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15 Things To Forget If You’re Not Satisfied With Your Life

15 Things To Forget If You’re Not Satisfied With Your Life

If you’re feeling frustrated and stuck, it’s probably time to make some changes in your life. Otherwise, you’ll likely continue to feel dissatisfied. As Tony Robbins said, “By changing nothing, nothing changes.”

It can be difficult to make changes in your life, but if you want a different outcome, it’s necessary. Just as important as “what to do” advice to change your life is “what not to do; what to forget” advice.

Here are 15 things to forget if you’re not satisfied with your life.

1. Forget to ask permission

If you’re waiting for everyone in your life to approve of a change you want to make – whether it is starting your own business, changing careers, relocating, or adopting a new lifestyle – you will never change. Choose wisely who you seek approval from, and tune out the others.

Start today: Write a list of people whose opinion of your life should truly matter.

2. Forget negativity

A negative mindset only makes you feel worse. Practicing an attitude of gratitude; an attitude of thankfulness and abundance instead of jealousy and scarcity, will help you immediately feel more satisfied with your life.  According to Oprah Winfrey, “If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough.”

Start today: Start a gratitude list and hang it somewhere visible, such as your bathroom mirror. Each day, add something you are thankful for to your list. You will soon realize you have a lot of goodness in your life.

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3. Forget the past

Maybe you’ve been fired from a job, have a history of broken relationships, or have been rejected repetitively when applying for graduate school. Guess what? Nobody cares. You might feel like the whole world has seen your setbacks, but they really haven’t. The world is huge; there are millions of people who have no idea what you’ve gone through. If the past is holding you back from the life you want to have, it’s time to work on letting go.

Start today: If you feel you’re carrying major baggage around, it’s time to make an appointment with a counselor, therapist, or coach, depending on your specific situation.

4. Forget procrastination

How many time-suckers do you give your hours to every week? Time is our most precious resource, and wasting it on mind-numbing activities can drain it quickly. If you struggle with procrastinating, work on setting yourself a schedule every day. Writing down your to-do items on your schedule will help ensure that they get accomplished, and also help you visualize where you’re actually spending your time and what you tend to procrastinate.

Start today: Write out a schedule of your tasks for tomorrow.

5. Forget about immediate gratification

Immediate gratification feels great now, but not so good long-term. Make decisions from your future. Think about who you want to be, and make today’s decisions based on future you. For example, if your long-term goal is to spend a year traveling the world, you’ll need to save some money for your future endeavor. When you are tempted to upgrade your cell phone plan or purchase a new vehicle, think about whether the future you, the one who is exploring the world, would like you to spend or save that money now. More than likely, you’d be thankful in the future for saving money now.

Start today: When you purchase something today, see if there is a more economical option, and save the difference for a future expensive goal.

6. Forget about cultural norms

It doesn’t matter if society says you should work 9-5 at a job you don’t really like and retire at 62. If that’s not the lifestyle you like, give yourself the freedom to break free from the norms.

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Start today: Research one inspiring person who has paved his or her own trail.

7. Forget the time it takes

A goal that takes many years to accomplish can be overwhelming. It may be daunting, and take a long time, but if it’s something that’s truly your heart’s desire, that’s perfectly fine! Whether or not you move toward that goal, eventually you’ll be a decade older. If you want to be more satisfied 10 years from now, take steps today to move toward that goal.

Start today: Write down one large, 10-year goal you have.

8. Forget about toxic people

Toxic people can quickly drain your positivity and hope. As Jim Rohn, a businessman, said: “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” Spending time with toxic people might be a big part of your problem if you’re not satisfied with your life. If you want to be more satisfied, hang out with the following groups of people: people who are doing what you want to do, and people who have infectiously awesome outlooks on life. Surrounding yourself with positive, encouraging people can help you feel more happy and satisfied.

Start today: Think about the 5 people you spend the most time with. Is there a toxic person in your inner circle?

9. Forget about having everything planned out

If you wait until you have every detail planned out before you start a new endeavor, you’ll never start. It’s easy to get caught in analysis paralysis mode, where you’re constantly researching but not really making any forward progress.

Start today: Decide that you have enough information about one of your goals to actually start the project. You can study more of what you need to know along the way. Taking the first step forward is the most important step; without it you will never start.

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10. Forget about blaming everybody

Harboring anger toward someone who has wronged you hurts you and holds you back from living the wonderful life you deserve. Forget about spending excessive amounts of time blaming others for your current life situation. It does you no good. This doesn’t mean you have to feel completely happy toward somebody who has been malicious toward you; it just means you aren’t going to let thoughts about that person continue to hurt you as the years go on.

Start today: Focus on the positives of the future.

11. Forget about material items

If you want to be satisfied with your life, there are ample studies showing that having more money and material items, past a certain point, do not increase life satisfaction. You really only need a few things to be content: safety, nourishment for your body, connection with others, work that is meaningful and stimulating to you, and a feeling that you’re part of something greater than yourself. You don’t need a million new toys or the latest gadgets. It doesn’t matter if your neighbors have the “best” everything. Get over it.

Start today: Begin a decluttering habit by cleaning out one drawer in your home. Decluttering can set you free from materialism, and also free your physical space and mind so you have more room in your life for what you love.

12. Forget your uncertainty

When you think about making a change in your life, your mind may start racing as you consider all the “what ifs.” Here’s the deal: there will always be uncertainty. You will never know the future. Being able to embrace this uncertainty and realizing you’ll have to take some risks to get unstuck is key to being satisfied.

Start today: Think about a big dream you have for your life. When the “what ifs” and doubts fill your mind (and they will!), replace those thoughts with the positive version of “yes, but what if…” with all of the great things chasing that dream could bring into your life. For example, if you want to start a business, and every time you think of it you immediately think “what if I fail?”, replace the thought with “yes, but what if I succeed?” and let your imagination run wild in that direction instead.

13. Forget changing everything at once

If you’re not satisfied with your life, it can be tempting to want to revamp your entire life all at once. But actually, choosing one habit at a time to focus on may be a better option. If you focus on changing one habit, one week at a time, you can analyze whether or not your habit change is working for you, and tweak it as needed. I frequently recommend working on exercising first; exercise is a mood booster and makes us feel empowered. As we challenge our bodies and improve our health, we feel like we can tackle other areas of our lives we want to change.

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Start today: Choose one area in your life you’d like to change. Write down a small goal within that area for each day of this week (For example, bring a healthy snack to work instead of going to the vending machine every day). As you meet your small goals, you’ll gain the momentum to work toward larger goals (For example, fuel your body with healthy foods 90% of the time).

14. Forget about waiting for someone else to lead you

If there is something in your life you want to change, chances are, there are others in your life with a similar goal. Choose to be a leader and seek them out. Unsatisfied with your health? Find a buddy to cook some healthy meals with, or exercise together over your lunch hour with a coworker.

Start today: Think about something you’ve been wanting to do. Email your coworkers or friends and ask if anybody’s interested in joining you on your mission.

15. Forget about doing it alone

When you desire to change your life, find an accountability partner. This can be a family member, friend, personal coach, or mentor. Having someone to encourage you, inspire you, and keep you on track when you’re discouraged is extremely important.

Start today: Ask someone to be your accountability partner for a specific area in your life you’d like to improve.

Take away points:

It’s difficult to feel dissatisfied in your life. The good news is that your life is a story, and you get to write a lot of it. There will obviously be things in your life that are out of control, but practicing an attitude of gratitude, surrounding yourself with positive people, enjoying the ride of life’s uncertainties, and writing down your goals will greatly help increase your life satisfaction.

Featured photo credit: Think/Nastya Birdy via flickr.com

More by this author

Dr. Kerry Petsinger

Entrepreneur, Mindset & Performance Coach, & Doctor of Physical Therapy

Feeling Stuck in Life? How to Never Get Stuck Again 5 Signs You’re Ready for a Career Change How to Find the Purpose of Life and Start Living a Fulfilling Life Don’t like your job? Here are some solutions. How People Make Decisions That Are Bad For Them

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

“We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

1. Take a step back and evaluate

When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
  3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
  4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
  5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

4. Process your thoughts/emotions

Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

  1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
  2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
  3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
  4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

5. Acknowledge your thoughts

Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

6. Give yourself a break

If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

As Helen Keller once said,

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

  1. What’s the situation?
  2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
  3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
  4. Take action on your next steps!

After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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