We all carry beliefs and behavioral patterns that no longer serve us. The hardest part about dismantling our limiting belief system is recognizing when we exhibit them. Cultivating self-awareness leads to learning the “why” about our unhealthy traits so we can stop them before they arise. Here are nine toxic traits to let go of.
1. Asking for permission to make crucial decisions
We often feel the urge to consult others when we are at a crossroads of our lives. Talking about our decision out loud is useful in organizing our thought process; however, when we ask for approval, we are stepping away from trusting ourselves and listening to our intuition. The only validation we need is our own. Following your intuition is a practice of letting your values align with your truths.
2. Attaching your worth outside of yourself
When we seek worth outside of ourselves, we create a false sense of security towards elements outside our control. We never have control over the outcome of a career path or a length of a relationship. We can never control what happens to us, but we can create an anchor within ourselves to handle anything that comes our way. Remember, when we do the work to validate, love, and believe in ourselves, we will always feel whole regardless of whatever storm we face.
3. Trying to be perfect
Perfectionism is a myth. The concept of perfectionism is derived from the fear of making mistakes. Mistakes are necessary seeds of our growth and evolution. Mistakes and moments of imperfections show our openness to continue to learn, grow, and evolve. Your desire to reach perfection shows your commitment to showing up every day and performing to the best of your ability. You are doing the best you can. Relax and celebrate your efforts.
4. Letting people’s opinion of you define who you are
Here’s a truth bomb: No one wakes up as you, no one goes to bed as you, no one has endured the trials and tribulations of your life. Your opinion of yourself is the only one that matters because you are the author of your story. Do not let anyone else write it.
Gossip is a short-lived dopamine kick used to distract you from your insecurities. When you get a high from diminishing someone else, you become addicted to the game of comparison. The act of comparison is filling a void you refuse to acknowledge within yourself. When you focus your energy on building yourself up, the act of putting someone down becomes trivial.
6. Giving to receive
Unless this is a business relationship, you should not give with the intention to receive. True friendships are founded on giving through love without an expectation of receiving anything in return. Having an expectation of reciprocity will lead to resentment.
7. Saying yes to everything
You are allowed to say no. You are allowed to have boundaries. You are still enough if you say no. You are still a whole person if you say no. Your mental well-being is a priority, and when we spread ourselves thin and become accessible to everyone, we deplete ourselves.
8. Letting your temporary emotions define who you are
Emotions are a gateway to learning about ourselves. They do not define who we are. We are often afraid to feel anger, rage, and sadness. However, when we allow these emotions to pass through our bodies, we become more self-aware and resilient. Our feelings teach us lessons about ourselves but are not our identities. We dictate who we are through our fundamental values of empathy, compassion, and love.
9. Caring what people think
When we care what people think, we direct our attention to everyone else and start to curate ourselves to make everyone comfortable. We are not for everyone, and everyone is not for us. A fulfilling life is to be who you are and cultivate relationships based on acceptance instead of an urgency to be liked.
It takes practice to break down unhealthy beliefs to reach a state of mental peace and autonomy. If you are guilty of any of these behavioral patterns, do not feel ashamed or embarrassed. The first step of change is the self-awareness to move forward with a healthy and mindful approach to life.