Why Your Habits Can Hurt You

Habit Hinderance

We all live day to day in routine. Habitual patterns of thinking and action that we often don’t think about much. We need to live like this otherwise it would be hard to get much done. It would take too much brain power.

So we live a life ruled by habits.

We rarely recognise though the impact of living off habits. It makes it more difficult for us to affect change in our lives. Many people often want something different for their lives. That new job or career. That new body. That new spouse!

But our habits often keep us chained up.

Recently I had a funny experience which showed me just how unconscious I could be when it comes to doing things.

I went to put in my contact lenses and when they were in, the whole world was blurry.

My first thought (believe it or not) was that I’d miraculously developed perfect vision overnight! Then I though perhaps there was still ‘sleep’ in my eyes. Or maybe some grit. Or perhaps they were a bad batch of lenses.

Turns out, no.

I had in fact already put in lenses that morning! Yes. I was putting lenses on top of lenses!

So habitual was this act that I didn’t even think about it. I wasn’t mindful of what I was doing.

My question to you is this.

How are your habitual patterns of behaviour harming you?

Do you not think twice about getting that 3rd or 4th cup of coffee? Or that cake or sweet when someone at work offers it to you? Maybe you are at work right now and have just checked Facebook or LinkedIn for the 15th time this hour? All without giving it a second thought.

I suggest that perhaps it’s time to start acting a little consciously in some parts of your day. Start being “mindful” as they say. Which really means paying attention to what you are actually doing. Maybe even questioning it.

Just because you’ve always done something it doesn’t mean that you always have to do it that way. Often that’s the great thing about having someone new join the team at work or elsewhere. They come in with a new set of eyes and can see some glaringly obvious habitual activities that need adjusting. Listen to them!

So that’s the invitation today. Go about your day today with a little more mindfulness about what you are doing. What habits are helping you (e.g. tackling your most important task of the day before checking email) and which are harming you (e.g. putting your contact lenses over contact lenses!)

What do you think? Let me know below.


What do you think?