Habits You Should Ditch: 20 Bad Habits That Are Holding You Back

Home » Good Daily Habits » Habits You Should Ditch: 20 Bad Habits That Are Holding You Back
Click Here to Get a FREE Printable Worksheet for Setting Effective SMART Goals

There might be affiliate links on this page, which means we get a small commission of anything you buy. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Please do your own research before making any online purchase.

Bad habits are like a comfortable bed, easy to get into, but hard to get out of.– Anonymous

Habits make the man. Or in some cases bad habits can unmake the man.

On DGH we talk about how to improve habits all the time. But what about all those bad habits.

We all have a few habits we’d like to break. 

So what can we do about them?

Well we have the answer for you.

To start, we recommend reading this post to learn how to break bad habits. It will give you a process you can use to get rid of any bad habit.

Now, there are certain bad habits that can really get in the way of achieving personal success. In this article, we’ll cover 20 habits that might be holding you back.

20 Bad Habits That Hold You Back

1. Procrastinating on Important Tasks

At some time or another everyone procrastinates. The important thing to decide if the procrastination is just putting a task off for a much needed break or if it is a chronic thing that affects your work.

If your procrastination causes you to do inferior work. If boss, family, friends or coworkers complain about your procrastination. Or if you know it negatively affects your work. Your procrastination is a problem and you will have to do something about it.

  • Stop putting things off till the last minute.
  • Make a list of attainable goals and hit the floor running.
  • Envision the reward of taking action now.
  • Don’t wait till later to do things.
  • Break big task into small ones and tackle them one at a time.
  • Wake up early and make a to do list for the day.
  • Handle important tasks within 10 minutes

Above are some of the basic keys stopping procrastination. I get it…. Easier said than done.

If you want a more detailed guide that will help guide you through the path of stopping procrastination forever check out the link below.

If you want even MORE details on getting rid of procrastination forever, check out the book:
How to Stop Procrastinating: A Simple Guide to Mastering Difficult Tasks and Breaking the Procrastination Habit

2. Overspending and Exceeding Your Budget

Are you always broke. Feel like your bills keep growing and growing. Credit cards out of control? Does your debt feel like a mountain on your chest?

If any of those sound familiar you might have a spending problem, and either need to earn more or spend less. The steps to spending less are not that difficult, but few people take the time or effort to follow them.

Even if you are wealthy, following the good spending habits below can help you.

  • Set a budget.
  • Give yourself an allowance and stick to it.
  • Leave your credit cards at home.
  • You don’t need everything you like.
  • Avoid shopping with friends who overspend.
  • Pay bills first and save the rest

Want more details on “how” and “why” many financial habits are so important? Check out this post below on spending habits that will set you right.

3. Being Addicted to Mindless Entertainment Holds you Back

I will freely admit that this is one of my current bad habits. I work hard and I keep myself mostly on the strait and narrow path when it comes to habits, so I allow myself to indulge in reading for pure enjoyment.

There is nothing wrong with this, as it is kept to a minimum. If I was not able to occasionally read a book like Ready Player One or Girl on the TrainI would go mad. But when you compromise work or life, it is something that needs to be dealt with.

  • Read something that interest you.
  • Stop looking for what’s new in Hollywood or who’s wearing what.
  • Stop being a victim of internet web designers and game developers.
  • Get out and socialize with friends rather than like their pic of social media.

Rather than never allowing yourself to read books for enjoyment, why not try this habit. Before you allow yourself the free time to read for fun make yourself read educational nonfiction for at least 30 minutes a day first.

4. Spending Too Much Time on Social Media

Social media has become as addicting as having that cup of coffee every morning. The temporarily gratification we get from the number of “likes’ and views on the pictures and videos we post, has many wanting more.

Not only does social media keep us from creating solid lifelong relationships, but we are in competition with who lives the” best life”.

  • Social media has been linked to anxiety.
  • Causes low self-esteem.
  • People often compare their lives to those on social media, which can lead to depression.
  • Stop watching other people live their lives and go live yours.
  • Lose quality time with the people around us.

If quitting social media is difficult, try reducing the amount of hours you spend on it and see how your life improves.

5. Saying “Yes” to Everyone

We’re all guilty of saying yes to things and people, when we really want to say no. The fear of being judged or disliked, has us taking on more than we can handle at times.

Even when we try to convince ourselves that we won’t say yes again, we get scared, tense up and end up saying yes.

The fear of being rejected or coming off as unkind and rude, keeps us from saying no because we all want to be liked.

  • It’s ok to say no.
  • People will respect you more if you stand your ground and stop saying yes.
  • Stop agreeing with others to please them.
  • Stop spending time with people you don’t like.
  • Don’t bite off more than you can chew because you’re worried you’ll upset someone.
  • It’s not rude to say no.

Saying no doesn’t make you a bad person, it means you chose not to commit your time to doing things you don’t want.

6. Multitasking Decreases Productivity

Everyone wants to be more productive by producing more in a short amount of time. It’s even listed on some job requirements as a “must” to be considered for the position. 

However, there has been many studies conducted proving that the human brain is incapable of multitasking efficiently. You are simply shifting the focus from one task to another while trying to complete the two at a rapid pace.

  • It has been proven that multi-tasking results in more errors than getting things done.
  • Causes stress
  • Causes anxiety
  • It’s become an excuse we use to take on more than we’d like.
  • As humans, we are scientifically incapable of performing two task efficiently.

See more habits habits that negatively affect your productivity by checking the link below:

7. Focusing on Negative Thinking

Negative thinking is fear based, we play negative scenarios in our minds as a way of protecting ourselves of the unknown.

This type of thinking keeps us from growing, keeps us from taking chances and risks in life as a way of staying “safe”.

If you want to change your life, you must change your thinking.

  • Don’t allow negative thoughts to cloud your mind.
  • Negative thoughts keep you from growing.
  • Practice replacing negative thoughts with positive ones.
  • Listen to something positive every morning before starting your day.
  • Ditch your negative thinking friends.
  • Negativity causes depression.
  • Count your blessings

8. Being Late

I had a friend in high school who had a fear of being late, so she would show up to school and all events 15 minutes early. Her explanation was, she didn’t want to be rude and come off as being unprepared.

The real reason most of us are late anywhere is simple, we just don’t want to be early. We don’t bother putting in the extra effort it takes to being on time because, it’s not  important to us. Deep down, we know the people expecting us, will forgive or dismiss our disregard for being late.

If someone promised you a million dollars and all you had to do was meet them the next day at the address they provided, would you be late? It really comes down to what is important to us and the saying “we make time for things we want”.

  • Being late is a sign of disrespect
  • Arrive early to your appointments
  • Give yourself plenty of time to get ready for appointments
  • Set alarms and reminders to avoid being late

9. Stress Eating Holds you Back

Using food to make us feel better has become a coping mechanism many of us use to deal with stress, boredom and loneliness.

It’s important to distinguish when your body is hungry vs when your emotions are asking to be fed. Emotional hunger shouldn’t be satisfied because the emotions that trigger your hunger will remain there after you consume the calories.

There are healthier ways to dealing with your emotions, understanding that food is for fuel and not for comfort.

  • Don’t dwell on guilt
  • Don’t ‘Should” instead DO
  • Being lazy is a choice you make everyday, chose different and get up.
  • If you’re friends are lazy, spend less time with them. Friends influence us and we don’t always know it
  • Can lead to weight gain
  • Emotions are not properly

10. Being Jealous of Other People is Holding you Back

We have all experienced jealousy in some form, obsessing over what others have, vacations we aren’t able to take and the romantic relationship we can’t attain.

Being jealous doesn’t change anything, it's a waste of time to envy others that are more fortunate than you.

Growling and grinding your teeth while you watch others succeed, will only make you unhappy.

  • Don’t envy someone else because it seems they are more fortunate than you
  • If you want something someone else has, figure out a way so you can have it too
  • Being jealous only builds resentment
  • Obsessive thinking
  • Insecurity
  • Waste of time

11. Taking on More Than You Can Handle is Holding you Back

When you have the “disease to please” you tend to say “yes” to everyone and everything, without first thinking how you’ll make it happen.

The fear of saying no, feeling invaluable or the need to stay busy, all come with a price we pay that may not always be worth the reward.

Putting off quality time with loved ones because you decided to take on one more project at work, will have long terms effects. It’s impossible to pile on so much without it hindering other areas of your life.

It’s important to weight out the risks and rewards of committing your time to take on, one more task.

  • Stop helping others with their problems
  • Don’t squeeze one more task into your already full schedule
  • Don’t stay busy
  • Take time to be alone
  • Relax more
  • Learn to say NO to people who ask for help

One of the hardest things to do is to say no to constant requests for help. But it is something you must do. When you constantly take on new tasks and help others with their work it is easy to get bogged down to the point where you accomplish nothing.

The post below goes into detail on why “NO” is should be one of the most important words in your vocabulary when it comes to staying productive.

12. Getting Distracted is Holding you Back

We are living in a time where we would rather walk out of the house without shoes before we can allow ourselves to forget our phones.

Our phones have become the number one distraction, it’s the first thing most of  reach for when we open our eyes in the morning. It’s become a habit to immediately check our emails, scroll through social media for the latest or sending texts to remind others you’re important.

  • Practice concentration
  • Handle one task at a time
  • Keep the end in mind when working towards a goal
  • Eliminate distractions
  • Put your phone away
  • Learn to time manage
  • Check your email less
  • Turn off notifications 

13. Hitting the Snooze on Your Alarm 

When you constantly hit the snooze button, you are training the mind to think that you have a few more minutes, rather then it’s time to  “get up”.

If you’re hitting snooze because of a poor night’s sleep, figuring out how to get to sleep on time, will be beneficial to quitting your snooze habit.

But, if you are getting a good night's sleep and still hitting the snooze alarm you need to work on tricks to keep you from doing it. Like putting the alarm across the room rather than within arms reach.

  • Get up when you hear the alarm
  • Open up the shades and let the sunlight in
  • Find something to look forward to in the mornings
  • Get up early and plan your day
  • Pull the warm blankets off and move towards the end of the bed
  • Move slowly

14. Making Frequent Assumptions is holding you back

When we perceive something a certain way that isn’t true, we are assuming.

The habit of constantly assuming means you are living in a world that is false, because you have no facts to back up your belief.

This can lead to other unhealthy habits like low self-esteem because you are believing your thoughts, which aren’t always true.

  • Don’t make up stories of what you don’t know
  • Live in the moment, don’t focus on the future
  • Don’t dwell on the past
  • Don’t jump to conclusions, ask if you have concerns or uncertainties
  • Quiet the assuming thoughts in your head
  • Get the facts
  • Ask questions

15. Complaining is holding you back

It’s no surprise that the people who have developed a habit for complaining, are those who see the glass “half empty” in everything. These are the people who regardless of having what they need in life, will still find something to complain about.

Complaining does not only keep you from being happy, it also stalls taking action on any dreams or goals. You’ll find a reason to complain about how difficult things are and eventually give up, never knowing what could have been.

This habit can be a little tricky to drop, you must change your thinking and become aware of when you are complaining.

  • Check your circle of friends, you could just be displaying someone else’s behaviors
  • Complaining about about anything makes it easier to complaining about everything
  • You can start being a complaint free person but if you surround yourself with complainers, your brain will soon try to make you experience those same emotions.
  • It’s bad for your body- weakens your immune system
  • Keeps you from being responsible
  • Keeps you from taking action

16. Blaming Others holds you back

It takes a pretty big person to take responsibility for their own actions, but that not always the case with many of us.

From an early age, we learn that being “bad” is not something you want to be. The feeling that you’ve disappointed or upset someone you care about, is not a good one and you’ll do almost anything to never let it happen again.

This is where the “blame game” comes into play, because you stop taking responsibility and begin to blame others for your actions.

  • Take responsibility for your own actions
  • Learn to accept your mistakes and learn from them
  • Stop blaming others for what’s wrong in YOUR life
  • Blaming others keeps you from growing

17. Doubting Yourself just Keeps you from Success

Feeling uncertain at times, is normal, we all experience a time where we aren’t sure of things in our lives. When this self-doubt becomes habitual, it can lead to many other serious problems.

Constantly doubting ourselves can lead to depression, anxiety and even high blood pressure. The inner voice that convinces you that you aren’t good enough, keeps you from living your dreams and setting goals because you’ll always expect the worse.

  • Don’t overthink things
  • Stop worrying about what others might think of you and focus on what you think of yourself
  • You can’t control others so don’t try
  • Start to trust yourself
  • Ask for help if you need to but make your own decision
  • Live in the present

18. Fearing Change Keeps you from Improving

If you’re always scared of changing what is familiar, you’ll never discover that the world has so much more to offer.

There are so many of us out there, who aren't comfortable modifying areas in our lives because we are afraid of what we don’t “know”. This is not a desirable way to experiences life.

Being afraid of changing will only keep you stuck in areas that aren’t the best for you. Like the unfulfilling job or relationship you know you should leave but don’t because you’re scared.

  • Change means growth
  • Take chances
  • It will help with your self-esteem
  • You’ll feel free
  • Will help you fulfill your goals and dreams
  • You’ll find more motivation within yourself

On some level fear of change is just fear of failure. People are comfortable with what they know but are scared of failing and making a comfortable existence worse. See a great way to overcome your fear of failure in the link below.

19. Giving Up Just Ensures you will not Succeed

When the going gets “tough” most of us find a way to talk ourselves out of the situation. This can be anything from a gym regimen, eating anything and anything else that causes us to “work hard”.

I’m guilty of this myself, I can’t count how many diets I’ve been on, money i’ve wasted in gym memberships, times i’ve decided i would go back to school for a degree, only to quit halfway through.

Every time I decided this time was going to be different, that I would commit, I found myself making excuses to quit before I ever began.

The point is, I never committed to finish anything, I always felt the reward was never worth the work. Quitting has kept me from getting my dream job, losing the excess weight and looking great.

  • Accept that it won’t be easy but the reward will be worth it
  • Develop a “won’t give up” mindset”
  • There is a solution to every problem
  • You already started, why give up now
  • Find someone who motivates you
  • Remember why you started
  • Find a different way to continue, if needed

20. Mind Reading holds you back

  • Mind reading is just as bad as assuming, they go hand and hand
  • We are often wrong when we try to read someone else’s mind
  • You were not born  a mind reader
  • If something has you feeling uneasy, check with that person. Get the facts
  • Don’t try to ready your partners mind, it can ruin your relationship

Final Thoughts on Bad Habits to Break

As human, we develop bad habits as a way of dealing with stress, our relationships and the people in our lives.

A bad habit as small as overspending while out shopping to reading mindless entertainment can be simply do to being bored.  (In fact, there are 283 bad habits that many people have.)

The good part is that all bad habits can be replaced with good habits, you just need to take the necessary steps to develop them. If you get stuck, then I recommend checking out the step-by-step process we recommend for breaking habits.

I’ll leave you with two simple questions:

  1. Do you do any of the 20 bad habits that I just listed?
  2. If so, what are you doing TODAY to ditch them?

Comment below and share your thoughts…

Finally, if you need help with building habits, then check out this nine-step blueprint that walks you through the entire process of creating lifelong habits.)

There are the Habits You Should Ditch including 20 Bad Habits That Are Holding You Back. #personaldevelopment #personalgrowth #success #healthylifestyle #habits #change #psychology #mentalhealth #mindset #selfhelp

1 thought on “Habits You Should Ditch: 20 Bad Habits That Are Holding You Back”

  1. I agree with this list, especially about overusing social media and phones being a big distraction in people’s lives. I deleted my Facebook account for over a year and was surprised at how much better I felt and how much more productive I was. I feel like people are wasting their lives on their phones. When I was a kid some friends had cell phones, but they were regular phones, not smart phones. We talked to our friends on the phone or went to their house. I feel like my friendships were much better then. In my opinion a lot of Facebook friendships are fake. I don’t think you can really get to know someone that way.

Comments are closed.