What each person has is what we call ‘baggage’, also known as bad habits. We all have it, it’s a part of us. It interrupts our life and hinders us from accomplishing our goals. Overcoming it and replacing it with something better isn’t so easy, but is definitely achievable. Eating healthier, being productive and being a better person — they are all possible. Resist your worst habits and succumb to them.

At one point or another, I’m pretty confident we all question ourselves whether or not we are doing enough. This ranges from making enough money, or if we are going to be successful enough, or in my case, can I even run 10 km or can I even snatch 30 kg over my head? I know this firsthand as I’ve spent long periods of my youth in a constant state of fear and self-doubt. I doubted myself to the point that I was making decisions based on what others wanted of me, instead of what I wanted for myself. I was constantly second-guessing myself and I have to say, it was mentally exhausting when you self-doubt yourself.

What I’ve learned based on my experiences is that if I don’t stop nitpicking myself, my own mindset can and will become more debilitating and crippling. I find that I often doubt myself most when I’m comparing what I’m doing with others. And just like that, I will start feeling really inadequate. Not until a friend of mine told me to remember that everyone is on his or her own journey and that we shouldn’t be comparing ourselves with them.

I find that I am at my most successful when I am following what works for me and makes me feel good, even if it is different from what others are doing. Why? Because when you constantly worry what others are doing or thinking of you, you hinder yourself. Worrying about other people think of you will hold you back from doing something that is potentially huge for yourself.

Sometimes a kind word or gesture, or even a compliment from someone can totally bring you out of a slump. I’m sure you’ve experienced a situation where someone compliments you and it immediately made your day a thousand times better. If you’re still feeling down, there will always be that one person to uplift you, and that is you.

What I come to realize is this negative, doubtful part of ourselves is our shadow self and we all have one. It will always be there by our side regardless of the time and place. Especially when the sun is up, and here the sun is the metaphor.

The sun is the light, positive, optimistic side of ourselves.

 Trying to save money
Another bad habit of mine that I have been trying to overcome is how to save money. Ever since I had my own card and that I receive monthly allowances, I can’t seem to say ‘no’ to online purchases. I remember I was buying everything from left to right. I even bought combat boots, which I don’t even need.

I even bought makeup, a foundation to be exact, once after only seeing how it looks like through Instagram without even doing some research on its reviews. Not knowing, the product itself did not work well on my skin type. It dries out and in return, it covered my face with pimples. There goes $25 I’ll never see again.

Sometimes the hardest thing about saving money is… getting started. But what worked well for me is to set a budget for each month. My lifestyle is pretty expensive. – it isn’t, I just like to think that it is. But I do have a monthly payment that I have to go through every month.

Once you have an idea of what you spend in a month, you can start recording your expenses. As for me, what my parents have always taught me is to set a goal. Start thinking about what you might want to save for; perhaps, buying a car, a house of your own, or even planning a vacation.

Take for instance, now, when you aren’t married yet and no children to take care of, and what my parents always taught me is that to put at least 70% of your salary for yourselves, and the rest of that 30% can be used to pay for your necessary payments such as your car, electricity or even your monthly Zalora splurges. However, even though your salary isn’t exactly as high as you might hope, fret not, is to always, always remember to give back to your parents. In Islam that is considered as baraqah (blessing). Especially in return, you asked your parents to mention your name in their purest of prayers. Even though as little as $100 or $20, the prayers from your parents are worth more than anything. Insha Allah what you’ve give will come back around in tenfold.

Breaking bad habits takes time and effort, but mostly it takes perseverance. You might not have success right away but doesn’t mean you can’t have it all.