10 easily avoidable mistakes so many people seem intent on making in their lives

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Life happens, and there will always be things beyond our control.

Yet there are times when we make life harder than it needs to be with our actions and choices.

Some of the mistakes we make are easily avoidable, yet so many people seem to fall prey to them.

Here are 10 of the most common:

1. They spend recklessly.

Most of us could benefit from making every dollar go as far as it can. Wages are stagnant, prices are up, and who knows when it’ll get better.

Still, plenty of people make reckless decisions every day about how to spend their money.

They may buy things that they can’t pay for, go into unnecessary debt, or just waste money on frivolous things that they don’t need or never use.

To be clear, we’re not talking about those who have no choice in the matter. Times are hard for a lot of people despite them doing all they can to make their money last.

2. They think money can buy happiness.

It can’t.

Money can certainly buy safety, security, and options, and there’s no denying life can be much easier when you know you can afford to buy food, keep a roof over your head, and keep the lights on.

However, it’s not the be-all and end-all.

You can have plenty of money and still be miserable.

Sure, you’ll be able to afford therapy, but therapy doesn’t fix every problem, and neither does money.

3. They stagnate in their comfort zone.

Many people get rooted in their current existence because they’re comfortable with the status quo and are too afraid to rock the boat.

Sure, life may be comfortable, but being comfortable doesn’t always mean being happy and fulfilled.

In fact, some people stay in unhappy situations because they are at least familiar.

The problem is that life doesn’t stay comfortable. Sooner or later, things are going to happen and life is going to get hard. It always does. It’s just a natural part of living.

And if you’ve never stepped out of your comfort zone you won’t have developed the tools to help you cope with that.

4. They live aimlessly.

Drifting through life aimlessly isn’t a good option if you want to accomplish anything meaningful.

Consider the metaphor of a ship at sea. The navigator can either plot a course that will take them to their destination or they can just let the current carry them where it will.

Sure, the plotted course may need correcting now and then depending on unforeseen challenges or environments, but it’s much more likely to reach the destination than if the ship just floats around randomly.

Goals are the course that directs you to the destination you want to reach.

Your destination could be a career, home, relationship, better health, etc. Whatever it is, you’re unlikely to reach it if you don’t plot yourself at least a rough course to follow.

5. They rely on external validation.

External validation is when you base your beliefs about yourself on the approval and opinion of others.

Internal validation, on the other hand, is knowing that you are a person of value and worth, or believing something about yourself, no matter what other people think of you.

From a young age, many of us are inadvertently or deliberately taught that to be approved of and accepted we have to behave in a certain way.

But as the old saying goes, “…you can’t please all of the people all of the time”, so relying on external validation inevitably leads to unhappiness because we often don’t get the approval we hope for.

Avoiding this, and instead practicing internal validation, is key to healthy self-esteem, self-love, and self-acceptance.

6. They neglect their health.

There are few things more important in life than your health.

Everything else hinges on it. It’s hard to thrive when you’re constantly weighed down by health issues trying to pull you under.

But the thing is, a lot of health problems are preventable with a good diet, sleep, relaxation, and exercise. It’s just that we don’t always make the time and effort to do these things.

Instead, we make excuses and avoid taking action until it’s too late.

7. They neglect their relationships.

Loneliness is an epidemic. Technology has brought all corners of the world together, yet many people feel more distant than ever.

Why?

Because for most people socialization through screens doesn’t serve the same function as being in the physical presence of someone. Being near a person fires off processes in the brain that can improve mood and mental health.

Maintaining relationships gets harder as you get older because everyone has their own thing to do. Relationships need time and energy devoted to them, and whilst technology can help with that, it’s important not to make the mistake of completely neglecting the physical connection.

8. They live inauthentically.

You will always be unhappy if you live your life to the beat of another’s drum.

Granted, you can’t always just pick up and do what you want to do. Most of us have responsibilities after all. But, when you have the choice, you have to pick the path that makes the most sense to you.

It can be easier said than done, particularly if your loved ones don’t support you, or if your path runs in the opposite direction to most people’s. But if you don’t, you’ll regret it for the rest of your life.

“What could have been had I taken that opportunity? Where would I be now if I had just followed my passions? I wasted all that time trying to be something I’m not…”

You only get this life. Don’t be too afraid to live it your way.

9. They constantly chase something ‘better’.

You’ve probably heard the saying, “The grass is always greener on the other side”.

The person who is constantly seeking that greener grass is never happy with what they have right in front of them, whether that’s a relationship, house, job, or whatever. Instead, they are always looking for something better.

And as a result, they rarely put work into what they already have to make their situation work for them.

A relationship is a good example.

If you’re in a long-term relationship and it’s starting to get a little stagnant, it’s a better idea to try to revitalize that relationship instead of assuming another partner would be better and jumping ship without trying.

That’s not to suggest you should stay in a negative or abusive relationship, far from it, but not every floundering relationship is worth running away from.

10. They give up too easily.

Many people give up on life and their goals far too easily.

They hit one hurdle and instead of looking for a solution, they throw up their hands and tell themselves they can’t do it.

In reality, a hurdle doesn’t mean the journey is over. Sometimes it’s just a way of showing you what doesn’t work, or that you need to pivot to a different path to succeed.

Granted, there are times when you’ll have to evaluate a situation and determine whether or not it’s wise to cut your losses and end your efforts.

But that shouldn’t be before you’ve tried for a while and exhausted all your reasonable options first.

About The Author

Jack Nollan is a person who has lived with Bipolar Disorder and Bipolar-depression for almost 30 years now. Jack is a mental health writer of 10 years who pairs lived experience with evidence-based information to provide perspective from the side of the mental health consumer. With hands-on experience as the facilitator of a mental health support group, Jack has a firm grasp of the wide range of struggles people face when their mind is not in the healthiest of places. Jack is an activist who is passionate about helping disadvantaged people find a better path.