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7 Negative Things You Inadvertently Do That Stop You from Improving

The Self Improvement Blog | Self Esteem | Self Confidence


When you’re trying to stay focused on self-improvement, it’s easy to get in your own way. Eventually, you may realize that you just aren’t making the progress you meant to make. Often this is due to negative things that we may not realize that we are doing, inadvertently sabotaging our efforts to move forward. Here are some things that you might be doing without realizing it that may be harming your progress.

Becoming Complacent

It’s easy to look around and think to yourself, “Things are okay right now.” However, just because everything isn’t falling apart around you doesn’t mean that you’re moving forward. It’s important to have goals and to continuously re-evaluate them. Stagnating is one of the biggest dangers that we face when embarking on a journey of self-improvement.

Make sure you’re updating your LinkedIn profile, and actively searching job boards for new opportunities for development.

Unreasonable Expectations

While it’s important to set goals, it’s equally important to make sure that your goals are achievable and attainable. Setting yourself up with unreasonable expectations can make it impossible to reach the goals, making it appear as though you are never going to reach them.

It can sometimes help to break larger goals up into smaller tasks; to achieve D, you need to do A, B, and C first. This way you can track your progress and see movement towards the goal.

Apologizing Unnecessarily

It’s a simple thing really, but many people don’t realize that attitude can be greatly affected by the language we use. Using self-deprecating language like “I’m sorry,” can have far reaching impacts on how you view yourself. Try changing regret and remorse into gratitude: instead of “Sorry, I’m late,” try saying “Thank you for your patience.” It’s such a small thing, but it changes the perspective from one of “I’ve failed” to “I’m worth the wait, and I’m grateful to you for seeing my worth.” It’s a game changer when it comes to your overall sense of self.


Trying to rush the process of self-improvement is one of the most common negative things we inadvertently to that only leads to becoming overwhelmed and inevitable disappointment. It’s easy to turn motivation into an ultimatum: “You must do this or you’re a failure.” Give yourself plenty of time to make small changes, and let them become good habits before you rush into the next step. Taking on too many changes too soon is a recipe for disaster.

Neglecting Self-Care

It’s very easy to forget that in addition to all the things you want to do, there are some things that you absolutely have to do to keep yourself healthy and of sound mind. Just like a good exercise program will include “rest days,” a journey to self-improvement requires taking some time to relax and do some things for yourself. While moving forward is a good thing, constantly working can be exhausting and have negative consequences.

Saying “Yes” Too Often

Positive people want to help and are almost always willing to help. The problem is that if you spend too much time trying to meet the needs of other people, you’re going to take away from the time you spend focusing on your own needs and self-improvement goals. Learning to set appropriate boundaries is an important step in maintaining your own personal growth.

Trying to do it All Yourself

In addition to our tendency to try and help others, many of us are also resistant to asking for help. It’s important to look at what you have on your plate and to see if there is anything that you can delegate to others or ask for help with. At home, you can ask family members to help with some household chores. At work, you can see if there is a coworker who can help you bring a project to fruition. The main thing is to find your “tribe” and see what they can do to help.

Making the decision to focus on yourself is a good thing, and it’s very easy to get caught up in some of these behaviors that will ultimately impede what you are trying to accomplish. Keep an eye out for these things and make a conscious choice to counteract them in your daily life.


About the Author:

Audrey Robinson is a free spirit, obsessed with experiencing everything the world has to offer. An absolute fan of self-development and self-care. Currently traveling and writing for Datastical, an online knowledge library.



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About Anas Alaoui

Anas Alaoui

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