05/18/2012 07:58 am ET Updated Jul 18, 2012

7 Habits That Can Hurt You

When we realize our life is not working -- financial hardships, abuse, unfriendliness, weight gain, bad relationship and/or an unfulfilling job -- there are a few habits we can let go of to change our reality immediately. Change is swift and permanent when we choose to make certain mental, spiritual and physical adjustments. The hardest part is being comfortable with change. To let go of the habits we created is difficult, but the rewards of creating new and positive habits can be life-changing.

The seven habits that can hurt you:

The Habit of LYING

A lie does not become truth if you say it enough. A lie does not become truth if you say it louder. Little white lies are never little to the person being lied to. Lies can eventually begin to erode your self-esteem and those relationships based on truth and honesty.

Choose this instead: truth. The day we stop lying and start speaking the truth, we will feel a change. Speak the truth, no matter what. Our only hope of becoming a better person is by adopting the habit of speaking the truth.

The Habit of FEAR

Fear can be so ingrained as a habit that even a loud sound can produce the adrenaline of the flight or fight response. Adrenaline can create a great deal of emotional and physical stress within the body, and when left unchecked, it can reduce your ability to handle the small problems, which occur throughout the day.

Choose this instead: Fear and faith cannot coexist, so choose one consciously. Do not spend your thoughts on anticipating trouble; thoughts create your reality.

The Habit of Living in CHAOS

Chaos is created in the mind when we fill our lives with noise and drama. I believe our environments can program us to perform certain behaviors and if you find yourself with someone or somewhere that adds chaos and unpredictability to your life, change your environment and/or the person you are with.

Choose this instead: Silence in place of constant noise, creates a space for us to release the stress that causes this habit. Try living with the concept of "less is more." Enjoy less stress by choosing less chaotic activity, less TV, less Internet usage and fewer "drama queens."

The Habit of SELF ABUSE

Self-harm is always something we can learn to control. Why do we treat ourselves harsher and more critically than our worst enemies would? Do your anger and your blame take center stage in your life? Are you living it over and over again?

Choose this instead: Heal yourself and let this story go. Change your environment because changing your scenery can help a bad habit become less tempting and available. Limit your interactions with people who encourage your bad habit. Surround yourself with people who love you and who will teach you to love yourself. What is more important than love?

The Habit of FAILURE

All who achieve expects failure, but when it becomes a habit, you have stopped learning from what came before and have started expecting failure as a way of life.

Choose this instead: Failure is necessary before we can begin again.

Failure is nothing to be feared... what you should fear is giving up or aiming too low. Laughter, true laughter, not a joke to demean, is guaranteed to change your mental state in the midst of experiencing failure. Seek out laughter. Start again.

The Habit of WORRY

Worrying about what may never happen -- the place/car may crash, bad things will happen to our children, someone will hurt me and/or I will be taken advantage of -- can lead to unwise decisions because they are based on fear. Worry is caused by this anxiety, and it can lead to unhappiness.

Choose this instead: Be in the moment when you can clearly see you are safe. Learn to control your fears so you can make better decisions. Filling the void left by your old habit with a more positive activity can help you avoid falling back into your old habit.


Resist being driven toward having more: more technology, food, money, and relationships. This behavior can lead us toward isolation and superficial status in all areas of our lives.

Choose this instead: Focus on being more, not having more. Replace this habit with something new and positive in your life: beauty, community closeness and compassion. Become undisturbed by loss and gain. Unclench your heart and allow it to breathe with peace and the knowing that you have enough.

Be fearless in your efforts to let go of limiting and unhealthy habits. Remember to be patient, as habits take time to release. And lastly, replace your old habit with something new that shows you and the world who you really are!

For more by Linda Durnell, click here.

For more on mindfulness, click here.