Written by David Davenport – Contributing author Healing Arts Institute of South Florida |
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Everyone experiences times in life when they feel as if they cannot get ahead no matter what they do. Sometimes you remain stuck in destructive mindsets and thought patterns that prevent you from breaking free and moving on.

The worst part is that if you are unaware that you are engaging in these destructive thoughts, you remain stuck. You find yourself in a never-ending cycle of negative thinking, harmful actions, and terrible feelings.

The good news is that once you are aware of your thoughts, you can begin to take steps to break free!

With practice, patience, and discipline you can learn to recognize and prevent your destructive mindsets from manifesting harmful consequences in your life.

Here are five destructive mindsets that can prevent you from living your best life:

Resisting change and living in the past

We all hold onto habits and ways of thinking that are most familiar to us. Most of us want to avoid drastic changes in our lives because it creates discomfort and uncertainty. But holding on to these habits can keep us trapped in self-destructive mindsets that cause far more pain and discomfort.

What may have worked for you in the past may no longer be the best approach in the present. You should continually evaluate, test, and adjust your beliefs and actions.

These are unprecedented times for most of us. If we are going to emerge stronger and better than when we started, embracing change is something we should work toward.

Setting unrealistic goals for yourself

Once you have decided to move out of your rigid way of thinking, you must figure out what you want to move towards. While it’s important to dream big, it is also important to make sure that we can reach the goals we have set for ourselves. Otherwise, we can become discouraged and give up.

Big dreams and big changes are reached by identifying multiple smaller goals and achieving each of those goals one step at a time. Take your time to figure out what those smaller goals are. Ask for help when you feel stuck. Make sure that you are giving yourself plenty of encouragement when you succeed – and forgiveness when you don’t.

Not asking for help when times get tough

Burnout is real. Avoiding help is another result of holding onto a fixed mindset and not allowing yourself to embrace change. Your goals will not be achieved by trying to do everything on your own. Find a mentor, a therapist, or a coach to help you work through rigid thought patterns that are preventing you from realizing your dreams.

Relying too much on others for your sense of self-worth

Most of us are guilty of this far more than we may want to admit. We look to others for validation so that they can provide us with tokens and signals that make us believe that we’re valuable, loved, and accepted. While this is completely natural and one of the ways that we have evolved to connect with people, some people have developed an unhealthy dependency on it. 

One of the most common ways people do this is through obsessive social media interactions. It’s easy to get quick likes and agreement among like-minded people in your friends’ group, but ultimately you are feeding into an emotionally unhealthy echo chamber that is reinforcing insecurities more than they are building your confidence.

Thinking that we can change other people 

We cannot control how others think or behave. Therefore when we rely on others to help us determine our worth, we relinquish control over our self-esteem. People are not projects, and expecting others to change who they are is not realistic. Of course, people can change if they want to, but that is up to the individual and no one else.

The only person you truly have control over is yourself. You can direct your own behavior, sense of self, and interpretation of your environment. Expecting another person to change who they are to suit your own expectations will only lead to disappointment, anger, and strife.

Final Thoughts

With practice, patience, and discipline you can learn to recognize and prevent your destructive mindsets from manifesting harmful consequences in your life. It is important to talk often with trusted friends, family members, and therapists as you progress on your journey. Healing Arts Institute trains highly talented and empathetic therapists to keep you on the right path. Call us today to learn more about how we can help you achieve your personal life goals.

Read these other interesting blog articles from Healing Arts Institute!


Sussex Publishers. (n.d.). 4 tips to effectively ask FOR HELP-AND get a yes. Psychology Today. Retrieved September 27, 2021, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/tracking-wonder/202002/4-tips-effectively-ask-help-and-get-yes.

Sussex Publishers. (n.d.). Signs of overdependence on the internet and social media. Psychology Today. Retrieved September 27, 2021, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/ending-addiction-good/201511/signs-overdependence-the-internet-and-social-media.

Ten reasons people resist change. Harvard Business Review. (2018, September 26). Retrieved September 27, 2021, from https://hbr.org/2012/09/ten-reasons-people-resist-chang.



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