7 Common Habits Holding Talented People Back from Achieving Excellence

5 Habits That Destroy Your Chances of Self-Actualization

Self-actualization is a process of becoming the best version of oneself. Abraham Maslow proposed this theory, stating that self-actualized people are self-accepting, unafraid to take risks, grateful, growth-oriented, and relationally adept. While it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to achieve self-actualization, there are certain habits that can completely destroy your chances of reaching your full potential. Here are some of those self-defeating habits that you need to give up:

1. Putting Others Above Yourself

Helping others is great, but neglecting your own needs in the process can hinder your journey to self-actualization. If you’re someone who can’t say no to people, consider the following reasons:

– You fear people will stop liking you.
– You feel guilty when you do things for yourself.
– You aren’t comfortable being alone.
– You don’t value your own time.
– You prioritize other people’s needs over your own.

Making time for yourself is crucial for growth and development. Don’t be afraid to say no to someone. It doesn’t make you a bad person.

2. Getting Scared and Censoring Yourself

Self-censorship means stopping yourself from saying what you really mean, usually from fear. You might ask yourself: “Is what I’m saying stupid?” “What would my friends/partner/parents think of this?” “I should just keep quiet.” Fear of criticism plays a big part in self-censorship. However, many people are even afraid to be honest when they’re alone. The solution is to write daily in a notebook that only you will read. Write whatever comes to your mind, no matter how silly, stupid, or embarrassing. Don’t look back at what you’ve written as it might demotivate you. Keep writing, and you will have an honest and open attitude in the rest of your life. Being true to yourself is an essential part of self-actualization.

3. Giving in to the Pressure to Fit In

Self-actualization isn’t about fitting in or being accepted by others. The true version of you might not be liked by everyone, and that’s okay. Trying too hard to fit in can destroy what makes you unique and make you feel fake and unhappy. Follow these tips to stay true to yourself:

– Be clear on your values.
– Always think before you act. If you have a bad feeling about something, don’t do it.
– Don’t give up on your dreams because somebody else doesn’t believe they’ll work out.
– Surround yourself with supportive people who encourage you.
– Forget trying to make other people like you. Don’t change who you are just to please someone else.

4. Self-Deception

Self-deception is when you convince yourself of something that isn’t true so that you can avoid facing reality. It is a form of mental sabotage that can prevent you from achieving your potential. Here are some types of self-deception you should avoid:

– Rationalizing your bad behavior.
– Blaming others for your problems.
– Overgeneralizing bad experiences.
– Ignoring evidence that contradicts your beliefs.
– Pretending a problem doesn’t exist.

Facing reality can be difficult, but it is the first step towards solving any problem. Addressing the issues will help you on your path to self-actualization.

5. Being Afraid of Change

Change can be daunting, especially if you’ve been stuck in the same situation for a long time. However, change is necessary for growth and development. Here are some ways to overcome your fear of change:

– Embrace uncertainty.
– Focus on the present. Don’t worry about the future or dwell on the past.
– Visualize success.
– Accept that failure is a part of the process.
– Take small steps towards your goal.

Self-actualization requires a willingness to change and grow. Don’t let fear hold you back from being the best version of yourself.


Self-actualization is a lifelong journey of becoming the best possible version of yourself. While it’s not easy, avoiding these self-defeating habits can help you on your path to success. Make time for yourself, be honest, stay true to your values, face reality, and embrace change. Overcoming these habits will not only lead to self-actualization but also to a fulfilling and happy life.

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