We all want to be happy and successful in life, right? No one spends time trying NOT to be happy and successful – yet some of our daily habits are doing just that!
Here is a list of 10 common things many of us do everyday, which may be unknowingly sabotaging our efforts.
10 Things To Stop Doing If You Want To Be Successful
In order to be successful, we believe we need to be constantly busy. Multitasking is believed to be a way to increase productivity, and ultimately, success. People often pride themselves in their ability to properly multitask throughout their day.
Guess what: multitasking is actually slowing you down!
Research in the field of neuroscience actually shows that our brains can’t handle more than ONE task or thought at a time. There is NO such thing as true multitasking. When you think you are doing two tasks simultaneously, you are really switching back and forth between both. That act of switching takes more time than if you focused on just one task.
If you need proof, here is a really simple test created by Dave Crenshaw, Author of “Myth of Multitasking”. So, if you want to be successful, ditch the multitasking and increase your productivity.
2) Comparing Yourself To Others
Comparing yourself is easier these days with other people’s lives at our fingertips. Social media makes social comparison something that can be next to impossible to avoid.
We know so much more about the day-to-day lives of others by connecting digitally. That knowledge becomes the measuring stick we use to guide the way we think our lives should play out. If you want to be successful, you want to stop comparing your life to the carefully constructed social media posts you see every day.
It is easy to forget that the comparison is apples to oranges, not apples to apples. What most people share in social media is a carefully captured moment in time that is NOT as reflective of the big picture of their lives. What we find ourselves doing is comparing our entire experience to that picture perfect snapshot.
That’s when the negative self-talk comes in. It sabotages our happiness and success by downplaying our own accomplishments and successes. So if you want to be happy and successful, stop looking externally at others as your measuring stick. Set your own realistic expectations for yourself.
Remember that behind other people’s perfect post is a life equally imperfect, just like us.
3) Not Getting Enough Sleep
Did you know that being tired and sleep-deprived has a huge impact on how happy and successful we are? When we don’t get enough sleep at night, we begin to see the world from a darker and more negative lens.
Sleep deprivation will actually hamper your cognitive process by impacting reasoning, problem-solving, and concentration. It can also contribute to depression and poor judgment, things that are important if you want to be successful and happy.
4) Surrounding Yourself with Negative People
The types of people we surround ourselves with can have a huge impact on us, more than we realize. When we surround ourselves with negative people, we take in negative messages, views, and complaints.
These messages can have an impact on our own opinions and views of the world. If you want to be successful, stop surrounding yourself with negative people. Start to seek out others with a positive and optimistic attitude. You will start to see their happiness and success in you, too.
5) Focusing Energy on What You Don’t Want
In order to be successful, we believe it is important to focus energy on what we don’t want. We believe we need to plan and be prepared to handle problems that may come our way.
While being prepared is important, we often put a lot of focus on what we don’t want to see and not enough focus on what we DO want to see.
Take for example your kids. If they are jumping up and down on the furniture and you yell out, “stop jumping” you can often be ignored. It almost feels like they didn’t hear the word “stop”. The reality is, they may not have processed it that way. Instead if you say, “Put your feet on the ground” they are more likely to stop jumping.
If we want to increase the likelihood we will be happy and successful, it helps to STOP thinking in terms of what we don’t want to see and focus energy on what we want to see. Stay in the affirmative and create a clear vision of what success looks like. You will more likely get there.
6) Having a Fixed Mindset
Stanford University Psychology professor and author Carol Dweck has extensively researched mindset. She found that people with a fixed mindset are those who believe that things like intelligence or skill in a particular area are fixed traits responsible for one’s success or failure.
People with a fixed mindset don’t like to take risks or try new things. They stay in their comfort zone in order to avoid failure as they see it. Moving from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset can help you to be happy and successful.
A growth mindset is the belief that success and new abilities can be developed through practice and exposure to new ideas and things. This belief encourages a love for learning and fosters growth and leadership. Watch this short video that further explains the benefits of cultivating a growth mindset.
7) Eating Too Much Junk
Nutrition is a crucial part of overall well-being and wellness. Not only does a diet filled with processed junk food contribute to obesity, it also negatively affects our emotional health and well-being.
STOP the fast food and binging on junk if you want to be successful and happy. Think of your body and mind as being fueled by what you give it. Creating healthy eating habits provide your body the vitamins, nutrients, and fuel you need to boost your mood and overall health.
8) Skipping Exercise
Just as important as healthy eating, exercise contributes to mood and well-being. Stop skipping the gym if you want to be successful today. Set realistic goals for yourself and make movement a priority. Even if it is a few minutes a day, keep moving.
9) Spending All Your Time Indoors
Did you know that sunlight is actually good for you? In moderation, of course. The risks of sun-damaged skin is widely known; however, going outdoors more often and soaking in the sunlight can be beneficial.
Sunlight is believed to increase the hormone serotonin, which affects mood. Low levels of serotonin are related to depression. Spending time outdoors exposed to sunlight can also boost our vitamin D levels in our bodies, which is good for our bones as well as other health benefits.
Connecting with nature is also a great way to recharge and reset. If you practice meditation or mindfulness, you may want to go outside and sit with nature for your practice. Feeling stressed at work? Go outside on your break and take a walk.
Just like devices work better when they are unplugged, so can you. Take some time away from your desk during the day and soak up a bit of sunlight.
10) Believing Everything You Think
There is a misconception that just because we have a thought, we need to believe it to be true. So often we have automatic thoughts that come from years of negative messages. We get caught up in the belief that these thoughts are truths, and can feel unhappy and stressed.
To be happy and successful, remember that you do NOT need to believe everything that you think! Become aware of you thoughts throughout your day. Identify which ones contribute to your happiness and success, and which ones don’t.
Just because something is in your head, does not make it real or valid.
A great way to begin noticing your thoughts is through mindfulness practice. Take a few minutes to focus on your breathing and observe your thoughts as they come and go. Don’t connect, judge, or get caught up in any thought. Just observe them come and go.
Practice this a little bit each day can help create space between thoughts and emotions, allowing you to stop believing everything you think.
If you want to be successful and happy in the long run, STOP these 10 things. You’ll be surprised at the difference.