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4 Mistakes That Can Keep You From a Better Life

Written by Stephen Scoggins

October 10, 2020

how to have a better life, journey principles

You can have the life of your dreams. The purpose, relationships, financial success, and fulfillment that you want are all attainable. That’s what we believe at the Journey Principles Institute. But getting a better life will come at a price. It will take commitment to both the right principles and a winning strategy

Not only that, but there are pitfalls that can keep you from achieving your goals that many have fallen into. The purpose of this post is to share some of these common destiny killers so that you can avoid them and get the life you always wanted.

Mistake #1 – Letting Your Past Dictate Your Future

If your experiences were marked mostly by wins, you probably wouldn’t be reading this post in the first place. More likely, you’ve experienced your fair share of tragedy, heartache, and failure. You’re not alone. In fact, I’d say the vast majority of us are right there with you. I know I was. My parents abandoned me when I was a kid, and for a while my life only got worse. They didn’t necessarily have to, but that pain led to fear, and that fear led to self destructive behavior. The self destructive behavior led to more pain, and so the cycle continued.

My life didn’t start to improve until I started daring to believe that things could get better – that I could get better. It took everything I had, but I started to expect my future to look different than my past. And you know what? It started to, slowly but surely. Yet I’ve seen so many people who couldn’t get to that place. Instead of believing they could change, they chose to believe they couldn’t. Fear of disappointment kept them from hope. There is nothing more tragic in the entire world.

All of us have a past full of brokenness, pain, and mistakes. The good news is that none of these experiences have to keep you from a better life. It can look as different as day from night. 

Mistake #2 – Isolation and Toxic Relationships

All of us were made for community, and none of us can reach a fulfilling life alone. As my friend ____ once told me, “Show me your five friends, and I’ll show you your future.”  You will become who you surround yourself with, so if you want to transform, you’ll need to find the right people. Depriving yourself of mentors, coaches, and positive friends means depriving yourself of a better life. It means missing out on invaluable encouragement, wisdom, and connection.

Yet even being alone is preferable to toxic influences who drain you of your energy. Instead of being life-giving and open, toxic people are demanding. They’re often exploitative, manipulative, and dishonest. You can also recognize them by their stubborn negativity and neediness. If you let them, they’ll devour your time, poison your attitude, and even control you.

To stay away from toxic people, you must be honest with yourself about who you enjoy being around and who you feel obligated to be around. If there are people in your life who you feel are using you or making you feel worse about yourself, it’s important that you distance yourself. This goes double if you feel like you need them for some reason. This is a sign of codependency. 

Instead, find people who don’t need you but who believe in you and challenge you. Seek authentic relationships that push you. Identify your goals and find others that share them. Above all, look for ways to bless others without expecting anything in return. This alone will help you build powerful bonds with others. 

Mistake #3 – Failing to Create and Follow a Supportive Routine

A better life comes brick-by-brick. It usually means doing the same good things over and over again until they become a habit. That’s why healthy routines are so important. Yet very few people seem disciplined enough to form new routines. I think there are three main reasons for this:

  1. Tackling too many new routines at once
  2. Lack of perseverance
  3. No accountability

The solution to Problem A is simple: don’t try to develop any more than three routines at a time, max. Regarding Problem B, my best advice is to stay motivated. To stay motivated, look past the pain of the new routine and focus on why you’re developing it. Focus on the positive thing you want to happen instead of the bad thing you don’t want to happen. 

As for Problem C, this goes back to my previous comments about the importance of building the right inner circle. Accountability is a key part of healthy relationships, especially coaching and mentorship. Not only can these people hold you to your routines, but they can help you identify which routines you need the most. I can’t emphasize the importance of coaches and mentors enough, so don’t stop searching until you find yours.

Mistake #4 – Faking it Until You Make It

Don’t get me wrong. There’s truth to the concept of selling yourself with confidence even if you know you don’t have everything figured out. In fact, not having all the answers is practically a given. However, there’s a difference between having doubts and being fake. The former is human, while the latter is dishonest. 

Being fake usually comes with being obsessed with how others perceive you. It’s simply wrong to spend more energy controlling a narrative around yourself than on following through on your commitments. Moreover, if you wouldn’t want people to find out how you’re spending your time, there’s a good chance you’re living a lie. 

Until you deal with this problem, you won’t have a better life. It’s impossible to be fulfilled without being fully known. Not only that, but a house of cards always falls down in the end. 

Build a Better Life with the Right Approach

The Journey Principles Institute exists because we want to help you get a life you love. We want you to find your purpose, become the best version of yourself, and win. That’s why we have free resources that are designed to make life-mastery practical. If you want to continue to explore strategies for a better life, check out our free E books.  

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