Behavioural patterns

How To Overcome Your Negative Behavioural Patterns And Habits?

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It is scientifically proven that our behavioural patterns and habits are the main contributing factors to feeling held back from achieving greatness in life. We often don’t realise that those three elements play a very significant role in how we approach hardship, relationships or even our careers. 

It’s funny because during our lives we all create those behavioural patterns and habits. Some of those are good and some are bad. It is extremely important to recognise the bad ones and try to nip them at the bud. But since it’s us who create them and in most cases subconsciously, it is tricky to catch some of them.

Recognizing Behavioural Patterns And Habits

I would recommend to sit down, grab a piece of paper and write down what are the things you keep doing that are good vs the things that keep you from growing

It’s important to acknowledge both, as concentrating only on the bad habits of yours can have a detrimental effect on your mental well-being. For each bad habit add two positive ones to your list. It will help you keep your mind open to personal growth and avoid getting hang-up on the negative things about yourself. Remember, you’re amazing.

For example, drinking your morning shot of lemon juice is good, so is prepping your clothes ahead of your workday, attending your gym classes and taking the most from them or repeating your morning mantra to start the day on a good note. The bad behavioural patterns usually consist of dwelling over the past and things we cannot change or have any control over, seeking approval from others or feeding into procrastination.

The secret to creating life-lasting good behavioural patterns, and making sure that we will not end up at the same point in life, is to focus on building our new identity-based habits. In the simplest words is to focus on what we believe about ourselves, what kind of human we are. Change our perspective and rewrite our life story and start truly living a new, fulfilled, meaningful and satisfying life.

It’s easier said than done. It took me almost 40 years to discover my deepest desires and I finally managed to unpack my true personality and life values through the practice of mindful running. 

Let’s figure out together what your bad behavioural patterns and habits could be…

Seeking Approval From Others

It is normal to want to feel appreciated but if you concentrate too much on what others think of you, automatically you aren’t listening enough to yourself. Ask yourself a question. What do you want in life, not what is expected from you? Having this base you can apply mindfulness to focus on the things you want to do, pick the right route to achieve those goals and learn how to enjoy the process itself. It’s important to remember that your attempts at satisfying everyone else’s expectation will hold you back. You are your own entity and you have to learn from your successes and failures. 

I’ve spent years concentrating on what others expected me to do, I knew I’ve had great ideas up my sleeve, but I’ve spent too much time thinking about what my friends and family wanted me to do and what their ideas of my future were. Some of them were great but along the way, I’ve realised that I’ve lost myself. I’ve had a business, people depended on me, I bought houses and lived, what seemed, a happy life. On the inside, I knew that I had to get out and follow my passion and that’s when I discovered running as a form of active meditation. 

Not paying attention to what others expect from you and identifying your strengths and passions is crucial if you want to live a happy, passionate and fulfilled life. It took me years to figure out what are the things I am most passionate about? I found it through mindfulness and my ultra-running challenges. Those gave me the confidence I needed to get out of my comfort zone and helped me create my program to help others who feel lost and unmotivated. If I could accomplish it, You Can Do It Too!


Self-doubt is a dream killer. We often think we’re simply not good enough or deserving of greater things in life. It’s time to drop those thoughts and find your purpose. By finding the things you’re great at, be it writing, listening to people or running you will build up your self-esteem. And believe me, once you find that power, YOU ARE UNSTOPPABLE. 

While preparing for my 7000 miles challenge I always knew I was going to accomplish it, I kept wondering if my knees would manage to handle the pressure of the run but I thought to myself that if I could no longer run then I would finish the challenge walking. It turned out my knees are stronger than I thought they were. The run itself challenged me physically, mentally and spiritually. I found that concentrating on the journey and process rather than a final goal helped me make greater progress along the way. 

Don’t let yourself get stuck in a negative loop. You will not succeed if you are holding yourself back. If you believe in yourself and truly see your success, you’re much more likely to accomplish it. By picking the things you’re great at you can learn not to focus on your shortcomings. Also realising that all the negatives about your personality are easily changeable will give you the power to apply this newly found self-confidence in all aspects of your life. We are not perfect but we certainly are good enough, smart, amazing and nothing can hold us back!

Feeding Distractions

Procrastination is one of the toughest to break behavioural habits and sadly we all do it from time to time. We all procrastinate or distract ourselves from tasks we don’t enjoy working on. The best thing to do when you’re struggling with procrastination or distractions is to remind yourself to stay focused, think about the task at hand and about every individual step along the way. By staying mindful in those moments you can change your inner thought pattern and succeed at whatever you put your mind to. 

I’d often concentrate on things that didn’t matter, just to avoid working on myself and things that were truly important to me. I was scared that if I truly focused on the task at hand, something in me could change and there would be no way back. It’s true, when things in yourself change it is pointless to go back. That’s why eradicating this negative behavioural pattern and dropping your procrastination mode is so important for your personal growth. 

When you’re struggling with feeding distractions try to acknowledge those thoughts, think as to why you’re not excited about the task at hand and try to stay mindful and understanding of it.  

Mindfulness will allow you to see what is productive and what is unproductive. Mindfulness teaches us to focus on the process of getting there. When we focus too much on achievements and the end goal, it takes the focus off our experience and that can work against us, thus making it difficult to achieve certain goals. 

Mindfulness while running, or in your everyday life, puts emphasis on the long-term growth and development that goes beyond short-term ambitions. You can easily apply it in your everyday life. Don’t think about the end goal, just enjoy the process of getting there. Slow down and calm your mind! Doing this will help you concentrate and increase your productivity.

Inaction And Waiting For The Right Time

Those two are the most difficult to battle. However, if you constantly think it’s not the right time to make a change, the change won’t ever happen. It’s very important to take action and acknowledge the fact we’re wasting our time, and that greatness is waiting for us around the corner. 

It took me years before I finally realised that running was my biggest passion in life, I didn’t know how to approach my career change to achieve the state of joyfulness I am currently in. I kept putting things off, planning things for the future but never going ahead with them until it clicked that I seriously needed to take action and push through to achieve my goals in life. 

I’ve set myself smaller challenges at first, trying not to overwhelm myself with the amount of information, training and changes overall. By completing those I was slowly regaining my confidence which helped me create a plan of how to turn my life around and find my purpose.

Indeed, the time is never right. There will always be things that hold us back, that’s why it’s so important to acknowledge those thoughts and move past them. Taking action is our best friend and if you make your decisions right it will help you grow in the long run.

Having Unidentified Goals

Many people have goals and dreams they want to turn into reality but do not know-how. It is very important to identify and acknowledge those goals and ideas. The best way to do it is by creating vision boards and focus on what you’d like to achieve; and how to get there. I always tell everyone not to focus too much on the end goal, and try concentrating on the joy of getting there instead. However, not knowing what your goals are can be detrimental to change your life around. 

When I was unhappy with my previous career, I realised that I wanted to change things around; and start running as my next job. However, I didn’t know how to do it. I’ve started with research and extensive training, preparing myself for my big 7000 miles ultra-run. I’ve also learned that staying mindful of the process was the best way for me to accomplish my goals. I did not focus on the finish line of my ultra-run but on every step along the way. 

As I ran 11 000 kilometres across Asia; I created a simple internal dialogue and my mechanism which I called ‘The State Of Flow’. It was enough to re-tune my mind to the point of mindful awareness. By focusing only on what was in front of me; I was able to calm down and avoid making a challenging situation more difficult.

It’s very important to pick goals for ourselves, but it’s even more important to focus on the process of achieving them. By applying this thought pattern to your daily runs you can learn how to implement it in all other aspects of your life. Life is a process and we all have to learn how to enjoy the ride.

Staying Consumed By Failure

Failure, we all despise it. It makes us feel powerless and weak. It can also make us question our abilities and break our self-confidence. It’s extremely important not to let our failures weigh us down. Instead, we should wear them like a badge of honour. Our everyday failures show that we have tried and even if we failed, we learned along the way. 

You may have taken a risk and it didn’t work out, but please remember you’re not alone. I’ve taken many risks in my life that didn’t end in the way I wanted them to. I’ve started multiple businesses and entered relationships with people. Even though they did not work out in the end; all those attempts helped me get to where I am today. I never dwell upon my failures. Instead, I quickly assess what went wrong and try to find what lessons were there to learn; so I don’t repeat the same mistakes in the future. Concentrating on the positive side of every failure allowed me to free my mind and spirit, and taught me that there are many failures ahead of all of us.

Remember, that every failure along the way can lead you to greatness at your next attempt. Don’t focus on what went wrong, put your running shoes on and start again.

What’s Next On Your Journey To Beat Your Negative Behavioural Patterns?

Now that we’ve established what holds you back; it’s time to take action and start creating a better life for yourself. Fulfilment, pride and joy are so important in all our lives. And you can only achieve those by fighting your negative behavioural patterns and habits. I discuss this in greater detail in my Free Masterclass and Mindful Running Life Transformation Program. I can’t wait to see you all there!

This Is Your Moment and The Best Of You Is Yet To Come!!!

About Post Author

Tomasz Drybala

Tomasz Drybala is a Mindful Running Teacher, Explorer and Philanthropist. His up to date ultra-running challenges consist of five million steps in 101 days and running 7,000 miles unsupported through Asia. Tom's corporate and university coaching programmes and workshops have attracted thousands of people and gained great feedback from professors, university chancellors, students and the corporate world. Through his ambassadorship for the charity Wave Trust in the years 2020 to 2024, Tom collaborates with UNICEF, the World Health Organization, schools, colleges, universities and various local and national governments. He concentrates on bringing together towns, cities and counties that are dedicated to preventing Adverse Childhood Experiences and setting up Trauma-Informed Communities. His ultra-endurance challenges and the practice of mindful running are currently the subjects of scientific research by the University of Westminster. Tom works with people from all walks of life to help them break the habit of self-doubt, build resilience and confidence, and create the lifestyle they want and deserve.
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