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5 Lies That Stop You From Leading Your Best Life

5 Lies That Stop You From Leading Your Best Life

Many of us live in denial.

We try to listen to the opinions of other people and concern ourselves with what they think about us. We revel in trying to tailor our lives to the expectations of others. But how far can this get you, and will the end result be fulfilling? It’s possible you need to start facing the hard truths of what makes you a unique and interesting being, rather than letting the thoughts and opinions of others shape your views.

It is time to live the life you were meant to live: an awesome life. To do this you need to start ignoring these lies:

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Success is the opposite of failure

People often feel that if you have failed at a venture or a project, you can’t really be considered successful. They want you to try to focus your energies on not being a failure, convincing you that playing it safe in life is what brings success.

Real talk: failure isn’t the opposite of success but actually an integral part of becoming successful. People who have succeeded have failed a number of times before they became the success that they are today. You either you learn from failure and keep moving- or you allow it to consume you in a destructive manner.

“I am too old for that”

People tend to associate accomplishments with a certain age. It’s true that you need to be a certain age to get a degree, get married, or pursue some very specific ventures. This, combined with to age-related stereotypes, makes it easy to feel that you are simply the wrong person for the job you want- or that taking risks would make you look foolish.

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Real talk: you shouldn’t be consumed with the fear that you have to be a certain age to gain success in life. Everyone has their own timeline, and you are never too old or too young to accomplish what you really want to do in life. For example, Nelson Mandela became president of South Africa when he was 76. Colonel Sanders started KFC when he was 61. Age doesn’t have to be a barrier.

“If only I had [….] I would be happy”

It seems for many people, being happy is always tied to acquiring certain possessions and items. Yet no matter how many things you attain, having something will always push you to want something else.

Real talk: appreciating things the way they are will lead you to contentment and happiness. Rather than complain or whine about the troubles in your life, why don’t you start offering thanks for all the troubles that you don’t have? Being consumed with wanting to have this or that could blind you to appreciating the things that are of value that you already have. Learn to be grateful and you will find happiness.

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“Other people are better off than me”

You think that your friends who you went to school with, and the people you grew up with, are already leading fulfilled and exciting lives- and you’re not. There must be something wrong with you for not becoming like them, right?

Real talk: truthfully, no one has it better than you. If you are not as successful as others in terms of wealth or financial status, it doesn’t mean you haven’t excelled in your own unique way in life. Everyone has a different identity and accepting who you are will show you that you don’t have to perceive others as being better than you.

You have to be like every other person to be happy

You have to follow the same course every other person is taking to be happy. You have to go to school, get a degree, get a job, get married and have kids to be the person society expects you to be. This is conventional thinking, but what about your own inner validation?

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Real talk: your happiness doesn’t depend on fitting whatever happens to be considered ‘normal’ today. You don’t have to be like every other person, do what they do, or take the same route to a destination. Rather you have to be you. You have to identify your own uniqueness.

Besides, not everything is always as it seems- life could have a way of tutoring you through providing unexpected paths for you to walk.

Featured photo credit: http://www.pixabay.com via pixabay.com

More by this author

Casey Imafidon

Specialized in motivation and personal growth, providing advice to make readers fulfilled and spurred on to achieve all that they desire in life.

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Last Updated on August 6, 2020

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

We’ve all done it. That moment when a series of words slithers from your mouth and the instant regret manifests through blushing and profuse apologies. If you could just think before you speak! It doesn’t have to be like this, and with a bit of practice, it’s actually quite easy to prevent.

“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napolean Hill

Are we speaking the same language?

My mum recently left me a note thanking me for looking after her dog. She’d signed it with “LOL.” In my world, this means “laugh out loud,” and in her world it means “lots of love.” My kids tell me things are “sick” when they’re good, and ”manck” when they’re bad (when I say “bad,” I don’t mean good!). It’s amazing that we manage to communicate at all.

When speaking, we tend to color our language with words and phrases that have become personal to us, things we’ve picked up from our friends, families and even memes from the internet. These colloquialisms become normal, and we expect the listener (or reader) to understand “what we mean.” If you really want the listener to understand your meaning, try to use words and phrases that they might use.

Am I being lazy?

When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, a strange metamorphosis takes place. People tend to become lazier in the way that they communicate with each other, with less thought for the feelings of their partner. There’s no malice intended; we just reach a “comfort zone” and know that our partners “know what we mean.”

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Here’s an exchange from Psychology Today to demonstrate what I mean:

Early in the relationship:

“Honey, I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I’m noticing that your hair is getting a little thin on top. I know guys are sensitive about losing their hair, but I don’t want someone else to embarrass you without your expecting it.”

When the relationship is established:

“Did you know that you’re losing a lot of hair on the back of your head? You’re combing it funny and it doesn’t help. Wear a baseball cap or something if you feel weird about it. Lots of guys get thin on top. It’s no big deal.”

It’s pretty clear which of these statements is more empathetic and more likely to be received well. Recognizing when we do this can be tricky, but with a little practice it becomes easy.

Have I actually got anything to say?

When I was a kid, my gran used to say to me that if I didn’t have anything good to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. My gran couldn’t stand gossip, so this makes total sense, but you can take this statement a little further and modify it: “If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

A lot of the time, people speak to fill “uncomfortable silences,” or because they believe that saying something, anything, is better than staying quiet. It can even be a cause of anxiety for some people.

When somebody else is speaking, listen. Don’t wait to speak. Listen. Actually hear what that person is saying, think about it, and respond if necessary.

Am I painting an accurate picture?

One of the most common forms of miscommunication is the lack of a “referential index,” a type of generalization that fails to refer to specific nouns. As an example, look at these two simple phrases: “Can you pass me that?” and “Pass me that thing over there!”. How often have you said something similar?

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How is the listener supposed to know what you mean? The person that you’re talking to will start to fill in the gaps with something that may very well be completely different to what you mean. You’re thinking “pass me the salt,” but you get passed the pepper. This can be infuriating for the listener, and more importantly, can create a lack of understanding and ultimately produce conflict.

Before you speak, try to label people, places and objects in a way that it is easy for any listeners to understand.

What words am I using?

It’s well known that our use of nouns and verbs (or lack of them) gives an insight into where we grew up, our education, our thoughts and our feelings.

Less well known is that the use of pronouns offers a critical insight into how we emotionally code our sentences. James Pennebaker’s research in the 1990’s concluded that function words are important keys to someone’s psychological state and reveal much more than content words do.

Starting a sentence with “I think…” demonstrates self-focus rather than empathy with the speaker, whereas asking the speaker to elaborate or quantify what they’re saying clearly shows that you’re listening and have respect even if you disagree.

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Is the map really the territory?

Before speaking, we sometimes construct a scenario that makes us act in a way that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual situation.

A while ago, John promised to help me out in a big way with a project that I was working on. After an initial meeting and some big promises, we put together a plan and set off on its execution. A week or so went by, and I tried to get a hold of John to see how things were going. After voice mails and emails with no reply and general silence, I tried again a week later and still got no response.

I was frustrated and started to get more than a bit vexed. The project obviously meant more to me than it did to him, and I started to construct all manner of crazy scenarios. I finally got through to John and immediately started a mild rant about making promises you can’t keep. He stopped me in my tracks with the news that his brother had died. If I’d have just thought before I spoke…

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