1. That anyone has the ability to “make” you do absolutely anything. If you think for even a second that you are not in control of your actions and that someone can make you do anything, you’re mistaken. Obviously, there are circumstances where individuals are bullied or victimized and forced into horrible situations where their safety is jeopardized and that can lead them into a situation where they normally wouldn’t be. But being annoyed and mad about your past decisions and saying, “Well it’s because they made me do it,” is simply refusing to hold yourself accountable for your own actions. No one made you take that shot, no one made you write that article, no one made you tweet that tweet, no one made you skip that workout, no one made you respond to that text. Hold yourself to a higher standard than claiming you’re so easily manipulatable when reflecting on your past decisions.
2. That your habits are impossible to make or break. It takes 21 days to make or break a habit, and another 20 to make that “new way” of living second nature. If you’re not doing something (or continuing to do something) it’s because you’re just allowing yourself to be intimidated by Day 1. Changing your structure, changing your habits, changing things is hard. But if you’re just complaining about how hard it is, you probably aren’t as interested in actually changing anything as you are about hearing yourself whine day-in-day-out.
3. That things will just be handed to you simply because you showed up. Here’s the truth: no one is going to just give you anything. Success and progress and advancing and achieving are not participation awards. If you’re waiting for something to just be handed your way, you’re probably going to be waiting forever. Ask for what you want. Ask for what you deserve. And if you’re not there yet, keep showing up and doing the work until you are. That’s the only way to make shit happen.
4. That you are entitled to anything. No one owes you a please or thank you. No one owes you their time. No one owes you an explanation or closure or anything. It’s incredibly easy to get caught up in this idea that we should be “demanding what we deserve” when what the hell does that even mean? I think the more important question to be asking ourselves is, “Why do we think we deserve this?” and if the work isn’t there behind it…then no we don’t. We don’t at all.
5. That just because someone will talk to you means they won’t talk about you. Gossiping is animalistic. Everyone gossips and 9 times out of 10, it’s not a big deal at all. But being sensitive is also animalistic which is why it’s really easy to blow it out of proportion. The best way to not be bothered by it? Assume that anyone who gossips with you is also gossiping about you. If you’re already assuming they are it won’t shock you at all when they do. And if you don’t want them to talk about you? Time to stop talking TO them. It’s really that simple.
6. That being in a bad place is a catch-all excuse for bad behavior. We’re all messy, imperfect, flawed individuals who will ebb and flow and fall and get back up again. We will all make mistakes and when we’re caught in one of the lows and not the highs, it becomes even easier to make said mistakes. But if you start to be caught in a whirlpool of mistakes, a cycle of repeatedly making bad decisions and just blaming them on extenuating circumstances then it’s probably a sign you’re enjoying being a mess a little too much. Your bad times shouldn’t mean bad times for all. Your messiness shouldn’t be transferable. If it is, that’s something to clean up and to clean up STAT.
7. That life is something that just happens to you and you don’t have to be an active participant. The idea of just letting things happen around you instead of actively participating and enjoying life and doing things is just…so depressing. Instead of just letting your circumstances be entirely out of your control, take some back. Take some control of your surroundings, of what happens to you. This doesn’t have to be massive or dramatic, even just making little baby-steps to say, “This is going to happen, I’m going to do this,” etc can make a world of difference.
8. That talent will save you from laziness or ambivalence. Talent is great. Talent can’t be taught. But talent also won’t meet deadlines, answer emails, self-promote, finish assignments, find you a job, negotiate, or keep you warm at night. Talent might be the door, but it’s not just going to open itself. If there’s nothing behind your talent driving it forward, you might as well not have it.
9. That “luck” has anything to do with why you’re not getting anywhere. Luck and circumstance and timing are things that obviously play into things like success and moving forward. But they’re not everything and more than that, they’re not predictable. You can’t just sit and wait for luck to strike because chances are…it’s never going to. The best course of action is to act like you’re never going to get lucky, like nothing will ever be handed to you, like timing is never going to play out in your favor. So you’ll just work hard enough in spite of that so it doesn’t matter.
10. That complaining is a solution and not a setback. Complaining should be a release, not your everyday. Complaining should be something you do to get to get it out and away from you, and then you move on. If you’re using complaining or negativity as a course for change, you’re likely going to end up wildly disappointed. And even if you don’t, you’re probably giving people a CRAZY impression of who you are that will stick with them. Do you want to be known as the person who complains and bitches to get what they want? Sincerely hope not.
11. That you should always speak your mind, no matter what. There’s a lot of power in finding the ability to say what you mean and to speak up for yourself. But there’s even more power when you learn to be deliberate with those words, to be methodical with them. There’s a difference in speaking up to actually change something, and speaking up for the sole reason of hearing your own voice. Sometimes we’re not creating our own voice, we’re not actually standing our ground. We’re just adding to the noise, speaking up for the sheer sake of speaking up, and it’s unnecessary. There’s a lot of power and strength in knowing when to save your voice and step back. It’s something we all owe it to ourselves to learn.
12. That you have nothing left to learn. There is a learning opportunity around almost every single corner if you’re just open and willing to embrace them. If you’re under the impression that all you have left to do is teach, rather than learn? You’re probably passing an insane amount of lessons every day sheerly out of your ignorance.
13. That something is unobtainable just because it’s “hard.” Change is hard. Growth is hard. Healing is hard. Being okay is hard. Life is fucking hard. But if you’re not going to do things simply because they’re “hard” you’re probably not going to do much of anything. And then where would you be? Nowhere. The answer is nowhere. And while nowhere is an easy place to land, it’s nowhere you should want to stay.