Life has a funny way of not being what we expected it to be. Very rarely does it bring us that fairy tale or success story in the way we so carefully planned or imagined.

As a Type-A personality type, I have always had goals, ambitions, and plans that were carefully laid out and meant to go off without a hiccup.

Growing up, I found that my need to have things go exactly as planned was often foiled by my less-than-accommodating little sisters.

In school, a professor that prided themselves on “never giving A’s” was the cause of my self-induced depression.

As I started dating and then got married (at age 19), I realized that my life was not even close to the fairy tale that I thought marriage was supposed to be. I looked around at the people who said things like, “I married my best friend,” and thought they were either lying or just got lucky.

Now in my mid-30s, I have come to realize that the planning, the goal-setting, and the accountability is important to progress, but like a GPS that sees traffic ahead and offers a new route, I need to be willing to pivot to reach where I ultimately want to end up.

I still dream and aim for the stars knowing that life will course-correct me, and I will end up where I am supposed to be.

I have found that it is true:

“When you stop chasing the wrong things, you give
the right things a chance to catch you.”

Over the course of the years, I have learned a few things that I needed to stop doing in order to be available for the right things to find me. I want to share them with you…

1. Stop Spending Time With the Wrong People

Listen, life really is too short to spend time with people who suck the life and happiness out of you. If someone wants you in their life, they’ll make room for you. You shouldn’t have to fight or plead for a spot.

I have come to love the saying: “Don’t make someone a priority that makes you an option.”

It’s true. And remember, it’s not the people that stand by your side when you’re at your best, but the ones who stand beside you when you’re at your worst that truly care about who you are.

2. Stop Running From Your Problems

Face them head on. No, it won’t be easy. There is no person in the world capable of flawlessly handling every punch thrown at them. We aren’t supposed to be able to instantly solve problems. (I have tried, and it usually makes the problems much, much worse.)

That’s not how we’re made. In fact, we’re made to get upset, panic, be sad, hurt, and yes, even stumble and fall. Because that’s the whole purpose of living – to face problems, learn, adapt, and solve them over the course of time. This is what ultimately molds us into the people we become.


3. Stop Lying to Yourself

You can lie to anyone else in the world, but you can’t lie to yourself. Our lives only improve when we take chances, and the first and most difficult chance we can take is to be honest with ourselves

(Recommended Reading: The Road Less Traveled)

4. Stop Putting Your Own Needs on the Back Burner

The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much and forgetting that you are special, too. You deserve happiness, too.


Yes, help others. Yes, care about others. But help yourself, too. If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, that moment is now.

5. Stop Trying to Hold on to the Past

You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading your last one. Enough said…

6. Stop Being Scared to Make a Mistake

Doing something and getting it wrong is at least ten times more productive than doing nothing. Failing forward is the way any successful person reaches their goals. Fail forward faster!

Every success has a trail of failures behind it, and every failure is leading towards success. You end up regretting the things you did NOT do far more than the things you did. Think about that statement. So far in your life, your biggest regrets are most likely the things you did not do, not the things you did./p>

(Recommended Reading: Failing Forward)

7. Stop Berating Yourself For Old Mistakes

We may love (or in my case, marry) the wrong person, and get upset, and cry about the wrong things, but no matter how things go wrong, one thing is for sure: mistakes help us find what is right for us. From the right person, to the right house, to the right location, and the right career, mistakes show us the path we are meant to walk.

We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past, but you are not your mistakes. You are not your struggles, and you are here NOW with the power to shape your day and your future.

Every single thing that has ever happened in your life is preparing you for a moment, or a relationship, or a job that is yet to come.

8. Stop Being Ungrateful

No matter how good or bad you have it, wake up each day thankful for your life. Someone somewhere else is desperately fighting for theirs. Instead of thinking about what you’re missing, try thinking about what you do have that everyone else is missing.

9. Stop Looking Exclusively to Others For Your Happiness

If you’re not happy with who you are on the inside, you won’t be happy in a long-term relationship with anyone else either. You have to create stability in your own life first before you can share it with someone else.

(Recommended Reading: Before Happiness)

10. Stop Thinking You’re Not Ready

Nobody ever feels 100% ready when an opportunity arises because most great opportunities in life force us to grow beyond our comfort zones. This means we won’t feel totally comfortable at first.

11. Stop Trying to Compete Against Everyone Else

Don’t worry about what others are doing better than you; concentrate on beating your own records every day. Success is a battle between YOU and YOURSELF only.

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Kristi Brown

Creativity Consultant, Sales & Marketing Strategist
/krēāˈtivədē/ /kuh n-suhl-tnt/
Noun: An energetic native Floridian with a passion for smart, authentic, imaginative, effective marketing strategies and original ideas.
Synonyms: Netflix Junkie, Cockapoo mom, crazy aunt, world traveler, foodie.
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