The art of changing your life is something that fascinates me. Once I started learning how to ease into change – I started changing, frequently. I’m not the same person I was a month ago, let alone a year ago. And I’m far detached from who I was five or ten years ago. However, change didn’t always come as easily to me. In this article I’m rounding up some of the common mistakes people make when trying to change their life.
As a reminder: I am not a doctor, nor do I claim to be! Any claims in this article are based on my personal experience and research. Please read my full medical disclaimer before engaging with my content or anecdotes. Also, as a reminder, this post contains affiliate links to certain products and I may earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you!) if you make a purchase based off of my suggestions.
Common Mistakes People Make When Trying to Change Their Life
Before I dive into the common mistakes people make when trying to change their life.. I want to remind you that mistakes are part of the journey! The concept of a “mistake” is a human concept that is often misconstrued with “failure”.
Mistakes =/= Failure
If we don’t make mistakes we can’t learn. If we don’t learn we can’t grow. If we don’t grow we can’t change!
I think it’s so so important to remember that mistakes are necessary for change.
Mistake #1: Expecting Immediate Results
Cliche, but true, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Your best self won’t be, either. Expecting immediate change is setting yourself up for failure.
Give yourself grace.
Give yourself time.
Give yourself SPACE.
Mistake #2: Expecting Perfection
Humans aren’t perfect! It just is what it is. Expecting perfection, especially when it comes to developing new habits, routines, personality traits, etc. is another huge common mistake people make when trying to change their life.
Let go of the idea of “perfect”. It isn’t real. It doesn’t exist. It isn’t attainable.
Mistake #3: Ignoring Habits and Routines
No one is going to wake up and just start a whole new life and way of living. If we want to change – we need to invite in new habits and routines to build the foundations of the change upon. We can’t create a new life on our old foundations. Habits and routines are the new foundations that our new life will be built on.
If you don’t know where to start with habits and routines, don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.
Here are: 8 Small-ish Changes that Had BIG Impacts on my Well-Being and Mental Health
And also: Easy, Daily Habits that Can Change Your Life
Mistake #4: Interacting with the Wrong People
This can also be “interacting with the same people”. There’s a common saying that we are the culmination of the five people we spend most of our time with. If the people that you are around most often aren’t people who are also looking to change themselves or better themselves – you can no longer interact with them.
I know that is really hard to accept. Especially when we love these people and they’re good friends or family.
However, if we want to do better for ourselves – we can’t stunt our growth to cater to the feelings of others.
It doesn’t have to be a whole production where you “end the friendship” or “cut ties completely”. Just take a step back from the people around you who aren’t growing and don’t really seem to have a desire to.
If you want to change your life – you need people around you who want to change their life. If you want to grow – you need people around you who want to grow.
Mistake #5: Trying to Change Too Much All at Once
Trying to change EVERYTHING in your life ALL AT ONCE is going to produce a giant DISASTER. Trying to change everything all at once is a HUGE task and unless you have zero social interactions, no job, and nothing but free time to dedicate to your change – it’s just not feasible.
When we take things slow we give them time to grow. We can’t force change upon us. Start small. Let the change gain some natural momentum.
Mistake #6: Trying to Stop All “Bad” Habits at Once
Trying to quit all of your bad habits cold turkey might work for some people, and I’m not saying it doesn’t! However, when you’re piling up “all of your bad habits” and trying to let them go all at once – it’s going to come as a shock to your system. That shock is going to put a lot of pressure on us. And what happens when you put pressure on things?
Think about it as when we were kids. When our mom tells us not to do something.. what’s the first thing we go and do? That thing. It’s the same thing about being too hard on ourselves about “stopping our bad habits”!
It’s not necessarily about “stopping our bad habits” but more so about making space for some healthier habits (like my favorite easy daily habits to change your life).
Mistake #7: Ignoring Our Mental Fatigue
Sometimes we just don’t have the mental stamina to be present with change. We have to develop the discernment to recognize where we are being hard on ourselves mentally. Otherwise? That mental fatigue is going to come and bite us in the ass.
When we’re mentally fatigued we really can’t operate from a place of change because we don’t have the mental stamina to support the change. Sometimes we have to just give ourselves some grace and rest.
As we make changes and efforts into our physical reality.. we also have to make sure we take care of our mental health. Here are some different types of mental rest:
Mistake #8: Ignoring Physical Fatigue
We need to listen to our bodies when our bodies are telling us to slow down! Sometimes we might have the stamina mentally but physically our bodies just aren’t there. WE HAVE TO LISTEN TO THIS!! Sometimes we push ourselves beyond our physical capabilities and thats how injuries happen.
Mistake #9: Focusing on the Past
We can’t change the past! There’s nothing we can do about it! The only thing that focusing on the past (on mistakes we made or regrets we have) does for us is holds us back from our present and future.
If we want to make positive change we have to accept the past for what it is and let go of it. Root into the promise of having power over the future.
Mistake #10: Sticking to Our Comfort Zones
Change doesn’t grow from comfort zones! It’s as simple as that. If we want to change we need to let go of the comfort zones that we’ve grown accustomed to. Sticking to that comfort zone holds us back from growing!
If we want to grow we need to grow out of our comfort zone.
Mistake #11: The Biggest Mistake People Make When Trying to Change Their Life: Acting Out of a Place of Self-Judgement
One of the biggest mistakes people make when trying to change is looking to change from a space of self-judgement. Acting out of a place of blame, acting out of a place of obligation or even worse acting out of a place of hatred or disgust for ourselves is a really difficult place to generate change from.
If we truly want to change we have to act from a space of love and support. When we seek to make change because we love ourselves and we want to better ourselves – that gives us a great boost of subconscious support in our efforts!