Just like with our physical bodies, our natural state is to be healthy and strong, most of us are born with the intellectual and emotional abilities necessary for happiness and success. So why does it sometimes feel like a struggle?
Stop Making These 3 Mistakes to Be Happier and More Successful
Just as we’re mostly all born with the balance, motor control, and physical abilities necessary to walk, we’re also born with a full toolbox of emotional and intellectual skills to be happy and successful. But if we don’t learn to use the tools, we might be making some mistakes. Here are the top 3 I see.
1. Confusing Needs & Desires
There was a time for all of us, as children, that to be heard, accepted, and comforted. These, among others, were legitimate needs.
As adults we desire those things, but they are no longer needs. BUT… if you didn’t receive them when you needed them you might still think of them as needs now. This is where some run into trouble.
An appropriate response to a blocked need is anger, but an appropriate response to unfulfilled desire is disappointment or sorrow.
If you find yourself feeling angry, frustrated, anxious, fearful, or depressed by unfulfilled desires, you might be confusing them with needs.
2. Blaming Yourself for Being Hurt
– I should be smart enough to figure this out?
– Why should I be bothered by something from when I was little?
– Why can’t I just get over it?
– What’s wrong with me that I can’t just …?
If you’ve ever had thoughts like this, you might be falling victim to this second mistake.
The presumption is that if you was good enough, strong enough, smart enough, or deserving enough you’d be able to have what you want now or wouldn’t have been hurt in the past.
The problem is that this wasn’t true then and it’s not true now.
The truth is that if you were hurt in the past it almost certainly wasn’t your fault and you are perfectly equipped to be who you need to be today.
3. Avoiding Pain & Discomfort
There may have been a time when the pain was too much to bear or you were truly helpless to stop it. All that would be left in a case like this is to turn away from it, deny the impact, and work to ignore the injury.
While it may be the best alternative in the moment, the problem is that it becomes the preferred strategy moving forward. And while this strategy allows you to cope, it ignores (intentionally) the underlying damage and the resulting sorrow and completely legitimate anger.
The anger still exists, but since it’s not allowed to do it’s job it simmers under the surface and leaks out inappropriately in the form of sarcasm, frustration, anxiety, fear, depression, shame, addiction, compulsion, jealousy, envy, or a similarly controlling and demanding strategy.
The willingness to fully enter into this pain and face the discomfort ends up being a key to letting go of the anger and sorrow and healing the underlying emotional injuries that are at the core of these three mistakes I’ve outlined here. In tomorrows post I’ll outline the process for letting go of the pain and anger.
In this episode, I also mentioned yesterday’s post on being willing to risk failure in order to achieve success.
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P.S. If improving your mindset to be more productive and effective as a leader and problem solver in your business is your goal, you might like my 20-minute guided meditation, which is available for free to download to your phone or PC.