We all face some degree of struggle and suffering in life and in business. Some are unavoidable; some are errors we can learn and grow from; some come from the neglect or bad actions of others.

Sometimes the worst struggles are the ones we inflict upon ourselves through bad habits of thought. As with most things, the first step in fixing the problem is being aware of it. Here are seven of the most frequent:

We worry needlessly. It's been said that a day of worry is more exhausting than a week of work. If you understand worry, you can recognize it as fear trickling through your mind and wearing you out. Worry doesn't solve any problems, of course. It robs you of your effectiveness without making anything better--and most of the time, the things you worry about never even come to pass. Stop worrying about what can go wrong and get excited about what can go right.

We overthink everything. Much like worry, overthinking can deplete and exhaust you. Worse, it can shut down good ideas before they even get a chance to be explored. Overthinking is the art of creating problems that weren't there before. Don't allow the possibilities of a situation to be overtaken by the risks; remember that your instincts are built on your experience and education and learn to trust them.

We give into anger to easily. Anger solves nothing and builds nothing; its power is purely destructive. It's possible to be passionate in your beliefs and to disagree with others without anger. Or you can let it own you--and possibly destroy you. You always have the choice to be thoughtful and calm in responding to a situation--to act on the basis of your priorities and goals, not the emotion of the moment.

We procrastinate to be perfect. Procrastination makes easy things hard and hard things harder, and few things are more damaging to success. It's the emotional equivalent of debt, allowing tasks to consume a growing amount of your energy without ever moving closer to closure. Whatever needs to be done, do it promptly and move on with your life.

We feel like an imposter. Almost everyone struggles with this from time to time. You can persuade yourself you're unqualified to do what you're doing--too old, too young, not smart enough, not quick enough, on and on. It's what you do with those feelings that makes the difference. Drown out the voice of the imposter with positive messaging. Refuse to undervalue who you are and overvalue what you are not. Remember, you don't have to everything figured out to be successful and move forward.

We have more negative thoughts than we have positive. You can't spread negative thinking around you and expect to get positive results. It can be difficult to realize the power of negative thinking--or even to know when you're engaged in it. It can become so automatic that you aren't even aware of it. The cure is to let go of expectations and learn to find positivity in most situations--because short of an outright tragedy, every experience has at least some good to bring, and you'll accomplish far more by thinking of positive solutions.

We wish we had it easier. You cannot control much of what happens in life, and a big part of wisdom is coming to terms with that fact. What you can control is how you respond. Don't concern yourself with what anybody else is doing or wish for fewer challenges. Instead, focus on knowing more and doing more and being the best version of yourself. The things that come easy aren't the ones that help you grow in determination and strength.

There are truths about life that exist, and they can be harsh, but if we learn to accept them we can go beyond them.

Published on: Jun 7, 2017
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