Photo of woman with arms outstretched looking out onto a large mountainous range.

How to Stop Short-Changing Yourself In Life

With five inspiring quotes to tell you what you should do instead.

Photo of woman with arms outstretched looking out onto a large mountainous range.
Photo by Kristina Wagner on Unsplash

“Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” ― George Bernard Shaw

Iwas working out with a friend the other day, and he seemed to be going through a bit of a mid-life crisis.

No…not a mid-life crisis like going out and buying a Ferrari and divorcing your ex-wife crisis.

He’s not married and already owns a very nice sports car.

It was more of a mid-life crisis in that he couldn’t quite see the point in life anymore and seemed to have lost his guidance regarding what was important.

The more we talked, the more I realized that he was making many of the mistakes I see people make who live a life that externally looks amazing, but they still find themselves sad on the inside at times.

Many of these mistakes are within our control and only takes one to think about things a little differently to change everything.

Stop thinking everything happens for a reason

Sh*t happens.

Get over it.

Everything wasn’t part of some ordained plan, and you don’t have to try to make sense of everything.

Sometimes things happen that are good for you, and other times things happen that are bad for you.

Trying to make sense of it will only drive you crazy.

What you should do instead:

Always think glass half-full.

Good or bad things will happen, and your response and perspective on those things will eventually affect the end results they will have on your life.

Think glass half full and positively respond to everything that comes your way will help you make everything that comes your way positive.

There is a great quote by Maya Angelou that perfectly embodies this,

“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”

Stop second-guessing yourself

This doesn’t mean that everything you decide to do will be the right answer.

You are definitely going to make mistakes, and there will be a number of things that you should’ve never done in the first place.

However, when you decide to do something, go into that decision and attack it confidently.

If not, you risk making a great decision yield mediocre or bad results because you didn’t attack it with the fervor and veracity you needed for it to be truly successful

David Bowie said it the best,

“All of my big mistakes are when I try to second-guess or please an audience. My work is always stronger when I get very selfish about it.”

What you should do instead:

Be bold in your decisions.

Once you’ve landed on a decision after doing your due diligence and feel good that it is the right move, then go after it with all of your might.

Don’t look back or think you should’ve gone with plan B because you jeopardize the chances of plan A working out.

Make a decision.

Commit to it and attack with everything you got to make it successful.

Stop having regrets

If you think about it, having regrets is an extreme waste of time.

When you have regrets, you’re just lamenting or wishing you had done something differently than you did in the past.

Looking back to analyze what you could’ve done differently is fine to ensure that you learn from your mistakes.

But if you’re looking back to feel bad about making a poor decision or treating someone badly, then what’s the point?

You can’t change it by going back, so why cause yourself unnecessary emotional strain thinking about it?

What you should do instead:

Learn from it and move the f*ck on.

When you make a mistake and do something wrong, spend the time to analyze why and how that happened.

After you’ve figured that out, put it in your rearview mirror and move forward.

Chances are that making that mistake was actually what you needed to learn the lessons that could prevent you from making an even bigger mistake in the future.

And if all else fails, you can look back on it and think it was worth the mistake.

As in the famous words of Lucille Ball,

“I’d rather regret the things I’ve done than regret the things I haven’t done.”

Stop thinking you’re not good enough

News flash: Nobody’s perfect!

We all have our defects and various things we need to work on.

Even the Hollywood stars and professional athletes we see who are amazing at so many things still have issues that they are figuring out like all the rest of us.

God knows we all thought Tiger Woods was perfect at one time.

That’s not to knock Tiger, but it is to say that you just shouldn’t be so hard on yourself.

You’re growing. You’re learning. And you’re doing the best you can.

What you should do instead:

Think you’re the sh*t.

I don’t mean that you should be cocky and treat others badly.

No one likes a douchebag.

What I mean is that you feel good enough about yourself that you walk around with your head held high and your chest poked out.

We feel on the inside what we exude on the outside.

Therefore, instead of telling yourself you’re not good enough, tell yourself you are more than enough.

This confidence will bleed into your actions and how you carry yourself, which can pay dividends on your mood and ability to get what you want from others.

In the famous word of Theodore Roosevelt,

“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.”

Stop waiting for someone else to bring you happiness.

If my wife left me tomorrow, I would be fine.

This doesn’t mean that I don’t love my wife.

She’s my absolute best friend, and I love her wholeheartedly.

And while my life is so much better with her, that doesn’t mean I won’t be happy without her.

The reason is that my wife ADDS to my happiness in life.

She is not the SOURCE of it.

Putting your happiness in the hands of someone else is not emotionally healthy because everyone has to do what makes them happy in life.

That may or may not involve you, so to put that much pressure on them to make them responsible for your happiness is unfair to them and dangerous to you.

What you should do instead:

Be the main source of your own happiness.

The way you do this is by taking time to understand who you are and what you want in life.

Then, you must ensure you are doing what’s needed to get it.

You must put your own happiness first at all times.

This doesn’t mean that you should treat others badly and not compromise with your significant other or friends.

That’s not going to lead to true LONG-TERM happiness.

However, you shouldn’t make consistent sacrifices and concessions on what you want to please everyone else.

It has to be a balance, and you should ALWAYS make sure you’re focusing on your happiness because it’s truly no one else’s job but yours.

Mandy Hall put it very plainly,

“Happiness is an inside job. Don’t assign anyone else that much power over your life.”