Are you making your life harder than it needs to be?
In a world that strives for convenience, efficiency, and simplicity, it is strange how some individuals find themselves unconsciously choosing the path of unnecessary complications.
Welcome to the realm of self-sabotage!
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Here, we make life harder than it needs to be and inadvertently trip ourselves up at every turn.
Like the famous quote from the iconic movie The Matrix, “You take the blue pill, the story ends. You wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.”
It seems that many of us have unknowingly swallowed the red pill, plunging headfirst into a labyrinth of needless obstacles, leaving us wondering, “Why do we insist on making our lives harder than they should be?”
There are several ways we do this, including:
- People pleasing behavior
- Worrying about the opinions of others
- Only accepting perfection
- Not taking help when it is offered
- Holding on to anger
1.) You Try To Make Everyone Happy
Keeping other people’s feelings in mind is a positive quality, but bending over backward to put others’ happiness above your own is exhausting and impossible.
Whether it’s deciding what to serve at your dinner party, where to get married, or what career path you head down, there will always be someone who will not be pleased.
It’s hard to let someone down, and natural to avoid conflict, but focusing too much on making everyone else happy comes at your own cost.
Think of it like airplane instructions for putting your oxygen mask on before assisting someone else.
If your priorities aren’t taken care of, you aren’t in the optimal position to do anything productive.
For example, if you choose the college major your parents are pushing for over what your passion is, your college experience will be a letdown.
You won’t be excited about your classes and most likely not do as well as you could.
When you graduate, you’re all set.. for a career path you don’t want to be on.
Instead, ask yourself if this decision affects you or the other person/people the most.
If you’re planning your birthday dinner, your opinion is what matters, but if you’re planning your parents’ anniversary party, they are the focus and bear the opinions that should hold weight.
2.) You Worry About What Others Think
On some level, you’ll always worry about what others think.
Hey, it’s embarrassing to trip in public, no matter how comfortable you are being you!
But life will not be easy when the worry over what someone thinks of you limits you from living as your authentic self.
I am a homebody.
I like going out and love planning theme nights with friends.
However, I have many introverted tendencies and am happy to spend a weekend night at home with a show and a book.
Years ago, I did worry about what I “should” want to do.
What would my friends think when I declined a night out, favoring sweatpants and a chick flick?
I’m young; I should want to go to a club!
Sometimes I would suck it up and go, only to have a “meh” time and need time to myself the next day to recharge.
Maybe it’s growing up, but I have completely stopped caring what people think of my choices.
If your heart knows what it wants and you don’t follow through because someone might think it’s silly, your life will be unfulfilled.
Stay strong in your decisions and be your biggest advocate.
The next time you find yourself preoccupied with what others think, ask yourself, “what’s the worst that will happen?”
Will you lose friendships if you opt out of a night on the town?
I highly doubt it.
Will someone laugh at you when you try the weight room for the first time?
I have never seen this happen.
The more often you push past the uncomfortable feeling that others are judging you, the easier it gets to stay true to yourself.
You will also enjoy our article on reinventing yourself.
3.) You Accept Only Perfection
“Imperfect action beats perfect inaction every time.” – Harry Truman
How many projects have you left undone because it wasn’t coming out exactly like you pictured?
How many things have you not attempted because you don’t feel you’d excel?
I see this all the time with my clients in their exercise habits.
They want to get an hour workout in, but the day gets in the way, and they can only get in 20 minutes, so they don’t do anything.
Let me tell you, a 20-minute workout is 100% more effective than no workout!
Waiting for perfection, the perfect time, opportunity, and conditions will never produce results and causes unnecessary pressure on yourself.
It’s one thing to hold yourself to high standards, but punishing yourself for not being perfect directly affects your self-confidence and is an impossible threshold to maintain.
Try focusing on doing the best you can do at the time.
Practice truly does make perfect, but you won’t reach perfection if you don’t put in the practice time.
4.) You Do Everything On Your Own
It’s empowering to figure things out on your own, and to have a hand in every aspect of a project, but it makes for a tough time.
Learning how to delegate will give you ownership of your time.
Effectively delegating isn’t pushing off work onto someone else.
It’s recognizing your strengths and the strengths of those around you, leveraging everyone’s time and skills competently.
Learning from mentors is another way to avoid this common pitfall.
When I started my business, I had the fundamental knowledge of coaching but lacked business and marketing experience.
So I went on Linked In and messaged a few female coaches in Chicago.
I met for coffee and asked questions about starting out and any advice they would share.
Don’t waste time and energy reinventing the wheel.
Ask for help, learn from those around you, and make real strides in less time.
5.) You Hold On To Anger Makes Life Harder
“Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” – Buddha
Being angry takes effort, and holding on to grudges is incredibly taxing on your mental and physical state.
“Unresolved anger issues lead to anxiety, which can have long-term effects on your life… Long-term anxiety can pose dangerous risks to your physical and emotional states. Individuals who suffer from long bouts of anxiety can be at a greater risk for strokes. Serious memory loss, chronic sleep disorders, and relationship issues can also develop.” – Psychguides.com
It’s OK to get angry.
It’s a natural emotion and, when handled correctly, is a sign of emotional health.
However, when everyday occurrences set you off or you dwell on past discretions, it’s time to let go.
Allow yourself to be angry, but recognize what’s done is done and move on.
Try learning something positive from whatever has upset you – a friend is always late.
Tell them events start 20 minutes before they really do – and close the door.
Making your life harder is a choice
Despite how we sometimes feel, life doesn’t have to be as hard as we make it.
It is – however – short.
So make it work for you and focus on having the best experience possible.
While reading this, did you discover some ways you are making your life harder?
Let us know in the comment section below.
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