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Holding on to bad habits can lead to a life of self imposed slavery

Updated: Apr 25, 2023



As c-level executive, you are constantly striving for success and pushing yourselves to be the best in your field.


However, there may be certain habits that are holding you back from achieving your full potential. Whether it's checking your phone too often, procrastinating on important tasks, or indulging in unhealthy habits, holding onto bad habits can lead to a life of self-imposed slavery.


Recent neuroscience findings have shown that habits are deeply ingrained in the brain, with a neural pathway forming every time a behavior is repeated. This makes it easier for the brain to automatically engage in the behavior, even if it's not beneficial. In other words, the more we engage in a bad habit, the stronger its neural pathway becomes, making it harder to break free.


But why is it so hard to break free from bad habits? It turns out that the brain is wired to seek pleasure and avoid pain. When we engage in a bad habit, our brain releases dopamine, a chemical associated with pleasure and reward. This reinforces the behavior and makes it more likely that we will repeat it in the future.


On the other hand, when we try to break free from a bad habit, our brain perceives this as a threat and triggers a stress response, making it harder to resist the urge to engage in the behavior.


What can business executives do to break free from bad habits and avoid a life of self-imposed slavery? To begin with, it's essential to recognize that habits are often unconscious, automatic behaviors that you engage in without much thought.


This is why taking a moment to reflect on your daily routines and behaviors is so important. By consciously observing your actions, you can begin to uncover patterns and habits that may be hindering you from achieving your goals.


One effective way to identify habits is to keep a habit journal. This involves writing down your actions throughout the day and reflecting on how they make you feel. For example, you may notice that you often reach for a sugary snack in the afternoon when you feel tired. By recognizing this habit and its triggers, you can begin to explore healthier alternatives, such as taking a short walk or drinking water to re-energize.


Another helpful strategy is to ask yourself a few key questions, such as:

  • What actions or behaviors do you engage in that don't serve you?

  • What habits are you aware of that you would like to change?

  • What habits do you notice others engaging in that you would like to avoid?

By answering these questions honestly, you can gain clarity on the habits that are holding you back and begin to take action to break free from them.


It's also important to recognize that habits are often interrelated. For example, engaging in unhealthy eating habits may lead to a lack of energy, which in turn may lead to procrastination or decreased productivity.


By examining the larger picture of your habits and how they affect each other, you can begin to address the root causes of your challenges.


Once you've identified the habits that need to change, it's important to replace them with new, positive habits. This can be as simple as replacing the habit of checking your phone first thing in the morning with the habit of reading a book or practicing mindfulness.


By consciously engaging in new, positive behaviors, you can create new neural pathways in the brain that will make it easier to break free from old habits.


Identifying the habits that are holding you back is a critical first step in breaking free from self-imposed slavery. By consciously observing your daily routines and behaviors, keeping a habit journal, and asking yourself key questions, you can gain clarity on the habits that are hindering your progress and begin to take action to replace them with healthier alternatives.

It's also important to be patient and kind to yourself throughout this process.


Breaking free from bad habits takes time and effort, and setbacks are a normal part of the process. By practicing self-compassion and focusing on progress rather than perfection, you can create a positive mindset that will support you in achieving your goals.


Holding onto bad habits can lead to a life of self-imposed slavery. However, by understanding the neuroscience behind habits and taking proactive steps to break free from them, you can create new, positive behaviors that will support you in achieving your goals and dreams.

Identifying bad habits and creating new, positive behaviors can often be challenging to do on your own. This is where working with a coach can be incredibly valuable.


A coach can provide you with the guidance, support, and accountability you need to create lasting change. They can help you identify the root causes of your bad habits, provide you with tools and strategies for replacing them with healthier alternatives, and offer ongoing support, a proven process and concrete tools easy to use, as you work towards your goals.


One of the primary benefits of working with a coach is the level of accountability we can provide. When you're working to break free from bad habits on your own, it's easy to fall back into old patterns when faced with challenges or setbacks.


A coach, on the other hand, can help you stay motivated and focused on your goals, even when things get tough.


Additionally, a coach at Brighter Leaders can help you to set realistic goals and create an action plan for achieving them, provide you with feedback and support as you move forward, and help you to adjust your plan as needed.


At Brighter Leaders we can help you to identify the root causes of your bad habits, provide you with tools and strategies for replacing them with healthier alternatives, and offer ongoing support as you work towards your goals and dreams.


By working with us, you can develop a growth mindset, stay motivated, and achieve success in breaking bad habits. If these thoughts resonate with you and you are curious about what we can do for you book a 15 min exploratory call with us.


Remember that breaking free from bad habits takes time and effort, but with dedication and persistence, you can create new, positive behaviors that will support you.

One last piece of advice: Celebrate every win throughout the process!

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