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I read this on a blog, in an article or post online a couple of years ago. I don’t even remember where, but I read it, printed it out and posted it in my office, to serve as a reminder from time to time. I even shared it with my kids.
The space that I occupied in my life at that time, I needed some of these reminders of what not to do. Things I needed to stop doing. Feelings I needed to let go of. Attitudes I needed to change.
Some of these 15 behaviors, I never had an issue with. Others I have become more aware of and have stopped doing. Some of them still need work. And so this list still sits, pinned to the bulletin board beside my desk in my office, to be read and reviewed when I feel drawn to it; as I was today. If you saw my post on Facebook, it may be more apparent to you why I felt as though this list needed a bit of review this morning.
As I sat down at my desk before starting to work a couple of hours ago, I re-read this list of 15. 15 things to stop doing this year. As we already embark on the second month of 2016, number 5, 8 and 15 jump out at me. “Pay attention, Lindsey.” I hear it speaking to me. Is there one, two or more things that you connect with on this list – is there something that you need to STOP doing this year?
With every new year comes the chance to change our mindsets, eliminate negativity and choose to move forward. Possibly, there is a reason we are told the best is yet to come.This year, make a resolution you can keep. Stop doing things that are no longer in your best interest.
1. Stop showing and telling everything to everyone.
The world does not need to know your every move; leave some things to the imagination. Mystery is good.
2. Stop comparing yourself to others.
What you see is NOT what you get, or even what the true reality of a situation is. We all spend way too much of our time comparing our lives to others; yet, we all forget that the pictures we see of others on Instagram and Facebook are simply highlights of their lives.
They aren’t the everyday; they aren’t the struggle; they aren’t the bad hair day. They are the edited, Photoshopped and posed highlight reel of a momentary highlight of someone else’s life.
3. Stop worrying about what others think of you.
People will judge you regardless of what you do, so do what you want. There’s nothing wrong with walking your own journey on a path you create.
You don’t have to do, like or want the things that other people try, love or desire. Start that blog, write that article or wear that outfit about which you’ve been hesitant. In the great words of Kid Cudi, “They gon’ judge me anyway, so whatever.”
4. Stop waiting.
If you don’t take the chance or risk it all now… when will you? Time will always be hard to find. Start now and go after what you want, or wait for later and hope that later isn’t too late.
5. Stop doubting.
If you have an idea or feeling that keeps coming back to you, make it happen. When an idea keeps coming back, it’s for a reason. Take action and follow the ideas that flood your mind. Million-dollar ideas are a dime a dozen, but it’s only one in a million who follow through with their ideas.
6. Stop being a stranger.
We’re all in this together. When you give the world the best you have, the best comes back to you. Be good to people. Popularity fades, kindness does not.
7. Stop feeling sorry for yourself.
You are not a victim; it’s time to get out of your own way. If you find yourself constantly surrounded by drama, you are the one enabling it.
You will never be able to control what others do; however, you are in full control of how you react. Realize that you can overcome hard times. Instead of attending your own pity party, you can accept the fact that only you can change your thoughts and experiences.
You have the power to control your feelings.
8. Stop standing in your own way.
The thoughts in your head about yourself and your situation really do affect your life. Make sure your worst enemy doesn’t reside in-between your own ears.
Follow your intuition and learn that nothing that lasts is started through force. If you have to force it, leave it behind.
9. Stop feeling guilty.
There is a difference between moving on and quitting. Understand that it’s okay to grow out of things. You don’t have to want the same things you wanted when you were 16, 18, 21 or 25…
Life changes, and so do we. Staying where you are and living with guilt or fear is a guaranteed trip to nowhere. You’re allowed to move on and miss it at the same time. Missing something or someone doesn’t make you weak; it makes you real.
10. Stop thinking money creates value.
Don’t overvalue short-term benefits. Higher pay doesn’t equate to a job that will make you feel complete. A significant other with a nice car doesn’t equal a lifetime of happiness.
Choose a job that will give you experience, more opportunities and tons of room for professional and personal growth. Choose a relationship based on someone’s heart, not bank account.
11. Stop feeling obligated.
Don’t make decisions based on what you think you SHOULD do.
Don’t take advice from people who don’t have to live with the result of the decision. Make decisions based on what you WANT to do. It’s your life and you’ll have to live with the choices you make. You don’t need to choose the mediocre when greatness exists.
12. Stop saying “yes” all the time.
No is a complete sentence. You owe no one an explanation for not wanting to go out, not wanting to take a drink, not wanting to stay over, not wanting to go to the reunion.
13. Stop thinking everything is a competition.
The true definition of power is how much you can give back, and not just monetarily. Being powerful is like being classy: If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.
14. Stop trying to be like everyone else.
Once and for all, own who you are, own where you’ve been, and don’t be afraid to tell your story.
15. Stop thinking you have to get it right on the first try.
No one else has it figured out, either. There is no guidebook or perfect formula, and often, life works much more as a process of elimination to figure out what we want.
We learn more and more about ourselves and the things that truly make us happy every day — and more importantly, the things that don’t. There are moments in life when everything is blurry and moments everything seems to be in focus.
Just like the lens of a camera, you have the power to adjust your vision. And, even on the darkness days, where you can’t see anything, just keep moving forward. It’s the only constant and forever the direction in which we all must go.