5 Painfully Common Traps That Will Waste Your Time, Money, And Energy (Highly Recommended)

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You’ll find yourself in at least one.

Some of the most common human behaviors are borderline insane.

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We’ve all met not one or two, but a bunch of people who:

Drink more than is good for them
Waste time in a job that makes them unhappy
Jump from one relationship into the other, following the same toxic patterns
Complain but don’t do anything about it
Try so hard to please others that they lose themselves in the process
There are countless other examples.

Society tells you this is normal because 99% of people do the same. Spoiler alert: It’s not.

This means that often, you’re not even aware of the fact that you’re doing to your life what spicy Indian food does to my toilet bowl.

Do you really want to keep wasting tons of time, money, and energy on behaviors that don’t serve you?

I guess not.

I guess you’d rather use these resources to improve your life or lean back, relax, and be happy.

But to free yourself, you first have to become aware of what keeps you trapped.

This Is Why It’s So Easy To Lose Yourself

Despite our sophisticated society, modern humans are far more primeval than we’d like to admit.

When your ancestor Corey the Caveman chased the wrong woman or stole food from the wrong guy, the tribe pulled out their clubs to play a bongo beat on his head.

Okay, maybe they weren’t as musical — but they could do something far worse.

They could cast him out of the tribe. Back when food didn’t come in grocery stores and sabretooth tigers were just as hungry as you, that was a near-certain death sentence. No wonder you’re hardwired to please others.

This happens especially with your family because they’re the core of your tribe.

For years, I felt like I owed my mum something. That I should study, find a good job, or live a certain life because that’s what she wanted. It made me miserable — whatever I did, I felt like it wasn’t the real me.

If you’re prone to people-pleasing…

You have a hard time saying no when someone asks you for a favor.
You don’t say what you think because you don’t want to offend people or be a weirdo.
You apologize or accept fault even if you aren’t to blame.
This creates frustration and resentment because you sacrifice yourself for others. Some take advantage and drain you like a faucet. Your relationships don’t satisfy you because you can’t be the real you.

[If you try too hard to please others, you lose yourself.

This doesn’t mean you should be an egoistic asshole and only care about your needs and wants.

But you — and nobody else — should be your top priority.

Until you make this shift, you can’t live the life you want. You can’t serve others in the way you see fit. And you certainly can’t make yourself happy.

How to get out of this trap:

You have to rewire your beliefs.

Ask yourself why you think you can’t upset someone, always have to look good or perform well.

Where do these thoughts come from? Do they reflect reality? Does sacrificing yourself for others make you happy? Would your tribe really cast you out so you die a slow, painful death if you upset someone?

Then, break your patterns. Seek conflict. Voice your opinion. Say no. Step by step, you’ll learn to please yourself.

You Can Only Have the Sunshine if You’re Ready for the Rain

I’ve been a perfectionist for years — there’s one crucial lesson I learned.

Perfection is an illusion. A mirage that keeps you in a continuous chase through the desert, no matter how far you walk or how careful you gauge your steps. Whenever you think you have it, the goalposts just move — and you chase again.

I’ve lived on three continents, talked to hundreds of girls, and tried a bunch of different careers.

No place to live, no career, and certainly no relationship will ever be perfect. There will always be something that upsets you. Learn to live with it because that’s reality.

If you chase perfection, you’ll never be happy with what you have. Wondering what it would be like if the weather was always sunny, your girlfriend had the perfect body, or you’d love every aspect of your job keeps you from enjoying what you have. Frustration and disappointment ensue.

Read also: 5 life rules you should not break for anyone or anything

Obsessing about every little detail keeps you from making meaningful progress.

Instead, appreciate what you have and strive to get better every day.

How to get out of this trap:

Adopt a version 1.0 mentality.

Instead of shooting for the perfect outcome, fall in love with the process of improvement. Viewing things as a first draft version gives you permission to live, work, and love in a way that isn’t perfect. Instead of obsessing over details, focus on meaningful progress.

You can always improve later.

Perfection is an illusion — don’t lose yourself chasing a mirage.

You’re Buying Drugs Without Knowing

Happiness is a paradox. Everybody wants it, few have it, and nobody can give it to you except yourself.

I can’t tell you how to be happy because the path is different for everybody — but I can tell you what doesn’t work because I’ve tried.

Don’t try to buy happiness.

I’ve seen so many people get stuck in a continuous game of keeping up with the Joneses. A new watch. A fancy car. A bigger house. Buying happiness is like a drug.

It gives you short hits and a fleeting high. An exciting rush when you look at your new, shiny purchase. But when it fades, you’re back to ground zero — and want more.

If you try to buy happiness, no matter how much you have, it will never be enough. Jeff Bezos sits on a [X million dollar yacht and flies into space with no sign of stopping. We’re all exposed to the same, toxic cycle.

Time to break yours.

How to get out of this trap:

First, you have to become aware of the fleeting highs.

Look at what you’ve bought or achieved that you thought would make you happy. How do you feel about it now? How about the other hundreds of items rotting in your closet or memory?

When you feel the urge to buy something, don’t give in to it.

Instead, focus on the underlying feeling. What do you feel? What’s the belief behind these emotions? Where does it come from?

Tough questions, but that’s where you’ll find lasting happiness.

Sometimes, the Best Thing You Can Do Is Move On

Love is like a fart — if you have to force it, it’s shit. This also goes for a bunch of other things.

The adage of nothing worth having comes easy is true, but at a certain point, you need to ask yourself if you’re chasing a pipedream.

I killed my first business because the results didn’t justify the time, money, and energy I put into it. It also did to my mental health what a baseball bat does to a porcelain vase. A few weeks after I made the decision, I realized why I held onto it for much longer than I should’ve.

Scarcity mentality.

I thought that this was my only shot at making online money and that if I messed it up I’d never be happy again.

Every little upside gave me hope, every little downturn made me feel despair.

Does that sound familiar?

You often experience these feelings when it comes to relationships, but they can creep into every part of your life.

Sticking with something past its due date might make you feel dedicated, loyal, or driven — but it also holds you back from the thousands of other opportunities life gives you.

Since I focused my efforts on writing again, I realized how much I enjoy it. I’ve connected with other writers and created a bunch of new opportunities. Instead of scarcity, I feel abundance.

Don’t waste your time, money, and energy on something that isn’t supposed to be.

There’s much more out there — just let life open a new door.

How to get out of this trap:

In business, there’s a sunk cost fallacy.

When you’ve invested a lot of resources into an something, you want to keep at it because you’ve already done so much. It’s like repairing a car that isn’t worth the mechanic bills anymore.

Do whatever you can to make your dreams come true. But when it’s not supposed to be, wake up. Let the sunk cost go.

You can always walk another path.

You Won’t Like To Hear This, but It’s the Truth

If I could teach people only one thing, it would be this:

Nobody is going to save you — your life is your responsibility.

A few weeks ago, I met a girl with an interesting story. When she was younger, a car hit her. Not only did the driver cause the accident, but the car also rolled over her legs twice, turning her bones into a real-life anatomic puzzle. She and her hospital bed became very good friends.

She could’ve complained and blamed the driver.

Instead, she accepted responsibility for her situation — even if she didn’t like it. Nobody could learn how to walk again or live with her scars for her. That was her responsibility.

Today, she’s grateful for the experience and everything it taught her.

In life, lots of things will happen to you that you don’t like. Your employer goes bankrupt, your partner cheats on you, or a bird [drops a deuce on your head. Shit happens, sometimes literally.

Read also: 10 habits to become more productive in life

It’s not your fault, but it’s your responsibility.

Complaining and blaming don’t help. It turns precious time and energy into negativity. Unfortunately, mass media and politics do everything in their power to force you into a disempowering victim role.

It’s the oldest move in the book. Find a villain, point fingers, and say: “because of that, you don’t get this.” Now they don’t have to work hard and solve the actual issues anymore because people have someone else to blame.

Most people feel good about it because it removes their responsibility. “Oh, it’s not my fault and I can’t do anything because of higher forces. Fuck them, without them everything would be great.” Abracadabra, you’re stuck.

All the people you envy, all the people who have what you want to have — they all took responsibility. They refused to blame, complain, and simply hope for the better.

Nobody is going to save you, especially not the ones saying they will. You have to save yourself.

How to get out of this trap:

Learn to distinguish between fault and responsibility.

It’s not your fault your boss is a grade A dickhead, but it’s your responsibility to either [change, escape, or accept your circumstances.

Instead of pointing fingers, ask yourself: “How can I improve my situation?”

Save yourself because nobody is going to do it for you.

CONTRIBUTED BY Moreno Zugaro

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