Are you unintentionally blocking your own success and happiness? We spent a lot of time talking and thinking about dreams and roadblocks and success during our digital sabbatical last week (more on that coming soon).
If you’re making these kinds of statements to yourself, it’s time to check yourself before you wreck yourself.
(Ha! I finally found a way to use a Zach Galifianakis quote on the site.)
Here’s a list of the biggies we’ve encountered.
#1: “I’ll be happy when X happens.” Remember when you were 17 and you dreamed of the day you’d get your driver’s license, move out on your own, and start making your own rules, thankyouverymuch? You’ve probably realized since then that a driver’s license doesn’t solve all your problems or bring you to instant nirvana. In fact, you may resent all the time you spend in the car now running errands or commuting to work.
There is no destination for Happy (and as world travelers we should know). Happy is in the journey, which means right now, in this moment, and how and with whom you’re choosing to spend your time.
#2: “She’s not usually like this.” Except that she is. If you’re regularly defending the behavior of friends or family members who just don’t seem to give a damn, you’re giving them way more consideration than they deserve. When you surround yourself with good people, you up your game. When you surround yourself with jerks, there’s a high probability you’ll turn into one, too.
#3: “I’ll never be X” (X = thin, happy, in love, debt-free, a rodeo clown, etc.) Nope, not with that attitude you won’t. The way you talk to yourself is just as important as the way you talk to your closest friends. So if you wouldn’t rain on her parade, don’t rain on your own.
You may not reach all your goals in this lifetime…but you will most certainly not reach them if you talk yourself down before you even start. Rethink those stories you’ve been telling yourself and insert a dose of reality.
#4: “He needs me.” Meh. Except in extreme circumstances, this is not true. We want specific people in our lives, but we don’t need them to survive. Allowing each other the space for self-sufficiency and enjoying your own pursuits will strengthen your relationships, not weaken them. If you have to be a slave to make the relationship work, it’s not the kind of relationship you think it is.
This statement is often driven by ego, which is the last thing a martyr wants to admit. (Believe me, I know.) Start fulfilling your own needs and you’ll be surprised to find how good people are at fulfilling their own.
#5: “I don’t have anyone to do it with.” It can be harder to make friends as you get older because you simply aren’t exposed to as many people who are in the same life stage as you after you leave high school or college. But it is far from impossible.
When you pursue your interests, you’ll find friends who like those same things. You can’t expect to always find them before you start. Don’t let this statement keep you from enjoying what you love and meeting others who feel the same way.
#6: “I’m fine.” Let’s just put it out there. Anyone who says this is clearly not. When you hide what you’re really feeling or try to mask your pain, you aren’t giving the other person a chance to help fix it (especially if they are part of the pain). Stop saying you’re fine when you’re not, and you’ll start actually feeling fine more often.
I was fine for 10 years until I blew up my life all around me with a divorce and cross-country move. “Fine” is a ticking time bomb. Defuse it now by saying what’s on your mind.
#7: “I’m not X.” (athletic, smart, attractive, etc.) For years I said I wasn’t an athlete. This week we finished walking 150 km with packs and tents for a week in Scotland. If you stop worrying about what you aren’t and simply pursue the activities that interest you, you’ll often be surprised at how it turns out. You may not be X right now, but you very well could be in the future. But only if you start.
What self-sabotage statements would you add to the list? Tell us about it in the comments.
Stay tuned for next week’s rundown of our grand adventure hiking The West Highland Way…was the biggest challenge the physical effort or the fact that we were offline for 8 days?