post written by: Marc Chernoff

12 Habits Standing Between You and What You Want


12 Habits Standing Between You and What You Want

Close the door to the habits that have been holding you back, change the record, clean the house, and get rid of the dust and dirt.  Stop denying yourself a fair chance.  Stop being who you were, and become who you really are.

Starting today, stop…

  1. Playing it safe. – Have you ever tucked something of value “in a safe place” out of fear that someone might ruin it or steal it from you?  And then one day woke to the realization that you had hid it so well that even YOU couldn’t find it?  If so, then you understand the wisdom of leaving your heart and your dreams in the wide open.  To reach for what can be, even when we’re doubtful.  To let go of what is lost, even when it’s painful.  To live as though we’re brave, even when we’re fearful.  These are the trials we face and the choices we make along the path to happiness and success.  Read A New Earth.
  2. Letting everyone else decide for you. – When you feel out of control, it can be tempting to look for someone willing to take charge of your life for you.  But before you do, consider this:  If you put a collar around your own neck and hand the leash to someone else, you’ll have little or no say about where they lead you.  Set your own boundaries and run freely within them.
  3. Doubting your own dreams. – It doesn’t matter if your hope is to write a book, find lasting love, start a business, achieve forgiveness, heal your body, learn to play a musical instrument, find inner peace, or something else.  The first step – and often the longest, most arduous one – is to believe that your dream is possible.
  4. Tolerating the influence of negative people. – Sometimes we forgive people simply because we want them in our life, and sometimes we let go of them simply because we have had enough.  Saying goodbye is one of the most painful ways to solve a problem, but from time to time it’s necessary.
  5. Letting failed relationships haunt new relationships. – There’s a purpose to every failed relationship.  The purpose is not to lower your expectations, but to raise your standards.  Remember, you don’t want someone who chooses you solely for what’s good about you.  You need someone who sees the bad too, and still appreciates you just the way you are.
  6. Expecting constant bliss. – True happiness is not found just within positivity, it is found within reality, which means accepting the fact that both positivity and negativity coexist.  Trying to be 100% positive all the time is wanting to be an ocean in which waves only rise up and never come crashing down.  However, when we recognize that the rising and crashing waves are part of the same one ocean, we are able to let go and be at peace with the way things are, which leads us to happier, more productive places in the long-term.  Read Stumbling on Happiness.
  7. Dwelling on the things you’ve lost. – In life, there are some people and things you’re going to have to lose in order to find your best self.  So be grateful for what you have right now, try not to dwell on the things you’ve lost, strive for what you want most, and keep marching forward.
  8. Overlooking the lesson. – Everything happens for a reason – a reason you can learn and grow from.  People change so you can learn how to let go.  Things go wrong so you learn to appreciate things when they go right.  You believe lies at first so you eventually learn who you can truly trust.  And sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.
  9. Holding on to resentment. – No matter what resentment tells you, to forgive is always in your favor.  Leave no residue of hostility in your heart.  Release the bitter thoughts you have towards yourself and others.  Only then can you satisfy your craving for happiness.
  10. Being overly critical of yourself. – If you feel like everyone is judging you all the time, realize that we often feel this way when we are too busy judging ourselves.
  11. Letting pessimism feed your procrastination. – We have two choices when we wake up in the morning:  either we go back to sleep and dream, or we wake up and chase that dream.  We often spend way too much time wondering why we’re not good enough, and discrediting ourselves, instead of giving ourselves credit.  We waste too much time with our heads down and hearts closed, never giving ourselves a chance to look up from the ground to see that the sun is shining bright, and that today is another perfect opportunity to take action and pursue our dreams.  Read How to Stop Worrying and Start Living.
  12. Giving up too soon. – From time to time people ask me how I hold my head up so high after all I’ve been through, and I always tell them the same thing: “It’s because no matter what, I am a survivor, not a victim.”  Never let go of hope.  Remember what you deserve and keep pushing forward.  Someday all the pieces will come together.  Unimaginably good things will transpire in your life, even if everything doesn’t turn out exactly the way you had anticipated.  And you will look back at the times that have passed, smile, and ask yourself, “How did I get through all of that?”

Photo by: Pim van den Heuvel

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39 Comments

  • Good read. Can I add: Wanting everything to be perfect.

  • This is so inspiring! Such great principles to live by. Thank you.

  • #12 I’ve been saying for over 30 years… right on :o)

  • One of the big reasons people never pursue their dreams is because they look at all the ways it can go wrong before they’ve even taken the first step. Doubting my dream was something I used to do a lot. The worst part was, I knew what I had to do but I would find excuses not to do it because of “reasons” why it wouldn’t work.

    This is a wonderful post. I hope people take a lot from it because I know I would have been so grateful if I had info like this when I first started pursuing my dreams.

  • This is the most inspiring post for me among all because it suits so much with my current situation, thank you for the post.

    You don’t know sometimes something that you say seem little things for you, but it means something for some people.

  • Excellent post. But I would also add that the reason why many people do not achieve something in life is because of the lack of actions and the ability to move out of their comfort zone.

  • No question about it… These simple principles have had a profound effect on my life since I started my journey of self growth five years ago. Thanks for the helpful reinforcement.

  • I have two words ‘Thank you’ and the lasts ‘I really needed this.’

  • #9. True forgiveness is always in our favor, no matter how hard it is to forgive.

  • I have been a student of wisdom such as this all my life… one thing I can’t figure out is how you guys get all of these posts put together. Regardless… they are great and the best I have ever come across. Thanks,
    SP

  • #12 Exactly what I had been through for over 10 years but could survive and gave me more self confidence.

  • Great read! Thanks for sharing this list. It’s very inspiring as well as motivating.

  • Sharing your blog on my Facebook page. Great stuff!
    Cam

  • This post really hit home for me now in my life i am constantly worrying about the what ifs. An im left stagnant now not even knowing what my true dream is. Im saving this to reflext back on an keep me focused.

  • I agree with Hack.
    I like this post.

  • This is sooo right on time!! Esp: #4,5 and 12! Thanks a million!

  • This is a terrific post - especially valuable for people caught in eating disorders and addictions.

    Thank you.

    Joanna Poppink, MFT
    Los Angeles psychotherapist and speaker
    Author of Healing Your Hungry Heart: Recovering from Your Eating Disorder

  • I agree with Dawn and Kuntisari: #12 is the biggest one for me. If there’s something big that you really want, you have to be persistent, even when life is smacking you upside the head or you feel like you’re going nowhere. Chances of success are much higher when you stay focused on why you want it so badly, and keep being creative about making it happen.

    After I got laid off in 2009, I decided that I was going to make a living managing pay-per-click advertising campaigns from home. I really wanted that because I knew I’d learn a lot about internet business, and it would allow me the freedom to pursue my own passions. For 12 months, I wasn’t even close to making a living, and I was getting close to running out of money and having to look for the dreaded day job. But I wanted it so badly that I kept building my skills, and working with my contacts to create a better opportunity by changing the compensation structure. Then, bam! Just a month before I needed to bail and find a day job, the right opportunity came along, and I was able to make enough money to pay the bills.

    I admit that I got lucky that it worked out. But I wouldn’t have had the chance to get so lucky if I had given up too soon. And I wouldn’t have the work freedom that I have today, which changed everything for me.

    Great list…thanks for putting this together, Marc!

  • And one more, Waiting for permission from others.

  • We have two choices when we wake up in the morning: either we go back to sleep and dream, or we wake up and chase that dream.

    Never let go of hope.

    the two sentences that i found a deep inspiration…thank you!

  • “Letting everyone decide for you.” Thank you for the reminder. I’ve been guilty of doing this lately and it’s worked out horribly for me. You always give such great advice.

  • OK you sound like my daughter… :) She just had a go at me because I wasn’t thrilled about wanting her to move to a dearer house, I just couldn’t see the point………… LOL. That said, this is inspiring, but I am thankfully happy with my life the way it is at this time.

  • This was a great read. I look forward to receiving your articles. They help me see life in a different light. Thank you for these strong words of wisdom.

  • Another home run post! :)

  • New subscriber and already I say thank you, thank you.

  • It is the very truthful topic. We can change our habits when they want to. Thanks for great topic.

  • Thanks for the post, it’s insightful and just what I needed to read today.

  • Hey, hope you both are doing well.

    Whatever you guys write and share is Priceless and makes me Speechless.

    Bravo ! Keep it up !

  • #1 - Playing it Safe

    Safety is an illusion created by people as a deception to themselves. How many people hole up behind gates and locks hoping that the big, scary world stays away? Get out, live your dreams. THE WORLD IS NOT YOUR ENEMY. Fear is.

  • Great thoughts as always..
    And A big Thank you to Braja Patnaik for adding
    “And one more, Waiting for permission from others.” I have always waited for ‘permission’, and agreement before i would go do what i really wanted.. it took a logn time and a sepration to realize i am my own person and spirit,, and to have confidence in my own choices and decisions. peace to all who read and feel the way we do. thank you for your replies

  • I have to agree with the other three who said that #12 is a really great one that we all need to remember.

    I also really like #3. One thing I always tell people when it come to believing their dreams is that it is not important to fully know the how of reaching your dreams.

    You probably have a general idea of everything and at least a specific idea of what you need to do to get started. That’s fine.

    Even if you don’t fully know how to get where you want to go, that’s okay too.

    Just start with what you know. When you get to what you think you don’t know now, you’ll probably start to have some idea of what you need to do then. No matter what happens, just keep believing that you will find a way to reach your goal, and you will.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Beautiful post! I love what you are sharing here. What you talk about here does work to move forward with success!!

  • Thank you, I am considering a new venture and this is encouraging to see it through.

  • #10 i like. I have noticed over the years the more judgmental you are the more it feels as if others are judging you.

  • Playing it safe and expecting constant bliss are really important. I like to say, When we are afraid, we are not ourselves.
    Great advice, once again.

  • What a great post. I’m not sure how I found it this morning, but I sure needed to read these tips.

    The one that struck me is playing it safe by letting others decide. I think that I have done that my whole life, and only until recently did I start to take control myself!

    Thanks for reminding me again, “its my life”!

    OutMaturity

  • Thank you for this inspiring article.

  • It can be so hard to move out of your comfort zone to change your life. Something we are told when we are kids is that we can do anything we want to; we can become anything we want, if we just try. Somewhere along the way, life causes us to forget that this is still true. Thanks for the reminders that anyone can realize their dreams, if they just try.

  • I would definitely say #12, I have given up on things too soon and moved on to other ideas, businesses, etc. I now know it is important to focus on something longer than a few months so there is time for results!!!

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