Habit, in psychology, any regularly repeated behaviour that requires little or no thought and is learned rather than innate. A habit—which can be part of any activity, ranging from eating and sleeping to thinking and reacting—is developed through reinforcement and repetition.

Neuroscientists have been able to trace our habit-forming behaviors to an area of the brain called the basal ganglia while decision-making happens in a different area of the brain called the prefrontal cortex. Once we take an action intentionally over and over again it becomes automatic and the decision-making area basically goes to sleep.

Our habits were developed ultimately to serve a purpose. Even if they serve us in a negative way, they are still serving some part of us that took an action to avoid something, usually to avoid stress or boredom.

Toxic habits steal our most precious resource – time.

Saboteurs are born out of repeated toxic habits. The time you spent scrolling, ruminating, falling into the vortex of carefully curated posts becomes time lost that could have been spent working to move the needle on your goals, being present with those you love or put towards things that fulfill you and your cup.


We live in a culture that loves the highlight reel. 

Social media is like kerosene poured on the flame of social comparison, dramatically increasing the information about people that we’re exposed to and forcing our minds to assess. – Rebecca Webber, The Comparison Trap, Psychology Today

That if you feed into it – can make you feel like no matter what you do – you are missing out on some big secret of how to be healthy, tan, skinny, and rich (and never cranky) all the time.

You spend a tremendous amount of mental and emotional energy going through the comparison, but you know full well that the outcome is all too predictable. The outcome is you lose. The reason why people compare themselves in the first place is that they’re comparing something that they don’t have to something that somebody else has. They’re being envious, but they do it through comparison. Still, it all leads to a sense of inadequacy. You obsess more about the things that are missing in your life, instead of the things that are going right. 


The Buddha said that the root of all human suffering is desire. There’s a lot of truth to this. When you spend a tremendous amount of your time coveting or designing things that other people have, what are you doing to yourself? 

First of all, you are reminding yourself, yet again, that you feel that your life is somehow, someway deficient. 

“something’s missing” 

you feel “incomplete” 

“you’re behind your peers”

The second thing that you do when you’re constantly desiring is that you are directing energy from creation to envy. Envy is not creation. You’re not building something. You’re not focusing your creative powers to where it should go. You’re not planting. Instead, you’re thinking about stealing. You are thinking about how you’ve been left behind because somebody has the things that you desire. 

Envy hijacks your ability to think clearly, your confidence and ultimately the time you could have spent on taking action towards the things that are important to you.

The more you focus on what you don’t have, the less you’ll feel you have to share with the world.

You have a lot to share and give if only you focused inward instead of out.


Psychologist Clayton Barbeau coined the term “shoulding yourself.” It basically means creating a ton of pressure in yourself to do or be something based on what you think you’re supposed to do or be.

There are so many times within the personal development world we will hear people talk about “not shoulding on yourself” but there is another form of that which focuses the attention not on ourselves but on those around us and what we expect from them. 

Expectations are all about control. 

Controlling an outcome, an environment, a relationship, a situation.

Are you constantly “disappointed” by people? 

Are people not meeting the expectations you set for them?

Or are you trying to help someone change or wanting someone to change? 

How much energy is that taking up? 

Remember, you will never to able to “change” anyone but yourself. You can only help others to help themselves, if and only if they want to be helped, are willing to be helped, and the person they want help from is you. 

In order to find real peace and thrive in any relationship we have to be willing to ask ourselves (and be honest in our answer):

Am I ready to accept this person into my life exactly as they are and release my expectations about how they “should” act, think, or speak?

Often, the things that bother us the most with respect to other people and their actions have more to do with something that we see in ourselves. So instead of taking their inventory, focus back on yourself, and take your own.

If we can remember that we will never change others but can change our reactions to them, we give the relationship room for growth. It always comes back to us and reflecting inward at who we are.

My #1 recommended practice to interrupt these toxic habits: GRATITUDE!

Get into gratitude. This will immediately get you out of your head and into your heart.

Gratitude reminds us to play the card we are dealt and to see silver linings. Gratitude shifts us out of the habitual mental loop of negativity that hijacks our attention and confidence and reminds us of how there is so much good if we are just willing to shift our perception.

A grateful mindset will always find the window, a negative one will always make you feel caged in.

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