post written by: Marc Chernoff

20 Bad Habits Holding Good People Back

20 Bad Habits Holding Good People Back

A change in bad habits leads to a good change in life…

Here are twenty bad habits many of us repeatedly struggle with:

  1. Expecting life to be easy. – Nothing starts easy; everything begins at some level of difficulty.  Even waking up in the morning sometimes requires notable effort.  But one beautiful thing about life is the fact that the most difficult challenges are often the most rewarding and satisfying.
  2. Overlooking your true path and purpose. – What really matters in life is not what we buy, but what we build; not what we have, but what we share with the world; not our capability but our character; and not our success but our true significance.  Live a life that makes you proud – one that matters and makes a difference.  Live a life filled with passion and love.  Read A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose.
  3. Chasing after those who don’t want to be caught. – Do not chase people.  Be you, do your own thing and work hard on your passions.  The right people who belong in your life will eventually come to you, and stay.
  4. Not asking for help when you know you need it. – No matter how far you’ve gone down the wrong road, you can always turn back.  Be STRONG enough to stand alone, SMART enough to know when you need help, and BRAVE enough to ask for it.
  5. Letting one dark cloud cover the entire sky. – Take a deep breath.  It’s just a bad moment, or a bad day, not a bad life.  Everyone has troubles.  Everyone makes mistakes.  The secret of happiness is to count your blessings while others are adding up their troubles.
  6. Holding on to things you need to let go of. – Letting go doesn’t mean giving up, but rather accepting that there are things in life that should not be.  Sometimes letting go is what makes us stronger, happier and more successful in the long run.
  7. Spending time with people who make you unhappy. – People can be cruel, and sometimes they will be.  People can hurt you and break your heart, and sometimes they will.  But only YOU can allow them to continuously hurt you.  Value yourself enough to choose to spend time with people who treat you the way you treat them.  Know your worth.  Know when you have had enough.  And move on from the people who keep chipping away at your happiness.
  8. Not making time for those who matter most. – When we take things for granted, these things eventually get taken away.  Too often we don’t realize what we have until it’s gone.  Too often we are too stubborn to say, “I’m sorry, I was wrong.”  Too often it seems we hurt the ones closest to us by letting insignificant issues tear us apart.  Appreciate what you have, who loves you and who cares for you.  You’ll never know how much they mean to you until the day they are no longer beside you.
  9. Denying personal responsibility. – You’re getting almost everything you’re getting right now based on the decisions you have made; and you will continue to receive the same things until you choose differently.  You always have some element of control.  There are always other options.  The choices might not be easy, but they are available.  You will not get a different result until you exercise a choice that forces you to grow by habit, by action, and by change.
  10. Letting everyone else make decisions for you. – Never allow someone or something that adds very little to your life, control so much of it.  You’ve got to stop caring about what everyone else wants for you, and start actually living for yourself.  Let go of the people and things that continuously hold you back and no longer serve you, because you only get one shot at life.
  11. Giving up who YOU are. – Remove yourself from any situation that requires you to give up any one of these three things:  1) Who you are.  2)  What you stand for.  3)  The goals you aspire to achieve.  Read Quitter.
  12. Quitting as soon as things get slightly difficult. – An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward; and such is life.  When life is pulling you back with difficulties, it means it’s going to eventually launch you forward in a positive direction.  So keep focusing, and keep aiming!
  13. Doing too much and pushing too hard, without pausing. – Plenty of people miss their share of happiness, not because they never find it, but because they never stop long enough to enjoy it.  Sometimes we are so focused on what we want that we miss the things we need most.
  14. Discrediting yourself for everything you aren’t. – STOP discrediting yourself for everything you aren’t.  START giving yourself credit for everything that you are.
  15. Running from current problems and fears. – Trust me, if everyone threw their problems in a pile for you to see, you would grab yours back.  Tackle your problems and fears swiftly, don’t run away from them.  The best solution is to face them head on no matter how powerful they may seem.  Either you own your problems and fears, or they will ultimately own you.
  16. Constantly mulling over past hardships. – You’ll never see the great things ahead of you if you keep looking at the bad things behind you.  To reach up for the new, you must let go of the old.  You are exactly where you need to be to reach your goals.  Everything you’ve been through was preparation for where you are right now and where you can be tomorrow.
  17. Denying your mistakes. – Remember that most honorable people of all are not those who never make mistakes, but those who admit to them when they do.  And then go on to do their best to make the wrong things right.
  18. Expecting your significant other to be perfect. – Remember that you will never find a PERFECT partner to love you in the exact way you had envisioned, only a person who is willing to love you with all that they are.  Someone who will accept you for who you can and cannot be.  And although they will never be PERFECT, finding a partner like this is even BETTER.  Read The Mastery of Love.
  19. Focusing on the negative. – Positive thinking isn’t about expecting the best thing to happen every time, it’s about accepting that whatever happens is good for this moment, and then making the best of it.  So stay positive, and hold on to what’s truly important.  Let your worries go.  No matter how you look at it, some outcomes just don’t make sense right away.  Choosing to carry on with your goals through this uncertainty is what matters.
  20. Never allowing things to be good enough. – We are human.  We are not perfect.  We are alive.  We try things.  We make mistakes.  We stumble.  We fall.  We get hurt.  We rise again.  We try again.  We keep learning.  We keep growing.  And we are thankful for this priceless opportunity called life.

Photo by: Luigi Caterino

Download the ebook If you enjoyed this article, check out our new best-selling book.
Marc and Angel Subscription via Email And get inspiring life tips and quotes in your inbox (it's free)...

Enter your email address to get new articles delivered for free:


  • Thanks for sharing. Your articles are wonderful and inspiring!

  • Thank you both, again. Timely advice, and so heartfelt and well written. Your words continue to help me through difficult times. :)

  • Every one of these bullet points could stand on their own. So much inspiring insight packed into every paragraph.

    Thank you for the continued motivation.

  • Oddly enough, the last five points in this article are the ones I struggle with the most. Thanks for the extra push, and for inspiring my positive change.

  • Thanks for the article. It was just the kind of motivation I needed this morning.

  • Amazing insight, as usual!

  • Every day, and every way, I’m getting better, and better, and it’s because your words always lift me up. Thank you for always getting my day started on the right foot. Now it’s time to go and pass on some wonderful, beautiful energy, after I have my coffee of course :-)

  • Some of these principles are part of my life mantra. Thanks for the healthy reminders.

  • Thanks for the encouraging words. I must say that I follow your blog regularly as it provides such valuable and powerful messages.

  • Some solid principles for staying on track. Much appreciated.

  • You’ll never know how much I enjoy your messages, plus they always seem to talk to what going on in my life for that certain day. Thank You So Much!

  • Great list. I found myself grunting out-loud in agreement while reading.

    #9 (Denying personal responsibility) was the catalyst that lead to major change for me. At least at a root level, that I alone need to create my amazing life; that no one was going to come save me. Then working through emotional issues (self acceptance, love, etc.) and purging myself of all preconceived notions of my purpose and the world I live in, all the others pretty much took care of themselves.

    #3 Chasing after those who don’t want to be caught really jumped out at me as well.

    “Men do not attract that which they want, but that which they are.”
    -James Allen (As A Man Thinketh)

    I had to become someone that others wanted by first becoming someone I wanted to be.

  • Another perfect post by you two. :)

  • Thanks for your devotion to produce a quality blog. Every time I read it, I find - at least something - that brings powerful inspiration to my life.

  • I’ve swapped many of those bad habits for good ones, and I’m much happier now since doing so :-) These are some good reminders.

  • I love, love, love this list. I particularly like the arrow analogy in #12! It is easy to think you will go nowhere when difficulties appear at every turn… but all this is preparation for a huge movement forward! Fabulous!

  • You guys always are right on the money. How do you do it? Thank you for sharing your relevant, simplified, universal wisdom with the world!

    Mucho appreciation!!

  • I always love your posts! :)

  • This came at a time when I needed it most! Your articles are amazing!

  • Thank for that awesome post. I really needed that today!!!

  • Interesting read. I am stuck on number three. I have felt the same way for years but then along came Facebook. All of the sudden everyone you have ever met can read your thoughts daily. I am constantly trying not to post things that some would not like or be offended by. With every post you can be the person you are or the person old friends used to know.

  • I don’t know how you get to this stuff, but it always just seems so followable. Either way, thanks, it’s always nice to be reminded of these things ;D

    -TyRique D

  • Surreal Reality
    May 3rd, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    I really do enjoy reading your articles. I also share them with my friends. Thank you for writing and posting :)

  • #12 is my vice: Quitting as soon as it gets difficult. I try to remind myself “Nothing of value ever comes easily,” but it’s easier to say in my head than put into practice!

    It’s a lesson I’m continuously learning. The backlash from quitting so often is that, when I get excited about starting a new project, I am filled with so much doubt about its longevity.

  • I embrace my imperfection while I pursue my best self. Great ideas to strive for.

  • Thanks for sharing these helpful reminders of the things that hold us back from living our best life!

  • I think I’ve yet to see a bad article on this site. Inspiring and true. Another home run.

  • I actually feel a little better after reading this… just made my day complete… thanks so much :-)

  • Thank you so much. I’m glad to have found this site that reminds me how good my life will be if I put in the effort.

  • Love these tips. These all hit home for me.

  • I can relate to most of what you have written here. Thank you! <3

  • Thanks Marc. So many great points here. Most of the people I work with are struggling with one or more of these. I particularly like number 3.

  • Wow. Exactly what i needed to read whilst going through a very traumatic time. Thank you.

  • I came here from Josie’s blog and have to say I like this list. It’s interesting that I have been guilty of a number of these things. Great post.

  • I like the list of 20 things that you mentioned here. Changing them will certainly lead to a great change in everyone’s life. But my question is, are these really bad habits? In my opinion, these 20 items that you have listed are attitudes or thought patterns which may lead to development of some bad habits. These 20 items are not habit per se. A habit is a pattern of addictive action. “Expecting life to be easy” is an expectation, an attitude towards life, it is not necessarily a habit. A habit may be formed formed over a period of time who has this expectation. A person who is “Expecting life to be easy” may develop a habit of being a “compulsive complainer”. Just figured I’d point that out, but good advice either way.

  • A lot of thinking to do!! Thank you

  • Loved this. I can really relate and learn so much from your articles.

  • Wow Marc, great post!

    I am working on letting go of alot of that myself, it’s interesting because somebody who is naturally confident and powerful tends to have a lack of these habits. And i’m finding as I let go of my negative emotions and experiences more I am more able to let go of these kinds of negative habits.


  • This is wonderful. Helps to re-focus and prioritize what is really worth your time and effort.

  • I think most of us work out way through this list as we grow, I know I certainly have! Thanks so much for sharing, it helps everyone take stock of themselves.

  • Like my youngsters like saying: enough said!. One cannot add or subtract to what is written above. Great advice!

  • Excellent tips, I am (was) a master in #6, thankfully I’m slowly overcoming it. You are right, letting go doesn’t mean giving up and certainly makes you stronger.

  • Very inspirational! I live by the motto focus on the positive, as you said its not about only expecting good things to happen, its about finding the good in even the worst situations. It can be hard but I can see that my overall happiness is much greater when I can find even a sliver of good in a otherwise bad thing.

  • Great post again Marc!

  • Inspirational!!!

  • Wow, this is a great help, thanks for enlightening me.

  • I really needed this! Thank you!

  • Wonderful, wonderful…. somehow I recently landed on your website. Great help… Thanks for sharing.

  • Sooo.. why are these not the world’s 20 commandments?

    Just saying. :)

  • Great post!! You have no idea how much I needed this today!

  • I love the title! (Good people can still do things wrong.) Sometimes we need reminding of things we already know in our hearts and sometimes there are points we haven’t even thought about. Very encouraging, Thanks!

  • Nice list. 10, 12, and 15 really resonate with me. I spent most of my life not really believing I could be an entrepreneur, which meant I was stuck having most of my decisions made for me by parents, schools, or employers. And honestly it sucked. When I was willing to take full personal responsibility for my life, it was scary as hell but so worth it. The result is freedom.

    Another huge one is the not facing our fears and problems. This year I have been making a concerted effort to start facing what I’d been avoiding, and it’s such a relief.

  • Wow, number 7!!! – People can be cruel, and sometimes they will be. People can hurt you and break your heart, and sometimes they will. But only YOU can allow them to continuously hurt you. Value yourself enough to choose to spend time with people who treat you the way you treat them. Know your worth. Know when you have had enough.

    …speaks directly to me. I’m still in the middle of my “family” drama, my brothers alcoholic problems, worrying, dealing with cops because hes done some damage when he was drunk.. It never stops and I guess it never will until I move on with my life and let go of my family. Tried to set some boundaries but I guess I cant while still living under the same roof.

  • Thanks for the post. It’s been a rough day but you just gave me a moment of deeply felt peace. The reassurance is what I needed.

  • Thank you very much for this post.

    An Eye opener for me, just what i needed right now.


    Atika from Holland

  • Very well said Marc! I couldn’t agree more with everyone of them. Thanks! Probably, I’ve found one more gem-site on net.

Leave a Reply