Your thoughts and habits create your actions and emotions. When you think negatively, you are likely to get anxious and unable to perform well. We all face situations that make us feel helpless or kind of stuck. The real things that prevents you from achieving your goals are your negative habits. Habits take a big part of our life. When you unwittingly cultivate bad habits, sooner or later, they start working against your aspirations.

If you feel like you are not getting where you want, perhaps it is time to face the truth. Negative habits ruin your potential and decrease your chances to succeed. Learning to identify them is the first step to changing your life for good.

Here is a list of the most common negative habits that hold people back from being successful and happy.

1. Negative thinking

Happy and sad moments come hand in hand in life. When you focus on the bad things, you can’t keep progressing. Negativism in large amounts is self-destroying. It causes anxiety, not to mention it affects motivation and productivity. No need to wear that burden. Although life is not all roses, positive attitude adds value to the reality you experience. It is also a driving force to building the necessary skills to help you grow intellectually and professionally.

2. Blaming others for your failures

Blaming external circumstances or other people for your lack of achievement in the personal or professional field won’t help you in any way. Telling yourself things like, “My spouse is distracting me from work,” or “My boss gives the high-visibility projects to his favorites” is getting you nowhere. Enough excuses. Focus on the things you can control and try to put them in the right direction.

3. Procrastinating

Procrastination is a stranger to successful people. That is because they have dealt with it in the past. Procrastination is the most dangerous habit of working people. The best way to break it is through building iron-strong discipline and time management skills. Never say “Oh, I have to deliver that work next week, there is time.” Time flies fast. Avoid postponing things into the indefinite future. There is a huge risk you would never complete them in time. So, do it now.

4. Waiting for approval

Happiness and success depend on you. You are responsible for making the big decisions that define your future. Take your life in your hands and stop waiting for other people’s approval. People can’t walk in your shoes. Their opinion and judgment can only slow you down and stop you from moving towards your goals. Have more faith in your decisions and desires. Don’t hesitate too long. Instead of asking others’ opinion, discover your inner powers. Build confidence and enhance your self-esteem. The less approval you seek from people, the further you will progress.

5. Comparing to other people

People are not created equal. Home environment, experiences and impressions define us as individuals. Each individual enjoys different personality traits, skills and knowledge. Some have only one talent, other have more. Success looks and feels differently and that is normal. Comparing yourself to other people can be deceptive. Looking what others have achieved – family or career, or both – is not just unnecessary but unhealthy. You need to develop your own success formula. The first step is a change in the mindset. Good things impact us differently.

6. Setting no priorities

The secret to any success comes down to prioritizing. In our daily lives, we all struggle to reach balance while doing several things simultaneously. A famous proverb says, “He who chases two rabbits will catch neither.” Actually, that is not true. One can perform well on more than one field. The key is learning to separate the important from less important. When organizing the workload, always put the most difficult and time-consuming tasks first. Set the right priorities and nothing will stand on your way.

7. Running from problems

When an obstacle occurs, many people would just give up misled to think this is the safest way. Running from problems is an awful habit and the sooner you get rid of it, the better. Instead of quitting, why not try a different approach? Seek for solutions. There is always a way. It’s better to face the problem, whatever it is, and fix it. Problems challenge our will. Finding solutions and making fast decisions under pressure is what makes us strong.

Final words

Everyone has the full potential to succeed in a field that suits their traits and skills. Adopting better habits and leaving the negative ones behind is essential for unlocking this potential and improving the quality of life. The notable writer Gretchen Rubin has a truly insightful book exploring the nature of habits and the many ways they shape our lives. The book, called “Better than Before,” teaches how to adopt the right habits through a smooth and easy transition.