We all make mistakes.
But smart people never make these 12 mistakes twice.
Read which and follow their example: avoiding repeating these mistakes will save you a lot of wasted time, heartache and energy in life.
1) Embracing victimhood
Life is unfair. It truly is. You’ll get no argument from me on that, and no New Age positive mindset junk.
Life does hit us with all sorts of things we don’t deserve.
Situations happen where we are victimized by other people, bad luck, our own health or just blind chance.
This is an objective truth.
But playing the victim is different.
It’s where you decide that your own suffering and victimhood is uniquely horrific and deserving of pity and payback.
The result is that you end up expecting other people and situations to pay you back for the harm and injustice which has happened to you.
You’re dependent and weak.
We’ve all fallen into the victim mentality at times, but it’s one of the mistakes that smart people never make twice because they see that it just leads into a downward cycle of self-fulfilling prophecy.
2) Chasing instant gratification
The next of the mistakes smart people never make twice is chasing instant gratification.
From day trading on the stock market or looking for giant cryptocurrency returns in a day or two, to online dating it seems like everything is about instant gratification these days.
But smart people have seen the end of result of chasing instant gratification:
A lack of self-discipline and a warped, weak mindset that is unwilling to invest in long term projects and goals.
The outcome of only working for immediate rewards is that you lose out on most of the best things in life, from relationships and love to wealth and longer-term career success.
If you don’t put much in, you’re not getting much out. Sometimes the results of your efforts take awhile to show up!
Smart people know this, and they live by it.
3) Accepting less than what you’re worth
Motivational speaker Tony Robbins has a very powerful lesson which he teaches people:
“Any time you sincerely want to make a change, the first thing you must do is to raise your standards.”
This is one of those mistakes you make until you learn the lesson.
Smart people don’t make it more than once, because smart people hate wasting their time and energy.
And here’s the thing:
There’s no greater waste of time and energy than being open to “whatever” and then complaining and getting angry when “whatever” is exactly what you get.
If you want to filter out what’s best for you and set boundaries, you need to actually stand by that.
Never accept less than what you’re worth, because if you do that’s all you’re ever going to get your whole life.
4) Blowing past your budget
Money can’t buy happiness, but poverty definitely adds a lot of stress to everything.
One of the biggest mistakes smart people never make twice is blowing past their budget.
Treating money respectfully and carefully is essential for those who want to have options for their future and be able to look after those they care about.
Smart people respect their budget and leave money aside for emergencies.
They know that treating their budget as optional or unimportant will back them into some corners they do not want to be in, including things like having to take exploitative jobs or become financially codependent on toxic people.
Respect your budget!
5) Depending on others for happiness
Next up in the top mistakes smart people never make twice is that they don’t depend on others for happiness.
They love their friends, family and partner if they have one.
But they don’t expect those people to always have time for them or make them happy.
They never make the mistake twice of relying on somebody else to “save” them from a bad mood or bad situation.
If such a blessing occurs, great. But it’s still dangerous and codependent territory to wander into.
And they make sure to avoid relying on others for happiness ever again.
Sharing happiness? Absolutely.
Leaning on others for happiness? Never again…
6) Trusting others too easily
Having those you can trust and know are honest is a great boon!
But trusting others too easily is, frankly, a recipe for disaster.
One of the most crucial mistakes smart people never make twice is trusting others too easily.
They give trust where it is earned and enjoy collaborative business ties and relationships founded on trust.
But they don’t open up too easily or let people into their inner circle without first seeing what these people are really made of.
Many charming smiles hide a much darker interior and less trustworthy intentions.
Smart people know this as a simple matter of fact and they proceed accordingly in their interpersonal and professional relationships.
7) Being a people pleaser
Life is way too short to live it to please others.
One of the key mistakes smart people never make twice is being a people pleaser.
Whether in your personal or professional life, trying to meet the expectations and hopes of others is a losing game.
Even if you succeed, you lose respect for yourself and establish a harmful precedent.
The harmful precedent is that you are living your life for the benefit of what others want and like, rather than what is true to you.
Which brings me to the next point…
8) Trying to be somebody you’re not
Life provides many situations where we can experience benefits by pretending to be someone we’re not.
- Trying to be the “type” of man or woman a potential mate will want
- Fitting in a role at work that the boss or organization clearly leans towards preferring
- Shaping your persona around behaviors and attitudes that will get you ahead in being popular in your peer group but that don’t express who you really are.
These are just a few examples of the kinds of reasons why people might pretend to be somebody they’re not or somebody that isn’t true to their real goals and motivations.
But it’s also one of the mistakes smart people never make twice because they know that trying to be somebody you’re not makes you lose respect for yourself.
It’s better to be hated for who you are than loved for who you’re not.
9) Being impulsive or reckless
As a fairly impulsive person, this is a lesson I need to take to heart.
It’s one that smart people know well:
They don’t give in to their impulsivity or recklessness, at least not after the first time.
Whether it’s a mistake in trusting the wrong people, sinking their business in bad debts or making bad choices on a weekend bender, they get a firm grip on that impulsive side of themselves.
Because they know that when you become reckless and impulsive you can destroy years of hard work in a single day.
This includes having a firm grip on not overindulging in alcohol or substances, reining back to the impulse to gamble or spend recklessly, and in practicing moderation and self-discipline in their personal life and in what they eat and consume.
Impulsivity can strike when you least expect it, beware.
10) Dating people you don’t want to date
Next up in the mistakes smart people never make twice is dating somebody you don’t really want to.
It sounds absurd, but it happens every day.
The most common reasons?
- Fear of hurting someone by rejecting them
- Fear of not meeting somebody you really want and thus having to take “what you can get”
- Fear of being alone forever or sadness about past disappointment prompting poor and impulsive decisions
- Looking for escape via sexual attraction when you aren’t actually interested in the other individual as a person
- Looking for fulfillment via emotional or intellectual attraction when you aren’t actually physically interested in the individual as a potential mate.
There are so many options to date someone you don’t want. But when you do so you lose a little respect for yourself each time and reinforce a very disempowering and horrible precedent of settling and letting yourself down.
This brings up the next point…
11) Staying with somebody who is bad for you
Dating somebody you don’t want is one problem, but even more common is staying with somebody who is bad for you.
It’s not that people should be ditching any relationship which is difficult or painful. There are many times that it really is best to stick it out, learn and grow.
But one of the top mistakes smart people never make twice is staying with somebody when they know the relationship is over.
They may have tried in the past, but it’s not something they’ll ever do again.
It’s over when it’s over. Much as that hurts, it’s much better to be honest about it with yourself and your partner.
Smart people would rather rip the bandaid off than let it get infected.
12) Losing sight of their goals
It can be very hard to keep our goals in mind.
Life gets in the way, tragedy strikes, disappointment hits.
But one of the mistakes smart people never make twice is getting sidetracked from their goals.
Even when their goals get interrupted, the smart person never loses sight of them.
They know that taking consistent action in pursuit of their goals is the only way to make change happen and get closer to their objective.
“The path to success is to take massive, determined action.”
Admit it, learn from it and don’t repeat it
Mistakes are part of life. But the big advantage of making mistakes and errors is that we can learn from them.
In the words of legendary football coach Paul Bear Bryant:
“When you make a mistake, there are only three things you should ever do about it: admit it, learn from it, and don’t repeat it.”