Let’s face it; life is unexplainably precious and the way in which we show up in our day-to-day lives drastically shapes the kind of life we are going to have and how we are going to feel.
Time isn’t slowing down and our lives sure aren’t getting any longer.
I think one of the best gifts we can give to ourselves to live a full and soul-satisfying life is to take the time to pause and really look at the choices we are making day-to-day and moment by moment.
These are five sure-fire ways to ruin your life and what to do instead:
1. Waiting until you’re 100 percent ready
Don’t get me wrong, if you’re a doctor and don’t feel confident in doing an operation, by all means, please don’t. But for the rest of the population, if we feel like we’re waiting in any aspect of our life until all lights are green to move forward, we’ll never leave the house.
Fear of moving forward is normal and may cause us to feel only 75 percent ready—but it’s enough. Fear will always be there and we have to learn to work with it and continue to follow our dreams and take risks anyway. For the benefit of ourselves, our health and our sanity (and for the benefit of everyone in our lives) we have to keep moving forward, even if it’s in the smallest ways.
2. Acting like a chameleon
Not everyone is going to like you. Honestly, how weird would it be if you fit in everywhere and with everyone? Constantly downplaying or playing up certain characteristics and interests depending on who’s around will make it impossible for the right people, jobs and opportunities to find you.
3. Looking for other’s approval
Stop looking around for the nods in agreement, pats on the backs, Instagram likes or YouTube views. There will always be someone criticizing and judging whatever you do anyway, so you may as well be doing something you whole-heartedly love to do and believe in. Do you like yourself? Do like your work? Do you like how you’re spending your time and the way you’re living? Instead of focusing on what others may or may not be thinking, I think those are the questions we need to be asking. If you like yourself, that’s all that matters.
4. Aiming for perfection
Perfectionism kills creativity, connection and taking risks. There is a big difference between healthy self-improvement and perfection. Brene Brown puts it best:
“Healthy striving is self-focused: “How can I improve?”
Perfectionism is other-focused: “What will they think?”
If we wait until an opportunity, moment or for ourselves to be perfect, we will without a doubt be waiting forever; perfection just doesn’t exist.
5. Doing it all by yourself.
We aren’t here to go through all the challenges of this life alone. Life is hard as hell sometimes. Whatever we’re struggling with, remember there is always support whether it is through a friend, family member or a professional. Trying to keep all our sh*t together all the time, all by ourselves is downright exhausting.
It’s okay to ask for what we need, to lean on others and receive support. There is an entire world out there that is available hear us, see us, and support us as we need.
Lastly, I think it’s vital to remember that we don’t have to wait for a new year, a new week or even a new day to stop living the way we are living and pave a new way of being. All it takes is a moment of recognition and clarity of the way in which we really want to live and how it is that we really want to feel.
Let’s not wait for an external go-ahead or persmission slip to live the life of our dreams.
Start now. In this very moment.
Author: Alexa Torontow
Image: used with permission by Tessa Shannon
Editor: Travis May