In a world filled with quick fixes and simple solutions, it's easy to get accustomed to the commonality of just "getting by."
For years I was guilty of the same. In an attempt to deal with the mounting stress following my generalized anxiety and panic disorder diagnosis, I found relief in smoking, drinking and taking pills.
I had an ever evolving dependence to anti-anxiety medication, which eventually spiraled into a two and a half year addiction. My life was simply about surviving and trying to make it through the day.
Things changed for me on the fateful day that I accidentally overdosed. However, it seemed to be the wake up call that I desperately needed. It shook me up quite a bit, and I realized how fortunate I was to have survived. Since then, I committed myself to living a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle.
After much trial and error and years of research, I discovered a system that ultimately saved my life. I started juicing daily, developed a morning meditation ritual and started a regular yoga practice. This "trinity of wellness" changed my life forever. It started me on a new path and has already helped countless people around the world, who I work with daily.
Nonetheless, in spite of the incredible progress I've made over the last few years I realize that growth is a constantly evolving process. As long as we continue to set our sights on new targets, there will always be room for improvement.
Throughout my journey, I uncovered a few things about myself that were holding me back from becoming the person I needed to be. I realized that in order to continue growing, I needed to change some of my natural tendencies.
Here are the three habits I had to break in order to stop surviving and start living:
1. Finding comfort in complacency
It's human nature to linger wherever we find comfort and familiarity. We naturally gravitate toward places of pleasure and enjoyment. Unfortunately, contentment can be an unfavorable characteristic that prohibits our ability to grow.
Addiction was my place of complacency. It was my escape from my anxiety and the stresses of adulthood. No matter the dangerous implications, I was satisfied knowing that I had a way out. I found comfort in knowing that I didn't have to face my problems if I didn't want to.
I was afraid to experience what my life would be like if I allowed myself to be exposed to a reality that I couldn't accept. When I was taking meds, I didn't feel anything. I was cut off from all emotion and compassion. I found solace in my ability to remain numb to life. But it was the comfort of my complacency that nearly killed me.
I realize now that there's nothing wrong with being comfortable, however. If we are to continue advancing and growing, we must find comfort in discomfort. We need to challenge ourselves beyond our perceived limits, or remain stagnant in all of our pursuits.
Only by our own discontent do we deny evolution. Complacency, just like fear, is one of the main contributors to failure. So don't let comfort hold you back!
2. The fear of being wrong
It seems as if being wrong is often the most undesirable outcome of any situation. We're generally willing to argue tirelessly, project hostility and possibly tarnish relationships, in order to vindicate our position.
This is simply due to prideful indifference.
By willingly accepting fault, we can simply empower ourselves to utilize useful information in the pursuit of happiness. On the other hand, by fearing the idea of being wrong, we are evading the opportunity to discover such happiness, relying solely on what we know, not what's left to learn.
Despite being misguided by my physician, I was wrong to accept medication as my only treatment option. I was wrong to trust someone else's opinion more than I trusted my own instincts. But I've learned through recovery that being wrong is essential in the hunt for prosperity. I discovered a healthier way to manage my disorder, simply because I learned from the mistake of being wrong.
Instead of denying your mistaken truths, we should use them to break free of our infirmities. Being wrong inspired me to changed my life, so just imagine what it can do for you, too
3. Caring about the opinions of others
When we get wrapped up in the opinions of others, we begin to lose sight of our own identity. We start following the path other people expect us to travel, completely negating our true purpose, uniqueness and happiness.
All my life I've been judged by others. I was criticized for dropping out of college, talked bad about for sharing my experiences with addiction, and was even chastised by my peers for my dietary choices. No one took any consideration into the ideas behind my decisions, nor how each of them benefitted my life. But had I cared about any of those opinions, I wouldn't be where I am today.
Anxiety is the fear of possibility; the despair of the unknown. It's bred from the concerns of being faced with things we haven't prepared for. By leaving yourself open to possibility, we allow ourselves to welcome limitless opportunity.
Happiness is nothing more than a personal opinion. It's the acceptance of optimism in spite of the expectation of adversity. We are often the ones standing in our own way.
Letting go of these three habits will allow you to expand your horizons and let the universe conspire on your behalf.
Plant the seeds that will bear the fruit of positive reassurance. Don't limit yourself based on impractical understanding. Be free, be happy, be well!
Photo courtesy of Taylor Images