How do some live a life they love while others struggle to be happy?
It is said that a wise person learns from their mistakes, but an even wiser person learns from the mistakes of others.
As I am sure you have already learned—mistakes are painful. And while some mistakes are relatively easy to recover from, others can have life-long consequences.
Yet mistakes are great learning opportunities—even the ones with the greatest consequences.
If your desire is to live a life of peace and joy, Learn to avoid these five most perilous mistakes. You will save yourself a lot of time, stress and heartache:
- Giving in to fear. If you are a follower of Christ, perhaps you are familiar with 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given you a spirit of fear.” So if fear doesn’t come from God, where does it come from? It comes from Satan himself, and it is used to destroy, distract and discourage you. No fear (other than fear of God) has ever produced anything good. But too many of God’s children are trapped in the mindset that they have no control over their fears, and it’s simply not true. To get over your fear, stop looking at your circumstances, and start looking to God and His promises.
- Losing sight of what makes you happy. It’s easy to set our happiness barometer based on others’ expectations or on our daily demands and stresses. Take the time to reflect upon what makes you happy and make it a priority. While living life on the beach full time may not be an option, you can begin to make room for the things that bring you true and meaningful joy. It will take discipline on your part to say no to life-sucking responsibilities and yes to what makes you smile. It’s worth it.
- Always having to be right. Some of us come with a competitive spirit built right into our DNA, and that God-given trait can come in handy. But there are times when that same spirit produces a stubborn obstinacy that always has to be right. While it’s difficult to remember in the moment, going for the win can destroy a relationship. Is being right truly worth that?
- Not setting boundaries. Nothing will suck the life and joy out of you more than the inability to say no. Even with the people you love, there is a time to say no. Setting boundaries is necessary to keeping your peace of mind. You may be trying to keep the peace by always saying yes, but it only enables bad behavior. Say no to unrealistic expectations, say no to guilt and manipulation, and say no to anything that compromises your mental health.
- Living in denial. This mistake is difficult to prevent because the very act of denying means you don’t realize what you’re doing. But living in denial brings major consequences: You may blame others instead of owning your mistakes, or make excuses for your children instead of holding them responsible, or put on masks to cover up the hurt and pain instead of working through it. Living in denial can eventually cause you to disconnect from your true self in an effort to self preserve. Avoid the pain of empty living by facing the truth about yourself and your mistakes. Only than can you break free from the chains that bind you.
No matter how old you are, you will make mistakes. Hopefully you are not making the same mistakes continually, and hopefully you are not making any of the mistakes listed. But if you have made mistakes, it’s never to late to turn to Jesus and repent. He is faithful to forgive and to give a fresh start.
It is possible to live the life you love. A life full of peace and joy.
May it be yours in Jesus’ name!