15 Things To Stop Doing To Yourself

advertisement - learn more

I was recently inspired to put together a list of tendencies that I have observed in both myself and those around me which, 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 wish to share through the comment section of the article.

1. 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, doing so gives 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 a long time.


2. 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. Moreover, we may lie to one another once in a while, but we lie to ourselves all the time, often to protect our oh-so fragile egos. We might even be inclined to lie to ourselves when reading this list, not wanting to admit how many of these traps we actually fall into. Remember that in the end, the past has helped to make you who you are but it does not define you; you always have the ability to make the transition to full honesty and you will probably be pleasantly surprised by how much lighter an honest existence can feel.

3. 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. 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 is the moment we are most likely to both find peace in things being the way that they are and motivation to change them should we feel the need to.

5. 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. 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 accompanying stories or emotions.


7. 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. Putting Things Off For The Eternal Tomorrow – This one could alternatively be called ‘being lazy,’ and it more than likely is the one that plagues the largest percentage of us. 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. Blaming Things Outside Of Yourself – Even though we all do genuinely find ourselves as the ‘victim’ to a person or circumstance from time to time, we usually (and inaccurately) point the blame elsewhere far more often. As much as this can be an effective tool for dodging difficulty with another person, it never works when trying to avoid 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 to 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 more comfortable in your own shoes.


10. 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. Now consider how foolish it would be to assume that the same does not also apply to everyone around you.

11. 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 pretty blah by comparison. 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 than to simply stop expecting. Be in the moment  and things will always seem that much more exciting (if for no other reason than you haven’t imagined them first).

12. 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 find. 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, helping you to remember that love can often be found in the oddest places.


13. 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. Beating Yourself Up – As insulting as another person can be, there is no one capable of being more vicious to ourselves than, well… 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 needs 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. Just Reading & Not Doing – As amazing as books, quotes, and even articles such as this one can be to help remind us of what we already know, we must also begin putting these things into action. Allow these resources to become a starting point rather than a regularly needed reminder.

Help Support Conscious Alternative News

We're incredibly passionate about what we do because we know the world NEEDS conscious media. The world is confusing and mainstream media is often making it worse - making what we do even more important.

Producing news is costly! So we opened up a store. to help support our work and expand it while giving people something in return as.

Everything in our store so far is in line with what we believe in and all proceeds support what we do.

If you resonate, help support our work.

Help Support Conscious Alternative News

We are very passionate about conscious media and we know the world needs it. Help support our work!

advertisement - learn more

More From 'Consciousness'

CE provides a space for free thinkers to explore and discuss new, alternative information and ideas. The goal? Question everything, think differently, spread love and live a joy filled life.

  1. ella

    To this I would add…
    Worrying is like paying interest on a debt you probably don’t even owe. It strips the joy from the present and solves NOTHING. I was a habitual worrier, took years to stop myself, but now I feel lighter, happier and I’m nicer to be around. If something bad might happen and you can do something to stop it, then why worry? If something bad might happen and you can’t do anything to stop it, then why worry? Worrying solves nothing!

    • - Collective Evolution

      ‘Stop Worrying’ is definitely a great one to add Ella! If we remember that even the most challenging of situations happens for a reason and gives us an opportunity to grow than what is there really to worry about? In the end worrying does nothing more than take us out of the moment, which is the only thing we have any input and control of. Thanks for the list addition!

  2. #10. Sorry, but I tried that and was stung twice as bad.
    I forgave a friend who turned his back on me when I was at my lowest point and very nearly committed suicide on multiple occasions.

    Several years later we met up again, I never brought it up, forgave and forgot. Then he openly tried to flirt with my fiancee/wife in front of me and in an attempt to get into the knickers of my best friend(a female)told her during the course of one evening where I invited him out to join us at a works do that I hated her, I was only her friend to get in her knickers and that I was gay among other lies.

    If I ever see him again. I Will kill him.

    • True vengeance would be to ignore him and let him fall victim of his own designs

    • - Collective Evolution

      Hey Vengeance, #10 is definitely a very sticky one to work with. That’s partially why as part of it I decided to include ‘You should always use your own guidance to determine whether or not you want to surround yourself with certain people…’ In the end the tip is more so to allow yourself to fully move beyond the past and not always hold the past against other people. If they continue to persist with behaviour that you don’t agree with you can then just distance yourself from them. The idea is to get to a state of mind that just let’s them be rather than a state that is very sensitive to their actions/ decisions. Hope this helps :)

    • Alexander

      Not that he sounds like someone I’d care to have as a friend in the first place, in an instance such as that “forgive and forget” isn’t the proper way to go about someone with that personality. The important thing to remember about humans is that we all have our reasons for acting a certain way; sometimes it can be reproached in others and sometimes it can’t be.

      That guy sounds like he had a “problem personality.” As the first point of the article suggests a problem needs to be dealt with immediately and not put off. Forgive and forget is a way of avoiding confrontation with others for how they act.

  3. Love it!! This is like reading my own way of living, after taking back the control of MY life! Thanks for making the list almost everyone needs to read! <3

  4. Katie

    Very Insightful, however 5. Stop Living For Something In The Future: try doing a Law degree and saying that, just saying.

  5. so…. stop doing things that define us as a human?

    • - Collective Evolution

      The choice to continue doing these things or not is always up to you Lee. I only present them as something to consider since they can become a pretty taxing set of things to always be doing.

  6. Kyle Durden

    These are awesome ideas and I will definitely be thinking about these throughout my workday. If I may offer some constructive criticism on your writing; try replacing “as much as ____ can ____” with another phrase or just mix it up a little. Sounds a teensy bit repetitive. Thanks for the intellectual stimulation, Mark. :)

    • - Collective Evolution

      Thanks Kyle. Always appreciate the constructive criticism and definitely agree on the repetitiveness of that series of words. I put together the list out of sequence and also wrote each ‘tip’ separately so I didn’t catch on to it until you mentioned it. I’ll keep it in mind for any future posts or lists that I write :)

  7. DMW

    Maybe we could concentrate on our amazing capabilities. Humans are stupendous creatures. We should be rolling in clover every day. We have everything for our happiness.

    • Miss Kitty

      I whole heartedly agree DMW =^..^=

  8. EXTREMELY useful! thanks, esp the ‘ella’ opinion

    ~infinite “cliche here” always

  9. Mary Putana

    Stop believing in astrology

    • metalheadmom84

      To each his own.

  10. leftofriver

    It’s a great list but so much easier said than done. ‘Stop Comparing Yourself to Others’ is so much easier said than done. We are constantly bombarded with images of people who are better looking, having more fun somewhere else. When you know that you were once the good looking one having the fun, and now you’re miserable and lost, how can you not think about the past. or compare yourself to others?

    • Thea

      Hey leftofriver,
      Adding to Mark’s reply, I’ll share that I’ve struggled with the same things you mentioned, deeply, for decades. It’s been my weight then my race then my personality defects then my parents and past and upbringing — seriously, I was obsessed with all the wrong things as reasons for feeling miserable and lost. I have begun to turn things around recently by investing in one thing alone — self-love. No list, book, or advice got me to do so. It was the stink of so much pain and egg on my face from loving others more than I was loving myself and being abused, abandoned, lied to, etc., that I finally got it. It broke my heart and made me mad enough to stopped believing I’m helpless and start investing me. It’s a big ship to turn but I am seeing the changes come. Hang in there!

    • - Collective Evolution

      It certainly can be very difficult to put a lot of the things on this list into practice especially when we are bombarded with the opposite. Nonetheless it is always possible, and as difficult as it may be at times it can be very freeing in the long run and worth the challenge. At least in my opinion :)

  11. Erik

    Have a list of behaviors to avoid (as well as adopt) is always helpful. I’ve found The Four Agreements to be just such a (concise) list:
    1) Be impeccable with your word
    2) Don’t take anything personally
    3) Don’t make assumptions
    4) Always do your best

    Thanks for your insight, Mark.

    • Anneke_Jordaan

      My mother always told me never make assumptions, because assumptions are the mother of all fuck ups

    • - Collective Evolution

      Thanks for sharing Erik! There are definitely a number of helpful lists out there. :)

  12. Couldn’t think of a better list. Perhaps ‘Stop striving’ could also be another one. As humans we can get so obsessed chasing people, dreams, ideas, happiness and we end up missing what’s around us all along.

    • - Collective Evolution

      Thanks for the kind words and the contribution Clare. Consistently striving can certainly get someone trapped in being out of the moment. It’s a tricky line to play with, because striving can also be great to keep people focused and inspired… Thanks for sharing! :)

  13. john

    I find lists like this interesting but not useful for me. In my view and life folks can live as they like. If they want to live for the future they can do that. If they want to live in the past they can do that to. Rarely in the belief system I follow are people told to stop being this way or that way. Certainly if they want suggestions those can be made and how we choose to deal with each person is for us to decide. But, everyone is on their own journey and we try to love and support without dictating.

    • - Collective Evolution

      Definitely understood John. My intention behind this list is certainly not to dictate, it’s simply to share. You as the readers are free to take as much or as little from it as you see fit. Thanks for comment!

  14. hennez
  15. I would say that the cumulative baseline to this list would be first and foremost, believe that you are worthy of good things in your life. Before you can accomplish any of the aforementioned things, you have to first realize that in spite of all of your perceived flaws, you are still a person worthy of unconditional love and good things being in your life. If you cannot love yourself, you cannot treat yourself well. Figure out how to make that mind change, and the world is your oyster.

    • - Collective Evolution

      Very interesting overlying principle that is great to consider. Thanks for the contribution Rose!

  16. ktrina

    Can anyone belong? Dose it cost?

  17. Sarah

    ‘Stop Hiding Behind Other People’ through using ‘you’ and ‘we’ language. When I am advising ‘other people’ to do something or not to do something I am really telling myself what to do and not do. When I dole this advise out in ‘you’ and ‘we’ language I allow myself to say what I mean without having to actually take my own advise. I can hide in a ‘we’ loophole the size of humanity, but this doesn’t actually help me in the end. When I translate this article into ‘I’ Language, I see what is actually being said. Check out the following article, it describes what I’m talking about in detail. http://www.elephantjournal.com/2013/11/my-language-of-unity-aaron-watson/
    Thank I, Love I, Bless I, Heal I, I am I!

    • - Collective Evolution

      That’s a great one to add and consider. Thanks for the contribution and the article share Sarah!

  18. AliceZ

    Great list. Just had a thought though, since we are so frequently bombarded with negative statements, negative reinforcement, etc., it occurred to me how different the article might be written and perceived if it were titled (and accordingly written): “15 Things to START Doing For Yourself.” Just a thought…. :)

    • - Collective Evolution

      Wording is always a tricky thing to play with! Arguments can definitely be made for both sides.. in the end as long as the message is there I think that’s all that matters. Great insight & idea though Alice!

  19. John

    http://www.marcandangel.com/2011/12/11/30-things-to-stop-doing-to-yourself/ Here’s the original article in case you missed it!

    • - Collective Evolution

      Hey John! I actually didn’t base the article or take any of the content from the one that you shared at the link, I wrote this one on my own. But it’s definitely cool to see, especially since quite a few of the pointers are on the same page with each other. I think both articles are a great resource and reminder so thanks for sharing!

  20. Daniel

    I would like to add one that has made a huge difference in my life: Don’t judge anyone for any reason.

    You may think that you have the right to point your finger at someone and accuse. But human lives are like icebergs. We only ever see 10%. The other 90%, the one we don’t know, the one we can’t see, may explain why people are how they are (no one is BORN hateful, cruel, rude, etc.). If we learn to think of everyone as being on a journey, through with we all go through but take different roads, and that everyone reaches the finish line at different times/points in their lives, we can look at a person we don’t like and say “that person is on his/her journey and they haven’t reached the place where I am… I cannot judge or accuse that person… he/she will learn… i will try to help them instead of judge them.”

    Like Mother Teresa once said “If we judge, we don’t have time to love.” Once you get past judging people, you open yourself to the possibility of appreciating them, which leads to harmony which leads to peace.

    Also, learning to stop judging people is an easy thing to do… it’s internal.

  21. Since this article is themed “Stop doing so and so”, I’d like to add one more. “Stop copying pictures that you don’t have any right to
    use and pasting them into your online article.” Just because it’s on the Internet, doesn’t mean you can just use any old picture as you see fit. I’m sure a lot of photographers would benefit from this more than anything else that’s listed above.

  22. I love the ideas and direction but it’s been my experience that if you forget the past, you repeat it.


Leave a Reply

Collective Evolution welcomes differing viewpoints and thought-provoking opinions that add value to the discussion, but comments may be moderated to remove profanity or remarks that detract from a healthy conversation. For the best interest of the community, please refrain from posting vulgar comments, profanity, or personal attacks. Comments submitted may automatically be flagged for review by our moderation team before appearing on the website.

Check Out Our Store

CE Store

Latest Podcast


Featured TEDx Talk

TEDx - Agents of Change
advertisement - learn more

CETV - What's On

Published: Apr 11, 2016

advertisement - learn more

Trending Now


6 Scientific Reasons Why You Should Consider Not Smoking Weed On A Regular Basis

It’s about being balanced and informed. Exploring the upsides and downsides to cannabis. We’ve reported a ton on the benefits of cannabis and its potential in medical applications, but what about the other side of the coin? Is it fair…