25 self-destructive behaviours to let go of
As we get closer to New Year’s I’m focusing on being grateful for all I have been blessed with this last year, planning out what I will strive for in 2018, and choosing what to let go of that no longer serves me. Through this process, I came up with a list of 25 self-destructive behaviours (also known as fear responses) that fear uses to keep you stuck and hold you back.
Here are the top 25 self-destructive behaviours I recommend to let go of in 2018 and tips on how to let them go so you can have a stellar year living in freedom:
1. People who drag me down
Rid yourself of those who are toxic to you, hold you back, speak down to you or treat you unkindly. Instead surround yourself with those who genuinely care about you, inspire you, encourage you and treat you right.
2. Depriving myself of love and nurturing
Love starts with self-care because if you rely on others to give you love and nurturing you are setting yourself up with expectations which will only lead to disappointment. Give yourself what you need!
3. Shame and guilt for past decisions
I am super passionate about this one as I am on a mission to support people to be free of shame and guilt who have experienced an abusive situation in the past. Shame and guilt is just fear trying to hold you down.
4. Thinking I’m not good enough
This is one I still have to work on continuously. Who am I to think I have anything special to offer. The truth is we all have a unique set of skills and gifts the world needs so remind yourself you are worth of love and life.
5. Not being grateful for what I have each day
Gratitude is the best tool to combat fear because if you are grateful you are filled with love and love and fear can not co-exist. Make a list of ten things each day you are grateful for and watch your life change.
6. Waiting for when things are perfect
It’s never going to be perfect! This is just a tactic fear uses to keep you from taking risks and stepping outside your comfort zone. Make educated decisions and go for it rather than waiting all your life.
7. Letting fear run my life and my decisions
Living a life filled with fear is no fun. You deserve to have the best life (this is no dress rehearsal) so by focusing on facing your fears in 2018 you will achieve more and be happier doing it. Go to my resources page for lots of freebies to support you to master your fears in 2018.
8. Stressing about small unimportant things
It’s easy to get caught up in the details and lose sight of what’s important to you. Choose a statement you can easily remember to bring you back to what you really want to focus on this year. For me 2018 is about facing fears and financial freedom. What’s one that works for you?
9. Judging other people or myself harshly
Judgement is just fear in disguise, especially when you are judging yourself. It’s not supportive or congruent with who you are. So, catch yourself and replace your judgement with an act of kindness instead.
10. Explaining and defending myself
If you find you are having to over explain and defend yourself then you are acting from fear rather than confidence and courage. Instead of explaining or defending, ask more questions. Get curious and dig deeper into the situation and what the other person is really wanting or doing.
11. Caring what others think of me
The only person whose opinion of you should matter is that of yourself. What do you think of yourself! Are you behaving in alignment with who you truly are? In your heart of hearts you know what you should and shouldn’t be doing so you don’t actually need other peoples opinions.
12. Thinking I have to be Superwoman every day
Similar to number 11, it’s easy to get sucked into doing what you think others expect of you and consequently losing sight of reality and what’s important to you. This is your life. You get to choose how you live it and what you do with it. Practice prioritising what is important to you and you will find most of what you think others expect you to do isn’t actually true. Give yourself the opportunity to be real, have human moments, and let others step up occasionally too.
13. Self-Sabotaging my success
This one can creep up sometimes and you may not even realise it until it’s too late. Recognising it is the key. If you find yourself missing important meetings, treating people differently, getting stressed when you really have no reason. You may be self-sabotaging your success.
14. Beating myself up when things go wrong
One of the best ways to stop this behaviour is to ask yourself, “would I do this to my best friend”. Often, we are harder on ourselves than we ever would be to someone else and for no benefit. If something goes wrong and it’s in your control then take appropriate action and if it’s not then let it go.
15. Wasting time doing unimportant projects
So many times procrastination (which is just a fear response) has us doing projects and activities that aren’t in alignment with your goals/dreams because it’s easier. But the outcome isn’t good. So, recognise that what you should be focusing on scares you and break it down to bite-sized pieces you can handle facing.
16. Hating my body or appearance
Hating yourself is no good for you or anyone around that you care about. So, instead of hating, how about making a list of 100 things that are amazing about who you are as a person, how you look, what you do. Yes, I said 100!
17. People pleasing everyone else but me
Saying yes to everyone and everything is a sure-fire way to make yourself unhappy. Instead, practice saying “no thank you” and putting you first. It will feel awkward initially but it will get easier.
18. Not speaking up for what I believe in
Sometimes it takes a lot of courage to be yourself when you haven’t been “allowed” to in the past or if you have had a bad experience. Start with speaking up in a small group first and you will build up your confidence as you go.
19. Believing the lies my fear monkey is saying
Our fear monkey will always be sitting on our shoulder to protect us from doing silly things that might harm us. It doesn’t mean you have to listen to it every time because a lot of the time it is telling you things that aren’t true, just to do its job of keeping you “safe”. Simply acknowledge and thank your fear monkey and then say to yourself “I’ve got this from here”.
20. Trying to save those who don’t want to be
Not even Mother Theresa could save someone who didn’t want to be saved. Sometimes people even seem like they are ready but they aren’t. Don’t get upset by it, just recognise it for what it is, focus on helping those who are ready to make a change, and that will be much more rewarding.
21. Having expectations of others
Expectations are always a recipe for disaster! When you expect someone else to understand, be there for you, behave a certain way, take action, step up, help you without asking and so on, what you are really doing is setting yourself up for disappointment. Instead, release expectations and live in the moment by trusting what people say but always having a backup plan.
22. Putting myself last
You may think it’s noble but it’s not! It’s simply a sign that you think you aren’t worthy. Don’t ever be rude or put someone else down but don’t put yourself last either. You are important, what you want is important, and you deserve just as much good as anyone else on this planet. Practice believing this until you do.
23. Numbing mindless activities
A good “switch off” the brain movie is great, or having a few beverages, or taking a day off, but spending hours in front of the box watching mindless shows, drinking yourself into oblivion regularly, or spending too many days switched off, isn’t what you were put on this planet to do. Nor does it feed your heart or soul, it’s just fear keeping you small.
24. Sleeping too much
Being a light sleeper this isn’t one I have to worry about as I sleep very little but if you find yourself sleeping in regularly to avoid the reality of life then I recommend choosing to do it differently. Set your alarm and get up no matter what you are feeling before your mind has enough time to convince you otherwise.
25. Not exercising regularly
You know it’s true, exercise really is the best medicine for the body and the mind. You don’t have to be running marathons, a simple walk in the fresh air will often do. The point is to do something each day that is good for you. Keep your body moving and it will reward you with a longer and happier life.
I thought I would share these with you in case any of them resonated or might be holding you back from living your life in the freedom you deserve. Over the years I’ve let go of most of these but some of them do creep back in from time to time. So, I hope this will serve you, as it will me throughout the year, to remember what’s really important and to let go of those self-destructive behaviours that no longer serve you. To honour yourself, be true to yourself, and know your worth. Feel free to add some of your own in the comments.