It’s sad but true: a person doesn’t have to be behind bars to feel like a prisoner. Many people are prisoners of their own concepts, beliefs, past, decisions and ideas.
So a lot of intrinsically intelligent people waste most of their lives with bad feelings, limiting thoughts, doubts and fears of all kinds. And that’s not "their fault": unfortunately, we don’t learn in school and in our families how we could do better.
The following 11 alarm signals will help you recognize if you are about to make your life harder than it actually is, and what approaches you can use to change it.
The 11 most important alarm signals that you’re just screwing up your life
Alarm signals: symptom and cause
As a coach, I often see people get in their own way and get tangled up in their own pitfalls. Most of my clients have a desire for a partner – but often that is not the real "difficulty" or problem at all. And maybe you know this too:
Not being able to find a partner or not being able to keep a lasting, loving partnership at eye level is rather one of those Symptoms, that indicate that some things in your life have been going in the wrong direction for a long time:
- Great fear of rejection, or fear of commitment, due to bad experiences in the past,
- fear of failure, inhibitions,
- no idea what to talk about,
- lack of time or permanent stress
These are only a few of the obstacles that stand in the way of love – but also negatively affect other relationships, the whole life and everyday life.
For many, it’s hard to realize that they are screwing up their own lives, when they are really just trying to do their best. The feeling of having failed in life hits many people hard and can be so devastating that they are tempted to give up. But this is not an option – because in truth there are often completely different reasons behind these problems: Self-confidence, self-worth, self-compassion… these are so important for us and we often know so little about them!
Therefore, this article is about the eleven most common alarm signals that indicate you are wasting your life and keeping yourself trapped – and of course, food for thought on how you can manage to get out of this trap.
Be open to new perspectives: Even if only a If you have a problem that applies to you at this point, you can solve it with a targeted change at this point gain a lot of quality of life!
Some people do not even notice, How small your "comfort zone" really is, until they realize that it basically resembles a trap. If a few minutes of reflection can do so much, maybe it’s worth the time. Even small changes often achieve a real domino effect, which can make your life more beautiful, freer, more self-determined and simply more worth living.
All these points are not "fate" – they can be changed and I have already tested this thousands of times with people in practice.
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You do not have a partner and you often feel lonely
The "AND" is important here, because: There are people who live alone and find that good. That’s totally fine. Many singles, however, on the one hand want a partner, but on the other hand are downright panic-stricken about getting involved in a partnership. Their beliefs are dominated by the fear of not being good enough on the one hand – and of no longer being in control of their own lives, of having to sacrifice themselves or of losing themselves on the other hand. Often enough, because of what they have experienced in the past.
A real, loving partnership, as I understand it, means that you can experience much more freedom through a partner who stands behind you, than you will ever have alone.
The topic of relationships in our society is loaded with all kinds of often contradictory emotions and beliefs. And it’s still used as a "yardstick" unfortunately: You get asked by family and friends about "how things are going" and even potential partners seem to judge you by how long you’ve been single.
On the other hand, no one has taught us how to have a real, loving and deep relationship at eye level without bending or acting out their unconscious relationship patterns on each other. No wonder that we have such ambivalent feelings and on the one hand find it hard to get involved and on the other hand feel lonely when there is no one there.
Whether you give up, lose, are oppressed in a partnership – this has to do with what you get from your "role models" in terms of love and partnership (mostly that are the parents) you have "learned. But do you really have to do it exactly the same way?
Most of the time we act unconsciously, because we have learned everything we can do by "copying from the grown-ups". But alone, to realize that and questioning can change a lot. Unfortunately, we don’t learn this reflection in school – that’s unfortunate. But you can always make up for it! And: You are not better or worse with or without a partner.
Tip Realize today that you are not condemned to blindly imitate what your parents or other people have shown you. You are a free person and you don’t have to submit to anyone or give yourself up to be loved.
And above all: You are a whole person – completely – whether with or without a partnership. We all have relationship needs – the desire to be accepted, to be understood, to be close, to be intimate and so forth. But you don’t necessarily need a partner for each of these needs. Many people who feel lonely are bad at building relationships as such, making and maintaining friends. Or even be good and friendly with yourself. The relationship with yourself is the beginning.
Ask yourself today: How can you be a better friend to yourself??
you often don’t know what to talk about with people
You would like to meet someone, but what keeps you away is the fear that you might be boring and not know what to say.
apart from your job you don’t have much to experience and your hobbies are rather "routines", about which there is not much to tell. In other words: You experience too little.
Sorry to be so blunt about this – but I really want to help you and this realization can be very important to you: If you would live a little more, show more interest in the world and the people in it, and also take a break from your everyday life dare something new, you would have a lot of topics to talk about: little anecdotes about what you recently experienced that was nice, strange, interesting or unusual, or what excited or surprised you, are great small talk topics.
Most people do not perceive this consciously at first: Everything that has to do with education and work is "duty" and therefore somehow runs by itself. But you also "have" to take care of fun in life – there’s no deadline, no obligation, no pressure – but if you don’t get active, nothing happens. And then it gets boring – and so do you with time.
Maybe you can’t experience much either? When you come home from work in the evening, you are so exhausted that you usually just want to lie on the sofa. You watch TV or surf the net – so you look at how others live or what others come up with. On weekends you finally sleep in and do some paperwork, clean up, play on the computer. On vacation you need relaxation and your rest and the money you earn with your job, you need to reward yourself: with clothes, technical stuff, cosmetics, wellness, car, going out to eat… but what makes you really happy? And what is just compensation? Do you really live? Or do you actually only go to work and recover from it in between??
Do you know the movie "Matrix? How big is the difference really between you and one of those lifeless bodies hanging in nutrient fluid watching a movie while having its life energy sucked out??
Tip: It might seem exhausting or an overcoming at the beginning – but how do you say in English: "Get a life!"Create yourself a life, that also does justice to this word.
Make yourself clear every day: Time is your only asset! You have maybe 30.000 days in this body on this planet – you don’t want to just work, consume and be afraid of not being interesting enough! When you start to experience something with yourself and others, you will also know what you want to talk about! Today, think about what you enjoy doing and put those things at the top of your priority list. Your life is finite – and you won’t be rewarded for spending it doing things that didn’t bring you any joy..
You lack passion and enthusiasm
If you are asked what you like, what you like often and what you like to eat passionately you have to think long and hard and in doing so you realize that maybe nothing really fills you with passion or that the things that light the fire in your eyes, unfortunately, are not the things that make you passionate much too seldom play a role in your life.
A passion does not fall from the sky – it is something that you choose and devote your attention, your heart and soul, your love to. A passion is not about impressing someone else with it or looking interesting – it’s about, to feel something. To have something that you are enthusiastic about, that makes you feel alive and that you tell others about with this enthusiasm.
Enthusiasm is something great, because it keeps us young, makes us attractive and fills us with joy – and all this is incredibly attractive and makes our life worth living. It doesn’t have to be anything "spectacular" – it just has to be something that you can love and that fills you with aliveness.
This can also be very small, very simple things that do not have much to do with yourself: I can feel z.b. get excited when very small children speak French because it’s their mother tongue – but it sounds so mega-cute. And I am always enraptured and think to myself: Hui! Three years as and can flow french!
I can get excited when people like to do their job and therefore do it really well – like z.B. Ketty, a woman in Guadeloupe who runs a restaurant on her terrace. Eat what is put on the table – but their warmth and hospitality is unparalleled!
Tip! Remember today: What was the last thing that excited you?? What could you be enthusiastic about as a child?? What do you find good, beautiful or perhaps simply "important"?? No matter how small or silly it might be – it’s a start! Allow yourself to be excited about something again. Enthusiasm is not something that comes from outside – it’s a choice you can make. Decide to get excited again.
You reach your goals – but you don’t celebrate them
Do you know that when you work for a long time towards a certain goal, then you reach it and then… somehow nothing happens at all? Actually you should be happy now, jumping in circles, patting yourself on the back, celebrating – but somehow you don’t feel it?
This always happens when the goals you were aiming for weren’t really goals at all or weren’t YOUR goals: It was just a plan you worked off – a "completion" of something you think you have to do to achieve something, but which in fact does not fill you with joy, pride and happiness. So why celebrate it?
You didn’t fill it with positive feelings and no joy expected – you just "worked through" it. Happy Birthday. Unfortunately, this happens more often than we think and the background is often that we live according to the "having – doing – being" principle: We think that if we have or achieve something certain, then we can do certain things and then we will be happy or satisfied. And then we achieve these things – but we realize that we are not satisfied at all. Because we z.B. not having learned to praise ourselves, to be proud of ourselves, to feel good about ourselves and so on.
Tip! Whenever you set goals, ask yourself beforehand: How will it feel when I have achieved it?? What is worth? In what way will it be helpful, positive and good for me? How do I want to celebrate? If you already feel nothing at all with these questions – think again…
You deserve to feel good about yourself, to praise yourself, to celebrate yourself! And in fact the beginning of it is a decision!
Write down a few occasions on a piece of paper where you did something well or accomplished something and pat yourself on the back today for it!
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You often think that you are not good enough
Do you know this thought? It sneaks up on you again and again? If it concerns perhaps only a few areas of life? Especially in the area of partnership, this belief persists in many people, because most of us have been brought up in the spirit of the so-called "meritocracy".
We confuse praise and recognition with love and appreciation: In the job it becomes very well visible how and by what we can achieve appreciation – even if it is only by a number on the account. But that’s exactly what doesn’t work at all in interpersonal relationships. Love does not exist for performance – and so many people feel not lovable, not good enough, incapable.
The truth is: You don’t have to achieve anything, because you can’t achieve anything in order to be loved – you can only be loved for yourself.
And that’s exactly what, that lovable thing about you, you are destroying by your limiting beliefs of not being lovable. A belief is an "idea" that is stuck in your head – you yourself have decided to believe this idea. Nobody can force you to do it – why do you always hurt yourself so much??
One thing I can tell you: There will never be the "perfect time" to realize your dreams and you will never feel 100% "ready" for it. You grow every day. All you need to find is a little confidence in yourself and a little courage.
You can learn to live with the fact that life is always a bit unpredictable and things never turn out 100% exactly as you expect them to anyway and that this is absolutely normal. To live means exactly that: to make experiences and to learn from them. Stop telling yourself that you are not good enough.
Tip! How about telling yourself – just for today – that you will for today you are good enough? That you have come far enough for today? If you don’t beat yourself up today and torture yourself by telling yourself that you are not good enough, smart enough, beautiful enough to evolve and take the next step?
And what would happen if you do the same thing again tomorrow??
You are constantly busy meeting the expectations of others
I know tens of people who do not live their own life. They live the life that is expected of them or at least they constantly try not to disappoint anyone: Parents, friends, superiors, colleagues – yes, even the neighbors, the strange woman on the street, the cab driver – they all should not get a bad impression, yes think nothing wrong and don’t be disappointed with your "performance".
Also the symptom of not feeling one’s "successes" sometimes comes from this direction: What is the use of z.B. a great conclusion, when the subject may not bring you joy and was an idea of your parents? What good is it if someone tells you that you are great at something, if you have to sacrifice yourself completely for it and are always afraid of failure yourself?
With the feeling "I only live for others" you always ignore your own desires and needs, your intuition, your inner voice. You are so busy trying to feel and fulfill the expectations of others that you lose control over your life and the cage gets smaller and smaller. You have forgotten what makes you happy, what you want, what you need…
What do you say when someone asks you who you are?? Tell him what you do for a living? And then? Who else are you? What is left of the person you could have become?
Tip! You have a Life. A single. And that’s right now. Not later once. You live this life. Only you. You own it. It is yours. Never forget that. If you always just try not to stand out and live up to others’ expectations, you’ll never realize how great you can be…
Write down which "requirements" you have for yourself – and then ask yourself, which of them are really only important for you – and why! And then cross out all the ones that don’t come from you and all the ones that don’t help you live a good life. See what’s left..
You whine… and maybe you don’t even realize it
Have you lately listened to yourself consciously when you talk?? You may not believe it yet, but pay special attention to these phrases the next few days:
- You would like to..
- You’d like to have, but…
- You can’t, unfortunately..
- If you didn’t have to do this or that, then…
- Things are bad right now because….
- He did you wrong…
- It’s stupid because…
- You only meant well, but….
- It’s just so stressful right now…
- …… drives you crazy / wears you down / drains you out.
All these are the beginnings of the sentence of a complainer, a victim. Because: Actually you are quite different, you only so seldom come to.
If you notice that you are always complaining – about other people, your parents, your job, your bosses or colleagues, your customers, the opposite sex, your partner, circumstances, life – or feel burdened by it. Then remember that your grievance none of it will change. The only thing it will get you: you are unhappy and depressed.
No one else can make you happy – and no situation can make you unhappy or sad, unless you let it. It is Not the situation that causes these feelings in you, but how you decide to evaluate them and deal with it.
I know it’s hard to accept, but it’s the only chance: constantly complaining or whining that life isn’t fair or things aren’t the way you want them to be has never changed anything. Your life is exactly as you see it and the more you complain, the worse it gets. You can’t change things – but you can decide how you meet them and how much something "itches" you.
Self-confidence and self-esteem change a lot here – but it doesn’t come overnight: self-confidence is like a muscle – it only grows if it is trained.
Tip! Never underestimate the power of positive thoughts – or positive actions! Make a list of what is going well in your life: That you z.B. healthy, have a roof over your head, electricity and hot water coming from the tap and so on… Realize how good you have it and how rich and privileged you are. And then stop complaining!
You blame others for your life
A habit that often occurs in connection with complaining: It is the others who do not let you or are "bad".
You had a bad childhood – so it’s your incompetent or horrible parents, they messed everything up. Or your nasty ex-partner who treated you so badly. Or the person who does not "hear" you in your longing for him. The wrong friend who takes advantage of you. The company. The state. Your incompetent colleague or your mean boss. Your stupid sister. Your partner.
Someone criticizes you and your first reaction is justification – all this would not have happened at all, if… All of these are signs that you want others to be in charge of your destiny. You can’t leave things alone and look at them without judgment. It must be someone’s fault. And not you! But by looking for the blame you never change the situation and you don’t grow…
In fact, most other people behave towards you the way you indicate you deserve to be treated. The less you value yourself, the more needy you are, the more hidden aggression you carry around with you – the more your environment will reflect to you what you have "earned.
Tip! Stop blaming others for what you have and don’t have, what you dare and don’t dare, what you can and can’t do, what you feel or don’t feel.
Stop giving your own power to others and start doing it, Take responsibility for yourself and your life. Because as long as you blame others, you make yourself a victim – when you start to take responsibility for yourself and your situation, you automatically get the chance to change it…
Either you have your "problems" under control – or your problems have you under control..
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You are more important not to fail than to succeed
This is a habit I see over and over again in my flirting classes: When my participants see an attractive person, they almost only think about what could happen to them (resp. what they don’t want to experience under any circumstances) than how nice it could be to get to know this person.
For many people, this attitude runs through their entire lives: Your comfort zone gives you a life of mediocrity – So better not dare anything, so at least it won’t get worse. That it could also get better… yes maybe… but the risk. It is much easier to talk about what you would like to be able to do than to actually learn it. Maybe you think it’s complicated or difficult or even dangerous – so you’d rather sit it out and who knows, maybe it will fall out of the sky someday…
Many people sign up for my flirting trainings at the last second – after all, it could be that you get to know someone without "having" to learn how to approach and attract others. But that this could be a lot of fun and your own life could become so much more beautiful – not a thought. Because: Maybe you are just sitting around somewhere, feeling sorry for yourself and your dream partner approaches you? Meanwhile, the days go by and your life gets shorter and shorter. Nothing will change if you don’t do it.
Almost always, when we start something we can’t do yet, we do badly. We "fail" because we have too little practice and too little "know how". Then we become better. We have to concentrate and become better. And at some point we don’t have to concentrate or make an effort anymore. We can do it. This is called learning. And it starts with the acceptance of failure.
Tip! While you’re often sitting around failing to try, you might as well be out trying to fail! At least then you would learn something and experience something… If you realize what you really want to achieve (instead of what you have been trying to avoid), you can make it so that your will to succeed outweighs your fear of failure. An insanely good feeling! Honestly!
So away from "away from" then simply towards "towards"!
You are trapped in wanting to be right
Do you notice how in conversations you are always "Yes, but…" say? Do you like to correct others? Do you often argue with your parents because they have such a limited, ingrained perception of the world?? Do you get angry if you are treated "unfairly? All these are signs that the desire to be right is holding you captive.
Being right is the lowest level you can arrive at emotionally before you are a victim – the gradation looks something like this:
To feel loved> or at least be appreciated> or at least praised or. be recognized> but at least have (a) right or be in the right (>) after that comes "being the victim")
In other words: The less you feel loved, the more you look for approval, the less you can feel them or get them, the more you want to be appreciated – and if that doesn’t happen or if you can’t take praise and appreciation, then you want at least: to be right, to be in the right, to get right or Justice.
What you overlook is how poor You present and feel yourself; how you strain and sometimes even destroy your relationships with your desire to be right or to get right. And how rarely it is worth it. Whenever you feel that burning desire to argue with someone about who is right, ask yourself:
- Do I really have to be right or would it be better to be kind??
- What difference would it make to my life? (if I z.B. let the other person have his opinion)
- What difference does it make for my counterpart if I "teach" her/him now??
- Do I really need this now?
Tip: Everyone is in a "process" in life – sometimes people are just not ready or they just need to disagree or they are protecting themselves from something. That’s okay – it is not your job to explain to the world what is wrong and right. Every person always believes from his perspective that he has the best possible view and goes the best possible way he can in life. You too!
And if your parents believe that the world is a disc – and they are fine with it: Smile. In the course of your life you will be able to see for yourself, how that, what is "right" and important for you today, will eventually be ridiculous or at least completely unimportant.
You are afraid of change
If you often live in hope? Are you hoping that something will change – or are you changing it??
Do you stay in your apartment because you hope that maybe you will meet a partner soon and if you move in with her or him, then all the move before was for nothing?? Are you keeping your job because you hope that your boss will quit before you or because you are afraid that you won’t find anything better or nothing at all?? If you are with someone who is not really right for you, but it is still better than being alone?
All these are clear signs that you are actively preventing change and wasting your life. Living a good, positive life involves understanding that everything is constantly moving forward and also moving away from what it was a moment ago.
But it is not enough to free yourself from the past – it is also necessary to embrace the future, to go towards it, to actively shape it – and that means nothing else than: Welcome change and actively create it. Not by avoiding, but by trying, doing and daring something. This is the only way to open the doors for positive growth.
How often do you feel uncomfortable, but let your fear of changing something paralyze you – you’d rather take a protective stance, then it won’t hurt as much?. Distract yourself, then you don’t think about it so much. Compensating to compensate yourself for all the suffering you are going through? Avoid situations where you are confronted with what you are afraid of or what you still can’t do because it seems too dangerous or too troublesome to learn it? How small is your comfort zone?
Believe me, this is the most effective way and the most important alarm signal that you are screwing up your life right now. Because I can not repeat it often enough: Time is your most important asset – it goes and never comes again. Every minute you spend in a situation where you can’t learn and grow or be happy and enjoy life is a minute wasted.
A wasted fortune: when you turn 30.000 euros and throw one euro in the gutter, it’s not so bad. Even two or three… so what, right?? Are still 29.997 euros left. From the moment it becomes bills, it already looks slowly different… a twenty already itches. At a hundred euros, the fun starts to stop. But why do we throw hundreds of our ca. 30.000 days away?
Why do people voluntarily spend their time with self-doubt, anxiety, anger, or other nasty feelings?? Life is not there for you to get through by the skin of your teeth?!
Tip: Many people are afraid of making the wrong decision. But how could a decision ever be wrong? You decide: You experience something. You do not decide: you experience something. But in the second case, others often decide for you what you experience… do you really want that??
It is your life
If you have recognized some of these alarm signals for yourself, remember: You are not alone in this. We all have our issues and sometimes tread water. It’s normal, and it’s okay for a while.
The most important key is awareness: It’s about recognizing these traps and stopping the behaviors that go along with them before they stop you!
Don’t let your fears and concerns rule your life. It’s your life. It is yours and you live now. Only now.
There is no second chance for a good life – you can only make this life that you have now as good as possible, live it, discover it, make something out of it, have fun, learn something, gain experience. Then you will die – no matter if you prevented or were afraid, if you fulfilled the needs of others or not, if you were right or not, if you had dreams or not… you will die for sure. But you can decide whether you will die sad and full of regrets for everything that wasn’t – or fulfilled and happy.
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