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Stop Killing Yourself! 25 Ways You are Secretly Doing Yourself In

Stop Killing Yourself! 25 Ways You are Secretly Doing Yourself In

Life is so weird isn’t it?

We are taught from a very early age that if we think certain ways and do certain things, all will be well. We will find our perfect love and live happily ever after.

It doesn’t take long to realize that it is a load of BUNK, but we have no true information to take the place of the weird ideas that were supposed to make our lives wonderful.

Also, there are many ways we do ourselves in without knowing it and in order to knock it off, we have to dig down deep and root out the false ideas that have been sold to us. These false ideas make us decide to do the destructive things.

1. Spending time with the wrong people.

I learned very early on that in order to be successful in life, you had to hang out with successful people. People who view themselves as failures look for and find all kinds of excuses for their failure.

They then give you these excuses as though they are fact. If you start believing them, you fail too. Simple.

Hang out with successful people and do what they do. See what works for them and what doesn’t. Then do the things that have worked.

There is no secret to success other than finding out how to do it. And who knows how better than someone successful?

2. Running away from difficult situations.

When you run away from your problems, guess, what? They come with you!

Like the parking ticket that you decide to ignore, they grow and grow until they cannot be ignored any longer.

Take the time to look over your life and see if there are any problems that you are not confronting and handling. If so, have a look at what the actual problem is and do something about it. Even if you don’t handle it all at once, at least you will have started.

3. Allowing people to destroy you.

There are certain people in life who are out to destroy not only you, but everyone in their environment. They are a small percentage of people but the damage they do is horrible.

You will know these people because they constantly put you down, stomp on your dreams, pretend that they are helping you when they are actually crushing you. You will know them too by how well or poorly your life goes when they are near.

Ruthlessly weed them out of your life and watch things smooth right out. It is almost magical.

4. Not taking responsibility.

Responsibility has gotten a bad rap these days because too many people think it means blame.

They think that if they admit that they caused something and it went bad, they should be condemned. This is a wrong idea shoved on us by a society that wants everyone to be passive and not do anything.

People are not rewarded for causing things to happen. They are slammed for it. Even if what they caused was good. This makes people want to avoid responsibility which is really just acknowledging that you caused something to happen. Understand that this is a manipulation to keep you sitting down and quiet.

Go make things happen, and know that you have done it for better or for worse. Don’t be afraid.

If those around you are not ok with you being dynamic and a mover and shaker, you are in the wrong company. Go find other movers and shakers and go move mountains.

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5. Being someone else.

My radio co host, Sally Nutter talks about this a lot.

When you try to be someone else so that others will like you, it is damaging for two reasons:

First, you are as much as admitting that you are not ok and have to be someone else to be accepted. This is false. You are good. You do have a lot to offer the world even if it is only your opinion.

Secondly, if others do not like who you really are, you are in the wrong company. Simple!

Sometimes it takes a really long time to find people who are similar to you and have the same ideas about things. You can feel adrift in a choppy sea when you know you are the only one who thinks the way you do.

Go find your group. It is out there somewhere. I promise. It took me half a lifetime to find mine but it was worth every second I spent searching.

6. Holding onto past painful events.

Decisions made in times of pain and anguish, affect you from that point on. Do your best to look at things in the present and realize that there may be times when past pain clouds your judgement.

Understand this and really look at everything in present time.

7. Being afraid to fail.

The big tendency in the media today, is to dig up a past mistake on someone’s part and blast it all over the front pages, out of context. This ruins the person who has been  targeted. This is evil and people who do this have crimes of their own, much worse than anything they are blasting about their victim.

In the early days of silent film, film star, Fatty Arbuckle was framed for murder. He was tried in the media thanks to William Randolph Hearst who admitted that he targeted Mr. Arbuckle. Depite Fatty Arbuckle being completely exonerated in court and an apology issued by the judge for the destruction of his career, Mr. Arbuckle was completely ruined because “Nobody wanted to go see a film starring a murderer and rapist.” He died a broken man. His only crime was being famous.

This vile behavior continues today and certain stupid people pick up on it and imitate it. This makes even the everyday person fearful of doing anything.

The remedy for this is simple. Go out and make things happen. If someone tries to make you wrong for it, hold your position; if they make a stink, start looking into their background. Don’t be surprised by what you find.

If you keep your integrity, more people will respect you than hate you. If you hide, you will never get anything done and you will not respect yourself which is more important.

8. Waiting until you are ready.

Life is funny. Things can be here one minute and gone the next.

If you want to do something important, you have to do it now. If it is a long term project, start it. Put target dates on your action items and get started.

9. Putting yourself last.

This never works! Your life is divided into parts. All parts have to be in balance with each other or they fall apart. How can you be there and strong for others if you are ill or exhausted?

Get your sleep. Eat well. Take your vitamins. Keep your personal things in order. If you go by the boards, there will be no one to do all the things you do for everyone else. You have a DUTY to care for yourself.

10. Being envious.

I see this a lot. People who are envious seek to tear down those who have something they do not have and want.

When you destroy someone else, you destroy yourself. Call it Karma or whatever, but it is a truth in life.

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Go to that person and find out how they got what they wanted and then go do those things. There is NO reason that you cannot have everything you want in life. Go learn how to get it.

11. Complaining about things and being unwilling to do anything to fix it.

I love people who complain about something and put forth NO SOLUTION. Anyone can do that.

If something is not right you should complain, but never do it unless you have a solution.

It is the difference between being completely effected by things or the powerful cause of things. You can choose which one to be. I can tell you that powerful cause is much more fun than effect.

12. Picking on yourself.

“I am not thin enough.” “I am not smart enough”. “I am not a good person”.

If you are thinking those things about yourself, someone has been telling you them in the past or present. People who tell you these things or imply them are NOT your friends. Ditch them! Then give yourself a break.

A wise man once said “Don’t go into battle with your daggers pointing inward.” You don’t need to help stupid people cut you up. Put your daggers away for now and only take them out when you need them.

13. Believing that you are meat and bones.

You are not. It is that simple. You are a spiritual being in a steak and burger body, navigating your way through a house of cards.

If we were meat bodies, there would be no Sistine Chapel CeilingNo Bernini sculpturesNo Sonata Pathetique. There would be no art in life.

Cows don’t compose great musical masterpieces while sitting around belching up cud. We are not animals. We are much, much more.

14. Blame others.

Again with blame. We should banish that from our consciousness. It is a negative and damaging thing and it is a lie. We cause things. We cause things that go bad sometimes. It does not mean we are bad. We should just make things right again and go about our business.

If everyone did this and we stopped blowing up every minor transgression into a mortal sin, we would all be a lot happier and mentally healthier.

15. Believing what “experts” tell us.

I am sorry to have to tell you this but many “experts” are wrong.

The best example of this is the evidence coming out about how damaging the effect of psychotropic drugs are. These were the rage for awhile and guess what, they are extremely toxic. The lawsuits have been ramping up and it is obvious that the “experts” had another agenda. They were lining their pockets.

Back in the 50’s, there was a drug called Thalidomide. This was given to pregnant women to reduce morning sickness. It was also an anti-anxiety drug. Unfortunately, Thalidomide caused massive birth defects and half of the affected babies did not survive. Those that did had deformed or missing arms and legs.

Look for yourself before believing anything someone tells you, even an “expert”.

16. Thinking you are wrong because someone tells you you are.

Since I have become a popular blogger, you would not believe how many people have told me that I am wrong, stupid, evil and crazy.

But what of it?

I have sufficient power of observation that I can see when something is right or it is wrong and so do you. If we believe it is right, it is right until we see actual evidence that it isn’t.

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The more someone asserts your wrongness without real evidence. The more likely it is that you are right.

17. Having fixed ideas.

False ideas that you believe are true, blind you. After all, if you think you know everything about someone or something, why should you look?

Fixed ideas can be as simple as believing that all men like peanut brittle. These ideas made sense to us for whatever reason at one time and we adopted them. Now we need to relook at them because they may not be totally true.

If you don’t look at things in present time, you don’t know the truth about them. Things change. People change. If you don’t see them as they are, you are living a lie.

Take a fresh look. Take out all those dusty old ideas from the corners of your mind and see if they are still true. If not, put them in the trash.

18. Thinking you don’t have anything to learn.

One of the great things about us as a race of beings, is that we are constantly changing. Every day there are new things to learn.

Those who think they already know everything are missing out. And falling behind.

Be curious. Learn as much as you can every day. You never know when information will come in handy.

19. Denying yourself pleasure.

Did you know that back in the Renaissance period, there was a priest named Savonarola who went around telling everyone that any kind of pleasure was a sin?

He set up giant bonfires in the town square of Florence and burned all of the nice things including priceless paintings, furniture, jewels, anything that gave pleasure to those who owned them. This was called “The Bonfire of the Vanities”. It was evil and it was based on a lie.

Life is a balance. We work hard and in exchange, we owe ourselves pleasure. Most of the things we enjoy are very pro survival. A beautiful dress, a perfectly cooked meal, and beautiful Music are joys benefit you and those around you. Seek out pleasure and create things for you and others to enjoy.

A life that has way more pain and effort in it than happiness, is an unhappy life. If you have a lot of pain in your life, you must over balance it with pleasure in order to be happy.

20. Thinking that anyone else is responsible for your happiness.

I once had a co-worker who constantly trash talked her husband because he didn’t make her happy. I knew him. He was a fine man and worked relentlessly to try and give her what she wanted. She finally left him and went off with some deadbeat. He married another woman who appreciated him and is happy.

Your life is a cake and your partner is the frosting. If the cake is bad. The frosting will not make it good. If the cake is weak, the frosting will not make it strong.

You have the ability to make your life exactly what you want it to be. Make your cake first and then find the right frosting.

21. Trying to make things perfect.

While the search for perfection is necessary for anyone who wants to succeed, one must realize that life is not sitting still. It moves and changes.

Understand this. Never lose the desire to make things perfect. That is a trait of successful people. Do understand that sometimes, there will be coats hung over chairs and that the dog will poo on the rug occasionally. Clean it up and don’t worry about it.

22. Trying to make those around you be perfect.

Everyone has their own idea about who they should be. Many times it doesn’t match what others think they should be.

So what? No one can decide who they should be but that person. They might be perfect in their own estimation.

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Kids especially, tend to be molded too much by their parents. Parents do have the job of making sure the child survives but they do not have the right to insist that their child be someone he is not. It is a fine line.

Talk to your child a lot. Good communication creates a lot of wonderful things.

23. Not Letting others make their mistakes.

I know this is difficult. Those of us who have made epic mistakes are the worst offenders. (Myself included!)

It is hard to watch someone you love suffer something that could have been avoided but honestly, people learn in their own ways and some of us have to really screw up to figure it all out.

24. Thinking that no one cares about you.

Most people do not communicate. It is a sad truth.

You may think that nobody gives a rip about you but that is not true. they care, they just aren’t saying.

You could be the most important person in someone’s life. You could be their entire world. And they may never let you know.

People have been punished too much for communicating so they decide on some level, to stop doing it. Make it safe for them to say whatever is on their minds. Send lots of communication to them and they will open up. It make take time.

But always know that someone loves you. They just do.

25. Thinking that because something awful happened to you, life will always suck.

I thought this for a long time. My life was sucky. If you are going through a bad time, just know that sooner or later you will feel better.

Here is a cure for a sucky life: overwhelm the pain with pleasure.

Do things that you think will give you pleasure even if you don’t feel like it. Keep doing it. Spoil yourself rotten! And keep it up.

If what happened to you was really bad, it will take a LOT of pleasure to counteract the pain. But sooner or later a balance will be achieved and you will find happiness once again.

I have a thing called a “Pleasure bomb.” These are happy  moments in the future that I plant in the present.

For example, send yourself flowers then forget that you sent them, order a box of candy to be delivered months in advance, set up a dinner with someone you love to be with.

There are so many ways to plant “Pleasure bombs” that you will be happier just trying to think up new ones.

Once you have relooked at these old ideas, check out what happens in your life and then write me. I would love to hear about it!

Featured photo credit: Andy Spearing via flickr.com

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Last Updated on March 14, 2019

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

Recruiters might hold thousands of interviews in their careers and a lot of them are reporting the same thing—that most candidates play it safe with the questions they ask, or have no questions to ask in a job interview at all.

For job applicants, this approach is crazy! This is a job that you’re going to dedicate a lot of hours to and that might have a huge impact on your future career. Don’t throw away the chance to figure out if the position is perfect for you.

Here are 7 killer questions to ask in a job interview that will both impress your counterpart and give you some really useful insights into whether this job will be a dream … or a nightmare.

1. What are some challenges I might come up against this role?

A lesser candidate might ask, “what does a typical day look like in this role?” While this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask in an interview, focusing on potential challenges takes you much further because it indicates that you already are visualizing yourself in the role.

It’s impressive because it shows that you are not afraid of challenges, and you are prepared to strategize a game plan upfront to make sure you succeed if you get the job.

It can also open up a conversation about how you’ve solved problems in the past which can be a reassuring exercise for both you and the hiring manager.

How it helps you:

If you ask the interviewer to describe a typical day, you may get a vibrant picture of all the lovely things you’ll get to do in this job and all the lovely people you’ll get to do them with.

Asking about potential roadblocks means you hear the other side of the story—dysfunctional teams, internal politics, difficult clients, bootstrap budgets and so on. This can help you decide if you’re up for the challenge or whether, for the sake of your sanity, you should respectfully decline the job offer.

2. What are the qualities of really successful people in this role?

Employers don’t want to hire someone who goes through the motions; they want to hire someone who will excel.

Asking this question shows that you care about success, too. How could they not hire you with a dragon-slayer attitude like that?

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How it helps you:

Interviewers hire people who are great people to work with, but the definition of “great people” differs from person to person.

Does this company hire and promote people with a specific attitude, approach, worth ethic or communication style? Are the most successful people in this role strong extroverts who love to talk and socialize when you are studious and reserved? Does the company reward those who work insane hours when you’re happiest in a more relaxed environment?

If so, then this may not be the right match for you.

Whatever the answer is, you can decide whether you have what it takes for the manager to be happy with your performance in this role. And if the interviewer has no idea what success looks like for this position, this is a sign to proceed with extreme caution.

3. From the research I did on your company, I noticed the culture really supports XYZ. Can you tell me more about that element of the culture and how it impacts this job role?

Of course, you could just ask “what is the culture like here? ” but then you would miss a great opportunity to show that you’ve done your research!

Interviewers give BIG bonus point to those who read up and pay attention, and you’ve just pointed out that (a) you’re diligent in your research (b) you care about the company culture and (c) you’re committed to finding a great cultural fit.

How it helps you:

This question is so useful because it lets you pick an element of the culture that you really care about and that will have the most impact on whether you are happy with the organization.

For example, if training and development is important to you, then you need to know what’s on offer so you don’t end up in a dead-end job with no learning opportunities.

Companies often talk a good talk, and their press releases may be full of shiny CSR initiatives and all the headline-grabbing diversity programs they’re putting in place. This is your opportunity to look under the hood and see if the company lives its values on the ground.

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A company that says it is committed to doing the right thing by customers should not judge success by the number of up-sells an employee makes, for instance. Look for consistency, so you aren’t in for a culture shock after you start.

4. What is the promotion path for this role, and how would my performance on that path be measured?

To be clear, you are not asking when you will get promoted. Don’t go there—it’s presumptuous, and it indicates that you think you are better than the role you have applied for.

A career-minded candidate, on the other hand, usually has a plan that she’s working towards. This question shows you have a great drive toward growth and advancement and an intention to stick with the company beyond your current state.

How it helps you:

One word: hierarchy.

All organizations have levels of work and authority—executives, upper managers, line managers, the workforce, and so on. Understanding the hierarchical structure gives you power, because you can decide if you can work within it and are capable of climbing through its ranks, or whether it will be endlessly frustrating to you.

In a traditional pyramid hierarchy, for example, the people at the bottom tend to have very little autonomy to make decisions. This gets better as you rise up through the pyramid, but even middle managers have little power to create policy; they are more concerned with enforcing the rules the top leaders make.

If having a high degree of autonomy and accountability is important to you, you may do better in a flat hierarchy where work teams can design their own way of achieving the corporate goals.

5. What’s the most important thing the successful candidate could accomplish in their first 3 months/6 months/year?

Of all the questions to ask in a job interview, this one is impressive because it shows that you identify with and want to be a successful performer, and not just an average one.

Here, you’re drilling down into what the company needs, and needs quite urgently, proving that you’re all about adding value to the organization and not just about what’s in it for you.

How it helps you:

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Most job descriptions come with 8, 10 or 12 different job responsibilities and a lot of them with be boilerplate or responsibilities that someone in HR thinks are associated with this role. This question gives you a better sense of which responsibilities are the most important—and they may not be what initially attracted you to the role.

If you like the idea of training juniors, for example, but success is judged purely on your sales figures, then is this really the job you thought you were applying for?

This question will also give you an idea of what kind of learning curve you’re expected to have and whether you’ll get any ramp-up time before getting down to business. If you’re the type of person who likes to jump right in and get things done, for instance, you may not be thrilled to hear that you’re going to spend the first three months shadowing a peer.

6. What do you like about working here?

This simple question is all about building rapport with the interviewer. People like to talk about themselves, and the interviewer will be flattered that you’re interested in her opinions.

Hopefully, you’ll find some great connection points that the two of you share. What similar things drive you head into the office each day? How will you fit into the culture?

How it helps you:

You can learn a lot from this question. Someone who genuinely enjoys his job will be able to list several things they like, and their answers will sound passionate and sincere. If not….well, you might consider that a red flag.

Since you potentially can learn a lot about the company culture from this question, it’s a good idea to figure out upfront what’s important to you. Maybe you’re looking for a hands-off boss who values independent thought and creativity? Maybe you work better in environments that move at a rapid, exciting pace?

Whatever’s important to you, listen carefully and see if you can find any common ground.

7. Based on this interview, do you have any questions or concerns about my qualifications for the role?

What a great closing question to ask in a job interview! It shows that you’re not afraid of feedback—in fact, you are inviting it. Not being able to take criticism is a red flag for employers, who need to know that you’ll act on any “coaching moments” with a good heart.

As a bonus, asking this question shows that you are really interested in the position and wish to clear up anything that may be holding the company back from hiring you.

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How it helps you:

What a devious beast this question is! On the surface, it looks straightforward, but it’s actually giving you four key pieces of information.

First, is the manager capable of giving you feedback when put on the spot like this? Some managers are scared of giving feedback, or don’t think it’s important enough to bother outside of a formal performance appraisal. Do you want to work for a boss like that? How will you improve if no one is telling you what you did wrong?

Second, can the manager give feedback in a constructive way without being too pillowy or too confrontational? It’s unfair to expect the interviewer to have figured out your preferred way of receiving feedback in the space of an interview, but if she come back with a machine-gun fire of shortcomings or one of those corporate feedback “sandwiches” (the doozy slipped between two slices of compliment), then you need to ask yourself, can you work with someone who gives feedback like that?

Third, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about before you leave the interview. This gives you the chance to make a final, tailored sales pitch so you can convince the interviewer that she should not be worried about those things.

Fourth, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about period. If turnover is keeping him up at night, then your frequent job hopping might get a lot of additional scrutiny. If he’s facing some issues with conflict or communication, then he might raise concerns regarding your performance in this area.

Listen carefully: the concerns that are being raised about you might actually be a proxy for problems in the wider organization.

Making Your Interview Work for You

Interviews are a two-way street. While it is important to differentiate yourself from every other candidate, understand that convincing the interviewer you’re the right person for the role goes hand-in-hand with figuring out if the job is the right fit for you.

Would you feel happy in a work environment where the people, priorities, culture and management style were completely at odds with the way you work? Didn’t think so!

More Resources About Job Interviews

Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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