All You Need to Know about Bad Habits

If you don’t have any bad habits you can skip reading this.

build self confidenceYou’re still here. Good! You’ve taken the first step in identifying your bad habits by admitting you have them. They didn’t seem so bad at first. The bad habits were just insignificant and you could break them any time you want. You’ve heard about the guy who could stop smoking anytime he wanted. He’s done it many times.

Habits, by their nature are comfortable and easy to slip into. Bad habits have a way of doing that – getting easier. Bad habits are a lot like drugs, they’re addictive and you find a way to rationalize them.

In a comment on a past post I noted that 85% of what we do each day is “unconscious”. I have no idea where I got that statistic from, but even if wide of the mark it illustrates how much we rely on habits to cope with our daily lives.

Which Bad Habits Undermine Self Confidence?

The question is, of course, how much of your low self esteem or self confidence is down to bad habits. In several posts, I go into more depth about our bad thinking habits and how these can undermine our self esteem. But there are many other bad habits to look out for

  1. Saying no to anything outside your comfort zone

  2. Using any food stuff or substance to make yourself feel good, rather than building your self esteem naturally

  3. Avoiding eye contact, slouching, and other aspects of poor body language

  4. Speaking with a mumbling, low tone of voice

  5. Feeling you have to be perfect in everything you do

  6. Procrastination!

When you’re ready to take back control of your life and do away with your bad habits then go through these points and questions :-

Admit to having the habit,

Write it down,

Be specific.

How much do you indulge in this habit and how does it affect your life? The longer you’ve been addicted to the bad habit the more difficult it will be to give it up. All the more reason to get started now.

If the habit costs you money, determine how much it has cost you over the years and how you could have better spent that money. The bad habit may not just hit you in the wallet but your physical and emotional health as well. It could be preventing you from achieving your goals and dreams for a better life.

Bad habits waste money, strength and time. They eat away at your mind until you find a way to live with them rather than kick the habit.

Start Some Good Habits

Now, write down good habits that you want to acquire. This could be just the opposite of your bad habit. The bad habit could be drinking too much in front of the TV. The good habit could be to stop drinking and spend more time outside with the kids or at the health self confidence

Give yourself a time limit when you say out with the bad and in with the good. Put the list of good habits in a place where you see them every day. Bad habits are easy to form but good habits come hard. You’ll need all the help you can get and if they’re staring you in the face every day the positive constant reinforcement will begin to work wonders.

You’ll feel uncomfortable at first but like nourishing a bad habit the good habits will get easier too. Change your routine and stay away from any thing, place or person that might tempt you. Replace that empty feeling as the bad habit leaves your body with something that feels good and is good.

As I said in my last post on achieving goals – habits are very comfortable. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, but don’t forget those with similar habits may not make good coaches or supporters!

You can become a slave to bad habits or good. The choice is yours to make today.

Photographs by nasrulekram and montageman on Flickr

how to build confidence September 30, 2009 at 12:20 am

Building confidence is something that is not easy to do. Especially for people who really have problems with low self esteem, finding the light toward reclaiming oneself and celebrating a high regard to oneself will demand effort and willingness. Aside from self development programs, are there other ways to boost self confidence?

Pacita September 30, 2009 at 3:30 am

Great post! thank you.
Just stumble it!

Donna | Healthy Recipes October 1, 2009 at 4:31 am

Great post. I can totally believe that statistic that 85% of what we do, we do unconsciously.

As funny as it may sound I’ve found an incredible difference when I eat really healthy, which for me is eating a high raw diet (85% of my diet is raw and living foods). It has a profound effect on my body, mind and self-esteem. I find I’m more settled and conscious, my mind is much sharper, so I’m aware when I start slipping into a bad habit. But I also need less. I need less food for one, because I’m getting more nutritionally from the food I’m eating, but it extends to other areas of my life too. For me, many of my bad habits seem to revolve around not feeling great emotionally, and the bad habits I think are an attempt to suppress what I’m feeling.

I have read that a lot of people who overeat, and eat really poor diets use food to suppress their emotions. Even though I don’t overeat, food really does affect me emotionally. I’ve been a vegetarian for most of my life, and eat a much healthier diet than most people in Western cultures. Even so, eating lots of traditional cooked foods, junk food and processed foods (yes there is lots of ‘healthy’ junk food out there), all really deaden me emotionally – but they end up making me feel worse. When I eat clean, raw, organically grown and freshly picked foods I feel alive, happy, depression disappears, my self-esteem improves. For me there is a very strong connection between self-confidence, and self-improvement in general, and what I eat.
.-= Donna | Healthy Recipes´s last blog ..Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar =-.

David October 1, 2009 at 7:05 am

Thanks for your comments.
There are many ways to build confidence apart from “programs” – check out the “confidence exercises” category for some ideas.
Donna – I agree on your point that many bad habits revolve around not feeling great emotionally. “Comfort eating” is something many of us (myself included) have slipped into at times.To me, the long term answer is to tackle any underlying issues such as low self esteem and take a separate, sensible approach to what you eat.
Personally I think adopting a raw diet is a bizarre and unhealthy choice – but if it works for you, good luck to you!

Micah October 1, 2009 at 7:09 am

Great post! This is very helpful. I’m sure I’d visit your site more often. Thanks!
.-= Micah´s last blog ..choosing your university.. =-.

becky grant October 1, 2009 at 2:00 pm

You touch on such a touchy subject.

I’ve had so many problems with my self-esteem that it nearly ruined me for good. I think that it plays a big role in my confidence. I know everyone has something they would like to change about themselves but for me, it’s a major issue. It’s costed me jobs and more importantly friends.

You have some really good tips here, I will try to follow through on them.

So thank you very much for giving me a bit more inspiration.


Linda Davis October 6, 2009 at 4:36 am

Good post, David. I agree that in order to build your self-confidence, start taking yourself mentally out of your habitual mindset. Change your attitude that contributes to your self-confidence issues and reframe your daily activities.
.-= Linda Davis´s last blog ..Finding Self Help Motivation — Connecting with Your Higher Purpose – Part 3 =-.

Omar October 7, 2009 at 4:36 am

It’s the tiny voice in my head that tells me to do things that I shouldn’t. I succeed by distracting myself with goals and other things. But I’m human so I sometimes fail. It’s a mental battle. The test of wills.

Everything Counts October 7, 2009 at 7:21 am

Some very good and effective points expressed. Thanks to all for sharing the same.

dwatson425 October 17, 2009 at 9:44 am

Wow, as usual David Rogers has done a great job of pointing out the obvious. If you want great self-esteem, you just can't go around with a bunch of bad habits. Likewise, you must replace them with good ones so you will feel better both about being better and eliminating the negative.

dwatson425 October 17, 2009 at 2:44 pm

Wow, as usual David Rogers has done a great job of pointing out the obvious. If you want great self-esteem, you just can't go around with a bunch of bad habits. Likewise, you must replace them with good ones so you will feel better both about being better and eliminating the negative.

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