Healthy habits are essential to cultivating healthy relationships and modeling effective leadership. On the flip side of the coin, unhealthy habits make us ineffective and ultimately frustrated with our own lack of progress in both life and leadership.

Today I want to help you identify 5 Unhealthy Habits that will make even the most gifted leader ineffective:

1. Being worried about what other people think.

Nothing robs you of peace, kills authenticity, and stifles creativity like living to please people. People-pleasing is like wearing relational camouflage. It creates a temporary “false” sense of peace, but if you have to hide who you are in order to be around certain people, then you’re around the wrong people. Isaiah 8:11 (NLT) says it like this, “The Lord has given me a strong warning not to think like everyone else does….”

Be authentic. Your uniqueness is not your weakness . . . it’s your strength. If you allow the fear of criticism to dictate your decisions, you’ll never fulfill your destiny. The only way you can avoid criticism is to do absolutely nothing (and even then someone will criticize you for “doing nothing”). Your purpose and calling are too important to let the voices of your critics intimidate you into silence or inactivity.

[shareable cite=”@PastorTHall”]You’ll never become who you’re created to be by trying to be who everyone else wants you to be.[/shareable]

To read more about Toxic Relationships, click here.

2. Thinking that you have to force people to agree with you.

Disagreement does not equal disloyalty.

Fear of being wrong is rooted in insecurity. We’re all wrong about something from time to time. To create an atmosphere where the people around you are afraid to disagree with you is to ensure that you not only stunt your own growth, but you’ll push highly productive people away from you, thereby inhibiting the growth of your church, family or organization. 2 Timothy 2:23-24 (NLT) says, “…don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights. A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people.” Forced agreement is false agreement.

3. Thinking that there’s only one right way to do something.

2+2 = 4. But so does 1+3. There’s rarely ever just one right way to do something.
This kind of thinking is generally rooted in pride. With the exception of getting into heaven (through Jesus), there’s rarely just “one” way to do something. Pride, like insecurity, will keep you from being able to learn from the knowledge and experience of others, and it will hinder your progress at home and at work. Proverbs 1:5 (NKJV) says, “A wise man will hear and increase learning, And a man of understanding will attain wise counsel…”

4. Always Focusing on the past.

It’s impossible to move forward while looking backwards.

Your life will always go in the direction your mind is pointed. Nothing poisons your purpose like constantly ruminating over something that somebody did to you or didn’t do “for” you. My advice: Let-It-Go, and move on with your life.In Luke 9:62 (NLT) Jesus said it this way, “Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.” You can’t get to where you’re going by focusing on where you’ve been.

[shareable cite=”@PastorTHall”]You can’t get to where you’re going by focusing on where you’ve been.[/shareable]

5. Building False Expectations of Others

Expectations + Reality = Disappointment.

This is true both personally and professionally. We set ourselves up for disappointment when we place unrealistic expectations on people. Those unmet expectations start to breed resentment in your heart towards the other person. Rather than communicate or deal with your unfounded disappointment, you’ll be tempted to remain silent and grow indifferent towards that other person, leaving them to wonder what they did wrong in the first place. Most likely, they never promised they’d be everything you’ve built them up to be in your mind. They might just be a victim of your own false expectations. Do yourself and them a BIG favor, and give them the same benefit of the doubt that you’d want them to give you so you can both experience freedom to grow.

If you’ve found yourself wondering why your relationships and leadership goals seem to have stalled out, I encourage you to take a hard look at your operating habits, and see if there’s anything unhealthy in you that needs to change. Remember, healthy habits are crucial to cultivating healthy relationships and modeling effective leadership.

Click here to read more about protecting your purpose.