7 Habits to Quit to Be More Successful

The easiest way to introduce some new, fun and exciting things into your life, is to first make some room by getting rid of old, limiting habits.

There are a lot of things we don’t have control over. One thing you can control, is what you do every day- because success isn’t something that happens all of a sudden; it’s something that happens every single day. Every “overnight” success you’ve ever heard of, was years in the making.

Success means different things to different people, too, so let’s not assume that we’re talking about career or money here. I can tell you that one of my greatest accomplishments this far, was coming out of depression, learning how to let go of my past and pretty much starting a new life- one that I feel excited for, every single day. My life isn’t perfect, I didn’t wake up one day as a brand new person who had all her shit figured out. While my coming out of depression involved getting off some awful meds I was on, I also had to break a lot of habits that held me back. It’s hard to pull yourself out that very dark place. It’s hard to learn to take care of yourself after a lifetime of struggles with self-acceptance and love.

However you define success, it’s not always easy. That doesn’t mean that it’s impossible.

SAYING “I CAN’T”

Few years ago I read a book I’m sure many of you have heard of before: Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich. There was one piece of advice that really stuck with me, so I wrote it down on a piece of paper and look at it almost every single day:

Guard your speech. Never speak of yourself, your affairs, or of anything else in a discouraged or discouraging way. Never admit the possibility of failure, or speak in a way that infers failure as a possibility.

Ever since then, I try my best to not use phrases like: “I can’t.” Whenever I talk about something that I plan to accomplish, I don’t say “if” I say “when.” When we think (or say) “I can’t” a lot us think that it means “I won’t.” It can also imply that you’re not willing to do what it takes to get things done (whatever those “things” are). This also creates a possibility (and fear) of failure in your mind. It might not seem like a big deal, but that’s where a lot of that negative self-talk comes from. If you keep saying “I can’t” over and over again, you’ll slowly start to discourage yourself. And that,  can suck that power and drive out of you.

Whenever I hear someone talk about their plans for the future, whether it be career, family, hobby- I always get excited. I’m a big dreamer myself and love seeing other people go after their dreams. BUT, when I hear someone close say things like “I really want to [blank] but I probably never will, anyway” or “I’d love to try [blank] one day, but I doubt I’ll ever get to” I cringe (and I myself used to say those things all the time). How can I believe in you and your dreams, when you sound like you don’t even believe in them yourself?

PROCRASTINATING

The difference between who you are and who you want to be, is what you do. Pretty simple isn’t it? Except that it’s not. It doesn’t really matter what it is that you’re after: a new career, buying a house, losing weight, learning a new skill, getting healthy- “life” will always get in the way, somehow. It’s up to you to take a little responsibility for your actions. Don’t put things off until last-minute. Don’t say “I don’t feel like doing this now, I’ll do it later” or “I work better under pressure” (do you really? or do you just like telling yourself that?). We all procrastinate– some do it to a greater degree than others. Good news is, you can slowly train yourself to stop procrastinating. I know, easier said than done. But it’s always easier said than done. … until it’s done.

I love what Mel Robbins says about procrastination in the 5 Second Rule; procrastination is not a form of laziness, you’re not procrastinating because you hate work, you’re procrastinating because you’re stressed out (about your relationships, money, work, family). She calls it an emotional eating for the mind. This ties in perfectly with what we talked about in this post– it’s all about feeling good now. 

NEGATIVE SELF-TALK

This goes back to what I talked about above when I told you to stop saying “I can’t.” Don’t complain. Don’t waste your time talking about things that have or possibly could go wrong. Instead of thinking of all those things that you’ll need to give up in order to reach your goals, think about how good you’ll feel once you get there. All those things that you keep telling yourself over and over again, will eventually become your beliefs. Limiting thoughts do not serve you.

COMPARISON

No one’s life is perfect. When it comes to things like social media, we only see what others want us to see. Just like we only show off the best parts… of our lives. I could start telling you that each of us is on a unique journey… blah blah blah. But I want to try to change your approach (attitude?) a little.

Let’s say you’re single. You’ve been single for a while and you crave love and affection. You notice a happy couple holding hands standing next to you. What do you feel? Jealousy? Are you sad? Angry? From now on, whenever you see someone drive your dream car, or have a successful career in the field you’re trying to get into- get excited. Whenever this happens to me, I like to think that it’s the Universe (or God or Divine Presence, whatever you believe in) whispering to me “these are the things you want, they’re coming your way” When you see people who’ve accomplished things you hope to accomplish one day, be happy. I know that this can be difficult- especially when you put a lot of sweat and work into something and see someone catch a huge break, while you’re still struggling. Let go of the comparison, don’t allow yourself to become bitter and lose focus of what’s important to you.

Do you see someone accomplish something you yourself are working toward? This only means that it can be done.

RE-LIVING YOUR PAST

Yesterday is gone. Your future starts now. Some things can be hard to let go of. Maybe you have some regrets in life- I used to think I have a lot of them. I’ve made bad decisions in the past, I know what it’s like to not have your shit together. To feel lost and confused. To wake up in the morning and not knowing where your life is heading. Guess what though? Everything that I went through taught me something. Every single painful experience you ever went through is a lesson. There are some things that you can’t learn by taking a class or reading a book. It doesn’t matter if you’re 20, 30, 40 or 50 years old- it’s never too late to go after your dreams.

I know someone who completely turned their life around at 50 years old. Lost A LOT of weight, got into fitness, finally found love and he’s more full of life than he was in his 20s. If he were to think “well.. I’m 50, I should have done all of this a lot sooner, when I was younger, it’s too late now, why did I wait so long?” he’d never be the person he is today.

If you really want to find an excuse, you will always find one. Always.

7 Habits to Quit to Be More Successful

BEING PERFECT

I already discussed reasons for ditching your perfectionism in this post. Point is, you can’t wait for that perfect moment, because you’ll end up waiting your entire life. You can’t waste your life away waiting. That perfect moment does not exist. Go and do the things you want to do. Start with what you have now, start where you are today. Don’t avoid rejection, learn to surrender.

FEAR OF FAILURE

One of the most important things you need to give up if you want to succeed, is fear of failure. You can’t succeed without failure. This is something that’s been proven time and time again. Anyone who’s ever accomplished anything, failed at some point. I could sit here and tell you about all of these successful people who got what they wanted after being told “NO” hundreds of times. Instead, I’ll tell you this: you will fail. Now, what’s left to be afraid of? You fail, you get up and you try again. Don’t talk about failure, but don’t be afraid of it, either. It doesn’t matter if your failure is as small as skipping a workout or as big as your business falling apart. As long as you keep trying and don’t walk away, you’ll never be a failure.

Whatever it is that you’re after, know that I believe in you. I know, that you are meant to have an amazing life.

  • Like you I realized the importance of how I talk to myself late in life, or maybe later than I could have. These days I mind my speech and speak affirmative of my plans, it is something I want to teach my kids early on.

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

    • Kids definitely pick these things up very easily even when we don’t think they’re listening hehe :) Definitely important to be mindful!

  • Tiffany Chen

    I loved reading this article, and I think I came across it at the right time in my life too. I am about to embark on a journey to switch career paths and of course, I am terrified. This article gave me a sense of peace and calm knowing that dreams are absolutely worth striving for, no matter what. Thank you for that!

    http://tiffanychen.design/blog.html
    @photosbytifff

    • I am so excited for you Tiffany! Totally normal to feel scared, but I’m sure you’ll do amazing! You should be proud of yourself for going after your dreams! :) Wishing you best of luck!

  • This is great advice! I know I definitely need to cut back on the negative self-talk!

    xo, Liz
    http://lipstickandconfetti.com

  • I’ve never heard this perspective on procrastination, very interesting. Now that I finally started my blog, I can’t help but think where I would be now if I had actually started it when I wanted to YEARS ago. It definitely drives me more now to try new things because I don’t want to think years from now what would have happened if I just did it!

    – Claudia
    http://www.justalittleblush.com/

    • I can’t tell you how many things I’ve realized I’ve been putting off- all while writing this post. If there’s one thing I’ve learned through my years of blogging, is that sometimes you just gotta do some things before you’re ready to do them- it’s one of the best ways to learn :)

  • Great tips!

    Kayla
    Sheer Beauty Blog

  • Lisa Autumn

    YOU ARE THE QUEEN of Lifestyle Blogposts girl! LOVE IT!

    xx Lisa | lisaautumn.com

  • I feel like you are talking directly to me hahahaha. I totally agree! I’m finding difficult to think I’m enough to do whatever I want. There’s a moment when I feel super confident but then I have this little voice telling me maybe I’m not ready. It’s always bothering me! At the end… I’m just scare.

    xx, Melissa
    https://elephantontheroad.com

    • Haha, yes girl I AM talking to you :) Confidence or believing in yourself is sort of like a muscle- you have to exercise it, and know that it’s okay to have those days when you don’t feel too confident- we all go through those! Never forget that you’re just as deserving of an amazing life as everyone else is; you are unique and absolutely nothing can replace you. Feel the fear and do it anyway. :)

      • Thank you! You are so sweet. You made my day :)

  • Your blog is literally my favourite for advice, and this advice is really what I needed to hear – thank you!

    Claire | rose-tinted.com

  • Fab advice! I really want to read Napoleon Hill’s book – I’ve heard other people say how good it is too x

    LuxeStyle

  • Debbie Santiago-Keough

    I turn off all music and wait til my office is settled and everyone is gone to read your blogs out loud. Fabulous reminders of things we already may know but need to hear in a different way. I love the idea of being excited about starting a new life when we change something in our life. So many of us are imprisoned by abuse, depression, self-doubt, co-dependency, and other things and we can be reborn by learning self-love and changing our habits. That is true success is opening that prison door finally, even though we have always had the key. Keep up the good work!

    • Debbie, thank you so much for such a sweet comment! I totally agree that a lot of us live in a self-made (or mind-made) prison and that thing holding us back is often different, but the end result is the same- we think we’re not deserving of the good things, happiness or love, or we are simply not willing to work for those things. It’s never to late to change those small habits which in turn bring big and often life-changing results ;)

    • Kiri Yanchenko

      I really love your strategy.
      Reading a blog out loud – is actually a really good way to practice mindfulness.
      I also like writing things down.
      Kiri
      Set to Glow
      http://www.settoglow.com.au

  • Kiri Yanchenko

    I am totally guilty of negative self-talk. Plus when I am down I do tend to procrastinate.
    Normally I never do that but if I have had a hard day it is hard to avoid the self doubt creeping in.
    I am so glad I found your blog – thanks for these posts. They are such a good reminder to try to be kind to myself.
    Kiri
    Set to Glow
    http://www.settoglow.com.au

    • It definitely is a bit difficult to get yourself to do things when you feel down. It’s totally okay to take a day off once in a while :) Thank you so much Kiri!!

  • This is a great post! I’ve been trying to stop myself from doubting what I can achieve with my future. I have come to realize that I can do anything I set my mind to. I am capable of doing everything and anything I’ve dreamed of, and that is exactly what I am going to do. Everyday I get closer and closer to reaching my dreams. I have to stay positive and continue to work hard. Thanks for the reminder xxx

    Melina | http://www.ivefoundwaldo.com

    • Thank you so much Melina! That is such an amazing realization to have- and it’s all so very true, too! :) I know you’re meant to do amazing things! :)

      • Thanks for saying that! Means a lot to have reinforcements from other people. Thanks Paula xxx

  • Negative self talk and comparison are definitely things I am guilty of. I’m all about being positive with other people, but can be way too hard of myself as I’m always obsessed with perfection. Thanks for the girl talk! I’ll work on this more :)

    Hope you are having a great week!

    xo, mikéla / simplydavelyn.com

  • Thank you for this amazing post! Coincidentally, I’m currently reading two Bible plans that talk about comparison and also guarding my speech. The first quote you shared stuck with me and I’ve copied it down. I’m going to print it really large and stick it on my wall so that I can see it everyday haha. Your blog posts are always so wonderful to read and I leave feeling inspired every time. xx

    Coco Bella Blog

    • You’re so welcome, thank you so much for checking out the post and for your kind comment! It put a huge smile on my face! :)

  • My goodness I’ve been reshuffling myself for a while now. This post is very much for me. I am too much of a perfectionist in the sense that everything I do has to be perfect, but that just kills the fun in living in the present moment and appreciating my ability to do whatever I have to do and do it to the best of my ability.

    I started an affirmation practice and I hope to stick to it for the whole thirty days.

    Love this post. Thanks

    http://www.yourbeautypantry.com

    • It’s so important to remember to relax with the whole “perfectionism” thing. It’s okay to want for things to be certain way, but we can’t stress out that too much- usually it only acts as a distraction.

      I love using affirmations too! Thank you so much Yvonne, so happy you loved the post!

  • Nadia

    I don’t even know where to begin going WOW all over this post, girlie!! Loved it to pieces!! You’re so right with all the points you made and all these nasty little habits or things we do sometimes (or often) which are harmful for our success. Couldn’t agree more about procrastination and perfectionism. In a sense, they are opposite. But boy, taken to extremes, both are awful. Love the positive attitude reminder and changing “I can’t”s into “I will”s. Thanks for suggesting and listing the books and some valuable links. Really enjoyed everything about this post, hon.
    xox Nadia
    http://www.mielandmint.com

    • Aww Nadia, thank you SO much Love!! I think those little habits are truly the key to success- it’s all about what we do every day. I’m so happy you enjoyed reading this post!! :)

  • L O V E this post Paula! And you’re point on comparison is exactly how I think of it. I think to truly not compare you have to be happy for those that do better than you – which is not always easy! But I swear it’s so a great place to be to be happy yourself and your own success.

    And I love how you say “you will fail.” Because its so true! It doesn’t matter if it’s big or small, because in that moment failure feels big no matter what. Honestly one of my favorite posts of yours sweet girl. xo

    Kelsey | http://www.abalancingpeach.com

    • Thank you SO much Kelsey!! It’s do difficult sometimes to not compare yourself to others- I feel like there’s so much pressure on all of us these days to accomplish all these amazing things- most of which can’t and don’t happen overnight (at least for most of us).

      SO happy you liked this post Love! Thank you so much for your sweet comment!

  • Problem with the past is that it could just never… be the same. Even if we do finally through some magical twist of fate bring our old life back, we would no longer be our past selves and we could find ourselves hating the ‘old’ but weirdly new world around us.

    • That is so true! I think that when some of us thing of the past, we also tend to have a lot of regret, which is definitely something that often keeps us at a standstill. x

  • I am so bad at negative self-talk, I manage to always turn pretty much anything good into something bad! Such great tips here, thank you.

    Alice | alicemaysnell

  • Oh my gosh Paula I can’t even explain to you how motivating your posts are. Whenever I read them I feel ten times more enthusiastic about getting stuff done. I have a friend that whenever we chat about our futures, she ALWAYS says ‘when I do this’, and ‘when I do that’ rather than ‘if’ and I absolutely love it about her. She’s determined that she will achieve what she wants and it motivates me so much! Also, ‘Do you see someone accomplish something you yourself are working toward? This only means that it can be done’ is now possibly one of my favourite quotes I’ve heard. I definitely struggle with feeling a bit jealous at people who are already achieving everything I’m working towards, but that quote is incredible! It has helped so much with my way of thinking! Bloomin’ brilliant post as always <3 xxx
    http://www.samanthafrances.co.uk

    • Oh my Gosh Samantha, thank you so much for such sweet and kind words. You have no idea how much that means to me. I love that your friend does that- it’s such a great way of sending good vibes and shutting down any doubt.

      I think we all tend to feel a bit jealous sometimes and that’s usually a normal reaction, but it can become a problem when it turns us into these bitter people who feel sad and discouraged. We all have something very unique and special to offer. Thank you again Samantha!

  • Natonya M

    This POST is phenomenal and super helpful for me as a new blogger!