As humans, we have a tendency to repeat the same mistakes over and over. This inevitably leads to negative outcomes that can keep you struggling.
The biggest change in my life came when I realized the only thing holding me back from what I wanted was me. It’s easy to blame our circumstances and other people for our transgressions. But at the end of the day, you have a choice: keep struggling or own up to your missteps and make a change.
If you make one of these 7 mistakes, it’s okay. Accept it, move on and go make your life better.
You focus too much on the negative.
Here’s a common thing that can hold you back and keep you struggling: focusing on your weaknesses instead of fostering your strengths. When you use unhappiness as motivation, you often do nothing except perpetuate your unhappiness. According to research, optimists tend to be happier, healthier, and have better relationships. So if you’re stuck in a rut, start seeing the silver lining instead of the dark spots.
You insist on a direct route to success.
Technology has ushered in an area of “instant” everything. Think about the current generation of children, for example. They expect instant gratification and success in most things they do. If you’re expecting overnight success, there’s a good chance you’re going to be disappointed. Focus on the journey‒not the destination. It’s the little moments of life that make it worth living.
You try to change everything at once.
If you want to change something in your life, take baby steps. Stanford psychologist BJ Fogg recommends a system where you set a specific goal and then take tiny actions every day. Keep doing these tiny actions and they become habit. And ultimately, that’s the goal: to take a current unsuccessful or unhealthy behavior and turn it into a successful or healthy one. Take healthy eating, for instance. If you currently eat fast food every day and expect to change the way you eat overnight, you’re going to fail. However, if you take small steps to slowly change your eating behaviors and form lasting healthy eating habits, you’ll be much more likely to be successful.
You don’t come up with a plan to achieve your goals.
Not creating goals is a surefire way to keep you struggling. But coming up with goals and not forming a plan to achieve them is just as bad. Here’s an easy way to do it. First, write down several small, specific goals you want to accomplish and identify when you want to accomplish them. Then write down a plan for how you’re going to get there. Every day, specify the actions you’re going to take as part of your plan to achieve your goals.
You keep doing things that don’t work.
If at first you don’t succeed, try something else. One of the biggest mistakes all of us make is we repeat actions that don’t net us results. Being productive is great, but if you’re just checking things off your list without getting anywhere then it’s time to make a change. So evaluate your goals and start each day by asking yourself, “What actions am I going to take today to get closer to my goal?” Every week, evaluate your progress and try different approaches as-needed.
You compare yourself to others.
Humans are social creatures. And being social brings with it a natural tendency to compare ourselves to others. We see skinny people, rich people, happy people, and wonder why we can’t have all those things. This is one of the biggest things that keep you struggling. Stop. Focus your thoughts on what you want. Not on what others have. The more you channel your thoughts internally on your goals and how you can make the world a better place, the faster you’ll attract the things you want in life.
You waste time.
Time is valuable. So don’t waste it. Spend as much time as you possibly can with people you love, doing work you love, or doing things you love. Again, focus your time and energy on what you do want‒not what you don’t.