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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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Last Updated on January 24, 2021

How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

Do you say yes so often that you no longer feel that your own needs are being met? Are you wondering how to say no to people?

For years, I was a serial people pleaser[1]. Known as someone who would step up, I would gladly make time, especially when it came to volunteering for certain causes. I proudly carried this role all through grade school, college, even through law school. For years, I thought saying “no” meant I would disappoint a good friend or someone I respected.

But somewhere along the way, I noticed I wasn’t quite living my life. Instead, I seem to have created a schedule that was a strange combination of meeting the expectations of others, what I thought I should be doing, and some of what I actually wanted to do. The result? I had a packed schedule that left me overwhelmed and unfulfilled.

It took a long while, but I learned the art of saying no. Saying no meant I no longer catered fully to everyone else’s needs and could make more room for what I really wanted to do. Instead of cramming too much in, I chose to pursue what really mattered. When that happened, I became a lot happier.

And guess what? I hardly disappointed anyone.

The Importance of Saying No

When you learn the art of saying no, you begin to look at the world differently. Rather than seeing all of the things you could or should be doing (and aren’t doing), you start to look at how to say yes to what’s important.

In other words, you aren’t just reacting to what life throws at you. You seek the opportunities that move you to where you want to be.

Successful people aren’t afraid to say no. Oprah Winfrey, considered one of the most successful women in the world, confessed that it was much later in life when she learned how to say no. Even after she had become internationally famous, she felt she had to say yes to virtually everything.

Being able to say no also helps you manage your time better.

Warren Buffett views “no” as essential to his success. He said:

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

When I made “no” a part of my toolbox, I drove more of my own success, focusing on fewer things and doing them well.

How We Are Pressured to Say Yes

It’s no wonder a lot of us find it hard to say no.

From an early age, we are conditioned to say yes. We said yes probably hundreds of times in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work, to get a promotion, to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.

We say yes because we feel good when we help someone, because it can seem like the right thing to do, because we think that is key to success, and because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist.

And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves.

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At work, we say yes because we compare ourselves to others who seem to be doing more than we are. Outside of work, we say yes because we are feeling bad that we aren’t doing enough to spend time with family or friends.

The message, no matter where we turn, is nearly always, “You really could be doing more.” The result? When people ask us for our time, we are heavily conditioned to say yes.

How Do You Say No Without Feeling Guilty?

Deciding to add the word “no” to your toolbox is no small thing. Perhaps you already say no, but not as much as you would like. Maybe you have an instinct that if you were to learn the art of no that you could finally create more time for things you care about.

But let’s be honest, using the word “no” doesn’t come easily for many people.

3 Rules of Thumbs for Saying No

1. You Need to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Let’s face it. It is hard to say no. Setting boundaries around your time, especially you haven’t done it much in the past, will feel awkward. Your comfort zone is “yes,” so it’s time to challenge that and step outside that.

If you need help getting out of your comfort zone, check out this article.

2. You Are the Air Traffic Controller of Your Time

When you want to learn how to say no, remember that you are the only one who understands the demands for your time. Think about it: who else knows about all of the demands in your life? No one.

Only you are at the center of all of these requests. You are the only one that understands what time you really have.

3. Saying No Means Saying Yes to Something That Matters

When we decide not to do something, it means we can say yes to something else that we may care more about. You have a unique opportunity to decide how you spend your precious time.

6 Ways to Start Saying No

Incorporating that little word “no” into your life can be transformational. Turning some things down will mean you can open doors to what really matters. Here are some essential tips to learn the art of no:

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1. Check in With Your Obligation Meter

One of the biggest challenges to saying no is a feeling of obligation. Do you feel you have a responsibility to say yes and worry that saying no will reflect poorly on you?

Ask yourself whether you truly have the duty to say yes. Check your assumptions or beliefs about whether you carry the responsibility to say yes. Turn it around and instead ask what duty you owe to yourself.

2. Resist the Fear of Missing out (FOMO)

Do you have a fear of missing out (FOMO)? FOMO can follow us around in so many ways. At work, we volunteer our time because we fear we won’t move ahead. In our personal lives, we agree to join the crowd because of FOMO, even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.

Check in with yourself. Are you saying yes because of FOMO or because you really want to say yes? More often than not, running after fear doesn’t make us feel better[2].

3. Check Your Assumptions About What It Means to Say No

Do you dread the reaction you will get if you say no? Often, we say yes because we worry about how others will respond or because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose their respect. We often forget how much we are disappointing ourselves along the way.

Keep in mind that saying no can be exactly what is needed to send the right message that you have limited time. In the tips below, you will see how to communicate your no in a gentle and loving way.

You might disappoint someone initially, but drawing a boundary can bring you the freedom you need so that you can give freely of yourself when you truly want to. And it will often help others have more respect for you and your boundaries, not less.

4. When the Request Comes in, Sit on It

Sometimes, when we are in the moment, we instinctively agree. The request might make sense at first. Or we typically have said yes to this request in the past.

Give yourself a little time to reflect on whether you really have the time or can do the task properly. You may decide the best option is to say no. There is no harm in giving yourself the time to decide.

5. Communicate Your “No” with Transparency and Kindness

When you are ready to tell someone no, communicate your decision clearly. The message can be open and honest[3] to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time.

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How do you say no? 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

    Resist the temptation not to respond or communicate all. But do not feel obligated to provide a lengthy account about why you are saying no.

    Clear communication with a short explanation is all that is needed. I have found it useful to tell people that I have many demands and need to be careful with how I allocate my time. I will sometimes say I really appreciate that they came to me and for them to check in again if the opportunity arises another time.

    6. Consider How to Use a Modified No

    If you are under pressure to say yes but want to say no, you may want to consider downgrading a “yes” to a “yes but…” as this will give you an opportunity to condition your agreement to what works best for you.

    Sometimes, the condition can be to do the task, but not in the time frame that was originally requested. Or perhaps you can do part of what has been asked.

    Final Thoughts

    Beginning right now, you can change how you respond to requests for your time. When the request comes in, take yourself off autopilot where you might normally say yes.

    Use the request as a way to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself.

    Try it now. Say no to a friend who continues to take advantage of your goodwill. Or, draw the line with a workaholic colleague and tell them you will complete the project, but not by working all weekend. You’ll find yourself much happier.

    More Tips on How to Say No

    Featured photo credit: Chris Ainsworth via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Science of People: 11 Expert Tips to Stop Being a People Pleaser and Start Doing You
    [2] Anxiety and Depression Association of America: Tips to Get Over Your FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out
    [3] Cooks Hill Counseling: 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

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