What are the common mistakes people make that ruin their lives? originally appeared on Quora - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.
After years of looking at the top CEOs, learning from them, and coaching many different clients myself, 7 main mistakes always come through:
1. They do not dream big enough. Most goals are tiny goals that do not even excite the person setting the goal! The whole world is telling us we need to have "realistic" goals without even knowing what we are capable of, and we just follow that advice blindly, limiting ourselves before we even start.
Your dreams should excite you! They should be things that excite you so much you tingle with excitement every time you think about them. It doesn't matter at all if it is achievable or not; the only thing that matters is that it is so big you cannot help but to work towards it.
Small goals only do 2 things:
- They make you depressed after you achieve them because you suddenly do not have anything to work towards.
- They limit you in what you believe you can do.
Have a goal so big others will shake their heads, tell you it is unrealistic, and will think you have a god complex for even thinking about it. Let them be the ones that are stuck in the "realistic" world they imagine, while you actually test those limits with all you've got.
2. They expect it to go faster and give up if it doesn't. No one expects it to take a long time. In today's world of fast internet, instant information, and immediate rewards, we all want things to go FAST!
This is why so many people quit! It only needs to take 1 week longer than we expect it to and we will want to quit, saying it isn't worth it anymore. Look at any New Year's resolution and you will see that this is true. Losing 10 lbs is easy at first, but after a month of exercising and realizing you still have only lost 2 lbs it isn't worth it anymore.
Everything that is worth it will take its time, but it will also not matter how long it takes because it is worth it!
3. They do not take responsibility for their lives. It is unbelievably easy to make excuses and to blame others. If it isn't your fault then you couldn't change it, meaning that you are but a victim of the world around you and you will not have to put in any work.
The truth is: Living an awesome life is hard! If it were to just fall in your lap one day no one would do anything and everyone would have it.
A lack of responsibility causes you to become depressed with every single negative event. Nothing is in your control, meaning every time something bad happens you are helpless and will just sit in the corner and cry.
Take responsibility for the way you feel, where you are in life, and where you want to end up. It is better to believe everything is in your power than to believe nothing is. But, as with most things, a balance is still best!
4. They do not believe in their own power. People that end up on the street believe that even if something is their responsibility, they can't change it. "I am not strong enough/smart enough/I am too lazy/procrastinate too much/that is just the way I am."
All of these limiting thoughts are nothing more than thoughts. They hold no truth and will ruin your life faster than anything else. Learned helplessness is the biggest reason for depression, and much more common than it was even 20 years ago.
Believe that you can do it, even if you have no idea how. Believe you will figure it out and do something about it and you will gain control back of your life.
5. They under-commit. Most people have a very skewed idea about the work/reward ratio of the world. In fact, most people believe it takes half the amount of work it actually will take or worse. It's not surprising that those people are the ones that end up depressed because nothing they do works out.
Real commitment starts when you say that you will do it no matter how long it will take. Time should not even be a factor in the things you want to do. If you can change your attitude into a "whatever it takes" attitude. You will never run into the issue of being depressed for not getting what you want, because you will always get it!
6. They stay with the wrong group. Friends come and go, yet we all want to hold on so tightly to our current group that we do not even begin to realize how negative most of them are. But anything is better than being alone, right?
Even if that were true, that does not excuse you staying with the same negative people that only drag you down! In the end you will model all the people around you according to how much time you spend with them. That is why you are so much like your best friend, and couples become more similar as time goes on.
You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with, and if you want to improve, grow, and get your life to equal that of your dreams, then you need to find the people that will turn you into the person deserving of that life!
7. They believe change is specific only to the areas they wish to change. Every change will change everything. You cannot expect to get a higher paying job when you still play video games for 8 hours a day and still order pizza every other day.
Right now, you have exactly what you deserve in life. You get exactly what you put into it. If you want to get a better life, then you have to change. Stop trying to find the specific reasons to change and focus instead on becoming the person that will naturally have the life you want.
It is not about getting the job, money, or partner, but instead about becoming the person who deserves that job, that kind of money, and such an amazing partner!
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