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10 Harsh Truths That Will Help You Grow

10 Harsh Truths That Will Help You Grow

In the game of life, if it often seems like you’re on the losing end of things, you’re not alone. Life can be one giant conundrum filled with ups and downs. When you feel like you’re experiencing more downs than ups, sometimes it helps to get a little tough love once in a while. That’s why we put together this list of 10 harsh truths that will help you grow.

1. Life isn’t fair.

Life will hand you lemons, often when you least expect it. The sooner you embrace this harsh truth, the better prepared you’ll be to handle tough situations that are sure to arise.

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2. The first step is always the hardest.

Let’s face it: changing bad habits is tough. Research proves it. Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu once said, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” So if you want to change something, start with baby steps. Take a small action–any action–and grow from there.

3. Good things usually don’t come quickly.

Great accomplishments in our lives normally don’t come easy. And if you think about it, would you have it any other way? There’s a basic psychological principle called instant gratification, which means that we expect to get rewards instantly. But sometimes you need to fight the impulses your brain throws at you and trust that the journey you’re on is the right one.

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4. Not everyone will support you along the way.

In life, there’s no shortage of doubters, haters, and pessimists. Overcoming this harsh truth is simple: don’t listen. Choose to stick with your guns, trust your instincts, and forget about people who don’t support your goals and passions.

5. You can’t always be in control of everything.

Listen, letting go is hard, especially if you’re a go-getter. But if you want to continue to grow, there are times when you need to relinquish your control on everything and let things unfold how they’re meant to be. This doesn’t mean your mentality for everything should be “wait and hope.” You can still strive for greatness, but put the work in and then let go with complete faith that the universe will make things right for you. You’ll be amazed at how well it works.

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6. You can’t accomplish great things without taking great risks.

Here’s another harsh truth many people have trouble grasping: if you don’t take risks you will have a lot harder time accomplishing what you want in life. People who truly change the world are the biggest risk takers. They’re the ones who are willing to put everything on the line and fail for something they believe in. And they treat each failure as an opportunity to grow and get better.

7. You may be better off without some of the people you currently care about.

This one is tough to hear, I know. But chances are, there’s someone in your life you care about deeply who is holding you back. That’s not to say you should give up on the people you love. However, there comes a time when you need to make the tough decision to say no to people who aren’t helping you grow.

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8. Death is a part of life.

Nothing can prepare us for the earth-shattering pain of losing a loved one. The harsh truth of life is that it’s a viscous cycle. However, there’s something you can do to make losing someone you love a lot less painful: make them a part of your life right now. Don’t put off making that phone call or paying a random visit to a friend or family member you haven’t seen in a while. Treat every moment with your loved ones as if it’s your last, and you won’t have any regrets.

9. You are the only thing holding yourself back from greatness.

Often we get so caught up hoping for the next great thing that we don’t realize what’s unfolding right in front of our faces. Don’t hold yourself back with negative thoughts. Instead, focus on the positive things you have going in your life. Choose to be happy right now.

10. Sometimes bad things happen to good people.

Suffering is part of life. But here’s the cool thing: it makes us stronger. There’s a randomness to how the world works that’s really hard to understand. We see evidence of this every day, and it can really make you question the future of mankind. How you choose to view the world is up to you. Just remember, the truth, however harsh, will set you free.

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Scott Christ

Scott Christ is a writer, entrepreneur, and founder of Pure Food Company.

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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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