Psych2goers, do you often reflect on your lives, and ponder, how can you make your life better, or at the very least, more tolerable? You look at your friends, and wonder, how can they be at ease and content with their lives, despite the turmoil and difficulties that they need to face everyday? What makes them appear to be in control with their lives?
So, below are 6 things that you should stop doing immediately in order to be in control with your lives:
- Stop living someone else’s dream
“My friend has a son who is a bachelor. He works as a doctor. You know I always wanted a doctor son-in-law. Why don’t you try getting to know him and marry him as soon as possible?”
“No, mom. I want to focus on myself. And why does being a doctor matter so much to you?”
“Well, it’s for your own good too. Plus, my friend has a doctor son-in-law and he always treats her with expensive stuff whenever he visits her with her daughter. And…you get free consultation. Who doesn’t love free consultation…?”
“Umm, okay, mom…but what about his real personality? Is your friend’s son kind?”
“Well, I don’t really know about that. I think all doctors are kind……?”
Psych2goers, are you the one who always likes to please other people and fulfill someone else’s needs and aspirations to the extent of sacrificing your own goals and dreams? Do you feel afraid of letting down someone else and become overly concerned with someone else’s expectations of you?
When you are living someone else’s dream, and it is not aligning with what you aspire your life to be, you will be miserable. Unconsciously following someone else’s agenda for your life; be it your parents, friends, or significant other, makes you someone who is not taking responsibility for your own life. Instead of becoming a passenger of your life’s journey, which is driven and moulded by somebody else; shift into the driver seat. Have the courage to take full responsibility for your own life.
2. Stop feeding yourself excuses
You make a promise to yourself that you will go for a morning jog tomorrow around the beautiful lake near your apartment to improve your physical and psychological health. However, when the morning comes, you hit that snooze button five times in a row and go back to sleep. “I am tired, well, maybe I should postpone my jogging at a later date.”
Psych2goers, let’s examine your life. Perhaps you are being offered a wonderful opportunity to make career changes but you make excuses because you are fearful that the outcome won’t be worth the risk. You simply decide to settle for less because you are afraid to challenge yourself. However, do realize that when you are giving excuses to every new opportunity coming your way, you are actually limiting yourself and holding yourself from a lot of things, which include progressing further in your career, creating new relationships, or getting healthier.
3. Stop selling yourself short
Psych2goers, do you find yourself refusing to own your awesomeness, or in other words, selling yourself short? Do you perhaps find yourself telling your badminton buddies that you have not picked up a badminton racquet for many years, with hope that they should not have high expectations towards you? According to Steven Rudolf, LCSW, selling ourselves short or also otherwise known as self-handicapping is a behaviour that you have in which you are putting obstacles in the path of your own aspirations, which limits your effectiveness and the respect that you obtain from other people. The obstacle that you put may be in the form of your own self-doubts and negative self-talk, that tiny little voice in your head that amplifies your doubts and chips away at your confidence. Perhaps you want to try something new. Maybe you want to doodle and record the process and upload it on YouTube. Or perhaps you want to learn a new language. But your inner critic always nags at you,
“What if I mess up?”
“I am not capable and smart enough to learn a new language.”
“Who am I to doodle?”
However, instead of chastising yourself, try to give yourself permission to be imperfect and mess up once in a while. Give yourself the green light to learn new things and to create an imperfect doodle.
4. Stop taking everything personally
You are invited to give a motivational talk to a bunch of college students. You like to get your audience immersed into your story. However, once you spot someone in the audience not paying attention to what you are saying and playing with his phone instead, you take it personally.
Have you ever been in a situation where you felt agony, offended or even betrayed by a person? You believe that the other person is to blame for what you are feeling and they should be held accountable for making you feel bad about yourself. However, the truth is, when you have such thoughts, you are actually driven by your ego, which makes you want to be told and acknowledged that you are always right, and somebody else’s actions are always about you.
You need to stop taking everything personally. For instance, in the above scenario, instead of thinking that the student is feeling bored with your speech, why not look at this scenario from another perspective? Maybe the student receives an important notification which he has been waiting the whole day for. Or maybe the student is actually feeling sleepy, but he still finds the topic of your speech intriguing and fascinating that he is compelled to take notes on his phone.
5. Stop being scared to make a mistake
Psych2goers, do you find yourself worrying about making the wrong choices, and end up not doing anything at all? When you are fearful of making mistakes, you can be paralyzed. You avoid doing things altogether, you rather do nothing than take that step ahead and risk making a mistake. However, you need to be aware that chasing perfection is like chasing a pink bear. It simply does not exist. Instead of worrying so much on making mistakes, try to be more flexible and realize that making mistakes does not immediately render you weak and incompetent. Mistakes do not define you, rather what you do after you have made the mistake that makes all the difference. Look at mistakes as a source of growth and learning in your life.
6. Stop comparing yourself to others
Whenever you log in into your social media accounts, you will be bombarded with news of your friends getting promotion at work, virtual wedding invitations, and pictures of your friends’ newborn baby. You know that it is only human to share good news with people, and perhaps as a form of mementos to be saved in the digital world, however, you can’t help to feel envious and compare yourself with your friends. You feel that there is a huge gap between where you are in life and where your friends are.
Especially in this digital era, the amount of things that you can compare yourself with others are insurmountable. You might be comparing your job title, house, car, and the number of subscribers or followers one has in one’s social media account. Comparing yourself to others means that you are focusing on other people instead of investing that time in yourself. Psych2goers, you also need to know that it is unwise and unfair to actually compare your behind-the-scenes moments with someone else’s highlight reels. Our mind will always be focusing on what they already achieve instead of the grits, challenges, and sacrifices that they need to make in order to finally get to where they are in life. Therefore, try to stop comparing yourself to others. Instead, turn your comparison into your inspiration.
Brenner, A. (2014, August 26). How to stop taking things personally. Psychology Today. Retrieved November 2, 2021, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/blog/in-flux/201408/how-stop-taking-things-personally.
Rudolf, S. (2018, December 4). Stop selling yourself short. Psychology Today. Retrieved November 2, 2021, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/hoop-themes/201812/stop-selling-yourself-short.