What is a habit?
A habit is a behavior or pattern of thought that you have repeated so many times that it has become almost unconscious; you exhibit them as though on autopilot. Certain habits can be helpful while others can be harmful. Because habits are automatic, they are quite beneficial. Our brains are free to focus on other things whenever we are engaging in habitual things especially because we are not actively thinking.
When we have good habits like being respectful and friendly, we create a positive attitude that we don’t have to think about. We can then focus our energies on things that need our special attention like thinking up meaningful contents to post regularly. However, the same is true of bad habits. We engage in these behaviors without much thought, and they can damage our personal lives and careers without us being aware of them! For example, if you tend to ignoring comments on your posts, it’s just a matter of time before people stop commenting on your posts and eventually stop reading and sharing as well.
Here are some examples of bad habits to watch out for as they can negatively affect us in our Trybe careers;
- Being lazy about our articles, i.e. inadequate research.
- Procrastinating on making posts or completing tasks.
- Gossiping or speaking unfairly about others.
- Resisting change and being inflexible.
- Not taking responsibility, always blaming others.
- Being unable to accept constructive criticism.
- Being defensive when corrected as opposed to being ready to learn.
- Seeking attention by any means or paying eye service instead of cultivating honest relationships.
- Being focused on self alone as opposed to the development of the community.
Strategies for Overcoming Bad Habits
Create a Plan – Only a conscious plan helps to overcome a bad habit. You can’t just say the words and expect to succeed. You have to come up with an achievable plan to make it happen. A good way to do this is to add habit-breaking to your day to day goals . Work on your most damaging habits first. Once you’ve come up with a plan, you can set up prompts on your alarm or even your to do list as a reminder of what you want to achieve.
Develop Self-Discipline and Self-Awareness – Self-awareness is a key to recognizing your bad habits in the first place. Being perpetually self aware is necessary to break a bad habit. This means watching yourself and reminding yourself about your reasons for wanting to break the habit. Your self-discipline and willpower must be developed in order to for you to persevere, self-motivate and not give up.
Choose the Right Approach – Some people find it effective to quit a behavior once and for all, while others are only able to reduce the behavior slowly over time. For this reason, it’s important to find the method that works well for you. This also depends on the type of habit you’re trying to break. Let’s take for example, a member of the Trybe community who is trying to stop being lazy about articles and doesn’t do adequate research. Such a person can start by selecting simple personal topics to write about, using personal real life experiences to back it up. They can then gradually move on to complex topics which require lots of research.
Engage in Opposite or Positive Behaviors – Often, you can break bad habits by replacing them with positive behaviors. For example, let’s say that you want to stop gossiping or speaking unfairly about others. One way to avoid this would be to make a conscious effort to praise people instead. Or, imagine that your goal is to stop being unable to accept constructive criticism. You could replace this by simply saying thank you when criticized instead of becoming defensive.
Reward Yourself – To break a bad habit, it’s helpful to reward yourself for engaging in the right behavior. This is important because when you stop a bad behavior you won’t feel good at all but the reward will bring you the very necessary good feeling. As you progress, your brain will begin to associate the new good behavior with the good feeling that the reward brings. You can reward yourself in anyway that suits you. For example, if you’re trying to stop procrastinating on making posts, your reward for posting on time could be a special drink. After a week of timely posts, you can treat yourself to a special lunch at a nice restaurant. Rewards are most effective when given immediately after you exhibit the “good” behavior. Once the good behavior has become a habit, the rewards can stop.
Have Accountability Partners – Involve people such as your spouse and friends in your quest to break your bad habits. Share your goals with them, and ask them to tell you if you slip back into your old ways. Their involvement will keep you accountable and will enable them to help you whenever you are unable to self-motivate.
Key Points To Note.
- A habit is any behavior or thought pattern that you have repeated so often that it becomes automatic.
- Some habits are positive and can help you achieve success in your life and career. However, bad habits can severely limit what you accomplish.
- To break a bad habit, first commit to stopping the behavior by creating a plan, and develop self-discipline and self-awareness so that you can stay on track.
- Also, choose the right approach for dealing with it; reward yourself when you do well.
- Involve others in your efforts, the accountability keeps you more committed to your goal.