I wish I had known it all much earlier. I wish someone (preferably my parents) had warned me against these mistakes. I wish I had never made these mistakes but I’ve made them and I’m here to warn you!
12 mistakes I wish someone had warned me against:
- Believing and adopting my parents’ fears
- Trying hard to prove something to others
- Explaining myself
- Caring about what other people think of me
- Living up to expectations of the society
- Working at a job I didn’t like
- Trying to control everything
- Trying to outsmart everyone
- Sacrificing comfort to look more attractive
- Being too clingy in relationships
- Living lives of other people (copying)
- Having idols (admiring some people too much)
Believing and adopting my parents’ fears
I consider this mistake the biggest one as it made me develop too many limiting beliefs. False beliefs. My mom and dad are both extremely anxious people. They are afraid of everything in this world and keep making up new fears whenever a new situation occurs. Their instant reaction to anything is FEAR. I’ve been told terrifying stories since my early childhood. All those terrible things happened to people my parents could even not know in person. I wish I would have realized it sooner that those fears were just sick imagination of people who didn’t want to work on their mental health.
Lesson learned: whoever projects their fears, insecurities and other psychological issues on you, you should be able to realize it and stop adopting those projections. Distinguish your own beliefs from beliefs of other people.
Trying hard to prove something to others
I used to care about the impression I made on others. Moreover, it was really important for me to be more successful than others. I desperately needed to outperform people I know and people I used to know. Instagram “helped” me in gathering information for the “competition”. Of course, my competitors didn’t have an idea that we were competing. The rivalry took too much of my energy which made me unable to pursue bigger goals. My real goals. Then I decided to quit Instagram and that’s how I decided to create my own website.
Lesson learned: if you spend your energy on competing and trying to surpass someone, you’re the only one losing in this game. If you focus on competition, you’ll never be fully satisfied with your life as there’re many people to compete with on every new level.
As someone once said: “People only understand from their level of perception.” So, it doesn’t really matter whether you explain yourself or not, they will not understand you 100% anyway.
Lesson learned: there is no point in arguing, persuading, proving your point of view. Some people are SO different, they will never be able to understand you. Save your energy and focus on your goals and dreams.
Caring about what other people think of me
When I was about 13, I developed social anxiety. I had panic attacks triggered by social situations. I write more about how I managed to overcome social anxiety after 12 years of struggle here. One of the reasons for my social anxiety was caring too much what people thought about me.
Lesson learned: my mistake was that I didn’t understand that most people didn’t actually care about me at all. People care mostly about themselves, so don’t overthink.
Living up to expectations of the society
Society puts too much pressure on us nowadays when there are social networks and media, and celebrities famous just for being famous (you know what I mean). Society expects everyone to be cheerful, positive, energetic, motivated, enthusiastic, to dream about a 9 to 5 career, to enjoy socializing, be successful, buy expensive things to emphasize your success, to travel, to become parents, etc. as if it’s everyone’s dream.
Lesson learned: there are many distractions around us. So, in order not to get lost and follow your own path, you need to turn off the distractions. If it means to distance from toxic people, block social network apps or even delete your accounts if blocking isn’t enough – do it. It’s worth it.
Working at a job I didn’t like
My past jobs were just terrible. I felt neither valued nor respected. I felt like a piece needed to get the machine working so that it could generate money for the owners. Moreover, there was a lot of stress. I had no proper work-life balance. Because of the stress, I felt not only miserable but also like…on the verge of a mental breakdown all the time. I actually had several. I was burnt out. Visiting doctors was like my second job.
Lesson learned: if you hate your job, don’t give it any second chances. It won’t become better, there is nothing to wait for except regret.
Trying to control everything
I used to think that if something doesn’t go as planned, I can make it go as planned. But it has never worked out.
Lesson learned: you may try as hard as you want but you don’t really have control over life. Loosen your grip on control and let everything happen just as it’s supposed to.
Trying to outsmart everyone
Before, I needed to be the smartest person in the room. I felt like people, especially men, judged me based on my appearance, so I wanted to show all men that I was smarter than they thought I was. I could tell when men thought I was not very smart and I could tell when they understood they had been wrong. Who cares? – that’s what I think now.
Lesson learned: I don’t care what other people, whoever they may be, think about me. Their opinions don’t affect my life. Moreover, now I don’t need anyone else’s praise or appreciation. I have my own.
Sacrificing comfort to look more attractive
High heels, tons of makeup, tight clothes just because it’s considered attractive. This is what influencers display on Instagram. But it’s so not my thing! I like sneakers, a little bit of makeup, and oversize clothes.
Lesson learned: I don’t care if people like me or not. Besides, “if you don’t love me at my worst, you don’t deserve me at my best.” I’m here not to impress strangers with my beauty. Just as Miley Cyrus sings: “I don’t need to be loved by you.” I’ve learned to put myself first which is why I now prefer comfortable clothes to impressive ones.
Being too clingy in relationships
Just like you have no control over your life, you have no control over your partner. If they don’t want to be with you, they won’t change their mind. So, clinginess rather pushes people back and scares them.
Lesson learned: showing affection is only necessary when the other person wants this affection. Now I know that a healthy relationship does not require constant control and hard work.
Living lives of other people (copying)
As you might know, I had a problem with Instagram. I tried to copy many things. I wanted to be as beautiful as someone else, as rich as someone else, as popular as someone else…and it required me to do things I didn’t like, buy things I didn’t need, visit places I didn’t enjoy vising. As I quit daily Instagram scrolling, I’ve figured out that I want to be myself. I want to dress the way I like, I want to spend time and money the way I like and not the way all people I know consider cool. It really doesn’t matter what other people think about me because they are not even around. And why would they care about someone else’s life?
Lesson learned: literally, no one cares about your life as much as you do.
Having idols (admiring some people too much)
When I was a teenager, I used to hang out with people who seemed to be gods to me. They seemed talented and cool. Besides, some of them looked just great. What I didn’t see were their mental issues which probably didn’t let them succeed in adult life and most likely, I was the only person admiring them that much. I wanted to be around those people so much, it was like an obsession.
Lesson learned: now I know that there are no perfect people and that my problem was lack of self-confidence. What you really should be focused on is your self-improvement as it will pay off.
The 12 mistakes I wish someone had warned me against remind me of unpleasant moments in my life. However, if I hadn’t made those mistakes, I wouldn’t have become who I am now and I’m pleased with the result and the path I’m now following. Learn from your mistakes but forgive yourself for making them as you didn’t know then what you know now.
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