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How to Break Free of These 9 Unhealthy Type A Habits

You’re organized, driven and totally on top of things at work and in your personal schedule and being Type A may afford you some great accomplishments & shiny wins but it's not necessarily the path leading to deeper connections & freedom...

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Like other personality types, being Type A has many wonderful qualities and some tendencies that don’t always bring out the best in us. Like most things in life, these tendencies are not set in stone or completely fixed – the more we understand ourselves and build awareness, the more we’re able to make shifts and choices that positively impact the way we live & interact with others.

Looking to deepen your relationships and find more fulfillment beyond your checklist? Here’s a list of 9 Type A tendencies that may be limiting you from what your soul desires most:

1. Don’t sweat the small stuff

You bring your Type A-ness home and nag on your partner for things that are really not a big deal – sound familiar? Although you may desire to be helpful and caring, this behavior often places you in the role of a caretaker or authority which can create a sense of hierarchy and disconnection.

The next time, you’re about to impulsively remind them to do something or you’re quick to point out a flaw…take a deep breath, create space between yourself and the person and ask yourself “is this really that important?” If the answer is no, ask yourself “can I let this go?” The more time you give yourself to respond, the less reactive you’ll feel.

2. Check your judgement at the door

If something isn’t done to your liking, you’re quick to think you could have done it better and you might judge the person for the way they’ve done it because it wouldn’t be how you would do it. It’s important to remember that other people have their own unique gifts and strengths AND their own way of doing things, which isn’t necessarily negative, bad, or wrong. 

3. Rest is not just for lazy people

You finally have a free Saturday in your calendar after an insanely busy month but when it rolls around, you struggle to relax and “chill” so you anxiously create a new to-do list and jump into your household tasks instead of leaning into the free space you so desperately craved.

Remember – rest & downtime are essential, even for people who love to be busy. You may experience temporary feelings of guilt or laziness as you navigate your new open space but if you can allow those to subside, you may notice how great it feels to recharge your batteries or binge watch that new Netflix show everyone is talking about!

4. Life isn’t perfect, neither are you

You’re hard on yourself and others when things don’t go as planned. You get stuck on mistakes and shortcomings and you continue to replay the scenario in your head over and over, and over again.

Here’s a couple ways you can feel more at ease when something doesn’t go the way you intended:

  • Don’t give it so much of your energy
  • Reflect on the valuable lessons & opportunities that were presented as a result
  • Remind yourself that mistakes are human nature – you are human, right?

5. No plans, no problem

You struggle to “go with the flow” when it comes to making plans with others. You want to know who, what, when, where, why (ahead of time) and you want details on the backup plan if Plan-A falls through. I know this may be shocking but…sometimes, there is no need for a plan at all. And even the best, most organized plans can fall apart and be totally beyond your control.

If you can start opening yourself up to uncertainty in small ways (take a different route to work, try a new coffee shop, etc.) you may realize your favourite moments aren’t perfectly planned a year in advance, they’re the spontaneous, unexpected ones you could have never planned for.

6. Stop saying YES

You have a tendency to take on way too much responsibility. Maybe you have your mother’s words in your head “give it to a busy person, they’ll get it done” or perhaps you question whether or not you can really trust others to get the task done. Whatever your circumstance, start being more mindful of what you’re saying yes to, it could be leading you on a path to burnout and underlying feelings of resentment towards others – ugh!

7. Practice being present

You’re quick to respond, you’re the first one to take action and you’re always reaching for that next big thing, so much that you miss the moment right in front of you.

You don’t have to put the brakes on your ambitions but if you slow down (just a bit) you may begin to notice: the most incredible sunsets on your drive to work, a subtle & significant moment with a family member, and other beautiful experiences that are far beyond your checklist list. 

8. Do less, receive more

People come to you to get stuff done and you love that (and you’re totally great at it!) But what about also being on the receiving end of the deal? If you’re ready to create more balance between doing & receiving – follow these steps:

  • Ask for help, a favour or support
  • Accept all of the above (this may feel uncomfortable at first)

9. Your worth is not measured by your achievements

This last one may be a challenging concept to wrap your productive mind around but your worth as a human being is not dependent on how much you get done or what you achieve – the great news is, you don’t have to “do” anything to be worthy of acceptance, love or living a fulfilling life.

“Self-worth is about who you are, not about what you do.

A quote from Dr. Lisa Firestone in this article for PsychAlive

If you’ve been nodding along while you skim the list above – ask yourself which example resonated most? If you’re ready to break free of these restrictive limitations, start by implementing the simple shifts as outlined in each example listed above. Looking for another easy-to-use tool? You may also benefit tremendously from creating a daily mindful meditation practice – I can confidently say it’s absolutely changed my clients’ lives and my personal experience as a Type A person.

See where the unknown takes you my Type A friend!

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