I was recently inspired to put together a list of tendencies that I have found in both the observation of myself and those around me. These tendencies, in my opinion, can make life a lot more complicated and difficult to go through than it needs to be. Read through the list, see how many apply to you and feel free to add any others that you may want to share through the comment section of the article.
1. Stop Running From Your Problems – You cannot run from something forever, and believe it or not the longer you run from something the more difficult it becomes to face. Challenges arise for a reason, and as difficult as many of them can be to both face and overcome they always give you the opportunity to become a stronger and more capable version of yourself. There are also fewer things more liberating than the feeling of finally facing something that you had put off or had been afraid of for so long.
2. Stop Lying To Yourself & Others – Lying is in my opinion the most naturally cumulative process. What starts as a simple and small lie (possibly even with the intention of not hurting someone) quickly spirals into an entirely false reality where the biggest factor preventing you from sharing the truth is the unwanted reputation of being known as a liar. We lie to one another, but even more so we lie to ourselves most often to protect our oh so fragile ego. We might even be inclined to lie to ourselves when reading this list, not wanting to admit how many of these tendencies we actually do. Remember that in the end the past has helped to make you who you are but does not define you, you therefore always have the ability to make the transition to full honesty & you will probably be pleasantly surprised by how much lighter an honest existence can be.
3. Stop Letting The Fear Of Making A Mistake Stop You From Doing Something – Mistakes certainly can be a frustrating experience but never are they worth holding yourself back from doing something you feel pulled to do. We all know we learn from our mistakes but we need to also remember that we learn even more from stepping outside of our comfort zone and doing something different or new.
4. Stop Comparing Yourself To Others – Whether it’s an iconic figure or even a friend or co-worker many of us have a natural tendency to compare ourselves or our circumstance to that of another. Think of how many times you may have said, either vocally or under your breath, “must be nice” when looking at a facet of another person’s life. Just as the famous saying goes: the grass will always seem greener on the other side. Whether or not the grass actually is greener has no true bearing on the only grass we should be focused on, the one right below our feet. The moment we stop comparing and instead focus on our own experience the more likely we are to both find peace in things being the way that they are and motivation to change them should we feel pulled to.
5. Stop Living For Something In The Future – Whether it’s something as temporary as an upcoming vacation or as permanent as retirement, living for something in the future is great for one key thing: preventing us from living right now. One thing is for certain, in this life we are never going to be any younger than we are right now, so what time is better than right now? I’m not suggesting that we stop making all future plans, since they certainly can be useful, but that we instead focus on the present and allow the future to be what it will when the time for it comes.
6. Stop Trying To Get People To Feel Sorry For You – Nobody likes a negative Nancy or a pessimistic Peter, yet so many of us regularly make a habit of sharing nothing but the unpleasant or unfavorable. As nice as it can feel at one level to receive sympathy from another person we all know it does absolutely nothing to change the situation that we are complaining about. In fact it actually makes it a bigger part of your reality since now you aren’t the only one to identify with it. Accept whatever it is that seems to be plaguing you and choose to move on from it rather than bask in the stories or emotions that could be made from it.
7. Stop Trying To Re-live/ Make Up For Your Past – As I previously mentioned your past does not define you, and that applies whether you look upon it favorably or as something you wish you could forget. As fun or torturous as reminiscing can be at times in the end nothing truly matters outside of this moment. Rather than preoccupy yourself with a comparison to another point in time why not try giving all of your energy and attention to the one that is right in front of you.
8. Stop Putting Things Off For The Eternal Tomorrow – This one could alternatively be called ‘stop being lazy,’ and it more than likely is the one that plagues the largest percentage of us that read this. Laziness is a lethal pandemic that has been stood up to before, but still manages to hold its ground a lot more often than we all probably would like. Remembering that there is no time like the present, opt to show laziness who is boss a little more often and you might be surprised at how contagious present action can be. You will undoubtedly be more productive and might just find yourself motivated to do a lot more than you ever thought imaginable.
9. Stop Blaming Things Outside Of You – Even though we all do genuinely find ourselves as the ‘victim’ to a person or circumstance on occasion, we usually inaccurately point the blame elsewhere far more often. As much as this can be an effective tool in dodging difficulty with another person it never works in dodging difficulty within yourself. You will always know the true cause behind even the grandest lie and not living up to it will never be the easier path to travel. Own up for what you have caused or what is really holding you back and you might just find yourself a lot more in control of your own reality and even comfortable in your own shoes.
10. Stop Letting The Past Define How You Think Of Others – Your friend may have unnecessarily called you a jackass three years ago but that doesn’t mean that you need to see them as a jackass today. You should always use your own guidance to determine whether or not you want to surround yourself with certain people but you shouldn’t let the past taint that guidance. As difficult or as emotionally charged as a lot of it may be, the past is simply baggage that should have no bearing on the present moment. Think of how much you have changed and grown throughout your life, be open to the same level of change existing in another rather than automatically clouding your perspective of them.
11. Stop Setting Expectations For Things Before They Happen – Let’s face it, the imagination loves to wander, and in most cases it wanders to create expectations far grander than even humanly possible. As fun as getting lost in la-la land can be at times it also manages to do a pretty good job of making the present reality seem a lot worse than it actually is. I’ve heard countless people tell me how the best things in life have always seemed to happen when they least expected it, so what better way to help create that then to simply stop expecting. Be in the moment and things will always seem that much more exciting, mostly because they don’t have so much craziness to try and live up to.
12. Stop Looking For Someone Perfect – Not only is our idea of perfect most likely heavily shaped by entertainment and popular media but it is also ever changing and therefore pretty well impossible to ever be met. Rather than focusing on your search for that perfect someone to complete you, focus on what you need to do to feel complete within yourself. We are all capable of being and feeling complete love on our own, relationships are simply the extension of that love with another person. The shedding of the need for “perfection” will also make you a lot more open to connecting and sharing experiences with anyone that comes into your life, remembering that love can often be found in the oddest places.
13. Stop Trying To Be Someone That You Are Not – Whether it’s the impact of popular opinion once again or simply the preference of someone you are trying to impress, we are never doing ourselves a favor when we try to become someone else. Even if the charade manages to work in getting you what you were going for, it only does so for a false version of yourself. Focusing on understanding and fully owning with comfort who you truly are will take you a lot further in life than anything artificially created.
14. Stop Beating Yourself Up – As insulting as another person can be, there is nothing capable of being more vicious to ourselves than ourselves. Whether you let your high school crush get away, you dropped the game winning touchdown or anything else along those same lines, nothing from the past has to have any bearing on the present. Choosing to create this moment anew rather than weigh it down by things that are completely irrelevant to everything but your mind can be a really freeing process.
15. Stop Just Reading & Start Doing – As amazing as books, quotes and even articles such as this one can be to help remind us of what we already know it’s time that we all regularly put these things into action. Allow these resources to become a starting point rather than a regularly needed reminder.
Free Happiness Training!
Do you want to bring more happiness into your life?
Happify's activities and games are based on a decade's worth of cutting-edge research by psychologists and neuroscientists from leading academic institutions around the world.
Happify's exercises are personalized directly for you based on your unique goals.
If you are looking to bring more peace and joy into your life this year Start out with Happify for FREE!