Popular Self-Help Tips That Might be Sabotaging Your Efforts
Not all self-help advice is great advice. Just as doctors and lawyers are wrong from time to time, your favorite self-help guru may have spread some poor advice, too. Some of the most common self-help tips have been shown to be ineffective or even detrimental.
Ensure you’re not blindly following any of the advice below. If you are, evaluate how it is working for you before you continue.
Are you trying to follow these self-help tips?
1. Announce your goals to the world.
They say that if you tell everyone you know about your goals, you’ll be less likely to give up.
The idea being that you’ll be too embarrassed to quit. It sounds reasonable, but studies have shown that this advice doesn’t work for most people.
◦ It’s believed that this advice fails to work for one major reason: Most of the people you tell will try to sabotage you in some way.
◦ Imagine your goal was to climb Mt Rainier in six months. You might hear things like:
◦ People die climbing mountains.
◦ Didn’t you once trip climbing the stairs?
◦ How will you get enough money to fly to Washington?
◦ You’ll have to lose a lot of weight to make it up a mountain.
◦ We don’t have any mountains in Florida. There’s no good way to train here. You’ll never be properly prepared.
◦ It sounds expensive. How will you pay for it?
◦ And so on. Most people don’t want to see you do too well, and they’ll find ways to hold you back as a result.
◦ Keep your goals to yourself. The odds of succeeding are usually greater.
2. Pattern yourself after the most successful people.
The most successful people in any field are anomalies.
Being the best anything in the world is like trying to be the fastest human in the world. There are only a few people with the genetic makeup to succeed at the highest level.
◦ For example, striving to be like LeBron James isn’t the best way to get into the NBA for the average person. People with enough talent can make a lot of mistakes and still be successful.
◦ Keep in mind that for many fields, success at the highest level involves a lot of luck.
◦ Find the strategies that have worked for many people and incorporate those into your life.
3. Just visualize your goal and think positive thoughts.
This is poor advice when it’s the only advice. A few years ago, it was popular to believe that positive thoughts alone could manifest anything you could imagine.
This led some to believe that there was no reason to leave their couch.
◦ It’s attractive to believe that no effort is required to create anything you desire, but life doesn’t work that way.
You’re not going to wake up to a Mercedes in your garage simply by daydreaming about it and reciting affirmations to yourself.
4. Do what you love and the money will follow.
There’s only one problem with this idea. The things that you like are either the same things that everyone else likes, so there’s a lot of competition.
Or, the things you like aren’t easy to monetize, like playing horseshoes or watching TV in your robe.
Have you been using any of these ideas? They’re not bad advice for everyone, but they’ve been shown to be a poor choice for over 50% of the population.
If something isn’t working for you, it might be time to give something else a try. Life is challenging enough without making it even harder!
How to Worry Less About the Opinions of Others
Do you spend too much time worrying about the opinions of others? Do you feel inhibited because of your concern about what others might think of you? You’re certainly not alone.
Nearly everyone is worried to some degree about how they appear to other people. It’s a very common phenomenon.
But, just because it’s common, doesn’t mean it isn’t silly. Worrying about the opinions of others greatly detracts from your life and your happiness.
There’s simply no way to impress everyone. There’s always someone against whatever it is you’re doing. The only logical conclusion is to do your own thing and allow everyone to think whatever they like.
Live your life on your own terms with these strategies:
1. Recognize that most people care less than you think.
As much as we worry about the opinions of others, it’s hard to believe that most people simply don’t care.
We imagine others laughing at us and talking behind our backs. Maybe this had a grain of truth when you were in high school, but you’re an adult now.
◦ Enjoy the fact that no one cares. You’re free to do as you please and to mess up as much as you need to in order to be successful.
2. Keep your eyes on your own life.
When you avoid judging others, you’ll worry less about people judging you. Stay in your own lane and allow others to live as they choose.
3. Become an expert at mindfulness.
Mindfulness is maintaining an awareness of your surroundings and current task.
It means you’re not thinking about the past, the future, or daydreaming about anything. Your attention is on your individual present moment.
4. Surround yourself with supportive people.
When you have people that support you, you’re less worried about those that don’t. Be selective of the people you allow into your life.
5. Remember that life is short and getting shorter each day.
Think about how fast the last five years have passed. They only pass faster as you age.
There’s not enough time to be worried about the opinions of others. There’s no time to waste!
6. Remember that it’s the unique parts of you that are the most valuable.
You wouldn’t pay to watch a stranger walk or breathe. Why not? Because it’s a common sight.
Nearly anyone can do those things. It’s the unique parts of you that are the most valuable to the world.
◦ How can you worry about the opinions of others when it comes to the most valuable parts of you? What do they know?
7. Keep your plans to yourself.
There’s no reason to broadcast your big plans to everyone you know. You’ll catch more grief and negative opinions than you need.
If it’s important to you, you won’t care what anyone thinks, so keep it to yourself.
◦ Broadcast your successes if you like, but you’ll still get a few negative comments!
8. Try doing something that others won’t approve of and see what happens.
What exactly are you worried about? What do you think will happen? Find out for certain. Do an experiment.
Today can be the day you begin living your life without concern for the opinions of others.
Worrying about what they think can be a hard habit to break, but you can do it!
You Can't Have It All, but You Can Have a Lot
Can you really have it all? Can you really become a billionaire, marry a supermodel, have a happy family, be a Pulitzer Prize winning author, and be the world authority on stamp collecting?
Probably not. But, deep down, you already knew that.
There’s a lot you can do, but there’s a lot you can’t do, too. This is real life we’re talking about. However, you can have a lot.
There are several reasons why you can’t have it all:
1. There’s only so much time available.
You can’t have everything, because you can’t do everything necessary to have everything. Everything requires time.
◦ Getting and maintaining a 6-pack takes time.
◦ Becoming great at chess takes time.
◦ Building a billion-dollar company takes time.
◦ Creating and maintaining a successful relationship takes time.
◦ Being an expert water skier takes time.
◦ Writing a great book takes time.
◦ You don’t have enough time to have everything you want. What do you want the most?
2. Some things can’t coexist.
You can’t become the world’s greatest pick-up artist and be married. You can’t be the strongest woman in the world and be healthy.
You can’t live like a playboy and maximize your spiritual development.
◦ Certain activities just get in the way of other activities. How are you going to build a brick-and-mortar business in Phoenix and live with the gorillas in Uganda?
3. Your talent and skills aren’t unlimited.
You might have very limited athletic or musical talent. Maybe you’re terrible at math. No one is good at everything.
And a few people aren’t good at much. Focus and work can overcome a lot, but they can’t overcome every obstacle. Talent is not irrelevant.
What it takes to have a lot:
1. Set your priorities.
Since you don’t have time to have everything, it becomes necessary to prioritize your time and activities. Consider the most important things you want to have and achieve.
2. Determine what you’re willing to let go of.
Prioritizing doesn’t just mean deciding what’s important. It also means deciding what you’re not going to spend time on anymore.
◦ Maybe writing that novel isn’t that important to you. Or maybe learning to knit isn’t the best use of your time. If that’s the case, make it a point to avoid those activities.
3. Allocate your time accordingly.
Once you know your priorities, use your time accordingly.
If you’re ever confused about what to do, remind yourself of your priorities. Ask yourself how you can best use your time according to your priorities.
The idea that you can have and accomplish everything you want is a myth.
It’s something motivational speakers and your mother told you to make you feel better. Obviously, you can’t have it all.
But you can still manage to have a lot. Having a lot mean prioritizing how you spend your time. Wasting time is the ultimate way to limit yourself.
Spreading yourself between too many objectives is also detrimental.
Always remember – you can have a lot! What do you want? Keep these ideas in mind and make it happen!
Related Reading: Comprehensive Self development online guide