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7 Mistakes You’re Probably Making That Keep You Struggling

7 Mistakes You’re Probably Making That Keep You Struggling

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

More by this author

Scott Christ

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

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Last Updated on June 24, 2019

Why Social Media Might Be Causing Depression

Why Social Media Might Be Causing Depression

A study [1] published in Depression and Anxiety found that social media users are more likely to be depressed. This was just one of the huge number of studies linking social media and depression[2] . But why exactly do platforms like Facebook and Instagram make people so unhappy? Well, we don’t know yet for sure, but there are some explanations.

Social Media Could Lead to Depression

Depression is a serious medical condition that affects how you think, feel, and behave. Social media may lead to depression in predisposed individuals or make existing symptoms of depression[3] worse explains[4] the study above’s senior author Dr. Brian Primack. So, the problem may not be in social media per se, but how we use it.

Signs You’re Suffering From “Social Media Depression”

If you feel like social media is having a negative impact on your mood, then you may be suffering from “social media depression.” Look for symptoms like:

• low self-esteem,

• negative self-talk,

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• a low mood,

• irritability,

• a lack of interest in activities once enjoyed,

• and social withdrawal.

If you’ve had these symptoms for more than two weeks and if this is how you feel most of the time, then you are likely depressed. Although “social media depression “is not a term recognized in the medical setting, social media depression seems to be a real phenomenon affecting around 50% of social media users. As explained in a review study[5] published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, if a person has a certain predisposition to depression and other mental disorders, social media use may only worsen their mental health.

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Social Media Could Crush Self-Esteem

We know that social media and depression are in some way linked, but why is this so? Well, according to Igor Pantic, MD, Ph.D.[6], social media use skews your perception about other people’s lives and traits. To explain this further, most people like to portray an idealized image of their lives, personal traits, and appearance on sites like Facebook and Instagram. If you confuse this idealized image with reality, you may be under the false impression that everyone is better than you which can crush your self-esteem and lead to depression. This is especially true for teens and young adults who are more likely to compare themselves to others. If you already suffer from low self-esteem, the illusion that everyone has it better off than you will just make you feel worse.

Causing Social Isolation and Other Negative Emotions

Another commonly cited reason for the negative impact of social media on mental health is its link with social isolation. Depressed people are more likely to isolate themselves socially and chose only to interact indirectly through social media platforms. But communication online tends to be superficial and is lacking when compared to real-life interaction explains Panic. What this means is not that social media leads to isolation but the other way around, possibly explaining why we find so many depressed persons on these sites.

Lastly, social media use may generate negative emotions in you like envy, jealousy, dislike, loneliness, and many others and this may worsen your depressive symptoms.

Why We Need to Take This Seriously

Both depression and social media use are on the rise according to epidemiological studies. Since each one has an impact on the other, we have to start thinking of healthier ways to use social media. Teens and young adults are especially vulnerable to the negative impact of social media on mental health.

Advice on Social Media Use

Although these findings did not provide any cause-effect explanation regarding Facebook and depression[7], they still do prove that social media use may not be a good way to handle depression. For this reason, the leading authors of these studies gave some suggestions as to how clinicians and people can make use of such findings.

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One suggestion is that clinicians should ask patients about their social media habits. Then they can advise them on how to change their outlook on social media use or even suggest limiting their time spent on social media.

Some social media users may also exhibit addictive behavior; they may spend too much time due to compulsive urges. Any compulsive behavior is bound to lead to feelings of guilt which can worsen depressive symptoms.

Having Unhealthy Relationship with Social Media

If you feel like your relationship with social media is unhealthy, then consider the advice on healthy social media use provided by psychology experts from Links Psychology[8]:

Avoid negative social comparison – always keep in mind that how people portray themselves and their lives on social media is not a realistic picture, but rather an idealized one. Also, avoid comparing yourself to others because this behavior can lead to negative self-talk.

Remember that social media is not a replacement for real life – Social media is great for staying in touch and having fun, but it should never replace real-world interactions.

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Avoid releasing personal information – For your safety and privacy, make sure to be careful with what you post online.

Report users who bully and harass you – It’s easy to be a bully in the anonymous and distant world of social media. Don’t take such offense personally and report those who abuse social media to harass others.

The bits of advice listed above can help you establish a healthy relationship with social media. Always keep these things in mind to avoid losing an objective perspective of what social media is and how it is different from real life. If you are currently suffering from depression, talk to your doctor about what is bothering you so that you can get the treatment you need to get better. Tell your doctor about your social media use and see if they could give you some advice on this topic.

Reference

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