We all know (and offer a little love to) those toxic habits we keep on reserve that delay us from healing. So, why do we keep them around? Toxic habits stick around in our daily lives because they keep us safe and comfortable. They don’t ask us to address what’s “really going on” under the surface. Our toxic habits don’t offer us tissue boxes on the coach as we lie down—feet up and disclose our deepest darkest feelings.
Our toxic habits are, in fact, the opposite of attending therapy. They stop us, halt us, and even impede us from moving forward because they don’t require us to address the past. These habits aren’t just toxic because they’re “bad for us,” but more specifically, are habits that are holding us back from healing. Whatever brought you to this information today, the click of a mouse, the download of email, there is a reason this content has reached you.
We all, on some level, have healing work that needs to be done. We all have held on to (or are holding on to) habits that are keeping us safe because we’re scared of what it means to address the deeper issue. Are you lightly sighing or nodding your head? Me too.
But, we’re here together. So, here’s how we can acknowledge our toxic habits and begin the healing work.
10 Toxic Habits Holding You Back From Healing
One | Projecting
Projecting emotions, rather than confronting them directly, is simply a performance of insecurities. When we feel “uncomfortable,” emotions rise to the surface, and our fight or flight kicks in. If we choose to flight, the response is often projecting those emotions onto other people or other situations as a way to indirectly ask someone, “can you deal with this for me, because I simply cannot.” We project difficult emotions because we’re scared of how dealing with them will make us feel. But imagine this scenario. What if—slowly, we gained the courage to begin confronting our own emotions? We begin growing our relationships with all the human emotions we feel rather than exacerbating them onto others. What bad thing happens when you allow yourself emotional freedom?
Two | Causing Drama
Confrontation hides deeper emotion. If you step into situations and ever feel the need to create a scenario for drama or confrontation, it’s because there is an emotion, feeling, or memory that is telling you that you’re feeling hurt, upset, angry, mad, etc. If you recognize yourself doing this, instead of causing confrontation, confront the deeper emotions. The deeper you go, the more you’ll uncover, and the more you can heal.
Three | Lying
There is usually only one reason why we lie. We lie because we feel inadequate, lesser than, or jealous of someone. We heighten the display of our reality for the sake of feeling like we fit into something. If you find yourself needing to tell a fib to heighten your pedestal, ask yourself two questions: 1. Who/What in this scenario is making you feel like your truth isn’t enough? And 2. What about your truth makes you feel lesser than? Your truth is what you’ve manifested into your reality; as you keep growing, that truth will continue to evolve as well—allow it to evolve naturally.
Four | Defensiveness
The Defense Mechanism: We argue that our actions and the thoughts behind those actions are irrevocably correct. Do you ever find yourself defending your actions, even before someone has questioned them? Or, have you ever felt the need to become defensive when someone offered a different approach or secondary option to your initial thought? Defensiveness, like projection, is borne of our insecurities. To heal this reflection of ourselves, we should approach situations with more open-mindedness and an attitude that welcomes differing opinions.
Five | Breaking Routine
Your routine is the foundation for your day-to-day. We all come across days when our routine will likely become interrupted by the daily chaos of life. But, we cannot allow those single days of interruption, spiral into weeks of no routine. Your routine, specifically your morning routine, sets the tone for your motivation, attitude, and approach to success. If you find yourself wavering from your routine or lacking in motivation to stick to the habits you’ve implemented daily, try attempting a hard reset. Starting next Monday, you’re going to track your habits and re-implement your entire routine. Despite our lack of realizing its importance, our daily routine is critical to our long-term healing.
Six | “Laziness”
There is no such thing as laziness. Laziness is a cover-up for scarcity. If you “get lazy” around work or a new project, it’s actually because you’re scared of the failure or success those results may bring you. This stems from a much deeper wound: what you feel you’re worthy of. We become lazy on the things we feel could actually create great change in our lives. Therefore, we push them off until we decide we’re prepared for the result they may wield. The worthiness wound is healed through subconscious reprogramming of limiting beliefs.
Seven | Staying “Small”
Have you ever felt the need to stay “small” and keep your cup half full for the sake of not making other people jealous or upset? We stay in friendships so often for the sake of being in the relationship. But do you ever find yourself holding back or not sharing all your glory because you’re scared of “out-succeeding” the other person? Friendships aren’t about competition. They’re about supporting each other and cheering each other on in all that you do. You should never have to dull your light for the sake of one’s remaining dim.
Eight | Conforming to “the Norm”
Some of the things we love or the things we do may be unique. Whatever it is, it may not be considered “the norm.” Similar to keeping your cup half empty, you may recognize that what you’re doing is beyond the norm, and you may feel the need to hide that part of yourself. We conform to the norm when we feel the thing that makes us exist outside the norm is something we’ll be judged for. Take simple steps to put yourself out there. What you bring to the table is what makes you unique. Never push that part of yourself to the side; embrace all that makes you stand out.
Nine | Belittling Your Emotions
We’re human. As human beings, we’re entitled to feel emotions beyond happiness. We feel what we feel for a reason. Every emotion in our repertoire has its purpose in serving our higher self. When we can connect with our deepest, darkest emotions: anger, grief, sadness, loss, regret, guilt, and overcome them, we have more strength, power, and resilience than most. To belittle those emotions is to undermine our own consciousness—to tell ourselves we shouldn’t feel a certain way despite our inherent need to feel it. Instead, we should allow ourselves to feel it, then heal it.
Ten | Not doing the Actual Healing Work
All of these toxic habits come down to one common action—or a lack of action. We are not practicing the actual internal healing work necessary to move beyond these habits to transcend into our highest self. We outwardly project our hurt into other actions that protect us from addressing the issues within. So how do we heal? Practice honesty with yourself. Open up about what’s truly lying underneath the surface-level emotions. The bottom line is, we feel unsafe and uncomfortable showing emotions that make us vulnerable. Allow yourself to release that mentality and open the space for healing to come into your life. You are then empowering yourself with all of your emotions.
*Editorial Note: This post was originally published as a guest post for the Mind Habit Heart Brand. Please visit the site and support the brand and their incredible mission.
listen to the podcast
Want to know more?
Head over to the Do the Damn Thing Podcast on Apple or Spotify and listen to the conversation on this week’s topic! The podcast is an open forum conversation where we dive even deeper into all that is intentional living.
Leave a Reply