Life is challenging enough on its own without our intervention, and yet still so many of us regularly adopt moods, mentalities, and schools of thought that make life an even harder path to navigate.

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Not sure what I’m referring to? I’ve compiled a list of 12 things that we tend to do or put ourselves through that unnecessarily complicate our lives.

Be mindful of the fact that your ego may not be willing to admit to some of these behaviours, but if you can recognize and admit to any of these tendencies, you will allow yourself the opportunity to move beyond them; to live a simpler and more peaceful life.

See how many these 12 relate to you in either video or written form:

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, 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 either avoided or feared for a long time.

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.

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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. Stop Letting The Fear Of Making A Mistake Hold You Back

Mistakes may be frustrating, 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 to an iconic figure or even a friend or co-worker, many of us habitually 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.

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 rather that we instead focus on the present and allow the future to be what it will when the time for it comes.

6. Stop Putting Off Things 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 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.

7. Stop Trying To Get People To Feel Sorry For You

Nobody likes a negative Nancy or a pessimistic Peter, yet so many of us share only 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.

8. Stop Setting So Many Expectations

Let’s face it, the imagination loves to wander, and in most cases it wanders to create expectations far grander than are even humanly possible to achieve. As fun as getting lost in la-la land can be at times, it inevitably makes 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?

9. 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 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 who comes into your life, helping you to remember that love can often be found in the oddest places.

10. Stop Trying To Be Someone That You’re Not

Whether we hope to gain general approval or the admiration of someone we wish to impress,  we do ourselves no favours by trying 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.

11. Stop Beating Yourself Up

As insulting as another person can be, there is no one capable of being more vicious to ourselves than, well… ourselves. Whatever has got you down — whether you let your high school crush get away, you dropped the game-winning touchdown, or you embarrassed yourself in front of a crowd — 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 own mind can be a really freeing process.

12. Stop Watching/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, we must also begin putting these things into action. Allow these resources to become a starting point rather than a regularly needed reminder.


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