I spent far too much of my life at the mercy of other people, my circumstances, and my own self destructive behavior. For years I lived in a cycle of frustration, hating myself for not measuring up to other people’s wins. I’m willing to bet that if you’re reading this, you’ve struggled with the same thing. This cycle can do more than ruin your day, your week, or your year. It can ruin your life.
It’s important that we eliminate negativity and bad thinking in order to go from stuck to unstoppable. Here are some of the chief joy-killers that you’ll need to crush in order to live up to your potential and enjoy your life.
See if this sounds familiar. You swipe through your phone like you do every day and see someone else’s vacation, the one you always wanted. A friend you know just got engaged while you’re still as single as you were last year. Another friend just made another leap in their career, while you can barely pay your bills.
As real as all these circumstances may be, the hard reality is that they aren’t the main problem you’re facing. The even bigger issue is comparison itself. If you didn’t believe that you should be in a relationship right now, it wouldn’t hurt half as bad that you’re single. Your friend’s promotion would be good news to you if you didn’t believe that a positive event for them was also a negative one for you.
Comparison can truly ruin your life. Even when you experience positive things, the victories will be hollow. There will always be other people with “better” circumstances than you (at least from where you’re sitting on Instagram). In other words, to live a life to the fullest, you need to think differently about others’ successes. One way to start is by celebrating others’ victories as though they were your own.
2. Living in the Past
Nobody looking to improve their life has experienced the level of victory that they want to yet. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be looking to improve their lives! In other words, they’re looking to make sure their future doesn’t look like their past. But here’s the thing – in order to change your future, you have to believe it will be different.
If you don’t believe things will get better, they probably won’t. For one thing, you’ll stay in despair, which will kill your willpower. You won’t have the warrior spirit to push through the obstacles in your way. The self sabotage won’t end there. For instance, if you keep expecting people to treat you how they always have, you will actually make them more likely to do so. Just ask the people who try to sell while expecting to be rejected. Their sales numbers are always worlds below the folks who expect to make the sale.
3. Worrying About People’s Opinions and Judgement
I’ve got a secret for you: people’s opinions of you don’t change anything about who you are. In fact, people are often wrong in their perceptions about things, and that includes you.
I’ve got another secret for you: no one is worth your worry. No matter who it is, you’re better off being comfortable in your own skin and letting other people do with it what they will.
Obsessing about your image can ruin your life. It leads to dishonesty and even narcissistic behavior. Not only that, but it’s a miserable way to live. The energy it takes to constantly try to make yourself look good to others will make life exhausting and bitter. What good is being popular if you’re too miserable and anxious to enjoy it?
4. Negative Self-Talk
It’s imperative that you be kinder to yourself than you are. While we are taught to be critical of ourselves, doing so never leads to anything good. We’re more likely to self sabotage when we beat up on ourselves, for starters. We also can spiral quickly into depression or anxiety when we’re in low self esteem. Being in these states will make you your worst self, not your best.
In contrast, showing yourself compassion is soothing and centering. It helps bring your brain into a state of openness and curiosity, which fosters creativity. So don’t let negative self talk ruin your life. Speak to yourself nicely and you will get much more out of yourself.
5. Choosing Toxic Relationships Over Loneliness
If you know you need to upgrade your inner circle, you may need to leave your current one behind first. This isn’t always true, but I’ve seen it be true before. Finding mentors, coaches, and other quality relationships can take time and energy, and sometimes the easiest way to get more of both is to get away from your negative influences.
Regardless, I firmly believe this: it’s better to be alone than with negative people who drain your energy. Toxic relationships are even worse when you consider that you become who you associate with. As a close friend of mine once said, “Show me your five friends, and I’ll show you your future. So if you know your time is being regularly being taken by people hindering your growth, be honest with yourself about why you’re still giving these people access to you. It may be time to face your fear and get away from them completely.
Conquer Your Bad Habits and Live as a Champion
History isn’t short on tragic stories of wasted potential. Your story doesn’t have to be added to the pile. You can rise above whatever has you stuck and achieve your dreams.
I started the Journey Principles Institute because I went from being homeless to having a successful career as an entrepreneur, and I wanted to help other people get the same level of breakthrough in their lives. If you’re struggling with getting traction, we can help you.
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