Life can all of a sudden get busy and stressful. And in today’s world, our stress levels are higher than ever. But many people are actually making their lives much harder than they need to be, all without realizing it. My name’s Freeman and I’m an international life coach who’s gone from surviving to thriving through simple but effective changes. Now I help others to do the same. So how do you know if you’re making your life harder than it needs to be? Here’s a few simple signs that can help you understand yourself, as well as driving more self-awareness and positive change.
Sign 1. You’re life is driven by externals
Our modern world is monetised by capturing our attention. The “ping, ding, and ring”… We’re surrounded by notifications and information sent straight to the phone in our pockets. This global addiction is something we know damages our mental wellbeing and so it’s critical to take a conscious awareness to technology. I’m not saying to chuck your phone in a lake, but bringing mindful balance to our usage (because we all love a good scroll sometimes) and making sure that you’re also creating space for in-person connections.
Sign 2: You’re neglecting your self-care
In our fast-paced societies, hard work is perceived to be rewarded. Which leads many people to overworking themselves and often burning out. I used to follow an all-hours lifestyle, working all day and DJing all night, until one day my body began to break down. But you don’t have to wait for the wake-up call. Integrating self-care can break the busyness pattern, whether that’s taking regular 5 minute meditations, treating yourself with a hot bath, or prioritising sleep. Investing in yourself first will make your life easier and more enjoyable in the long run.
Sign 3: You’re straying from authenticity
We’re constantly being told that we need to live in certain ways. Whether that’s working harder, earning more money, or getting married. Following other people’s definition of success often sacrifices the dreams you actually want to achieve in life. And often people ignore their true calling deep-down to live a life that’s more “realistic”. As Einstein said, ‘The person who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The person who walks alone is likely to find himself in places no one has ever seen before.’ Living an inauthentic life only leaves you feeling unfulfilled and becomes a secret stress creator. I too used to be stuck in this trap, until I stepped out of my comfort zone, to experience solo travels and started my journey to living a life of possibility and purpose. You deserve to live authentically, too. Start by asking yourself, what is it that truly brings me joy?
Sign 4: You’re trying to avoid failures
Failure is something that our cultures have regularly demonised. But the truth is, with every success, there are plenty of failures. Even Thomas Edision failed a thousand times before he invented the light bulb. When we get to see that failure is just a healthy part of life, we get to play bigger. We become grateful for the valuable lessons that come to our journey.
Sign 5: You don’t believe you’re capable of great things
This can be a tough pill to swallow. Life isn’t difficult because life itself is really difficult, but because we choose to believe life is difficult, consciously or subconsciously. What that means is you are the creator of your reality; either believing life is happening “to you” or life is happening “for you”, it’s your choice. Start making powerful shifts by reflecting on your strengths. Build your self esteem through celebrating your wins. Believe that there is limitless potential to be realised within you.
If you find yourself living in survival mode, it’s time to pause. It doesn’t have to be this way. There’s always a better way to transform your life. If you’re feeling stuck and wanting support on making change, take a look at my book Travel to Transform.
Freeman Fung (he/him) is an international author, speaker, and certified life coach who has advocated New Global Citizenship at TEDx, Mindvalley, world tourism forums, and more. Originally from Hong Kong, he left home solo at age 19 to live in Romania for a Global Village project, and subsequently embarked on a journey to travel and experience life in over 35 countries (and still counting). He is on a mission to awaken more world citizens, raise our global consciousness, and make the world a better place through personal transformations.
Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.