So, here is my list of 11 things to stop doing RIGHT NOW to improve your state of mind and start living a life you really love:
1. Stop Apologizing for being YOU
The biggest is up first. You are unique and you need to celebrate it. Life is far too short for pretending to be someone or something you are not. In a world where different is often seen as uncomfortable or even wrong, learn to be strong enough to stand up for who you are.
It doesn’t happen overnight, but becoming who you really are is the greatest gift you can ever give yourself in this life.
“Maybe one day we’ll finally learn to love ourselves
and stop apologizing for the things
that make us who we are.” – R.M. Drake
2. Stop Putting Things Off
Life is bloody short. Don’t wait until it’s too late to go on that adventure, to try something new, to do what you want, to tell someone how you feel. This is YOUR life and you get to choose how you live it. OK, so you may not be able to drop everything and head off to Hawaii today, but you can take steps every day to help you get there one day. And that’s much better than not planning at all.
3. Stop Saying Sorry all the Time
I don’t mean that you shouldn’t apologize at all, but stop apologizing for things that you haven’t actually done, or because it’s just a habit. Most of us have been conditioned to say sorry even when someone else does something to upset us. Please stop that shit. It’s not good for your self-esteem and it definitely leads to other people treating you like a doormat.
Here’s a tip – try replacing Sorry with Thank you… So, instead of saying “sorry I’m late” say “thank you for waiting for me”. Trust me, it works wonders!
4. Stop Doing things you HATE Doing
Many moons ago I created a Stop-Doing List and it really helped me understand why I was always so overstretched. I used to be the typical ‘Yes’ person, fearing that saying no would make me seem selfish and uncaring. But here’s the thing, most of the time when you say yes out of obligation you end up feeling unappreciated and unfulfilled.
So, allow ‘No’ to make way for ‘Yes’ and give yourself the space to do what it is you really want to do – see point 2 above!
5. Stop Taking Everything to Heart
Everyone has an opinion, but it doesn’t mean you have to accept it as yours!
This one has taken me a long time to feel comfortable with and I know it’s super tricky, but until you can listen to an opinion and NOT instantly take it on board, you will always struggle. If someone doesn’t agree with you or doesn’t like what you like, that’s fine, but don’t lose your unique point of view because of it. Agreeing with someone just so they like or approve of you is something most of us did at school, but as adults, it seriously has to stop.
6. Stop Moaning
We all need a good moan every now and again. As adults we all have history and we all have things that could have worked out better or differently. But PLEASE stop moaning about things you cannot change, and if you can change them go and fucking change them!
When I decided my marriage was over it took a whole lotta soul-searching to figure out my next steps. I did talk to friends and they helped me along the way, but I actually did something about it instead of spending the next 20 years moaning about how bad it was. You can read all about that process in my Desire Mapping to Divorce post.
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
– Reinhold Niebuhr
7. Stop Making Excuses
Either do it or don’t do it. Just stop constantly making excuses! Sound harsh? Well, it’s meant to be. Normally excuses happen because we’re too busy doing shit we hate (see point 4) or putting things off (see point 2) to actually follow our dreams.
NOW is the time to take responsibility for your life and do what you want. No more excuses for challenging the status quo, no more excuses for doing things your unique way. As the Nike slogan goes – JUST DO IT.
8. Stop Lowering Your Standards
Have you ever lowered your standards just to fit in with someone else? Changing your mind about what’s important to you is OK – especially as we all grow and change, but lowering your standards to feel like you belong will only bring heartache in the end.
Trust me – I’ve done this before and it wasn’t long before I resented the other person for not being what I wanted, even though I was the one who made the choice to ignore my own standards. Duh!
If something is important to you, don’t fucking compromise. End of.
9. Stop Playing it Small
This one comes with its own challenges. If you play to win or play it big then you attract haters. Simple. But trust me, these people who would choose to bring you down are simply jealous and spend their lives worrying about other people rather than bettering themselves.
So take the risk, move to another country, quit the job you hate, back that idea you have – if you don’t do it you’ll never know and life is too short to look back and regret all the chances you didn’t take.
10. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
‘Comparisonitis’ is a killer! Whenever you look at someone else you are only seeing the surface of who they are and have no idea of what is going on underneath. Social media has a lot to do with this one, but YOU have the choice to stop the comparison. YOU can decide to celebrate your unique parts and accept compliments when they are given. Don’t be fooled by what you see on the outside…
“Don’t compare your insides to other people’s outsides.” – Jennie Magiera
11. Stop Taking Life so Seriously
This really is my final and most important thought on what you should stop doing. Life is meant to be an adventure. A journey from beginning to end – not a race. Enjoy yourself along the way and stop feeling like the world is out to get you. Trust me, it isn’t.
If you look for magic in the every day you will find it – even when you are at rock bottom. I know because I have been there and I am still here today celebrating the life I have.
So go out and have some fun. Hug your family, smile at strangers, try something new and never ever stop exploring and learning.