a while. Don’t think about it, and once you have some emotional distance, get an outsider’s perspective to clarify.
4. Ideation, execution is your friend
Just do it.
When it comes to business or creative ideas, your biggest self-sabotage would be to think ‘someone else has probably already done it.’ What if no one has? Closely related to insecurities and procrastination, there’s always the fear or a strong possibility that someone made it to the finish line of your idea before you did.
So how do you succeed where plagiarism and patenting are constantly battling one another?
How to fix the ideation problem: All of us ideate everyday, but a handful of us execute those ideas. Make the first move and create – don’t wait for someone else to come in and provide the answers. It’s okay to start walking in the dark [someone has to].
5. ‘I have so much to tell you’
Trusting people too easily.
Trust is a retrospective concept. You trust on the basis of past experiences and familiar situations. Trusting people easily can create circumstances in which we might be exploited at the hands of others, often cheated. On the other hand, not trusting people enough can leave you feeling lonely and suspicious.
How to fix this: Be real about your judgments – don’t equate people to friends you have known in the past because of a few similarities.
Hear people’s stories, trust yourself, don’t hold onto your delusions and ask for a second opinion.
6. ‘This isn’t as bad as it looks.’
Give your optimism a rest.
Optimists tend to feel discouraged when the world doesn’t seem to recognize things as positively colored as they do. Being a pure optimist also brings along the risk of underestimating the consequences of an issue and overestimating the rewards of an achievement.
We all need an adequate dose of positivity to keep going us, but there’s nothing quite like reality to keep yourself in check.
How to fix this: Surround yourself with people who will tell you like it is.
When you find yourself being dreamy, deliberately look at the negatives to keep grounded.
7. ‘I can’t settle for 70%,’ ‘I need to fit into a size 3’
Stop weighing your worth using numbers.
We measure everything using statistics to help reassure ourselves about the certainty of things. If you begin evaluating aspects of your life using numbers, the only person you will be seeing in the mirror is a counterfeit failure that you’ve created.
Sure, numbers are a great way to measure objective gains/losses, but don’t let your numbers define you. You are more than your numbers.
How to fix this: When you find yourself obsessing over a number, like your age, weight, grades, remind yourself that it’s the direction that counts. [Much like if you’re trying to get fit versus reach a general weight, you’ll be likely to stick to the plan for longer.]
8. ‘This is it’
Don’t treat every situation as an ultimatum
Life doesn’t end at the peak of your fears. You can afford to look beyond your current situation.
You give an ultimatum to someone you’re in a relationship with for the smallest mistake they may have made. You conclude you won’t be able to achieve anything in life because of one minor setback. You began to convince yourself that your current state will persist and things won’t get any better.
How to fix this: Scale back every night and look at the bigger picture. Remind yourself that ‘This too shall pass’
Recommended: 5 Reasons Self-Help Books Are Keeping You Helpless