It’s been said the find your horoscope section is one of the most widely read in various media outlets. From daily thoughts sent to your inbox to magazines that break down an entire year of financial and romantic outlooks, it’s no secret that people enjoy getting a glimpse of their future.

While many people maintain that they read their horoscope purely for fun, the reality is that some take these predictions so seriously that their life revolves around them. If you hold tight to their meaning or realize that you’re motivated only by their words instead of your heart’s own desires, be careful. It’s easy to cross that line from being entertained to making huge decisions based on horoscope suggestions. Here’s why you should stop reading your horoscope, or at least pull back on reading it daily.

1. Undermines confidence

Many horoscopes often use language that bolsters self-confidence, perhaps suggesting that you’re emotionally strong or that you’re an excellent listener. Then, just as confidence soars, they slowly begin to toy with you, hinting at scenarios that could unfold in ways that go against those so-called positive traits of yours. Consequently, you may find your confidence levels diminishing with every horoscope reading.

If you’ve had an optimistic approach to life, for example, but are easily swayed by a horoscope, you may be affected by its warning that the next six months could be filled with various hardships. You may find that over time, your outlook about yourself and others changes due to the influence of the prediction that went against your previous, more confident thoughts. Before you know it, you may end up second-guessing your own abilities or that of others.

2. Clutters decision-making ability

There’s something to be said for going with your gut instinct and gauging your own true feelings, free of external influence. How many times have we learned the importance of going with what our own heart and mind suggest, instead of following a friend, parent or yes… a horoscope? Searching for your monthly horoscope to “tell you” if you should make that career or romantic move can guide you the wrong way.

If you’ve been looking forward to accepting a new job offer, then read that the year ahead could be “challenging on the job front” and change your mind as a result, you’ll never know what career strides you could have made.

3. Changes your mood

If you’ve ever started the day feeling energized and optimistic only to find your mood shifting towards feelings of anxiety after reading a horoscope that mentions “keeping a lookout for an afternoon confrontation” then you’re well aware that horoscopes can alter your thoughts and, ultimately, your good mood.

In addition, if you’ve been feeling blue and then read horoscopes saying a happy week is on the horizon, you may feel frustrated if such happiness doesn’t enter your life as soon as the stars promised. Even sadder feelings could result if the good vibes you were “promised” don’t come to fruition.

4. Alters your true personality

Many have it ingrained in their minds that certain zodiac signs and personality traits go hand in hand, living life accordingly. Thoughts such as “Well, you know all Leos love the spotlight” or “You know what they say about Capricorns” can make impressionable individuals more likely to behave only according to the stereotypical behaviors that are supposedly typical for their birth month sign.

5. Affects personal relationships

Many people prevent good relationships—romantic, career or friendships—from developing further simply because of what a daily horoscope reveals or description of a zodiac sign says. I have some friends who actually refuse to date someone if their potential romantic partner has a zodiac sign that they feel conflicts with their own. In other instances, some people pull back from friendships once they learn of the other person’s birth month, even if they initially felt drawn to someone. They hold on to the belief that the personality types of the two signs will mean a life filled with arguments and tension.

6. Distorts reality

There’s a false sense of security provided by finding your horoscope. Therefore, the more peace and reassurance you need in life, the easier it is to gravitate towards the lure of horoscopes. They hint at the opportunity and the ability to overcome challenges, suggesting that good luck is going to rain down on you over the next month. Not only can this make you behave in ways you otherwise wouldn’t have, but if you don’t overcome certain challenges or experience more good fortune then you might find yourself even less sure of how to manage life’s inevitable twists and turns than you were at the onset.

7. Zaps your time

Everyone seems to be pressed for time these days. Consider the few minutes in which you fire up the computer or log in to a special astrological app to access your personal reading. Then tack on some more time to read your daily horoscope. Add to that a moment of pondering how what you read may play out in your day.

Although may take just a few minutes, consider the other things you could have done. You could have read a more pertinent work or family-related email, or watered some plants. You could have fed the cat or put the final touches on your makeup. Ditch the horoscopes, and use that time to do things that truly matter.

8. Interferes with your privacy

Many times, online horoscopes request that you provide more than a mere birth month, day and year. Be careful if you’re asked to supply all kinds of information in order to see your daily reading. Questions about your last name, the town in which you reside or your mother’s maiden name are irrelevant and suggest a scam. Remember, this is about fun and entertainment—reading your horoscope should be easy and not involve a barrage of personal questions for strangers to receive.

Horoscopes can be fun and interesting. However, when you turn to them to make serious life decisions and find it difficult to do anything without their guidance, you’ll likely find more life disruptions than actual benefits. Enjoy yourself, but don’t allow horoscopes to alter your confidence, behavior, and privacy.

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