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The 7 bad habits that may be messing up your life

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... and the best ways to get yourself back on track.

The path to happiness is long and laborious, and sometimes, by taking the wrong route, we can find ourselves undermining our own attempts to succeed in life. There are actually some infallible methods of ruining our lives by engaging in certain kinds of behavior. Here are seven habits to avoid if you’re trying to be truly happy. And because none of us is perfect, positive alternatives to set us on the right track again …

1. Giving up too easily

Do you have a tendency to give up when you hit an obstacle? If so, it’s one way of never achieving your goals, as well as wasting an opportunity that could make you happy. In fact, if you encounter a difficulty and you immediately admit defeat, you shatter any chances of ever accomplishing your objectives.

Instead, remember and practice this: Nothing is ever free or easy. Life’s pitfalls are just a part of the journey toward success and achievement in our lives!

2. Being an open book at all times

Spilling everything that you have in your heart and talking openly, without a filter, is another way of instantly creating enemies and reducing your circle of friends. Not keeping anything to yourself, and letting everybody know exactly what you think about everything without showing a touch of diplomacy or tact, is a sure-fire way to alienate people.

Instead, remember and practice this: Under the guise of honesty, what you perhaps think of as a virtue can, to the contrary, turn out to be an excellent way of ruining your own life and that of others.

3. Never questioning yourself

Isn’t guilt an unpleasant feeling? So why inflict it on yourself by calling into question your actions or words? If, when you do fail in something, you don’t think even for one minute that this could be your own fault, it’s obvious that you’ll avoid feeling guilty. Thinking that nothing is ever your fault, not taking responsibility for your errors, is yet again an infallible way to persevere in failure as a person.

Instead, remember and practice this: Thinking about your actions and words can in fact make you aware of certain faults. This allows you to learn from your mistakes and avoid making them again in the future, helping you to continue on your path toward happiness!

4. Encouraging gossip

During a coffee with friends, countless rumors are often shared concerning anyone from “friends” to public figures. Sometimes, this news is either unfounded or unverified. This is the perfect means to alienate people, and helping to spread this fake news will certainly lead to harm.

Instead, remember and practice this: Who likes being talked about behind their backs, especially when the stories are incorrect? Once more, by helping to spread these “rumors” condemned by Pope Francis during his New Year speech in 2016, you’ll surely ruin your chances of having  a healthy and fulfilling social life. If you make a habit of talking about positive things and respecting other people’s dignity and privacy, you’ll be on a much better track.

5. Resigning yourself to failure too easily

Have you ever noticed that success seems destined for others, not for you? Everything is so much easier for other people, thanks to the one thing they possess and you don’t: luck. Indeed, isn’t it true that all those people can put their success down to being in the right place at the right time, surrounded by the right people? Why bother trying to understand when it’s obvious: some people are just lucky, and you’re not one of them.

Instead, remember and practice this: If you think about it a little, don’t you think their success could be a question of audacity, tenacity, and ambition?

6. Comparing yourself to others

By constantly looking at what others have, and at what they succeed in or don’t, you think that you can understand better your own sense of worth. However, this leaves you feeling dissatisfied with what you are or what you have …

Instead, remember and practice this: Setting standards for yourself based on what you see in other people is a bad idea, because you can’t see the entire picture of their lives with all the good and the bad, and because … you aren’t them. Also, one risk of these comparisons is that you won’t see your own successes.

7. Not setting any goals or deadlines for yourself

Resting in your “comfort zone” is so tempting! It has that name for a reason, after all. Who doesn’t want to be comfortable? Besides, life is dangerous enough, so why attempt something new? Following a routine is comforting and reassuring, even when the routine itself may not be .

Instead, remember and practice this: There surely must be, deep down inside you, things that you’d love to do, to have, or to achieve. In the long term, you won’t succeed in doing anything if you haven’t set at least a few objectives and deadlines. Do you think you’ll have more to lose than to gain? In order not to leave this life with the feeling that you didn’t try enough, reassure yourself by remembering this proverb: “What isn’t planted has no chance of growing.”

This article was originally published in the French edition of Aleteia and has been translated and adapted here for English-speaking readers.

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