We’re living life at an insanely fast pace and the time for self-reflection can be hard to find. But there are things we can each do to improve our lives, right this moment, if we become more aware of some of our most detrimental habits.
- Stop worrying about everyone else. We spend so much time focusing on what’s fair and what’s not fair–even on issues that will never really affect us personally. Concentrate on the things you can do, change, create. Think about the things you have and the opportunities that lie before you. When you stop worrying about getting your fair share or other’s taking too much of theirs, life becomes far less stressful.
- Stop holding on to the past. What’s done is done and while reflection is crucial, wallowing in things that cannot be changed makes no sense. You can’t move forward if you’re constantly focusing on things that have already happened.
- Stop hating on yourself for your old mistakes. In the same vein as “stop holding on to the past” it’s important to not only move on from things that have happened but to give yourself some tolerance for the mistakes you’ve made. Everyone screws up–everyone has things that they would like to go back and do over (typically not possible). The “shoulda-coulda-woulda” mentality can prevent you from being even greater going forward if you let it.
- Stop waiting for the perfect moment. You will never be 100% ready. Really worth-it opportunities in life force us to step beyond our comfort zones, leaving us feeling vulnerable at first. Just remember that remarkable things happen when you push yourself beyond what you already know.
- Stop being jealous of other people. I once heard someone say “jealousy is the art of counting someone else’s blessings.” Give love, compassion and gratefulness to others and you’ll get what you need in return.
- Stop trying to be perfect. If you spend all of your time trying to make something perfect, it will never get done. It takes courage to embrace the imperfect but the rewards are much greater.
- Stop looking at the world through only your own lens. Our most common reaction to anything is to instantly think “how will I be affected,” “how does this make my life different,” “how do I feel about this?” And because of that automatic lens, we often miss great opportunities because we cannot see outside of our very small viewpoint. Open your mind and try hard to see different points of view on every situation, change, action or opinion.
- Stop focusing on the negative. There is a negative and positive side to nearly every situation. Life has conditioned us to immediately look at what could go wrong, why something won’t work, what’s not good enough. Instead, find the bright spot–the positive–and then focus on how to make it brighter.
- Stop worrying about every possible thing. Worry will not take away the challenges of tomorrow and it will absolutely take away the joy of today. Think carefully when you catch yourself in a whirlwind of worry, “will my worry effect the outcome for tomorrow, next year, ten years from now?” “And is there anything I can do about it at the moment?” Chances are many of the things you’re worried are going to happen anyways so it’s best to deal in reality and live in the moment.