🌼7 Little Things We Do That Make Life Harder Than It Needs To Be
Life can be challenging at times, but often it’s the little things we do that make it harder than it needs to be.
From putting off what we need to do right now to a later time to holding on to past hurts or trying to be perfect, these small habits can impact our lives in ways we can’t imagine.
In this article, we’ll take a look at 7 little things we do that make life harder than it needs to be and offer practical solutions for breaking these patterns.
Putting off until tomorrow what can be done today
We’ve all been there. You have a deadline to meet but instead of getting to work, you find yourself engaged in meaningless tasks.
You may even tell yourself that you’ll start working on it later, but before you know it, you’re out of time and scrambling to finish the task.
That’s procrastination, and it can have serious consequences in our lives.
When you put things off for later, the rush to meet deadlines can cause you a lot of stress and anxiety, make you produce a sub-par product, and can lead to missed opportunities.
Procrastination is a thief of time. Time lost can’t be recovered and the consequences must follow.
If you put off going to the gym or eating healthy, you’ll regret it because you’ll find yourself in less-than-optimal physical health conditions over time.
It’s better to make a plan to get things done and take small actions than to wait until the last minute.
If you’re always putting things off, my advice to you is to take a step back and evaluate your priorities.
Make a plan to tackle the most important tasks first and break them down into smaller, manageable chunks. Set deadlines for yourself and hold yourself accountable.
The trap of endless analysis
As we go through life, we’re often faced with situations that require us to think critically and make quick decisions.
Often, we take this process to the extreme and get trapped in a cycle of overthinking that makes it difficult to make decisions and move forward.
Unfortunately, overthinking creates more problems. It breeds fear and indecision and makes progress harder to come by.
If you’re an overthinker, you’ll often second-guess yourself, get stuck in analysis paralysis and excessive worrying.
You’ll spend hours trying to plan everything in detail, trying to predict every possible outcome.
This impacts your creativity, motivation, and productivity, and may even lead to stress and anxiety.
In life, things don’t always out work exactly the way we want them and that’s okay. All you can do is trust yourself and your ability to handle whatever comes your way.
You don’t want to hold yourself back from taking action, pursuing your dreams, and enjoying the present moment because you want to control the outcomes of all your decisions.
Being too hard on yourself
Being too hard on ourselves isn’t just a common problem that many of us face; it also complicates our lives.
When you’re too hard on yourself, you tend to be self-critical. You beat yourself up for the tiniest mistakes but rarely give yourself credit for any success.
You struggle to open up to others because you’re afraid they’ll judge you. You want to do everything perfectly or you don’t do it at all.
Unfortunately, this way of life holds you back from fully enjoying your life.
In fact, it increases your stress, anxiety, and depression levels, and may even lead to health problems such as high blood pressure and heart disease.
Yet, you don’t need to be too hard on yourself.
Life is much easier when we learn to show ourselves as much kindness and understanding as we show to others. As author Kristin Neff, said, “Self-compassion is simply giving the same kindness to ourselves that we would give to others.”
You also learn to let go of things that are out of your control and not to be too hard on yourself when you make mistakes.
This can help us to feel more in control of our life, and to have more energy and motivation to engage in activities that bring us pleasure and fulfillment.
Comparing yourself to others
As human beings, it’s natural to compare ourselves to others.
We look at the people around us and try to evaluate how we measure up in terms of looks, intelligence, success, and happiness.
But while this may seem like a normal thing, constantly comparing yourself to others can have a major impact on your life.
Growing up, I was always the smallest kid in my class. I remember being envious of my taller classmates. I used to think, “If only I were taller, I would be happier.”
However, as I grew older, I realized that my height isn’t the only thing that defines me. I stopped feeling bad and allowing it to hold me back from living my best life.
Comparison is a thief of joy.
When you focus too much on how you measure up to others, you lose sight of what’s unique about you and take away your own happiness.
Research backs this up: People who compare themselves to others have lower self-esteem and are more likely to feel depressed.
How do you break the cycle of comparison?
Focus on gratitude. Instead of constantly looking at what others have that you don’t, shift your attention to what you’re grateful for in your own life.
Remind yourself that what you see on social media is not always a true reflection of people’s lives. Social media often gives the impression that everyone else’s lives are perfect while ours are not.
Focusing on Perfection
Society often glorifies perfectionism and sets impossible standards of what life should look like.
It’s the reason we see perfectly curated Instagram feeds, seemingly perfect marriages, and successful people who appear to have it all together.
But what if I told you that it’s just a facade and that the constant pursuit of perfection is actually doing more harm than good?
Perfectionism is a form of self-abuse that keeps you trapped in a vicious circle of self-imposed pressure and disappointment.
Trying to be perfect limits your progress and leads to depression, disappointment, burnout, and a lack of joy in the present moment.
But as writer Brené Brown points out, “Perfectionism is not the same thing as striving to be your best. Perfectionism is the belief that if we live perfect, look perfect, and act perfect, we can minimize or avoid the pain of blame, judgment, and shame.”
You don’t need to be perfect to live your best life and do great work. As a matter of fact, no one is perfect.
Instead of striving for perfection, focus on progress. It’s okay if you don’t have everything figured out. In life, the journey is just as important as the destination.
Embrace your imperfections and enjoy the journey.
Holding on to past hurts
My own experience has taught me that harboring resentment toward others can consume us and prevent us from moving on and enjoying our lives.
One time a friend hurt me and I felt I’d never forgive him. I’d constantly replay the hurtful event in my mind and feel resentful towards him.
But when I let go of my anger and forgive my friend, I was able to move on and help our friendship heal.
When you hold onto grudges, you hurt yourself thinking the other person will suffer.
Those negative emotions of anger, resentment, and bitterness make you ineffective at work and over time, put your health at risk.
Forgiving someone is not about forgetting or excusing the hurtful behavior. It’s simply letting go of your anger and resentment.
If you want to simplify your life, forgive quickly and move on. It allows you to live with less emotional baggage so you can use your energy on what’s important to you.
“Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could have been any different. It’s accepting the past for what it was and using this moment and this time to help yourself move forward.”
— Brené Brown
Resisting change and clinging to familiar patterns
We’ve all heard the saying, “the only constant in life change.” But despite this, many of us resist change and prefer to stick to our old patterns.
Change is scary and uncertain. The unknown can be daunting and it’s natural to want to hold on to what’s familiar and comfortable even when they no longer serve us.
But the truth is, resisting change can hold you back. It prevents you from embracing new ideas and new ways of doing things that could save you time and effort.
According to research, a lack of adaptability leads to poor job performance, decreased creativity, and even mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.
People and businesses who can adapt to change are more likely to be successful than those that can’t.
As author and motivational speaker Jim Rohn advised, “If you don’t like how things are, change it.”
Instead of resisting change, learn to embrace it. Alan Watts, said, “The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”
Recognize that change is a natural part of life and that it can bring new opportunities and growth. Embrace uncertainty and be open to new experiences.
Life is a journey and it’s important to be mindful of the little things we do that make it harder than it needs to be.
Whether it’s holding grudges, focusing on perfection, or resisting change, these small habits can have a big impact on our well-being.
By being aware of these patterns and making a conscious effort to change them, we can transform our lives.
Remember, life is short and we deserve to live it to the fullest.
Contributed by Victor Mong
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