Raise your hand if you need more problems! 🙋♀️ Wait, no? No one needs more problems? 😆 Me either. We all would like to make life easier! So the question is, why do we create problems in our own lives? And how, for the love of all that is good, do we stop doing that?
Now maybe you’re thinking “Humph! I don’t create my own problems!” And you’re recalling everyone and everything that has recently caused you trouble. Now obviously, sometimes crappy stuff happens. Things don’t always go smoothly and people in our lives may behave badly. But we can’t blame time and unforeseen occurrence (or other people) for everything. The sooner we recognize and take responsibility for the experience we are creating through our choices, the better off we’ll be.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this myself lately. We’re in the process of moving, and the extra stress has forced me to examine some of my own choices, and take a good hard look at how I’ve made my life harder in some ways. 🤔 I think moving makes us all examine our life choices, like why do I have so many cookbooks, and do I really want to pay to transport them? 😆 But yes, even more serious things, like why do I procrastinate on simple tasks until they are overwhelming? Why do I feel guilty setting aside time to do what I need to do? And why do I feel like I can’t accept help?
Usually, when we’re making things harder on ourselves, it’s because of our emotional patterns. It’s how we’re used to being and interacting with the world, and sometimes we just don’t see any other way of doing things. With emotional patterns, we recreate the same experiences over and over again. As much as we might like to just break our old habits, we can’t create something new without letting go of an old way of being. (You can read more about emotional patterns my Essential Oils and Emotions series, or Pin for later.📍)
Anyways, in my time spent contemplating life and decluttering closets, I came up with five ways we can stop creating problems and make life easier. Because as a wise woman once said, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” 🤪 Read on and see what resonates with you.
#1 Set Boundaries
Top of the list because it’s so pivotal. Having squishy boundaries leads to all kinds of unnecessary problems! When we find ourselves blaming others for bringing drama into our lives, we need to stop and examine what we are allowing into our lives.
For example, we might have a family member whose bad behavior throws our life into a tailspin on the regular. We may feel like we have no choice but to run to their rescue, no matter what problems it creates. But does saving people from the consequences of their actions really serve anyone? 😕
Rescuing, allowing toxic people to mess with our heads, and saying “Yes” when we know we should say “No” are a few ways squishy boundaries show up and wreak havoc. Do you really have to participate in these cycles, or are you choosing to? What would happen if you chose to disengage and set some firm boundaries for what you will allow in your life?
Yes, there are consequences when you choose to lay down the law, particularly with people who are used to getting away with more than they should. And sometimes we ourselves have to let go of the need to feel needed, or even the adrenaline rush of living in crisis mode. But the payoff is peace, which in my opinion, is totally worth it.
If setting boundaries is a challenge for you, check out Dr. Henry Cloud’s classic book Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No To Take Control of Your Life. Learning to set boundaries isn’t always easy in itself, but doing it will make your life easier in the long run!
#2 Let Go of Energy Suckers
We live in a culture of busyness, in which we are constantly bombarded with information and opportunities. The question is, how much of what sucks up our time and energy is really productive, and how much is just making life harder than it needs to be?
Our poor little brains are trying to sort out everything from social media, news media, email and instant messages, to extracurricular activities for our kids, side hustles, methods of growing our businesses, and how to look good doing it all… oh. my. word. 🤯 If we don’t actively guard our energy and attention, we’ll be like a crumpled up piece of paper blowing down the street with every gust, never being pinned down long enough to convey our own life’s message.
So ask yourself these questions when presented with information or opportunity:
- Is this important to my life’s purpose?
- Will this get me closer to my goals?
- Will this build my most important relationships or take away from them?
- Does this give me energy or drain me?
I think you know the right answers. 😉 If something doesn’t serve you, and especially if it drains you… cut, cut, CUT!
Facebook is one thing I recently had to cut from my life. I still have my account and check with a couple of business minded groups, but I realized scrolling the newsfeed and getting soundbites of drama wasn’t serving my purpose. Why am I telling you this? To hold myself accountable for not going back, lol! Energy suckers can be addictive, so it’s good to have support as you go through that mental detox period. 👌
If you’re working on letting go of this or that 💩, definitely grab your free copy of my Do Less, Live More Workbook. Easy button, coming up! 🛎️
Way #3, coming up! ⬇️
#3 Be Proactive
In our quest for easy, we are often tempted to choose the path of least resistance. (Especially if we’re already overwhelmed from lack of boundaries and too much input!) Unfortunately what’s easy in the short term can make our life harder long term. Like the receipts I could have entered in my budget sheet right away instead of waiting until there were 1000 of them spilling out of my purse? 🤦♀️ Or the convenience food diet that’s easy and cheap until your health gives you a wake up call? 🤢😨
As Tony Robbins says,“Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.” Isn’t that true?!? We do things the easy way until pain forces us to change course. But by the time discomfort motivates us to react, we’re already paying the price.
By being proactive instead of reactive, we make things a lot easier in the long run. Build habits into your life that will take care of the future you. Do things every day to nurture your relationships, care for your body and mind, and build your finances. Don’t wait for a crisis to slap you upside the head. Do it now. 👊
#4 Look for the Good
Is there such a thing as a pessimist with a great life? 🤔 Hmm… If there is, they probably don’t even recognize how good they have it! 😆 And then we have the pessimists who like to call themselves “realists”, because they’re so convinced that they’re really right about life being crappy. Friends, an attitude like this is a sure fire recipe for making your life harder.
Why? It’s the law of focus:
“What you focus on you find, what you focus on grows, what you focus on seems real. What you focus on you become.”
Maybe you don’t believe in the law of focus, but I invite you to give it a whirl. Try focusing on what is good, both in situations and in people. Look for the positive intention in everything.
It may be hard at first, but the longer you do it, the more finding good becomes a pattern for you. In turn, your mind believes there is good to be had, and you start to see possibilities for more good. Your creativity is flipped on and you feel free to embrace opportunity, knowing there is more good in store for you. In addition, because you’re focusing on the good in people, you are kinder. People respond well to you, although you aren’t dependent on their response to be happy, it does make life easier. 😉
Or… you could just keep focusing on the crappy stuff? Which tenses up your body, shutting down creativity. Not to mention training your brain to stay in fight or flight mode, preventing you from healing and digesting food properly… Now which sounds easier? Your decision. 😜
#5 Stop Covering the Hole
A lot of our problems come from what, for a lack of better words, I’ll call “covering the hole”. Since I started doing coaching and AFT, I’ve realized a lot of people are afraid to do the emotional work of healing. They don’t want to face their demons, so they try to ignore them and move on with life.
The problem is… it doesn’t WORK! We can’t hide from our past. It’s like trying to put a rug over a giant sink hole in your living room. It doesn’t matter if it’s the most gorgeous Magnolia Home rug straight from the Silos. 🤩😆 Every time you walk over it, you still fall in. You can try to distract yourself from it with drinking, binge eating, and credit card swiping, but the hole is still there. You try to make things look great on the outside, but don’t even think about letting anyone in, because hellooo! 🐘😱
The only way to fix the sink hole is to go down to the bottom and fix the foundation. (I don’t know if that works with actual sink holes, but it does work with metaphorical ones. I’m a coach, not a construction expert.) 😜
When we try to carry on our lives with a damaged, crumbling foundation it’s hard. Believe me, I’ve tried it! It feels like you’re working 10x harder than everyone else and getting nowhere. It’s impossible to succeed, because unbeknownst to you, your mind is programmed by your past not to succeed. Despite the effort you are consciously putting in, you’re unconsciously self sabotaging all that hard work. It’s exhausting, and leads many people just to give up.
Friend, don’t accept that you just weren’t born to succeed, or that living a whole life isn’t in the cards for you. When you finally dive into the deep foundation fixing work, building the life you want gets easier. Your mind starts to cooperate with you. The hole starts to fill in and you don’t need to hide it or numb it anymore. Aroma Freedom Technique is my personal favorite way to do that foundational work.
Healing yourself isn’t always a pretty process. It can be hard. But it’s a heck of a lot easier than living with a sink hole in your living room. 😉
So hey, I just realized most of my ideas for making life easier require hard work. Sorry about that. 😆 I guess the thing about life is that it isn’t supposed to be easy. But it is rewarding and good. 💗
P.S. I’m so proud of you for looking for ways to learn, grow, and make your life better! It takes a certain amount of maturity and courage to face up to where we’ve created problems for ourselves. But it’s also empowering, isn’t it? Let me know what other ideas you have for making life easier (or just better!) My bonus 6 & 7 are prayer and using essential oils! 😅 If you need some guidance with any of the tips from this post, shoot me a message. I’ll look forward to hearing from you.