20 Tiny Habits That Hold You Back From The Life You Deserve

Don't stay stuck in the same place with the same old habits.

Last updated on Jun 19, 2024

young woman outdoors thinking about life Bohemian soul / Shutterstock

Everyone wants to change their life. Everyone is waiting for that turnaround. Everyone wants to evolve beyond recognition.

But changing your life can be difficult, especially if you don't know where to start. However, there are certain habits to stop doing that can help you in new and incredible ways.

Here are 20 tiny habits that hold you back from the life you deserve

1. You wait to act

woman waiting to act Juan Pablo Serrano / Pexels

Stop waiting for the new year. Stop waiting for the 1st of next month. Stop waiting for Monday. Stop waiting for tomorrow. Stop waiting for later today.

Now is the only moment to act.

RELATED: 6 Subtle Behaviors That Make People Dislike You Almost Instantly


2. You look for hacks to make everything easier

man wanting an easy way out RDNE Stock project / Pexels

That's not to say that hacks don’t work. But most people look for hacks in lieu of putting in actual action — and that’s why they don’t get anything done.

Hacks work only if you’re actually putting in the work. So, first worry about showing up consistently, then worry about finding shortcuts.


3. You set average goals

woman writing out goals Andrea Piacquadio / Pexels

Setting average goals has two major disadvantages.

For starters, they’re uninspiring, so they don’t make you feel like putting in the work because the outcome will be subpar anyway. Additionally, they’re a form of self-disrespect because you subconsciously tell yourself that you’re not capable of achieving big things.

Instead of settling for average goals, keep in mind that the sky's the limit. Push yourself to reach for something greater.


4. You break the promises you make to yourself

disappointed woman RDNE Stock project / Pexels

Every time you break a promise to yourself, your word loses its value. And slowly, it isn’t worth a thing. It’s a vicious cycle and it won't get you anywhere.

Also, if you don’t respect your own word, why would anyone else?

RELATED: 10 Tiny Habits That Will Make You More Respected Than 98% Of People

5. You ignore your pain points to work on other things

stressed woman Anete Lusina / Pexels

If you’re out of shape and make a decent living already, working two more hours on your job to get a promotion won’t change your life. Instead, it might pay off to use those two hours to work on your physical fitness.

Don't use your pain point as an excuse to avoid it. To get the life you deserve, you must embrace those pain points.


6. You credit other people’s success to luck

man thinking Alena Darmel / Pexels

Doing this makes you weak. When you think that everyone owes their success to luck, you give up control over your life. You start hoping to get lucky, which you never do, of course.

Because while a rare few might get lucky, most people make their own luck. And you can be one of them.

7. You think the world is out to get you

man hiding in closet Min An / Pexels

There’s no conspiracy against you. The world is not out to get you or make your life miserable.

The world is unfair, yes. For some, more so than others. However, even if that’s true, believing this doesn’t help you in any way, except for giving you a way to save face from yourself.

You can only change your life when you ditch the victim mindset and start working on being better.


8. You expect success to happen overnight

woman sitting on grass thinking Julio Lopez / Pexels

People launch their product and five days later wonder why no one is buying. People write their first article and sit by the phone waiting for it to go viral.

It sure would be nice if those things happened. But that’s not reality. What is real is that success happens over years and decades, not overnight. Once you get rid of this mindset, you can embrace true success.

RELATED: 6 Rare Traits Of People With A Winner's Mindset Who Actually Succeed In Life

9. You speak in the future tense

businessman looking to the side Andrea Piacquadio / Pexels

Change "I’ll eventually lose weight" to "I’m losing weight right now." It's the Law of Attraction, after all. When you believe that you already have something, you increase the likelihood of obtaining it.


10. You think you’re the smartest person on Earth

intelligent man Andrea Piacquadio / Pexels

Some may think that every middle-class father thinks he’s the smartest person on Earth. And when you really think about it, it’s not limited to them.

Most people believe they’re the smartest people. So, it makes it difficult for them to learn from others and try out newer things. Because, in a way, they think they already “know” how to do it — whatever “it” might be.

11. You critique from the sidelines

critical man Andrea Piacquadio / Pexels

It’s easy to point out mistakes from the outside instead of playing the game. These people do it because it strokes their ego and makes them feel better about their own shortcomings.

However, it also prevents them from ever changing their lives. So if a good life is what you're looking for, remember that criticizing something you aren't involved in never works in your favor.


12. You say 'yes' to everything that demands your time

stressed out woman Karolina Kaboompics / Pexels

When neurologist, naturalist, historian of science, and writer Oliver Sacks wanted to write a book, he posted a big poster on the wall that read, “NO!” It was his favorite word.

He knew that saying yes to everything that demanded his time would stop him from ever writing his books. So, he reclaimed his power by saying no again and again. Remember that "no" is a complete sentence, and you aren't obligated to say "yes."

RELATED: 8 Tiny Habits Of Incredibly Lucky People


13. You quit things too early

lazy woman Karolina Kaboompics / Pexels

People dip their toes in a new hobby or a career, and three seconds later they’re ready to call it quits. They say that “it’s not the right fit.” Maybe that's true, but most people quit before they can really tell.

You have to give something or someone enough time to process, and only then can you make a decision if it’s a right fit or not. To really get the life you're deserving of, put more effort into things you want to accomplish. Only then can you grow.


14. You play it safe

distracted woman Beyzaa Yurtkuran / Pexels

Don’t gamble your entire life away on a risk. But also, you must stop being so afraid of losing a little that you just never take risks.

Take calculated risks, and watch your life change. Because if you never jump in head-first, you'll never know how successful your endeavor could be.

15. You wish you could have the life of celebrities

luxurious woman VIRGIMALDONADO / Pexels

You'll never get anywhere if you remain envious of celebrities and their lavish lifestyle. It's not the reality you live in, and you shouldn't put all your focus on trying to attain that level of luxury.

Instead, start figuring out how to make your own life so delicious that you never want to taste something else.


16. You're afraid of missing out

upset man thinking Alex Green / Pexels

The fear of missing out can be debilitating. But instead of having "FOMO," be joyful about missing out!

When you miss out, it means you’re at home, at your desk working on that big dream of yours. Or you're fulfilling other wants and desires that you wouldn't have been able to otherwise.

Of course, it’s okay to go out every once in a while, but not so much that you never have time to work on your own thing.

RELATED: 6 Things Highly Respectable People Never Do

17. You try to prove to the world you're happy

woman touching temples head Polina Zimmerman / Pexels

Most people are so obsessed with decorating their online profiles — because they’d rather prove to the world that they’re happy and living their best life — that they end up forgetting how to actually be happy.

Don’t focus on smiling for the camera. Focus on smiling when no one’s looking.


18. You overthink your first step

businessman looking outside window Andrea Piacquadio / Pexels

Most people spend so much time analyzing and tweaking their first step that they never end up taking it. And that will certainly hold you back from a positive life change.

Stop thinking and just do it. Take your first step and iterate later.

19. You rest on your laurels

smiling woman with headphones on Andrea Piacquadio / Pexels

Achieved something great? Good for you. But get moving again. If you're satisfied with an accomplishment, you don't need to wait around for the next best thing. Savor the moment and then begin again.

Life is about constant improvement. You cannot afford to rest on your laurels.


20. You analyze everything you see online

man working on computer Michael Burrows / Pexels

Reading, analyzing, planning, tweaking, and everything else can help you only if you’re showing up, taking action, and putting in the work.

So by all means, stop spending time online and go be in the real world. Go make your own thing great, and find transformative change in the process.

RELATED: 8 Rare Things The Most Extraordinary People Do — That Normal People Don't

Akshad Singi, M.D. is a writer whose work has been published in Better Humans, Mind Cafe, Medium, and more.