Yes, you are good enough. This blog does not give you permission for negative self-talk. But you do need to take a look at yourself. Would your friends describe you as “always late?” Do you have the label of procrastinator? Both used to describe me. Both were true and caused me a great deal of tension. It took me a long time to realize just how much tension, but once I did, I decided to change. You can do the same with any bad habit you currently have. Of course, it isn’t that easy, but deciding to change is the first and most important step.

Being late is pretty common, so let me tell you more about how I kicked that habit. After I chose to change, I decided the label of being late did not have to define me. Just because people saw me in a particular way, did not mean it was part of my DNA.

Next, I examined why I was late. I frequently did that “one more thing” before I left. Sometimes it was counting the minutes of sleep I could have or sometimes it was a project I was working on or a phone call. Doing that one more thing is what I call pushing it.

Then I thought about the times I was late in which I was overwhelmed with guilt. Those feelings influenced me the most because I did not want to feel that way again. Every time I wanted to push it, I said to myself that I should just go now. Get out of bed now, finish what I’m working on now, or just leave now.

It was a process, but it was successful.

Reduce stress by breaking just one anxiety-causing habit.

You get to decide what habits are bad for you. I’m not your judge. You could have a habit that others would consider innocent, yet it affects you in a negative way, or you can see you are too reliant on it. Maybe you read so much that you ignore others around you. Maybe you get on Facebook for hours at a time instead of enjoying your family. Or maybe your habit is more obvious like alcohol or junk food.

It all starts with a decision to change. Then it takes work. Part of that work was reminding myself how I felt when I was late or when I procrastinated. It wasn’t easy, but I was determined to defeat these things.

Sometimes I still revert to my old ways. Right now I have to get ready for a dinner, but I want to keep writing. But I’m going to stop even though it will be tough. There. I’m back and you didn’t even know it. Now go and break that one habit and feel more positive today!

(Excerpt from A Delightfully Short Stress Relief Guide for the Busiest Women by Dr. Susan Harrison, available in ebook or print formats.)