Top 7 Self-Destructive Beliefs That Hold You Back

Top 7 Self-Destructive Beliefs That Hold You Back

Many researchers have studied the effect of certain beliefs that have severely limited personal and corporate success.

They’ve found out that people have several assumptions or perceptions about themselves and the world. Unfortunately, most of these beliefs are self-destructive and hold people back significantly.

Sometimes, we can dearly hold on to beliefs that hold us back. The paradox here is that we aren’t always aware of how destructive those beliefs are because we assume they do the opposite of what they actually do.

We’ll look at seven such beliefs that have kept so many traveling in circles for so long. Unfortunately, when many people realize how destructive these beliefs are, it will be too late.

That’s why we are excited that you’re reading this today. We don’t want you to keep any habit or belief that may impede your development. Moreover, it is always challenging to trace stagnation to these beliefs because they have become more like habits.

As you would see, some of these beliefs are erroneously embraced as necessary for success. But success experts and life coaches will tell you how much of an obstacle these beliefs are to accomplishing your goals.

Many of these beliefs include the constant need for approval, shifting blame, overworking at the expense of your health, constantly doubting yourself, putting yourself down, overthinking, pride, and dwelling in the past.

Some of these beliefs, which have become habits, are not only held tenaciously by so many people; it is the very reason why so many entrepreneurs, businesses, and relationships have stagnated for too long. We have outlined seven habits that we believe you should drop immediately if you desire a positive change.


A Need to Achieve

A Need to Achieve

Every dead body on Mount Everest was (once) a highly motivated person.

Until it cost them their lives!

Somehow, the need to achieve overwhelmed them. The problem with a need to achieve is that it allows people to seek fulfillment only from accomplishments of goals.

The need to achieve is not a bad thing. It is a perfect thing. Every accomplishment starts with a need to achieve. Psychologist David McClelland popularized the concept of The Need for Achievement.

According to him, the Need for achievement is a strong desire for a significant and noticeable accomplishment that pushes the individual to do intensive work repeatedly and maybe obsessively until the goal is achieved.

It also involves concentration and singularity of purpose to ensure that the job is done. Most times, the achievement has to be something extraordinary and of high standards. People who have this habit mostly grew up with lots of independence and have received series of rewards for succeeding.

However, this trait could be self-destructive as it could blindfold the person to other, more important realities. So many people with an overwhelming desire to achieve may hurt themselves and others in the process of hitting their target because this habit makes every other thing pale in comparison to the achievement.

The need to achieve is necessary to get ahead in life. However, this habit could hold you back. Sometimes your desire is an adventure doomed from the start, but this habit won’t let you see it.

So, you could waste precious time that would have been spent doing something else, even when it becomes evident that achieving the goal would be counterproductive or outrightly impossible.

The best way out is to be wary of allowing any need for accomplishment to cloud your sense of judgment. People with this belief are constantly comparing themselves with others, always busy, even at the expense of their health, continually worrying about failure, and blaming themselves.

Before it’s too late, if you have this habit, you should stop and reflect on your choices, modify your goals and plan, get the opinion of the people you care about, and prepare yourself for any eventuality. You’ll do better and improve your life that way.

Constant Need for Approval

Constant Need for Approval

The need for approval or validation is natural. Having a constant need for it is dangerous.

Medically, this condition is known as Histrionic Personality disorder (HPD), a mental condition that makes people’s stability depend heavily on being noticed and approved by others.

People that are known to crave the approval of others obsessively cannot survive emotionally or stay stable without it.

Some of the characteristics exhibited by people who have this trait include an excessive need for attention, frequently alternating emotions, extreme seductive behavior, instability in emotion, speaking to impress, and an exaggerated opinion of one’s self.

A person who craves the need for approval is always known to have a distorted image of himself and never have a feeling of self-worth. This trait limits people because no one can ever show them the kind of attention or enough approval they crave.

Unfortunately, no one will care for them like themselves, so they keep getting depressed when people show less concern for them.

Childhood, parenting styles, and genetics are thought to be factors that can cause a person to remain in this condition, but group therapy is believed to be one of the best ways of dealing with the condition.

It could be disruptive to normal behavior and has a way of holding down the person. But once you notice you constantly need people’s approval, seek help before it drags you down further.



Pride is a highly complex subject. But just like other habits that we have considered, it is not completely a bad thing. Every human being is expected to maintain a level of pride to retain emotional stability. However, there’s a negative side to pride which could be detrimental and self-destructive.

The real problem with pride is that it is repellent. And it repels people. To get ahead in life, everyone needs people. But pride, in its negative sense, or arrogance, as it is called often, seems to drive people away. So terrible is this flaw that it is referred to as one of the seven deadly sins.

Pride creeps in when the person seeks to augment low self-esteem or self-worth. Instead of seeking help, arrogance makes a person rather continue on a path of frustration and stagnation. Pride also shuts people out from other people and makes one a lone ranger. It is a habit that makes it difficult to break through.

You know you are arrogant if you have problems taking corrections or counsel from others. If you also find it challenging to ask for help from others, even if they seem inferior to you, you may have a pride problem. This condition makes progress very difficult.

Seeking help in the form of therapy is ideal, but you must first admit that you have a pride problem and you have been limited by it. Even if it doesn’t look obvious that you have been limited by pride, you will make greater progress with some humility.



The ability to think things through is a great skill. Overthinking is not. While overthinking is not recognized as a form of the disorder, it is the gateway to anxiety and depression.

Overthinking is a common problem among those who are often idle or have lots of time on their hands. But even extremely busy people still suffer from the problem of overthinking many times. If you find out that you just can’t let go of the past, especially errors and mistakes, you may be guilty as charged.

Some of the common symptoms of overthinkers include having trouble sleeping simply because there’s so much going on in my mind, wondering how things would have turned out if some things happened differently, and endlessly wondering why certain things happened or why certain people did certain things.

This could go on and on to the extent that some people recall conversations with others wishing they could edit some lines.

There are a few habits of keeping a person stuck, like overthinking. People who overthink can’t just leave the past there. They find it hard to forgive others and keep daydreaming about how different things could have been if certain things happened otherwise. Unfortunately, nothing can be done about the past, so they stay stuck in a spot.

Some people sort of enjoy torturing themselves with their own mistakes, hoping it relieves them of some guilt. Instead, they only relive their horrible moments again and again while having no clear goal for the future. Overthinking robs you of the future while staying stuck in the past. If you think you have this problem, try letting go.

How do you let go? Just let go. It’s that simple.

Burying your feelings

Burying your feelings

You’ve learned how overthinking is bad for you. But does that mean you should ignore or deny your feelings? No. You can’t just suck things up and move on every time. Sometimes, you should. But some other time, you should learn how to express your feelings so that you can heal where healing is needed.

The emotions and feelings you experience after certain situations are how your body expresses itself. Sometimes, you are encouraged to bury such feelings so that you don’t appear weak or hurt.

Unfortunately, burying your feelings does more harm than good to your emotional health. You can’t pretend certain things didn’t happen. If you do, you will put your body in danger. It’s like suppressing the urge to run when you sight an approaching tiger. 

Unfortunately, when such people can no longer hide their feelings, it becomes too late. The best way is to be mindful of your emotions. It doesn’t necessarily mean you submit to them every time, but you can choose how to respond by being conscious of them.

You should acknowledge when you’ve been hurt or betrayed and do everything to calm your mind down. Most times, you may need to find a quiet place to meditate or breathe it out.

You shouldn’t be a slave to your emotions, but burying them every time would soon mean there would be no more burying space. And you know what that means. If you’re afraid of how you may react if you listen to your emotions, then you may see a therapist for help.

Dwelling on the past

Dwelling on the past

This is a favorite pastime of so many people, especially women. There’s nothing wrong with reminiscing. There’s everything wrong with staying there.

People dwell in the past as a means of creating an alternative reality. Someone once said dwelling on the past is like reading a chapter of a book again and again while expecting the end to change!

When you dwell in the past, you attempt to change what you cannot, you refuse to live in your reality, and you remain stagnated.

In truth, some mistakes are costly, and you could only wish they never happened. And some good times which have passed may be too good to let go of. But dwelling in the past makes a person escape from the reality of the present and is one habit that makes progress very difficult.

It is impossible to forget the past, but it is dangerous to dwell too much in it. If you find it difficult to let the past go, you will also find it challenging to enter the future. You can’t make advancements by constantly looking into your rearview mirror while driving.

To break free, accept your mistakes, learn from them, and move on from them. While you heal, only draw strength and never regret the pain.

You Neglect Your Physical Health

You Neglect Your Physical Health

There’s no way you’ll enjoy your life if you ignore your health. The best advice you can ever get for your health would be from your physician, but never stop taking care of your health.

Stop habits that put your health in danger, and we all know the culprits, alcoholism, smoking, and overeating. Drink a lot of water, have constant exercise, and constantly check up on your health.

If you neglect your health, your body will fail sooner. To achieve anything, you need good health. Never, ever ignore it.


We have looked at seven self-destructive attitudes that can hold you back. Some of them can be corrected by you. Others may need the help of a friend.

But the most significant help would come from you. Realize why you need to set yourself free from whatever is holding you back, decide to be free, and never look back!


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