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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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Chris Ellis

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Published on September 23, 2020

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

I don’t know about you, but many times when I hear the word negotiate I think of lawyers working out a business deal or having to do battle with a car salesman to try to get a lower price. Since I am in recruiting, the term “negotiation” comes up when someone is attempting to get a higher compensation package.

If we think about it, we tend to negotiate almost every day in a wide variety of things we do. Getting a handle on the important negotiation skills can be incredibly beneficial in many parts of our lives. Let’s take a look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

What is Negotiation?

First, let’s take a look at what negotiation is. Put simply, negotiation is a method by which people settle their differences. It is a process in which compromise or agreement can be reached without argument or dispute.

Anytime two people or sides disagree on something, they are almost always looking for the best possible outcome for their side. This could be from an individual’s perspective or someone representing an organization.

In reality, it’s rare that one side gets everything they want and the other side gets nothing that they are seeking. Seeking to reach a common ground of sorts where both sides feel like they are getting most of what they want is the key to being successful and maintaining the relationship.

Places We Negotiate

I’ve mentioned that we negotiate in just about all phases of our life. For those of you who are shaking your head no, I invite you to think about the following:

1. Work/Business

This one is the most obvious and it’s what naturally comes to mind when we think of the word “negotiate”.

When you first started at your current job, you might have asked for a higher salary. It could be that you delivered a huge new client to your company and used this as leverage in your most recent evaluation for more compensation. If you work with vendors (and just about every company does), maybe you worked them to a lower price or better contract terms.

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In recruiting, I negotiate with candidates and hiring managers all the time to land the best talent I can find. It’s very common to accept additional work with the (sometimes spoken, sometimes unspoken) agreement that it will benefit your career in the future.

Recently, I took over a project that was my boss was working on so that I would be able to attend a conference later in the year. And so it goes, we do this all day long at work.

2. Personal

I don’t know about you, but I negotiate with my spouse all the time. I’ll cook dinner with the understanding that she does the dishes. Who wants to mow the lawn and who wants to vacuum and dust the house?

I think we should save 10% for retirement, but she thinks 5% is plenty. Therefore, we save 8%. And don’t even get me started with my kids. My older daughter can borrow my car as soon as she finishes her chores. My younger daughter can go hang out with her friends when her homework is done.

Then, there are all those interactions in our personal lives outside our homes. The carpenter wants to charge me $12,000 to build a new deck. I think $10,000 is plenty so we agree on $11,000. I ask my neighbor if I can borrow his snowblower in the winter if I invite him over the next time I grill steak. And so on.

3. Ourselves

You didn’t expect this one, did you? We negotiate with ourselves all day long.

I’ll make sure I don’t skip my workout tomorrow since I’m going to have that extra piece of pizza. My spouse has been quiet the last few days, is it worth me asking her about, or should I leave it alone? I think the car place charged me for some repairs that weren’t needed, should I say something or just let it go? I know my friend has been having some personal challenges, should I check in with him? We’ve been friends for a long time, I’m sure he’d come to me if he needed help. I’ve got the #4 pick in this year’s Fantasy Football draft, should I choose a running back or a wide receiver?

Think about that non-stop voice inside your head. It always seems to be chattering away about something and many times, it’s us negotiating with ourselves. I’ll finish up that report that the boss needs before I turn on the football game.

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Why Negotiation Skills Are So Important

Put simply, negotiation skills are important because we all interact with other people, and not only other people but other organizations and groups of people as well.

We all rarely want the same thing or outcome. Most of the time a vendor is looking at getting you to pay a higher price for something than you want to spend. Therefore, it’s important to negotiate to some middle ground that works well for both sides.

My wife and I disagree on how much to save for retirement. If we weren’t married it wouldn’t be an issue. We’d each contribute how much we wanted to on our retirement funds. We choose to be married, so we have to come to some agreement that we both feel comfortable with. We have to compromise. Therefore, we have to negotiate.

If we each lived on a planet by ourselves, we would be free to do just about anything we wanted to. We wouldn’t have to compromise with anyone because we wouldn’t interact with anyone. We would make every choice unilaterally the way we wanted to.

As we all know, this isn’t how things are. We are constantly interacting with other people and organizations, each one with their own agenda’s, viewpoints, and opinions. Therefore, we have to be able to work together.

6 Negotiation Skills to Master

Having strong negotiation skills helps us create win-win situations with others, allowing us to get most of what we want in conjunction with others around us.

Now, let’s look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

1. Preparation

Preparation is a key place to start with when getting ready to negotiate. Being prepared means having a clear vision of what you want and how you’d go about achieving it. It means knowing what the end goal looks like and also what you are willing to give to get it.

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It also means knowing who you are negotiating with and what areas they might be willing to compromise on. You should also know what your “bottom line” is. By “bottom line” I mean what is the most you are willing to give up to get what you want.

For instance, several years ago, I decided it was time to get a newer car. I say newer because I wanted a “new to me” car, not a brand new car. I did my research and figured out what type of car I wanted. I decided on what must-have items on the car I wanted, the highest amount of miles that would already be on it, the colors I was willing to get it in, and the highest amount of money I was willing to pay.

After visiting numerous car dealerships I was able to negotiate buying a car. I knew what I was willing to give up (amount of money) and what I was willing to accept, things like the color, amount of miles, etc. I came prepared. This is critical.

2. Clear Communication

The next key skill you need to be an effective negotiator is clear communication. You have to be able to clearly articulate what you want to the other party. This means both clear verbal and written communication.

If you can’t clearly tell the other person what you want, how do you expect to get it? Have you ever worked through something with a vendor or someone else only to learn of a surprise right at the end that wasn’t talked about before? This is not what you would call clear communication. It’s essential to be able to share a coherent and logical vision with the person you are working with.

3. Active Listening

Let’s do a quick review of active listening. This is when you are completely focused on the speaker, understand their message, comprehend the information, and respond appropriately. This is a necessary ingredient to be able to negotiate successfully. You must be able to fully focus on the other person’s wants to completely understand them.

If you aren’t giving them your full attention, you may miss some major points or details. This leads to frustration down the road on both sides. Ensure you are employing your active listening skills when in arbitration mode.

4. Teamwork and Collaboration

To be able to get to a place of common ground and a win-win scenario, you have to have a sense of teamwork and collaboration.

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If you are only thinking about yourself and what you want without giving much care to what the other person is wanting, you are bound to wind up without a solution. The other person may get frustrated and give up if they see you are unwilling to meet them halfway or care little for what they want.

When you collaborate, you are working together to help each other get what is most important to you. The other upside to negotiating with a sense of teamwork and collaboration is that it helps create a sense of trust, which, in turn, helps provide positive energy for working to a successful conclusion.

5. Problem Solving

Problem-solving is another key negotiation skill. When you are working with the other person to get the deal done many times you’ll face new challenges along the way.

Maybe you want a new vendor to provide training on the software they are selling you but they say it’s going to cost an additional $20,000 to provide this service. If you don’t have the additional $20,000 in the budget to spend on the software but you feel the training is critical, how are you going to solve that problem?

From what I’ve seen, most vendors aren’t willing to provide additional services without getting paid for them. This is where problem-solving skills will help continue the discussions. You might suggest to the vendor that your company will also be looking to replace their financial software next year, and you’d be happy to ensure they get one of the first seats at the table when the time comes if they could perhaps lower the pricing on their training.

There’s a solution to most challenges, but it takes problem-solving skills to work through them effectively.

6. Decision-Making Ability

Finally, having strong decision-making ability will help you seal the deal when you get to a place where everyone feels like they are getting what works for them. Each step of the way you can cross off the list when you get what you are looking for and decide to move onto the next item. Then, once you have all of your must-have boxes checked and the other side feels good about things, it’s time to shake hands and sign on the dotted line. Powerful decision-making ability will help you get to the finish line together.

Conclusion

There you have it, 6 effective negotiation skills to master to lead a more fulfilling life. Once we realize that we negotiate in one form or another almost every day in every phase of our lives, we realize how critical a skill it is.

Possessing strong negotiation skills will help you in nearly every one of your relationships at both the workplace and in your personal life. If you feel your arbitration tools could use some sharpening, try some of the 6 effective negotiation skills to master that we’ve talked about.

More Tips to Improve Your Negotiation Skills

Featured photo credit: Windows via unsplash.com

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