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The 5 Life Lessons We Should Never Forget Again

The 5 Life Lessons We Should Never Forget Again

“Life is what you make it”. “You learn from your mistakes”. How often do we hear those throwaway expressions? Usually at-least three or four times a day. Yet do we really understand them? And do we humans really learn from our mistakes?

Sadly not, usually we go on making the same mistake time after time, because the road leading to the problem looks different from the last one. Still the problem remains the same.

Here we look a some those of life lessons we keep forgetting that can help us get away from the mistakes that block us from getting on with our lives:

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1. Life is short.

Wait. We forget that? Yes, yes we do. Most of us keep waiting for “life to begin” forgetting that while we wait life goes on and we get older. It is best to realise that while waiting for what we want we do other things that make us happy. If you dream of writing a book, start with writing short stories online. If you dream of becoming a singer, start with a pub or talent night. It’s no use only waiting as nobody knows you yet and your talent are sitting at home wasting away.

Life is short: if you want to do something, do it while you can.

2. Life is what you make it

Oh, there it is again. That old cliché. Well, it is a cliché for a reason: it’s true. Nobody can live your life for you. It is you and you alone who ignites the flame. Others can help and you can build a team. But someone has to start whatever it is you want. If you want to be happy: chose to be. If you feel stuck look inside for what it is that blocks you. Even in the darkest hour there is always something that can bring light.

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3. Be kind to yourself

A lot of people claim you should “love yourself”, as if it’s that easy. But I have found that a lot of people feel troubled by that notion. Some go as far as saying “there is nothing to love about me”. Of course there always is something to love in every one, but you have to find it first.

Start with being kind to yourself. Allow yourself to feel proud of big or small accomplishments. Compliment yourself if you think you look okay on certain days. Allow yourself a treat once in a while: new clothes, a piece of chocolate, anything.

My motto: if you can’t love yourself, at-least be kind. Kindness can lead to love.

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4. Appreciate Me-time and quality-time with others

These days we all rush through our days without seeing, feeling or even thinking. We stare at a computer at work and go home to stare at a different screen. We miss out on friends, family and even ourselves. This is a shame and a major source for depression.

We all should schedule some time in our days, at least three hours for family and ourselves. Time to talk, have fun and think. Time away from the screen is important as a lot of our lives might be online now, but those we are closest to are right next to us.

5. Get out there

If you feel unhappy in any place or situation. If you are unhappy with certain people in your life: leave or let them go. Holding on to anything or anybody despite it making you feel bad never did anyone any good. You can waste years of your life trying to help, doing the right thing or fearing change or being alone. Don’t, in the end it just leaves you with nothing and you will have to start over again.

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Live life for you and try to be as happy as you can possible be, even if that means making changes.

Featured photo credit: http://getrefe.tumblr.com/ via 65.media.tumblr.com

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Dannii Cohen

PsyD in Psychology, professional counsellor, life coach and self-help expert

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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