For some people, success seems to come so easily. Others have to struggle just to maintain the status quo, let alone get ahead. Why is that? What does the first group know that the second doesn’t? Or rather, what does the first group DO that the second doesn’t?
To answer, let’s consider five common mistakes when it comes to our well-being, specifically our mental and emotional health. Once we learn to overcome these, we can apply the principles in many areas of life, including our physical health, financial success, career advancement, and even personal relationships.
1 – Having No Clear Goal In Mind
There’s a saying that “the joy is in the journey.” While that’s certainly true, it doesn’t mean you should wander aimlessly. If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll never get there.
Imagine what it would be like – WILL be like – to be joyful and happy, to proceed through life without fear, to be able to cope with setbacks and obstacles with resilience. Set this goal clearly in mind. If it tends to fade over time, write it down and post it where you can see it every day. Only once you know what you’re working toward will you be able to determine the steps required to reach it.
2 – Waiting Until There’s A Problem
When things are going well, it’s tempting to assume they’ll just continue that way. So we don’t have a plan in place to deal with obstacles. Then, when a stressful situation arises, our ability to reason rationally and to make wise decisions may be impaired, making the situation worse.
Make a list of specific obstacles that could arise as you work to reach the goal you chose earlier, along with possible solutions. This is not negative thinking. Negative thinking would be imagining dire events with no plan in place to deal with them. Instead, we’re thinking positively about how we’re going to overcome whatever problems arise. Of course, we can’t anticipate every possible situation, but we can prepare for the most likely ones.
3 – Not Taking Daily Action
Achieving some goals in life is like walking along a path. If you stop for a while, you may not make progress but at least you haven’t gone backward.
Other goals require constant and consistent effort. Reaching these goals is more like walking up an escalator that’s going down. You need to keep climbing because if you stop you’ll begin moving backward.
Make a chart of your progress. At the end of every day, write down what you did that day to work toward your goal or to overcome whatever obstacle you’re facing. If you miss a day, don’t be discouraged. Strive to do better tomorrow.
4 – Expecting The Problem To Resolve On Its Own
In life, nothing positive happens unless someone makes it happen. But taking consistent action every day to reach our goals takes effort. So when we face problems, it’s easier to simply wait and hope that everything will work out on its own. It’s like knowing that we need to exercise to get into better shape, but instead we lie down until the feeling goes away. We’re fooling ourselves if we think our health will improve this way.
Review your goals and your progress. If you find you’ve stalled, don’t wait. Analyze the problem and determine what action you can take. Then, take that action!
5 – Not Accepting Help
If you broke your leg in an accident, would you try to set it yourself? Of course not! You’d seek competent medical care as quickly as possible. Yet, when it comes to our mental and emotional health, we’re often averse to seeking help, accepting it when it’s offered, or even admitting there’s a problem.
Depression and anxiety are serious disorders, not to be taken lightly. There is no shame in accepting help.
Confide in a trusted friend. Attend one of Mega Health’s Mental Health First Aid Workshops. If you’re suffering from chronic or acute depression, talk to your doctor.
Ready For Whatever Comes
Priorities shift. Goals change. New challenges arise. You may find yourself on a path completely different from what you anticipated. But if you’ve mastered the basics, you’ll be able to adapt. Once you do, you’ll be one of those for whom success seems to come easily.