In a perfect world we wouldn’t make mistakes but none of us have the luxury of perfection, so we manage the best we can. We have the opportunity to learn from the mistakes we make as well as the ability to not repeat them.
There are thousands of mistakes we can make, but here are 5 easy mistakes to make that can have a big impact on life.
1. Not speaking up for your needs
Whether at work, in a relationship, with family, or in a friendship it is essential that you know what your needs are but more importantly to speak up about the needs.
Not speaking up because you think the other person won’t change is very common and your right. You can’t expect another person to change, that may never happen. However, if you make changes to yourself, it’s the best chance you have at the relationship changing.
You have to focus on fixing yourself first versus waiting on others to change. Don’t get stuck in the victim role and self-pity. It is your responsibility to speak up with assertiveness about what you need.
What’s the worst thing that could happen if you state what you need?
2. Staying in an unhealthy relationship
This is a tough one because making the decision to leave an unhealthy relationship can affect every aspect of your life. However, if it is unhealthy it is already affecting you.
The fear of being alone, being judged, or worrying about hurting someone else isn’t reason enough to stay in a relationship.
You have to be able to live with the decisions you make, just don’t use this for a reason to stay in unhealthiness. Your purpose in life isn’t to be a martyr.
3. Not understanding your finances
Never underestimate the beauty of financial knowledge.
You don’t have to have a finance degree to understand that if you spend more than you make then there is a problem. It is important that you know how to budget your money, balance your bank statement, and plan for retirement starting now.
It isn’t someone else's responsibility to do this for you. Start learning how to take control over your financial life, if you don’t, you have no one to blame but yourself.
4. Not being active a few days each week
No one expects you to be active or exercise every day. But being active a few days each week can have a huge effect both mentally and physically.
Being active doesn’t mean that you have to go to the gym for an hour. You can sneak in activity without realizing it.
For example, taking your dog for a walk 15 minutes longer than you planned to, during commercials on TV use hand weights or ab exercises, or call a friend in the neighborhood and plan to walk after dinner for 20 minutes.
Keep track on a calendar of everyday that you are active. Put this calendar on your refrigerator so it is a reminder of your need to get moving. Your goal isn’t to be active to lose weight, but to feel better as a person.
5. Stuffing and stacking your feelings
The goal is to assertively communicate your needs, wants, and desires in a way that is effective.
When you stuff and stack your feelings you remain quite and don’t express what you need.
This stuffing and stacking of emotions can quickly add up to reach a breaking point. It can come out as anger, resentment, lack of patience, and even justification to make bad decisions.
It is your responsibility to speak up for yourself in a way that is effective, to the point, and in a calm manner. Don’t get stuck in the habit of silence, it can be detrimental to your relationships, friendships, and work peers.
Fix Yourself First
These 5 mistakes are easy to make in life so make sure you are being proactive and working to not repeat them. Remember, you can’t wait on others to change; you have to fix yourself first.
Are there any other mistakes in life that I missed?
Feel free to share any that you think would be helpful for others to know in the comment section below.
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Dr. Kristie specializes in sex therapy, relationships, and transgender identities.
Check out my Gender Identity blog where I discuss all things transgender, gender nonbinary, gender queer, and all identities.