I was going through some files last week, cleaning things out, and I came across an email my mom sent me in 2012. I don’t remember why she sent me this email, but it clearly meant so much to me I printed it out. The subject line read, “Things to stop doing.”
The very first thing the email said was: “When you stop chasing the wrong things, you give the right things a chance to catch you.”
The second thing the email said was: “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” My mom then wrote: “Nothing could be closer to the truth. But before you can begin this process of transformation, you have to stop doing the things that have been holding you back.”
I don’t remember what I thought at the time, but I know reading it last week was profound for me. I needed to read it again and remind myself of several of the items on the list. The email then listed a number of ideas to get started; aka, to stop doing! And I wanted to share that with y’all. Because I know we can get stuck. Stuck in the moment, stuck in the past, stuck chasing the wrong things, stuck trying to rewrite the past, stuck trying to control the present and predict our future. Just stuck.
So here are a few ideas for you to get unstuck:
- Stop spending time with the wrong people. Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you. If someone wants you in their life, they will make room for you.
- Stop running from your problems. Face them head on. No, it won’t be easy, but that’s the whole purpose of living – to face problems, learn, adapt, and solve them over the course of time. This is what ultimately molds us into the person we become.
- Stop lying to yourself. Our lives improve when we take chances, and the first and most difficult chance we can take is to be honest with ourselves.
- Stop putting your own needs on the back burner. The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too. Yes, help others, but help yourself too. If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, that moment is now.
- Stop trying to be someone you’re not. One of the greatest challenges in life is being yourself in a world that’s trying to make you like everyone else. Don’t change so people will like you. Be yourself and the right people will love the real you.
- Stop trying to hold onto the past. You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading your last one.
- Stop being scared to make a mistake. Doing something and getting it wrong is at least ten times more productive than doing nothing.
- Stop berating yourself for old mistakes. We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past. But you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles, and you are here NOW with the power to shape your day and your future. Every single thing that has ever happened in your life is preparing you for a moment that is yet to come.
- Stop trying to buy happiness. The things that really satisfy us are totally free – love, laughter, and working on our passions.
- Stop exclusively looking to others for happiness. If you’re not happy with who you are on the inside, you won’t be happy in a long-term relationship with anyone else either. You have to create stability in your own life first before you can share it with someone else.
- Stop being idle. Don’t think too much or you’ll create a problem that wasn’t even there in the first place. Making progress involves risk. You can’t make it to second base with your foot on first.
- Stop thinking you’re not ready. Nobody ever feels 100% ready when an opportunity arises. Most great opportunities in life force us to grow beyond our comfort zones, which means we won’t feel totally comfortable at first.
- Stop trying to compete against everyone else. Don’t worry about what others are doing better than you. Concentrate on beating your own records every day. Success is a battle between YOU and YOURSELF only.
- Stop being jealous of others. Jealousy is the art of counting someone else’s blessings instead of your own.
- Stop complaining and feeling sorry for yourself. Life’s curveballs are thrown for a reason – to shift your path in a direction that is meant for you.
- Stop letting others bring you down to their level. Refuse to lower your standards to accommodate those who refuse to raise theirs.
- Stop wasting time explaining yourself to others. Your friends don’t need it and your enemies won’t believe it anyway. Just do what you know is right in your heart.
- Stop doing the same things over and over without taking a break. If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting. Sometimes you need to distance yourself to see things clearly.
- Stop overlooking the beauty of small moments. Enjoy the little things, because one day you may look back and discover they were the big things.
- Stop trying to make things perfect.
- Stop following the path of least resistance. Life is not easy, especially when you plan on achieving something worthwhile. Don’t take the easy way out. Do something extraordinary.
- Stop blaming others for your troubles. The extent to which you can achieve your dreams depends on the extent to which you take responsibility for your life.
- Stop trying to be everything to everyone. Doing so is impossible, and trying will only burn you out.
- Stop worrying so much. Worry will not strip tomorrow of its burdens, it will strip today of its joy.
- Stop focusing on what you don’t want to happen. Focus on what you do want to happen. Positive thinking is at the forefront of every great success story.
- Stop being ungrateful. No matter how good or bad you have it, wake up each day thankful for your life.
I hope some of these spoke to you, and I hope you take them to heart. I know I needed it.
Have a beautiful week! And choose one thing to stop doing this week.