Here are 28 habits that block you from experiencing happiness. We can so easily and unconsciously create pain and suffering in our lives as we repeat and relive what doesn’t work for us.
Whether we want to be happier or healthier, to have more connected relationships or more money, whether we want outer success or inner peace – today you can choose to trade-in these 28 joy-sucking and soul-searing habits for 28 life changing rituals that will allow you to shine brightly.
Get ready to open yourself to life…
1. Lack of self-love
Hating on yourself is like drinking poison, it slowly kills your mind, body and soul. No amount of money, material possessions, experiences nor juicy relationships will give you happiness if you can’t stand the person you spend every waking moment with… yourself.
There is only one thing to know in order to love yourself completely – the truth is that you are loveable just as you are. No exceptions, no excuses, no questions, no judgements. Give unconditional love to yourself first. Happiness starts within.
RITUAL: BE LOVING TO YOURSELF IN THOUGHTS, WORDS & DEEDS
Where your attention goes, energy flows. Energy creates your life. Stop directing your energy negatively. Replace your habit of complaining with a ritual of giving thanks.
RITUAL: PRACTISE GRATITUDE
“People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them, make them.” – George Bernard Shaw
Blaming gives your power away, by making that which exists outside of yourself responsible for your happiness. Choose a new perspective of accepting what is and then mobilise yourself to create new circumstances and experiences that align with what you desire.
RITUAL: TAKE OWNERSHIP
4. Needing to look good
“Looking Good-itis” is a disease. Do not change yourself for anyone or anything. Do not be concerned about what others think of you. The thoughts and opinions of others will never validate or define you. Expend effort only on understanding who you are and what is most important to you, then expressing that in every way possible. You ‘look’ best just being who you really are.
RITUAL: JUST BE YOURSELF
5. Poor physical habits
“Why do you do what you do, when you know what you know?” – Dr Libby Weaver
Ignoring what is good for your body will result in your body dying more quickly than necessary. Harsh but true. Ask yourself if your physical habits are supporting health and happiness in your life. Do what you know is good for you and not only add years to your life, but add joy to those years.
RITUAL: EXERCISE & EAT NOURISHING FOOD
6. Being a slave to your fears
Living within your comfort zone where you do not meet your fears is not living. It is staying safe. You are bigger and braver than that. Act upon what you really want to do. Your dreams can only become your reality when you allow them the opportunity to spark into life. Fear can either enslave you or motivate you. Choose to harness any fear as a shout out to step up and forward in your life.
RITUAL: USE YOUR COURAGE MUSCLE
7. Thinking you have more time
“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” – Mahatma Gandhi
What would you do right now if you knew you would die tomorrow? Why are you waiting? Did someone guarantee you that you won’t die tomorrow? Are you willing to play that lottery? 150,000 people die every day.
Now is the only moment you will EVER get. Cherish it and honour the memories of all who have gone before you by living like this life really means something to you.
RITUAL: SEIZE THE DAY
8. Living inside a daydream
Having aspirations and dreams of the future is a magical part of life, and a key part of manifesting the life you desire. Our imagination is the tool we use to imprint upon life what we are creating. Living in the vision of your dreams, but never acting upon them leads nowhere. Commit to one small step you can take each week that will make your daydreams of the future become the substance of your present.
RITUAL: CREATE A DREAM ACTION PLAN
9. Gripping onto the past
“Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.” – The Serenity Prayer
A white knuckled grip on the past steals your life and joy away. The past doesn’t even exist, it is a mind-made concept of time. You cannot change what has gone before. Reliving it in your mind is torture that you don’t deserve.
Harness forgiveness to release yourself from the past. Forgiveness is not endorsing what has happened, it is accepting that it did and bringing equilibrium to your heart so you feel free to be here and now.
RITUAL: FORGIVE & RELEASE
10. Trying to be perfect
We live in an imperfect world and we are imperfect beings. Trying to be perfect is impossible. Allow yourself to have high standards of excellence, but know that making mistakes as you live your life is the magical way you learn and evolve into your best self. Without your flaws you would never grow into the person you are destined to be.
RITUAL: ACCEPT YOUR PERFECT IMPERFECTIONS
Our relationships have the ability to drag us down or to lift us up. Avoid the vortex of negativity that whirls around other people. Just because they welcome you into their storm, doesn’t mean you have to accept the invitation.
Be a conscious decision maker and choose to move in circles of people who accept you, allow you to be who you are and whose energy makes you feel great. In turn, be that person for others.
RITUAL: STOCKTAKE YOUR RELATIONSHIPS
12. Holding negative beliefs
Whatever you believe about yourself is true. Choose your beliefs, change your reality. The single most powerful barrier in your life is yourself. Take time to look at all the negative things you believe about yourself and life – you cannot powerfully transform something unless you know what it is. Shining the light into darkness is how beliefs begin to lose their strangle hold. Use affirmations to retrain your mind into accepting new beliefs.
RITUAL: RETRAIN YOUR BRAIN
13. Denying your true worth
“Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine.” – Marianne Williamson
Adapting or supressing yourself in order to make others feel better will never create win win outcomes. Give the other people in your life more credit, allow them the chance to see the real you. Don’t let doubt hold you back, kick it to the curb. Value yourself as worthy, communicate your worth and act accordingly. It is your own self-belief and acknowledgement of your worth that cultivates others to believe in you and to embrace your value.
RITUAL: CULTIVATE SELF-BELIEF
14. Living a façade
Every time you act out of alignment with your values, you shrink and become disconnected from your soul. Live with integrity to keep your soul shining brightly and so that the world may know the real you – don’t rob it of that opportunity.
RITUAL: SPEAK & BEHAVE FROM YOUR VALUES
15. Striving to meet expectations
“It is easy to live for others, everybody does. I call on you to live for yourself.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Who are you living for? If you are not being who you really are and doing what you love, you are not living for yourself. It is not selfish to live for yourself, it is the one thing you must do, to honour the gift of life you have been given. Fit your own oxygen mask first before helping others.
Expectations are put upon every one of us from the day we are born, by our families, our peers, our workplaces and society as a whole. While everyone has an opinion of what is best for you, only you know the roadmap for your happiness. Tune out the noise of the world and tune into your intuition.
RITUAL: DO WHAT IS BEST FOR YOU
16. Negative self-talk
Your mind can run an out-of-control negative monologue over and over by default unless you take control and feed your mind new empowering messages. Rewiring yourself with positive self-talk is the most important and free personal development tool available to you right now. Ditch the devil on your shoulder and become your own best friend. (tweet)
RITUAL: PRACTISE POSITIVE THINKING
17. Doing things solely for money
There is no excuse for saying that you have to do what you are doing just for money. Even if you are stuck in a job you don’t want to do until you find one you do like, you can find other reasons to be there than just to take a pay check. Get creative. Your perspective on your situation can either pull you through tough times, or drag you further down.
Goals and actions purely driven by money are meaningless. Money is paper and coins. Who gets amped about paper and coins? Get clear on what money actually means to you – what have you associated it with? Freedom, experiences, time, success… then do what you do for the love of those dreams. It’s not about what you’re doing, it’s about WHY you’re doing it. When the motivator behind your actions aligns to your values and heartfelt passions – life changes.
RITUAL: CLARIFY YOUR MOTIVATORS
18. Being close minded
“A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it is not open.” – Frank Zappa
Human beings are designed to evolve. We evolve through new experiences and new insights. Close your mind and you stunt your growth as a person. Beware of rigid opinions, it is all too easy to become attached to them beyond their use by date. (tweet) Be open to all new information, give yourself a chance to assess the value of new ideas. Open mindedness is the key that unlocks the door to limitless possibilities.
RITUAL: RECONSIDER YOUR OPINIONS
19. Buying into mainstream media
“The culture we have does not make people feel good about themselves. And you have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn’t work, don’t buy it.” – Mitch Albom
What you see in the mainstream media is only one perspective, whether it’s the news showing you misery or advertising telling you what you must buy in order to be happy.
Be conscious of what you are absorbing like a sponge. Stay the master of your own mind and free will. Decipher what content out there enhances your life and remove what leaves you feeling ‘less than’. Adjust your lifestyle accordingly.
RITUAL: CHOOSE WHAT YOU ABSORB
“So many people spend their health gaining wealth, and then have to spend their wealth to regain their health.” – A.J. Reb Mater
When our priorities get out of whack, something has to give. We cannot neglect our relationships while working longer hours to be more ‘successful’ and have more money. We need not sacrifice money in order to have happy relationships and better health. It is entirely about balance. When we lean too far in one direction, we fall over. It is up to us to make conscious decisions that keep us balanced with both feet firmly grounded in each key area of our life. Make choices that feed your overall wellbeing.
RITUAL: ASSESS YOUR PRIORITIES
21. Pushing against the natural flow
“Everything that we want is downstream… And you don’t have even have to turn the boat and paddle downstream, just let go of the oars, the current will carry you.” - Esther Hicks & Abraham
Sometimes we push so hard to ‘get’ the things we want, that we don’t realise we are forcing and going against the natural flow of life. You can resist ‘what is’, and push hard to change it or you can accept ‘what is’ peacefully and still take positive action to create new openings for change. Same doing, different way of being. How you are being in the world has everything to do with your outcomes.
RITUAL: STOP PUSHING, START FLOWING
22. Being risk averse
“Life is inherently risky. There is only one big risk you should avoid at all costs, and that is the risk of doing nothing.” – Denis Waitley
We won’t risk what we value too much. But be very careful about what you think you value. For what in this world has any true value? Get clear on what price you are putting on your happiness.
Would you risk your happiness in order to stay ‘safe’? Would you risk your dreams in order to have certainty? Would you risk your passions for your comfort zone? Would you rather familiar discomfort or unfamiliar possibilities?
RITUAL: VALUE YOUR HAPPINESS
23. Censoring your self-expression
“Speak your mind, even if your voice shakes.” - Maggie Kuhn
Keeping your authentic voice locked inside, for whatever reason, is a game of hide and seek, but no one is seeking. Don’t keep yourself in the dark. Speak your mind, speak your heart, and allow your energy to free flow. Bottled up self-expression is a literal back-log of emotion that has nowhere to go and no choice but to implode inside of you. Your health and happiness needs you to be fully expressed.
RITUAL: EXPRESS YOURSELF
24. Living as a non-failure
“Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure… than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt
You were not born to live in the gray twilight. Granted, you cannot fail when you never try, but you cannot succeed either. You are a born creator, designed to aspire and to act. Failure is part of the process. Failing is part of your natural design. Embrace mistakes and shortcomings as part of the journey. They are not abnormal. When you fail at something, you are not a failure. You are a person who is daring mighty things who has hit bumps on the road as all mighty darers do!
RITUAL: BE WILLING TO FAIL
25. Lack of committed action
Inaction is the death of all dreams. Magical things happen in your life not because of big leaps but from many seemingly insignificant steps that add up over time. Procrastination and inaction can be whipped into shape by realising that even infinitesimal actions can massively change the trajectory of your life.
RITUAL: DO SOMETHING YOU’VE BEEN PUTTING OFF
26. Being too busy
Too busy being busy? Busy doing things and going places that don’t matter? If you don’t like some aspect of your life, but you are not reprioritising your time and effort in order to make changes, then expect to keep getting the same results.
Anyone can find even a little time in their day to start a process of change. Get clear on your values, get clear on what needs to change and go about creating space for that change now.
RITUAL: ALLOCATE TIME FOR CHANGE
If you see the glass as half-empty and you walk through your daily life on high-alert for problems, watch out… as that is what you will find.
Our brains are wired to look for evidence to support our perspective of the world. Anticipate miracles and see what happens.
RITUAL: CHOOSE AN UPSIDE ATTITUDE
28. Living on auto-pilot
Your brain will function without any effort on your part. Your body will to a certain extent as well. Allowing your entire life to be run on auto-pilot functioning is default living. If you want a certain kind of life experience, get out there and truly live! Get consciously conscious – be present and aware in the moments of your day, that is where joy exists. Make decisions for yourself, lest life makes them for you.
RITUAL: LIFT YOUR AWARENESS
Ready to let go of these habits but feeling overwhelmed?
It’s all about our choices in each moment. All you need to do is focus on the present moment.
You could look at this list of habits to let go of and rituals to replace them and say “it all sounds great but it’s not that easy” or you could look at this list and say “I’m making choices in this moment which enhance my happiness” and then repeat that in each coming moment. Own your ability to shift your reality.
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