Seven Strategies To Get Rid Of Disempowering Habits

We are all creatures of habits and the question is whether you have habits that empower or disempower you. Empowering habits are those that help you get ahead in life. Disempowering are those that make you inefficient, ineffective or worst, make you regress in your life.

Interestingly, I think that most of us develop a lot of bad habits when we are young. Bad habits like snoozing, being late for appointments or work or even not meeting deadlines are a terrible curse upon our lives. Over time these habits, become so entrenched in our lives and carry over, till we are much older.

In fact, I am sure that right now you will have probably identified how does your disempowering habits affect you.

It can mean a lost of an opportunity, looking bad in work, or even making people lose their trust in you. You may have made many attempts or even resolutions to change them, but failed many times.

Well, I have seven strategies that I think will make a difference in your life, if you choose to follow them.

Strategy 1: Start with the WHY and be emotional about it.

Before you even decide to do anything, identify WHY you NEED to do it. The bigger the WHY, the easier the HOW. You will need to be very clear why you NEED to end this now. You realize that I use the word, “NEED” and not “WANT”. People who constantly want things don’t put in enough effort to make things happen but people who NEED it, will find ways around it, simply because their commitment is great.

Make sure that you are convinced that you need it and understand that everything costs you. Either you have empowering or disempowering habits; both will cost you time, effort and sometimes money (well if you equate time=money, then you will lose even more money). The more emotional you are about WHY you need to do it, the better your chances are. This is because we are all emotional beings that justify with logic after we do things.

Strategy 2: Be specific about what you need to do

I know how serious is a person when he or she can tell me exactly what kind of disempowering habits they want to get rid of and what kind of time frame they are looking at. The more specific you are, the better. At least you know where the end is and whether you are getting there. For example, whenever I hear people who want to lose weight, I will check if they know how much do they really need to lose? If they say something like “I just want to lose weight”, I think they are better off not doing anything. In fact, I previously wrote an article on Why Most People Will Probably Fail In Achieving Their Goals”.

Your results in the future are a result of the choices you make today.

-Kenneth Kwan

Successful people tend to be very clear what the end result is. This creates an exciting goal for themselves and also helps to reduce emotional guilt when not doing it. For example, you feel guilty because every time you eat, you feel that you are not getting closer to your goal. But successful dieters set a conscious goal on how much they weight they will lose progressively and will not always feel guilty if they are do not always meet their goals. The goal helps to keep you on the right track. If you don’t have a plan,

I have a personal friend who lost 20 kilos over 8 months, he was so clear about his end goal (which was losing 20 kilos over a year) and even bought an app on his mobile phone to track his progress. He had to change his wardrobe but hey, his wife and him are really happy about the loss.

Strategy 3: Elimination of source

To have lasting power in getting rid of unsupportive habits, you will need to kill the source of your habits. For example, if you are struggling with watching too much TV, how about getting rid of it? If you are struggling with smoking, why not stay away from places or colleagues that will tempt you?

Get rid of temptations.

Strategy 4: Interrupt behavioural patterns

Every time you have do something disempowering, do you notice a certain pattern in the process? If you can identify and interrupt that pattern, you will most likely to succeed in getting rid of this habit.

For example, when I first started working, I had a really bad habit of surfing the internet before work. This could almost go on for 30-60mins of my time, just doing nothing productive and reading facebook comments, checking personal emails and surfing.

When I was really determined to get rid of this disempowering habit, I literally had to delete my shortcuts to the net and open up many folders to hide my icons. This made it very troublesome to access the internet and I had to go through many layers and clicks before I could go online. By then, my conscience kept telling me to STOP. Make it really troublesome and always interrupt your unsupportive behaviourial patterns.

Always watch your habits. Your habits actually reflect your self-belief about yourself. It is important to reinforce good and empowering habits.

– Kenneth Kwan, Chapter of 88 – Essential Secrets for achieving greater success at work.

Strategy 5: Create empowering habits to replace the old ones

Most people will keep telling you that you need to stop doing that disempowering habit. But that is only half the equation. You need to replace that disempowering habit with an empowering one. For example, don’t keep telling yourself that you can’t be late, but rather focus on how you can get there 20 minutes before hand.

I used to be very slow in doing things in life, in fact, to let you in on a little secret, my family members used to called me tortoise! I was somehow the last person to constantly get out of the house when gong out or even finish anything. The only way out of it was to constantly set a specific timing to everything that I did. I literally wore a watch at home and gave myself a time limit to everything that I did. This helped me to be time conscious and also forced me to do everything else with a greater sense of urgency.

If there is someone struggling with self esteem, why not ask the person to constantly look at when were the times they felt that they were successful or won something in their lives? What you focus on expands.

Strategy 6: Create Appointments, not just commitments

Rather than just say I want to lose 13 kilos in 4 months, how about you decide to do all these and make an appointment to constantly review what you eat and also work out together? I have found out that your success rate improves dramatically when you have a friend holding you accountable to your words.

By making appointments, you tend to fulfill them because there is an external person who you are meeting. You will tend to feel that there is a lost of ‘face’ if you do not do what you say.

If you just made the commitment to yourself without anyone knowing, I can be sure that no one will know about it and even you will not know about it after a month’s time.

Strategy 7: Apply rigorous discipline

I know I have said it before, but I need to say it again. Whatever you want in life, it always comes at a cost. Its not just what you do but even what you don’t do that will also cost you something in life. Everything happens because you have decided to pay the price of discipline over it. Without discipline, nothing ever happens.

I have seen so many talented people still remain unsuccessful simply because they were not relentless in their discipline. If we keep on to a disciplined lifestyle of empowering habits for at least 30 days, we will make it part of us.


Much has been said, all has been heard. So what kind of disempowering habits do you want to get rid off within the next 30 days.

Leave a comment and I wish you the very best of success!