5 Things We Need To Unlearn To Fully Experience Personal Growth

Let’s be honest, we all have adopted some pretty unhealthy habits and thought patterns throughout our time on Earth. Whether it’s saying yes to everything in order to be thought of as helpful, or constantly apologizing for ourselves even when we don’t do anything wrong, we’re constantly learning things that we have to then unlearn.

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We need to take stock of our habits and thought patterns, and analyze which are healthy and helpful and which are not. Whether the things we need to unlearn come from our childhood, society, or our own unique perceptions, we’ve all learned some things that we need to unlearn in order to grow.


Neglecting Your Own Boundaries

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it every chance I get: Boundaries are necessary in every aspect of your life. Boundaries are proven to help prevent burnout, make you a better friend, improve self-awareness, and improve the quality of every aspect of your life.

The beautiful and horrible thing about boundaries is that everyone has different ones. No one person has the same trauma, workload, and mental health as you do, so there are no hard-and-fast boundaries that can just be copied and pasted to everyone. Boundaries require some exploration and trial and error in order to find what you’re most comfortable with and which boundaries you should put into place. You should set up boundaries in every aspect of your life — work, social, romantic, dieting, exercise, and free time.

If someone or something makes you compromise or give up your boundaries, that’s absolutely not okay. I’ve had to learn that it’s okay for me to say no to things and just let it be a no. You’re not selfish for putting up boundaries and you’re not wrong to leave someone or something when they don’t respect them.

Saying “I’m Fine”

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This has been on my heart for a bit now. How many of us are guilty of saying we’re fine when we are quite the opposite? I have said I’m fine for over eight years now and I guarantee that I have not been fine every day for the past 2,920 days. But we say we’re fine, and then we get upset when people then treat us like we actually are fine. 

I used to tell people how they could decode my texting language. I would put periods or spell words differently based on how I was feeling. My mom and I were talking about that recently. I jumped through so many hoops to avoid simply stating my feelings. 

Why are we so concerned about sharing our feelings and being vulnerable when we know that opening up is the only way to gain true healing? What’s wrong with responding to people asking how you’re doing with an honest answer? Nothing. But we’re so quick to mask our hurt and pain with a smile and an “I’m fine.” Stop doing that – tell people how you really feel.

Measuring Self-Worth in Productivity

We see the phrase, “My worth isn’t measured by my accomplishments” everywhere, but do we actually believe it? It’s not wrong to be proud of your accomplishments — shout them out! Be a girlboss! Or maybe a less toxic version of one…but be proud of what you’ve done. Just don’t let your job, accomplishments, money, or anything that isn’t an intrinsic part of you define you. I always know I’m low on self-esteem or I feel threatened when I start to spout out my accomplishments without being prompted. I’m proud of myself, but I want to be more proud of who I am than how much I do. 

We live in a society that celebrates working ourselves into the ground for the sake of the hustle. And for what? Your work, no matter how cool your job is, or who you know, or even how much you get paid, should always be the least interesting thing about you. 

If you find yourself grasping for compliments or leading with your accomplishments out of a place of insecurity, take a step back and realize you don’t have to prove yourself to anyone and your worth will also never be found in your work, but so many other aspects of yourself. 

Your worth isn’t found in something you do because those accolades and accomplishments can disappear at any moment. Your worth is who you are, it’s what you bring to the table without even trying. It’s your flaws, your quirks, and yourself. Once you tie your worth to something you do and (in the case of work) can be taken away from you, your worth becomes unstable and fleeting.

Other’s Success Takes Away From Ours

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This is a huge thing that’s risen with social media. I’ve heard people talk about this more in the past three months than I ever have. If someone has a victory, you can celebrate it without worrying that it will take away your own. 

I felt this when all my friends started getting engaged and married in the past year. I told my partner that I couldn’t fully celebrate them because I felt like they were lessening my chances of getting engaged. It doesn’t make any logical sense, but this happens all the time. 

Miriam Kirmayer, a clinical psychologist and friendship expert, says, “It’s perfectly appropriate to experience both happiness and envy, pride, and worry about our own future or goals.” 

In the end, there’s no limited amount of success given to one friend group. While it makes sense to struggle with jealousy, there’s no need to feel as though you won’t succeed if your friends do.

You Have to be Happy All the Time

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For my fellow people-pleasers, this is hard. Yes, you should seek and strive to enjoy your life. If you wake up every day and are completely miserable, maybe you should get to the root of the problem and seek to change the things that make you sad. But it’s also impossible to be happy all the time. Life is hard. There are days when nothing is wrong, but you still won’t feel particularly overjoyed. That’s okay. 

Your feelings are valid, even though there might not always be a logical reason as to why you’re feeling them. You are allowed to feel whatever and however you feel. Toxic positivity is real and there’s absolutely no need to promote it. Feel your feelings; if you don’t, you won’t be able to face them, fix them, and overcome them.


How many of these things do you need to unlearn? Can you think of anything we missed? Comment below!

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