Ditch These 6 Habits If You're Sick Of Not Fulfilling Your Potential

The way forward is often less about what we add and more about what we subtract.

Man who's coming out of hiding, sick of not fulfilling his potential Fauxels | Canva

I know it seems like there’s never a moment when we are doing enough. It could be at work, how much socializing we’re doing, or how little exercise we’re doing. There’s always that sense of needing to do more. And with this comes the appeal of thinking about these things — as though the more we think about them, the better things get. But thinking just gets in the way of doing the next small thing before you. That’s all that ever counts.


Here are 6 habits to ditch if you're sick of not fulfilling your potential:

1. Doing things that make you feel shame

Here’s a tough one that will strike concern into the hearts of many. Many of us have guilty habits, vices, and immature behaviors and make unhealthy choices. You can probably call these out quickly. We do these because they feel good or easy in the moment. But when we zoom out, they chip away at our confidence and energy. No bueno. Prioritize minimizing these shame and regret-inducing acts. It’s not worth sabotaging yourself like this.

RELATED: 2 Surprising Ways To Instantly Overcome Crippling Shame


2. Constantly grinding

The productivity gurus are putting you off from the joys of work. And is it even 'work'? They talk about needing to push through the pain and to ‘grind’ to live your dreams. You do not. Assuming it’s a grind will often put you off rather than pull you through. Instead, slow down and find a way to enjoy yourself, no matter the task. Make it a game, or simply be more present. Presence is the antidote.

@jayshetty I think we’ve all been here and could work on being more present ❤️ Thank you @fathercooper ♬ World of Water - Kristian Sonderlund

3. Avoiding critical feedback

Fail early, fail often, but always fail forward.” — John C Maxwell

Those who go far are willing to hear words that make them uncomfortable. To accelerate your skills and progress, you must be open to facing criticism and rejection, frequently. Neither feels good, but they will provide a clear and correct route forward. Drop your ego and ask questions. Get your ideas and products in front of more people. You must be willing to hear no. Nos are essential because they point to the yeses.


RELATED: Why The Fear Of Rejection Is Life-Limiting

4. Worrying about finding your purpose

You don’t need to find your purpose. If you simply do the next thing that makes the most sense for you to do, you’re on purpose. By acting, your purpose has already found you. Because by doing — anything — you are seeing in very real terms what works and what does not. And isn’t that what being on purpose is all about? You’re either doing what’s right or you are not. And how can you know what’s right for you if you’re sitting about thinking and planning it before it’s happened?

5. Listening to your thoughts more than your instinct

All we are is peace, love, and wisdom, and the power to create the illusion that we are not.” — Jack Pransky

Instinct for most of us is covered — numbed by years of abuse. Instinct appears when we allow our criticisms to still and our senses to come back into being. Too many of us sabotage ourselves because we assign significance to our thoughts and frightening visions. Meanwhile, your intuitive wisdom is firing insights at you, but they bounce off the wall of your egoic mind. Listen to what you truly know.


RELATED: 5 Natural Instincts You Should Never Ignore, No Matter What

6. Comparing yourself to others

One of the best ways to stall yourself is to compare yourself to others. There’s plenty of opportunity for that online, and it can feel awful when we do. There will always be someone out there who we can describe as "doing better." But these are ultimately subjective opinions.

@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

Instead of comparing yourself, which makes you feel low and inferior, do this:

  • Focus on your journey and how you’re improving every day.
  • Challenge your negative thoughts. There’s always a fresh way of seeing things.
  • Stop to note where you are winning.
  • Find self-compassion and practice realistic expectations. If you compare yourself to others in a way that makes you feel bad, your expectations aren’t right. What’s possible for you? Focus on that
  • Adopt an abundance perspective and celebrate others’ success. This is a habit, and it informs a more positive mindset and feeling.

RELATED: 11 Psychological Traps That Limit Your Potential, And How To Avoid Them

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.