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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.

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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 December 3, 2019

10 Life Lessons You’d Better Learn Early on in Life

10 Life Lessons You’d Better Learn Early on in Life

There are so many lessons I wish I had learned while I was young enough to appreciate and apply them. The thing with wisdom, and often with life lessons in general, is that they’re learned in retrospect, long after we needed them. The good news is that other people can benefit from our experiences and the lessons we’ve learned.

Here’re 10 important life lessons you should learn early on:

1. Money Will Never Solve Your Real Problems

Money is a tool; a commodity that buys you necessities and some nice “wants,” but it is not the panacea to your problems.

There are a great many people who are living on very little, yet have wonderfully full and happy lives… and there are sadly a great many people are living on quite a lot, yet have terribly miserable lives.

Money can buy a nice home, a great car, fabulous shoes, even a bit of security and some creature comforts, but it cannot fix a broken relationship, or cure loneliness, and the “happiness” it brings is only fleeting and not the kind that really and truly matters. Happiness is not for sale. If you’re expecting the “stuff” you can buy to “make it better,” you will never be happy.

2. Pace Yourself

Often when we’re young, just beginning our adult journey we feel as though we have to do everything at once. We need to decide everything, plan out our lives, experience everything, get to the top, find true love, figure out our life’s purpose, and do it all at the same time.

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Slow down—don’t rush into things. Let your life unfold. Wait a bit to see where it takes you, and take time to weigh your options. Enjoy every bite of food, take time to look around you, let the other person finish their side of the conversation. Allow yourself time to think, to mull a bit.

Taking action is critical. Working towards your goals and making plans for the future is commendable and often very useful, but rushing full-speed ahead towards anything is a one-way ticket to burnout and a good way to miss your life as it passes you by.

3. You Can’t Please Everyone

“I don’t know the secret to success, but the secret to failure is trying to please everyone” – Bill Cosby.

You don’t need everyone to agree with you or even like you. It’s human nature to want to belong, to be liked, respected and valued, but not at the expense of your integrity and happiness. Other people cannot give you the validation you seek. That has to come from inside.

Speak up, stick to your guns, assert yourself when you need to, demand respect, stay true to your values.

4. Your Health Is Your Most Valuable Asset

Health is an invaluable treasure—always appreciate, nurture, and protect it. Good health is often wasted on the young before they have a chance to appreciate it for what it’s worth.

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We tend to take our good health for granted, because it’s just there. We don’t have to worry about it, so we don’t really pay attention to it… until we have to.

Heart disease, bone density, stroke, many cancers—the list of many largely preventable diseases is long, so take care of your health now, or you’ll regret it later on.

5. You Don’t Always Get What You Want

“Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.” – John Lennon

No matter how carefully you plan and how hard you work, sometimes things just don’t work out the way you want them to… and that’s okay.

We have all of these expectations; predetermined visions of what our “ideal” life will look like, but all too often, that’s not the reality of the life we end up with. Sometimes our dreams fail and sometimes we just change our minds mid-course. Sometimes we have to flop to find the right course and sometimes we just have to try a few things before we find the right direction.

6. It’s Not All About You

You are not the epicenter of the universe. It’s very difficult to view the world from a perspective outside of your own, since we are always so focused on what’s happening in our own lives. What do I have to do today? What will this mean for me, for my career, for my life? What do I want?

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It’s normal to be intensely aware of everything that’s going on in your own life, but you need to pay as much attention to what’s happening around you, and how things affect other people in the world as you do to your own life. It helps to keep things in perspective.

7. There’s No Shame in Not Knowing

No one has it all figured out. Nobody has all the answers. There’s no shame in saying “I don’t know.” Pretending to be perfect doesn’t make you perfect. It just makes you neurotic to keep up the pretense of manufactured perfection.

We have this idea that there is some kind of stigma or shame in admitting our limitations or uncertainly, but we can’t possibly know everything. We all make mistakes and mess up occasionally. We learn as we go, that’s life.

Besides—nobody likes a know-it-all. A little vulnerability makes you human and oh so much more relatable.

8. Love Is More Than a Feeling; It’s a Choice

That burst of initial exhilaration, pulse quickening love and passion does not last long. But that doesn’t mean long-lasting love is not possible.

Love is not just a feeling; it’s a choice that you make every day. We have to choose to let annoyances pass, to forgive, to be kind, to respect, to support, to be faithful.

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Relationships take work. Sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it’s incredibly hard. It is up to us to choose how we want to act, think and speak in a relationship.

9. Perspective Is a Beautiful Thing

Typically, when we’re worried or upset, it’s because we’ve lost perspective. Everything that is happening in our lives seems so big, so important, so do or die, but in the grand picture, this single hiccup often means next to nothing.

The fight we’re having, the job we didn’t get, the real or imagined slight, the unexpected need to shift course, the thing we wanted, but didn’t get. Most of it won’t matter 20, 30, 40 years from now. It’s hard to see long term when all you know is short term, but unless it’s life-threatening, let it go, and move on.

10. Don’t Take Anything for Granted

We often don’t appreciate what we have until it’s gone: that includes your health, your family and friends, your job, the money you have or think you will have tomorrow.

When you’re young, it seems that your parents will always be there, but they won’t. You think you have plenty of time to get back in touch with your old friends or spend time with new ones, but you don’t. You have the money to spend, or you think you’ll have it next month, but you might not.

Nothing in your life is not guaranteed to be there tomorrow, including those you love.

This is a hard life lesson to learn, but it may be the most important of all: Life can change in an instant. Make sure you appreciate what you have, while you still have it.

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Featured photo credit: Ben Eaton via unsplash.com

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