7 ways to stop ruining your life

Sometimes we get in the way of our own happiness. We erect barriers on the way to our goals and dreams, spoil relationships with loved ones, revel in self-pity for years instead of moving on. Self-destructive behavior becomes a habit. And at the end of the day, we look back and realize with bitterness that life did not turn out the way we would like.

To avoid the deepest regrets in the future, you need to stop hurting yourself now. In Keep Yourself Alive, psychiatrist Mark Goulston talks about different types of self- sabotage and how to change destructive patterns of behavior.

Goulston advises .

Don’t wait until it’s too late

If you continue to live as you do now, what will you regret at eighty years of age? Imagine that you have already reached this age. What important things are not completed? Let’s say you didn’t have time to reconcile with your father or renew an old friendship. Missed the brightest events in the life of their children. Traveled little. They never got to the books they wanted to read.

Often people force out of their consciousness what is really important to them, so as not to violate the existing state of affairs. But know that if you go down this path, you will have terrible regrets later. And, most likely, it will be too late to change something.


  1. Think about what you can do differently from today to celebrate your 80th birthday the way you would like.
  2. Start doing it.

take risks

Do not take it as a call to recklessness. In some situations, it is indeed better not to take risks, but this does not mean that you need to be careful always, in all circumstances.

If, walking along the street, you keep looking under your feet, diligently bypassing every pothole and unevenness, then in the end you will come to the wrong place. Sometimes it is necessary to take your eyes off the ground so as not to lose direction.

So it is in life. The safe way is not always the best one. No matter how scary it is, from time to time you need to take risks and move forward at full speed, without losing sight of your main goals.

Yes, you will stumble and even fall, but at least try to fulfill your dreams and be able to taste life in all its diversity.


  1. Remember if you have unfulfilled desires. Let’s say you have long wanted to change your career, move to another city or start a family, but you just can’t decide on such a serious step.
  2. Appraise adequately and practically what you can do now to get closer to what you dream of.

Avoid rebellion for the sake of rebellion

We don’t like being pressured because we want to be in charge of our own lives. This is a completely natural desire. But rebellion for the sake of rebellion is a road to nowhere.

By fiercely defending your independence, you can inadvertently harm yourself.

A typical example. Parents insist that their daughter complete graduate school. Everything inside her is screaming, “Don’t tell me what to do!” – and she leaves the university, although deep down she wanted to continue her studies.

This behavior is not limited to children. It happens that husbands and wives rebel against their overbearing half. Or business partners rebel against each other’s demands to the detriment of company profits.

In order not to find yourself in a similar situation, you must understand that you yourself choose your own path, and not just obey someone else’s will. If someone puts pressure on you to do something, stop and ask yourself how fair and reasonable these demands are. Do your aspirations match the expectations of this person? If yes, agree to do what you are advised.

Be realistic

There is nothing wrong with thinking big and setting goals that are difficult to achieve. But your expectations should always be realistic.

When the chances of success are low, don’t approach things with a “I must do this” mentality. It is better to consider it just a wish that may not come true. In this case, failure will not knock you out of the saddle.

If your dream is to achieve something big (like becoming a Hollywood star), don’t turn it into something absolutely necessary. Otherwise, you run the risk of spending too much time and energy on unrealistic fantasies, and then completely falling into depression.


  1. Ask yourself if what you want can really happen someday. What is the probability of this event?
  2. Make a list of everything you need to achieve this goal.
  3. Rate your goal on a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is totally unrealistic and 10 is totally realistic. The lower the score, the more important it is to have a contingency plan in case of failure.
  4. Set a bar of expectations – “I want to have this”, “I need this”, or “I absolutely must have this” – in accordance with the realistic goal.

Use jealousy to your advantage

Envy can be very destructive. It devastates, makes us feel left out. In addition, it is always followed by shame: it is unpleasant for us to think that we are unable to enjoy the success of others.

However, envy can also motivate. It will take you far ahead if you, instead of complaining and complaining about your lot, take constructive action.

These simple steps will help get rid of the negative attitude and direct envy in the right direction.

1. Try to learn as much as possible about the person you envy. Try to communicate with this person more often. Perhaps you will realize that he does not deserve envy as much as you imagined. You may well find that the lucky ones have flaws, shortcomings and weaknesses.

2. Get rid of hostility in your thoughts. Stop wishing the object of your envy not to have what you dream of. Then you can easily move to the next level – to admiration. Learn to admire other people’s achievements without tying it all to your own failures.

3. From admiration, you can go to imitation. Does the person you envy have skills, training, or personal qualities that you could acquire or develop? Maybe you should adopt his values or copy his plan of action?

4. Take action!

Stop feeling sorry for yourself

Tensions in the family, loneliness, financial instability, poor living conditions, illness of a loved one, dissatisfaction with one’s own appearance – anything can become a reason for self-pity.

We must admit that things don’t always work out the way we would like. But this does not mean that you need to mourn your fate endlessly. Feeling sorry for yourself, you waste energy that otherwise could be used to turn your life around, change it for the better.

So do not give in to the “woe to me, woe!” mood. Instead, try to see the good things in your life. Let the glass be half full. Then think about what you can do to solve your problem and secure a better future for yourself.


  1. Make a list of everything in your life that you are grateful for.
  2. If possible, join a support group made up of people with the same self-pitying reasons that you do. Look for a solution -oriented community where participants not only share their pain, but also discuss hopes and plans.

Don’t give up too soon

Some people willingly take on every new business, but as soon as the time comes for routine work, they are disappointed and leave the race. However, success rarely comes to those who are not willing to endure the tedious and boring part of the process. Nothing worthwhile can be achieved without perseverance.

Boredom is not the only reason why we give up too soon. Sometimes things in our lives, whether it’s work or marriage, turn out to be more difficult than we expected, so some of us decide that the game is not worth the candle.

The habit of giving up too soon is one type of self-destructive behavior. People who do this do not achieve their goals. In addition, they lose confidence in the eyes of others, and ultimately in their own eyes.

Of course, there are times when no amount of effort will save a business project or relationship. Perhaps you really need to break up an unhappy marriage or quit a dead-end job. But it’s important to understand the difference between giving up on a case too quickly and making the smart decision to prevent further losses.

To make the right choice, think about what behavior is more typical for you: give up too early or, on the contrary, stubbornly continue what should have been stopped a long time ago?

Then ask yourself if you explored all available options, gathered all the information you needed, asked for all the help before giving up on something. If you haven’t, then it’s probably still worth fighting for.

Finally, honestly assess the extent of your disappointment and unhappiness. Too strong and long discontent, melancholy or depression indicate that change is long overdue. If everything is not so bad, then perhaps it is too early to abandon the undertaking.

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