4 ways you are ruining your life
Way to pull out the big guns with that title. Sorry, it’s a little harsh but this post is going to be real talk so might as well set the tone early.
So many of us go through our lives as if we have no control. This assumption flows through our days and influences our decisions, both big and small.
We live on autopilot and snap reactions, blaming everything around us for the circumstances we’re in.
And believe me, I could wax lyrical on how our society sets people up to fail and how women are taught from a young age to put everyone else first and how integrity and creativity are squeezed out of us at school and *deep breath* all the ways it’s just darn hard to live in this world.
But most of that is unhelpful. Helpful to be aware of maybe but to dwell on, no.
If all we do is look to outside causes then we will never change our lives. Expecting the world to change around us is silly and pointless. And it takes power out of our hands.
It's time to take the power back!
Have a riled you up enough? Are you ready for some truth bombs? Some hard looks in the mirror? I’m right here with you, and remember, we’re doing this with love.
1) Trying to help people who don’t want you to help them
This is a big one! Maybe one of the biggest things, even though it seems harmless. This drains your energy, makes you hate your friends and distracts you from working on yourself. Seriously.
Say you have a friend with a bad habit. Well, a habit you think is bad, let's go with they don’t eat healthily enough.
You look at their lives and think how much better and happier and healthier and richer and fantastical their life would be if only they ate better food.
So you give them advice. You give them recipes, you make them food because they’re your friend and you love them and you want the best for them. But they still don’t change. And you get frustrated. And annoyed. It’s such a simple change. Why can’t they just do it already?
Then maybe your friendship suffers, maybe they get fed up with your meddling and judgement.
Maybe you start to feel drained when you see them.
And all this time you still haven't been able to stick to the exercise routine you wanted to start.
You can’t change other people. Only yourself. And when you try to change other people you take the focus of yourself and put it somewhere else (which btw is exactly why we do it, changing ourselves is flippin terrifying)
2) Comparing yourself to others
Now I mean this in the generic don’t be envious of others success way but also in the don’t feel like your struggle isn’t enough.
You are allowed to feel. Suffering and sadness don't belong in a hierarchy where the only person allowed to feel sad is the person who is the worst off in the whole world.
You can talk about feeling unfulfilled, bored or empty without adding on an obligatory “but it’s not as bad as some people”.
We need to stop minimising the things we feel to be able to tune into what we really want in life.
If we are feeling unhappy then we need to explore that, find where it leads because it might be to something real and incredible.
3) Thinking you don’t have enough time to do the things you love
I wrote a whole post on this. You can find it here. Basically, the gist is, stop saying you don’t have time. You ain’t ever gonna get more hours in the day.
If you don’t have enough time to do the things you want then have a long look at your schedule and drop some stuff like they are hot.
4) Not getting enough sleep
Guys. Guys! Why do we do this? Why do we continually undersleep? When we are tired we’re basically useless. There is so much science and research and studies on how not getting enough sleep is terrible. The highlights include:
- Impairs alertness, reasoning, problem-solving, concentration and memory
- ALLLL the health problems, heart disease, heart attack, diabetes, stroke etc etc
- Including mental health problems. Lack of sleep can give you depression and anxiety.
- Ruins your memory and ability to consolidate and recall information.
- Ages your skin
- Can literally kill you. A study published in 2007 found reducing sleep from seven hours to five or less nearly doubled risk of death from all causes. We need to sleep more. It’s so important.
This book is amazing and inspiring and helpful if you struggle with sleep. A literal lifesaver.
These things aren't easy to change. They are habits difficult to break, hardwired over our lives. But the first step is to recognise the issue for what it is and to acknowledge the impact on our lives.
I am guilty of all of these. Every single one (particularly the first and last one). But now I see that, I am making an effort to change. Focusing on what can be changed rather than everything I can’t do.
Also, it’s important to note the reason we do these things is often to avoid the change that will follow. Change is scary and anything that is scary our brain has a natural aversion to. The same part of our brain that used to used to say “LION! RUN!” now says “CHANGE! AHH! WATCH TV”. Well not exactly but pretty close.
Accountability is the first step to an authentic life. If we blame others then we can never stand in our own power.
Looking at what we are do which negatively affects our life can be scary. It makes us feel guilty and ashamed. Know I don’t write these things to make you feel like a failure. Only to remind you, the chance to change your life is yours for the taking.
Which ones are you most guilty of? Let me know in the comments. Also, share any tips you have in breaking these bad habits. Let's take the power back!