13 things that will make your life harder than it needs to be (that so many people do)

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Life is hard. There’s no getting away from that fact.

But there are many ways you might be making it harder for yourself, without even realizing it.

If you do any of the following, it’s time for a change. It’s time to make life easier by turning these things on their heads and doing the complete opposite.

1. Being afraid to ask for help.

Many people struggle with asking for help. Whether it’s due to pride, fear of rejection or embarrassment, or a belief that they should be able to handle everything on their own, refusing to ask for help can make life much harder than it has to be.

When you don’t ask for help, you may end up spending more time and energy trying to solve a problem than is necessary. This can lead to frustration and burnout, and sometimes even make the problem worse.

Refusing to ask for help can also lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness. You may start to believe that no one else understands or cares about your struggles.

Remember, asking for help is not a sign of weakness. It takes courage and strength to admit that you need assistance, and seeking help can often lead to better outcomes and a more fulfilling life.

2. Thinking you can find happiness outside of you.

Many people believe that happiness comes from external factors such as money, relationships, and material possessions. However, these things only provide temporary happiness and do not lead to long-term fulfillment.

When we rely on external factors for our happiness, we give away our power and control over our lives. We become dependent on things and people outside of ourselves, which can lead to disappointment and frustration when those things do not meet our expectations.

To find true happiness, we must look within ourselves. Only here can we discover the never-ending source of peace and contentment that we’re looking for.

3. Saying yes when you want to say no.

Do you find yourself constantly saying yes to things you don’t want to do? Maybe it’s because you don’t want to disappoint someone or you feel like you have to say yes to be polite. Whatever the reason, saying yes when you want to say no can make your life harder than it has to be.

Saying yes creates responsibility, and meeting that responsibility eats up your time, energy, and other precious resources.

It’s okay to say no. You don’t have to do everything that’s asked of you. Saying no doesn’t make you a bad person. It’s important to prioritize your own needs and boundaries.

4. Taking everything personally.

Do you often feel like people are out to get you? Do you take every little thing that happens in your life as a personal attack? If so, you may be making life harder than it has to be.

Taking everything personally can lead to unnecessary stress and anxiety, and it can strain your relationships with others. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that everything that happens is about you. But the truth is, most people are focused on their own lives and problems, and they’re not thinking about you at all.

When you take everything personally, you’re essentially giving other people the power to control your emotions. You’re allowing their words and actions to dictate how you feel, which can be exhausting and disempowering.

Taking everything personally can lead to a narrow, self-centered view of the world. You may be missing out on opportunities for growth and learning because you’re too focused on your own feelings.

5. Having unrealistic expectations of others.

Whether it’s your family, friends, or coworkers, expecting too much from them can lead to disappointment and frustration.

For example, you might expect your partner to always know what you’re thinking or want without having to communicate it clearly. Or you might expect your coworkers to always meet your high standards without giving them the necessary resources or support.

It’s important to remember that everyone has their own limitations and strengths. It’s unfair to expect others to meet your expectations without taking into account their own abilities and circumstances.

By having more realistic expectations of others, you can avoid unnecessary stress and conflict in your relationships.

6. Always waiting for the next bad thing to happen.

Do you always expect the worst to happen? Do you find yourself constantly worrying about what could go wrong? This kind of negative thinking is exhausting.

When you’re always waiting for the next bad thing to happen, you’re not living in the present moment. Instead, you’re stuck in a cycle of fear and anxiety about the future. This can lead to a lack of motivation and a feeling of helplessness.

The truth is, bad things do happen and you can’t always avoid them. But there’s no point spending your life constantly on alert for the next catastrophe.

7. Trying to be the person others want you to be.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make in life is trying to be the person others want you to be.

It’s natural to want to fit in and be accepted, but when you prioritize other people’s expectations over your own needs and desires, you’re setting yourself up for a lot of unnecessary stress and frustration.

When you try to be the person others want you to be, you’re essentially living your life for them instead of yourself. You’re constantly seeking validation and approval from others, and you’re never truly happy because you’re not living in alignment with your own values and beliefs.

It’s important to remember that you’re the only person who knows what’s best for you. You have your own unique talents, passions, and interests, and you should never feel like you have to hide or suppress them to fit in with others.

8. Participating in other people’s drama.

It’s easy to get caught up in other people’s drama. Whether it’s a co-worker’s gossip, a friend’s relationship issues, or a family member’s financial problems, it can be tempting to get involved and offer your opinion or help.

However, participating in other people’s drama can make your life harder than it has to be.

When you get involved in other people’s drama, you’re taking on their problems as your own. You’re investing your time, energy, and emotions into something that doesn’t directly affect you. This can be draining and stressful, and it can take away from your own happiness and well-being.

What’s more, getting involved in other people’s drama can cause conflict and tension in your own relationships. If you’re constantly talking about other people’s problems or taking sides in conflicts, it can create negativity and drama in your own life.

9. Worrying that you’ll lose everything.

Do you often worry about losing your job, your relationship, your health, or your possessions? This kind of thinking can be paralyzing and prevent you from enjoying the present moment.

While it’s natural to have some concerns about the future, excessive worrying can lead to anxiety, stress, and even depression.

Do you focus on the worst-case scenarios and ignore the positive possibilities? Do you assume that you can’t handle adversity or that you won’t be able to cope with change? Do you believe that your worth is determined by external factors, such as your job title, your income, or your social status?

If you recognize yourself in any of these thought patterns, try to shift your mindset and adopt a more optimistic and realistic view of the world. Instead of worrying about what could go wrong, focus on what you can do to improve your situation and build resilience.

Remember, worrying won’t change the outcome, but it can rob you of your peace of mind and prevent you from living your life to the fullest.

10. Cutting corners.

Do you often find yourself taking shortcuts to get things done quickly? While this may seem like a good idea at the time, it can actually make your life harder in the long run.

Rushing through tasks without paying attention to detail can lead to mistakes that need to be fixed later on. Skipping steps in a process can cause you to miss important information or overlook critical details. Ignoring warning signs or red flags can lead to bigger problems down the road. Choosing the easy way out instead of doing what is right can damage your reputation and relationships.

By cutting corners, you may be sacrificing quality for speed or convenience. This can ultimately lead to more stress, frustration, and even failure.

11. Lying to yourself.

One of the most common ways we make our lives harder than they have to be is by lying to ourselves. We tell ourselves things that aren’t true, and we believe them. These lies can be about anything from our abilities to our relationships to our goals.

One common lie we tell ourselves is that we’re not good enough. We think we’re not smart enough or talented enough or attractive enough to achieve our goals, so we don’t even try. We convince ourselves that we’re not capable of success, and we give up before we even start.

Another lie we tell ourselves is that we don’t have enough time. We say we’re too busy to exercise or learn a new skill or spend time with our loved ones. But the truth is, we all have the same 24 hours in a day. It’s up to us to decide how we use them.

We also lie to ourselves about our relationships. We stay in toxic relationships because we tell ourselves that we’re not worthy of something better. We convince ourselves that we need the other person to be happy, even though they’re making us miserable.

It’s important to recognize when we’re lying to ourselves so we can stop. We need to be honest with ourselves about our abilities, our goals, and our relationships. Only then can we start making real progress and living our best lives.

12. Being passive and reactive.

You wait for things to happen to you instead of taking control of your life and making things happen for yourself. You’re always reacting to situations instead of being proactive and taking action to prevent problems from occurring in the first place.

Being passive and reactive can lead to missed opportunities and a lack of progress in your personal and professional life. You may find yourself stuck in a rut, unable to move forward or make any significant changes. You may also find yourself constantly dealing with problems and putting out fires instead of focusing on your goals and aspirations.

13. Always playing it safe.

Playing it safe is a natural human tendency. We all want to avoid risks and protect ourselves from failure. But sometimes, playing it safe can hold us back from achieving our goals and enjoying life to the fullest.

It’s easy to stick to what you know and avoid trying new things. But this can prevent you from discovering new passions and expanding your horizons.

You might like to feel comfortable, but don’t mistake stagnation for comfort. With stagnation, everything stays the same, but the absence of change can leave you feeling uncomfortable. You’ll experience an inner unrest that stems from a lack of excitement and growth.

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About The Author

Steve Phillips-Waller is the founder and editor of A Conscious Rethink. He has written extensively on the topics of life, relationships, and mental health for more than 8 years.