If you can’t remember the last time you felt at peace with yourself, say goodbye to these 7 habits

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Be honest. Do you feel calm and content with your life as it is?

Or do you often hear voices in your head nagging, “Why are you like this?!” or “This is not what you’re supposed to be!”?

If the latter is true for you, then you must not be at peace with yourself.

The good news is that you can change this by doing some internal work and adjusting your habits.

So, if that peace and internal calm are lacking in your life, here are some things you have to stop doing right now.

1) Thinking about the “what ifs”

In life, we can only take one path at a time… and it sucks because that means we have to constantly bid adieu to a million possibilities. 

Sure, you could have been a poet, a scientist, or a sailor… but you’re none of those because you chose this life right now

There’s no use focusing your energies on all the things that could’ve been. 

When I think about possibilities, I always remember this quote by Sylvia Plath about the paralyzing effect of wanting it all.

I can relate because I’m often not at peace with myself. I wonder a lot about the many other lives I haven’t chosen. This often leaves me melancholic.

Are you like this, too?

Do you wonder “What if I’m not supposed to live here? What if I’d be happier in Morocco, or Iceland, or Peru?”

Or “What if I chose a different partner? A different profession? A different set of friends?”

While it’s normal to wonder about other possibilities, dwelling on them will rob you of finding peace with yourself. 

Practice making peace with your choices. Focus on living the life that you have and experience it fully. 

Remember: as long as your choices match your core values, you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be. 

And it’s always possible to pivot and make changes, if that’s what you really want. But for now, be at peace with your choices, so you can truly be at peace with yourself.

2) Wondering “Did I do the right thing?”

The thing is, just like the “what ifs,” there’s often no definitive answer to this question. But you can’t help but ruminate on it, anyway.

Let’s say you fired an employee, do you beat yourself up and ask “Did I do the right thing, or should I have given them another chance?”

Or say, you left your parents to work in another country, do you feel guilty and ask yourself “Did I do the right thing by leaving them, when they sacrificed their life for me?”

In life, we’re presented with difficult choices where we’re often asked to make tough decisions. There are just some things we don’t want to do, but we gotta do them anyway.

So endlessly asking yourself “Did I do the right thing?” is pointless.

All it does is stress you out and make you lose confidence in yourself.

You tried to make the wisest decision at that time. And in order to feel at peace with yourself, you just have to trust that it’s for the best.

3) Setting too many unrealistic expectations for yourself

“I have to be a millionaire before 30!”

“I have to publish a best-selling novel!”

“I have to be fit and swimsuit-ready in six months.”

If you let your ambitions get the best of you, it will be hard for you to feel at peace with yourself.

Let me explain.

While having ambition is great, if your entire self-worth is based on whether you’re able to achieve a goal or not, you’ll always be beating yourself up for something. 

Yep, those big dreams will end up torturing you if you don’t have self-compassion!

You’ll drain yourself from the pressure to constantly hustle just to prove to yourself that you’re indeed worthy.

How about thinking of yourself as worthy of love and respect by default? 

Because what if some of these grand goals don’t happen? Would that mean that you’d have to deprive yourself of your own love and respect? 

4) Blaming yourself for all the “bad” things that happen to you

Your relationship ended? You think it’s your fault.

Your child fails an exam? Your fault.

Your car breaks down? Your fault.

You got fired? Again, your fault.

And you look back on them thinking “If only I did better.”

Self-blame will slowly destroy you.

You have to realize that some things are beyond your control. You didn’t like any of those things to happen, did you?

And hard as it may be, sometimes the best course of action is to move on.

Make peace with your past, so you can be at peace with yourself in the present.

5) Comparing yourself to others

Say, your sister buys a 5-bedroom house, instead of being happy for her, do you get a bit competitive and tell yourself “Just you wait. I’ll have one with 8 bedrooms!”

And if your friends are gaining success in their ventures, do you go  “Hmmp. If they can do it, I can do it, too!”

This is just toxic.

Yes, it’s human tendency to look at the lives of others and compare it to our own.

But while it’s great to be inspired by other people’s success, it becomes detrimental to your self-esteem and inner peace if you beat yourself up for not being like them!

It won’t give you peace because you’ll be hard on yourself until you feel you’ve beaten the people you envy!

And it’s a never-ending cycle—trust me.

So, what can you do?

Start embracing who you are. 

Accept that you do and achieve things at your own pace.

Enjoy your own journey.

In short, you gotta realize that everyone’s path is unique. 

Open your eyes and appreciate your own life, and you’ll be happier and more at peace with yourself.

6) Turning yourself into a project

Since I was in my teens, I’ve been trying to fix myself as if there’s something wrong with me.

I listed down what I wanted to change in my body—from head to toe!

I listed down what I thought I should change so I can achieve my dreams (and boy, it was a long list because I had big dreams).

The saddest thing of all was that I listed down the ways I should change myself so people would like me.

I felt like there were 1000 things to fix in myself before I could actually start living my life. 

So, I spent a good part of my 20s and early 30s not feeling at peace with myself.

I had to always prove to myself that I’m actually worthy—and that never happened because I still haven’t gotten to ½ of what’s on my list!

If you’re like me, give yourself a bit of love and compassion WHILE you work on yourself.

Sure, it’s important to try to be better versions of ourselves, but we can’t break ourselves in the process. 

So, even when it seems hard, tell yourself that you’re a wonderful work in progress—flaws and all—because it’s true.

7) Letting the world influence you too much

To be at peace with yourself, you have to be your own advocate.

You gotta have less f*cks to give to what other people say.

You gotta be able to pause and ask yourself “Wait a minute, am I doing this for others or for myself?”

And you gotta be your authentic self’s best friend and hero.

You have to know when to give the middle finger to someone who’s trying to change you, and say “No, I don’t care about what you think of me. I care about what I think of myself!”

Through this, you become more at peace with who you really are. And this is one of the most wonderful feelings of all—to finally love yourself for who you are right now.

Final thoughts

Being at peace with oneself may seem easy to some.

But sadly, there are many reasons that can make this almost impossible for a lot of us. 

There’s hustle culture. It makes us think that we constantly need to be producing and achieving something. And if not? Then, we’re less than. 

And then there’s religion, there’s parental influence and authority, there’s media that’s telling us that being at peace with ourselves is pure laziness. 

It takes a lot of work and courage to identify and change the patterns that make us miserable, especially when they’re deeply ingrained in our mentality. 

But we gotta unlearn a lot of things and do the work.

Catching yourself when you start to wallow in regret, beat yourself up, or compare yourself to others is a good start. 

Take it one day at a time. It’s all practice. 

Because feeling content and at peace with yourself is absolutely worth it. 

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Tina Fey

I'm Tina Fey, the founder of the blog Love Connection. I've extremely passionate about sharing relationship advice. I've studied psychology and have my Masters in marital, family, and relationship counseling. I hope with all my heart to help you improve your relationships, and I hope that even if one thing I write helps you, it means more to me than just about anything else in the world. Check out my blog Love Connection, and if you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter

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