French ruler Napoleon Bonaparte once said, “Men are more easily governed through their vices than through their virtues.” This indicates that we are slaves to our vices, and they can easily control us. However, by identifying and overcoming our vices, we can free ourselves from their hold and live more fulfilling lives.
When I began my journey of self-improvement, I realized that certain vices were holding me back. I identified three vices that I would turn to when I was bored or stressed. One of these vices was playing competitive online games. I spent hours playing or watching Hearthstone, an online card game. I knew I had to overcome this vice to free up time to work on my personal projects and learn new skills. Here’s what I learned about identifying and overcoming vices.
Tips on Identifying Your Vices:
- Reflect on Your Behaviors: Take some time to reflect on your habits and behaviors. Think about what you do when you’re bored, stressed, or anxious, and identify any patterns. Ask yourself what triggers those behaviors and how they make you feel.
- Keep a Journal: Write down your thoughts and feelings, and note any behaviors that you want to change. This can help you identify any triggers or patterns in your behavior. Write about your successes and challenges and track your progress over time.
- Seek Feedback: Ask someone you trust for their honest opinion about your behavior. They may see things that you don’t, and their feedback can help you see your behavior from a different perspective. Be open to constructive criticism and use it to guide your efforts to overcome your vices.
- Be Mindful of Your Outcome: Pay attention to how you feel after you engage in certain behaviors. Are you proud of yourself, or do you feel guilty or ashamed? Focus on behaviors that make you feel productive and accomplished.
- Identify Your Values: Think about what’s important to you and how your behavior aligns with those values. This can help you identify any behaviors that are in conflict with your values. You may need to adjust your behaviors to align them with your values and create a more fulfilling life.
As Christian philosopher and theologian, Augustine of Hippo once said, “Thus, a good man, though a slave, is free; but a wicked man, though a king, is a slave. For he serves, not one man alone, but what is worse, as many masters as he has vices.” Identifying your vices can be difficult, but it is a necessary step towards self-improvement and personal growth. By reflecting on our behaviors, keeping a journal, seeking feedback, and being mindful of our outcomes, we can gain a deeper understanding of ourselves and our vices. Remember, identifying our vices is just the first step. The real work comes in making the necessary changes to overcome them and live a more fulfilling life.
If you need help identifying and overcoming your vices, consider signing up for my 12-week accountability coaching program. I can help you develop a plan to identify and address your vices, and provide the support and guidance you need to make lasting changes in your life.