11 Awful Habits The Most Respected People Avoid Like The Plague

Stay focused on reality and quit these toxic behaviors.

Woman realizing her complaining was hindering her confidence Dean Drobot | Canva

My best teacher in life was deep despair. My anxiety showed me the light. My insecurity pointed me further along. My lessons come from pain. That’s why I look back on my troubles with a kind of acceptance and grace. Here are 11 things I learned to reduce or chop to enjoy the true sense of confidence and respect I always had — but was often hidden.

Here are 11 awful habits the most respected people avoid like the plague:

1. Resisting reality

This is a hard one because it almost feels built into us as humans. We see something we don’t like, judge it, and resist it. Judging something as not good is good. Otherwise, we can’t do what’s right. But to continue resisting reality only blocks your ability to do anything about anything. And that’s why your confidence can’t emerge.


2. Spending too much time off-purpose

Take breaks, refresh. Yes. But stop messing around off-purpose for more than a few hours each day. This happens when you forget your primary purpose. And that’s OK, you need to find it again. Purpose can be as simple as asking yourself "What am I committed to creating within the next 90 days that the world needs?" That’s a fantastic purpose. Decide. Now do more that moves you along, and stop allowing yourself to be distracted away from this purpose.

RELATED: Psychotherapist Reveals 6 Habits That Help You Find Your True Self — And Actually Live Your Life's Purpose


3. Complaining

Sporadic moans are OK because they can be cathartic. The difference is when you get into the habit of continually moaning throughout the day. All this does is emphasize the reality that life isn't going your way.

4. Filling your body with garbage

I know. It’s tough. Junk is so tasty, so quick, and so easy. But what helped me say no more often, so that my body wasn’t thrown into disarray, was realizing that it was possible to feel as good from resisting temptation as it was from surrendering to temptation. This applies to all bad habits that diminish your self-respect. Don’t go there.

5. Self-censoring

We hold ourselves back from truly expressing ourselves because we don’t want to offend others, and — ultimately — we don’t like to invite criticism. We do this because we feel we have a self that needs protecting. The lie of the millennia. You don’t. Only skin, organs, and bones. You’re nothing. And everything. (At the level of universal stardust). Being OK with making mistakes will take the pressure off you and allow you to relax into your most confident self. That’s what we all need. 


Worrying about looking bad messes that up royally. What to do? Operate from calm. You must calm down. That’s when the real YOU wisdom comes through. That’s when you’ll be delivered with the right stuff from the right place: the place of love.

6. Comparing yourself to others

We’re all on our path, with our own fantastically unique array of issues to contend with. Your brother isn’t you. Neither is your best friend. They have different minds, different environments, different mentors, and different trajectories entirely. All you can now do, given this truth, is be inspired by them. Or simply get yourself back to work and make it work for you.

@yourtango Hot off the presses, YourTango has conducted research into a little something we like to call Comparison Culture - you know, that silent, pervasive thing we all do where we compare ourselves to the achievements, possessions, and life circumstances of others. Stay tuned for expert-approved ways we can all combat it together. #ComparisonCulture #comparison #research #selfimprovement #mentalhealth ♬ original sound - YourTango

RELATED: 8 Useful Things to Do Instead of Comparing Yourself to Others


7. Spreading yourself thin

Confidence is about knowing you can contribute in a way few can. That’s purpose and purpose stems from two things: knowing what you’re naturally good at and knowing what to focus on mastering. This means doing more with less. Yes, do many things to experiment and gather skills, but there’s a time to narrow down and decide.

8. Buying into self-critical thoughts

People who struggle with insecurity aren’t responding to their environment. They are living the reality of their painful thoughts. No one knows you, so what others say and think can’t possibly be relevant. Beyond that, you have your thoughts, and thoughts are illusions. You have a choice: Believe them, or live.

9. Being whiny

You simply must stop positioning yourself as the poor little victim. it’s all you. You’re responsible. For everything. Not the government or some faceless man in a suit. It’s you. But here is where real confidence is born.

RELATED: 10 Signs You Or Someone You Know Has A Victim Mentality


10. Seeking external approval

It feels super nice when someone comes along and says: ‘Hey man, I just wanted to say you’re doing a great job; I’m inspired.’ Good. Do more to attract more such comments. But there's an issue when your happiness relies on approval from others because now you’re stuck. As soon as someone comes along with a harsh comment, you have no foundation. You’re a leaf in the wind. Require zero approval from anyone.

11. Seeking life balance

Sorry, but life balance only exists as a theory in a book somewhere. Life is chaos. And the best things in life come from directing lots of imbalanced focus into something specific at the temporary expense of a handful of other things. Then you return to that other neglected thing and realize how much you missed it. That’s life. Confidence comes from creating remarkable things, which — in turn — need an out-of-balance level of attention.

RELATED: 21 Ways To Build Self-Esteem & Uplift Your Confidence


Alex Mathers is a writer and coach who helps you build a money-making personal brand with your knowledge and skills while staying mentally resilient.