Energy Wasting Habits
The ‘Constant Worry’ Habit’
There’s the woman who has developed a habit of constant worry. It’s so bad that her sleep is disturbed on a nightly basis. She has labelled herself as ‘someone who worries over everything’ and now lives up to that identity every day. All her energy is invested in worrying about what might go wrong and it’s made her life miserable. My grandmother had the same habit and frequently made herself ill with worry.
The ‘Reliving Your Stress’ Habit
Then there’s the guy who invests so much energy into workplace stress that it has him reliving his awful day, long after he’s left the office. If that’s a pattern in your life, just consider the consequences of years of having that kind of habit. How many hours are wasted because you haven’t learnt to deal with the stress in a more useful way? Just think about the impact that daily dose of stress has on your health and well-being. Most of all, what effect does your habit have on the people you love? You might want to ask for some honest feedback and find out.
The ‘Self-Sabotage’ Habit
This is another example: The energy blind spot of a smoking habit you want to break. You know it’s bad for your health, it costs a fortune and you believe you will stop … one day! Take a rough guess at how many times you tell yourself, “I really want to give up smoking, but I enjoy it!” While you are investing energy in the problem by reminding yourself that it makes you feel good, you’re sabotaging your goal. If you seriously want to stop, try remembering back to when you hated smoking, it tasted disgusting and made you feel sick! That’s the message you need to reinforce. It doesn’t matter that you won’t believe it at first, but as you continually hear it on a daily basis, your mindset will begin to change and make it easier to adopt new habits that support you in achieving your goal. Remember, our habits either support or sabotage our success and most of the time, they happen without us being aware.
So let’s look at your choices. If you were to focus on the outcome you want, rather than the problem, you might start thinking “how can I achieve my goal?” or, “what habits would I need to change to make this work?”
If you identify with the habit of reliving workplace stress, what if you made a ‘quality of life’ decision and decided to leave work behind the moment you closed the office door? You would then be free to look forward to the evening ahead, the way you did when you were eighteen. (Yes, I still remember what that felt like.) Even the commute home could be an opportunity to recharge your batteries before the evening begins.
Of course, workplace stress can be very real and I don’t underestimate its effect, but there are more productive ways to deal with it than reliving it in your own time. Putting up with unhelpful stress is a choice. Instead, do something active every day that gets rid of the adrenaline and increases the endorphins in your body, so you feel good. The same applies to any other habit that is undermining your happiness and wellbeing. Learn better coping strategies or get some support to help you achieve your goals. Make a commitment to yourself that your quality of life matters and take action now, before your ‘habit’ becomes one of those things you later wish you’d taken seriously.
Habits are all learned behaviours that can be changed. Like everything worth having, you need commitment, perseverance and determination, but it begins with a change of mindset. Start investing your energy in the solution, not the problem, so you can identify and create habits that will ensure your success. Your future depends on it.
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