Unlearning is an obvious switch of language and perspective. One might say that unlearning is just learning to do something different. Sure. But sometimes altering the way we think about our work or behaviors makes it more enticing to try something new and thus find success, writes Amy Drader for Lifehacker.

The steps to unlearning something are simple:

  • Recognize and accept that something you’re doing is now ineffective or irrelevant.
  • Seek new information, behaviors and thoughts to replace those irrelevant actions.
  • Immerse yourself in the new behaviors to reinforce the new and let go of the old.

Seems simple, right. But what’s harder is identifying what to unlearn. This is the first step and often, the hardest. Here are some tips:

Unlearn that you must suffer to succeed

This is ingrained in our work culture. It’s the “no pain, no gain” mantra of performance. It is a belief that working longer and harder is better and that rest and taking breaks are a sign of weakness. It is this belief that has marched us straight into a path of burnout, sky-rocketing health-care costs, and general misery in the workplace.

If you fall prey to this belief and it’s one you would benefit from unlearning, then start small by introducing more rest into your day.

Unlearn to gossip about your co-workers

If there’s one big time suck that nearly everyone can get caught up in, it’s gossip. This is wasting time talking about others, often with undertones of delighting in their misfortune. Yet, all it takes is to put yourself in the place of the person being talked about and envision yourself as the topic of other’s chatter and you can see how it doesn’t just waste time, it damages relationships and erodes trust.

Unlearning this requires having a few standard phrases at the ready to deflect it when it comes up. You can covertly change the topic or be more overt and say, “Hey. I don’t want to gossip about others.”

Unlearn focusing on deficits

After a busy day, it is natural to look back and notice everything that didn’t get done. Or, when considering a career change, focusing on all the experience you don’t have. This is to see what’s missing before seeing what is possible and it’s a trap of deficit-based thinking. This mindset can not only hold us back from taking risks, but it also holds us back from recognizing and replicating our achievements.

Unlearning this mindset requires dedicating time to reflect on successes and learnings. It’s worth the investment. Research shows that “employees who spent 15 minutes at the end of the day reflecting about lessons learned performed 23% better after 10 days than those who did not reflect.”