Are You Doing Everything Wrong?

Are You Doing Everything Wrong

Do you ever feel as if you are doing everything wrong?

Recently  it has appeared that everywhere I have looked I am being informed of why and how I can increase my salary (and work from home),  change my appearance and improve my health or create a better home.. I can do all of these things if I take another course, change something about myself, and invest my time in taking on one more piece of advice. Sadly, the advice always seems to begin with the fact that whatever I am doing currently, I am doing it wrong. All of this has allowed me to start questioning. Am I truly doing everything wrong? Can my life be better? In a world full of constant connection to self help everywhere (yes, I am aware that this space often discusses self help), I first think it is important to acknowledge that not everything is being done incorrectly. The life you currently have may already be a good life. The grass is not always greener if you:
  • Drink green smoothies each morning
  • Spend $100 dollars on the latest anti wrinkle cream or have Botox injections every 6 months
  • Practice hot yoga at the newest studio three times a week or train for the latest marathon
  • Wear high end clothing purchased at the store where everyone shops (who is everyone?)
  • Live in a tiny house or live in a McMansion
  • Vacation in Europe and travel to the beach twice a year and then to the mountains in the Fall
  • Become an entrepreneur , work at home and make thousands of dollars a month
  • Have two children and homeschool them all while growing your organic vegetables
  • Change the color of your blog design, post on Instagram daily and become a media star.
The truth is most of us are doing many things in our life correctly. Please stop and give yourself some credit. We are getting up in the morning, feeding ourselves and families, working at jobs and finding enjoyment in life. However, the world wants you to question all of these things. The world of Pinterest can make you doubt the beauty of your home (whatever the size), sponsored media posts force you to question if you are in the correct career and if you need to be doing something more. As a counselor, I meet with many who are questioning where they are in life. High school students often feel they need to immediately choose a major in college; college graduates feel they must have the dream job within the first year; single individuals feel the pressure of finding someone; newlyweds are often asked when there will be children; middle aged individuals feel they need to have a retirement plan. Social norms of living our lives in a specific way do bring us comfort but we must be aware that often the social norms do not meet our needs. Living outside of these norms often brings discomfort and the question “Am I doing this all wrong?” As much as it takes strength to live outside of the social norms, forcing oneself to live within the confines of what everyone else is doing can lead to depression, anxiety and overall unhappiness. At times, I have even witnessed a paralysis of not living at all as one doesn’t know what they want to be doing in their life. Stop comparing yourself and life to the Instagram photo feed or the Pinterest board. Put down the book or article stating doing these three things will help you live your best life. Don’t allow someone else to dictate what living correctly is. [tweetthis twitter_handles=”@how2makealife”] You are the expert of your life[/tweetthis]   Start doing (or continue doing)  the things that feel right to you. Realize that not all articles, counselors,  or friends have the best advice for you. If you do feel you need advice or suggestions, realize that not all advice is equal and consider your sources. Read the fine print on that blog post (who is this person to tell you what to do), research the background of the physician or counselor and take in the life of the friend or family member who is making suggestions (be leary of those who live the do as I say not do as I do mentality). Remember just because everyone is doing something doesn’t mean that it is right for you.  As you begin to explore your current life, you may find that you like the life you are living. There may be many things that you are doing correctly. Why change what isn’t broken?

What are the things society makes you feel you are doing wrong? 

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23 Comments

  1. Rachel G on February 17, 2016 at 7:18 am

    I loved all your bullet points concerning “the grass is not always greener” even if you live those lifestyles that are idealized by various sections of our society. True!

  2. Charlotte on February 17, 2016 at 10:16 am

    I love this post so much and couldn’t agree more… it always seems like whatever we’re doing will never be enough. It’s exhausting. I read somewhere recently that comparison is the thief of joy–and I think I have to start looking at all the things I’m doing right for a change, rather aspire to do more, bigger, better.

    Thank you for this beautiful reminder 🙂 <3

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on February 19, 2016 at 9:35 pm

      I’m so glad to read this Charlotte. Give yourself credit for what you are doing right now. Sometimes we don’t need to make a change at all.

  3. Mia Sutton on February 17, 2016 at 11:27 am

    Yes!! You have hit the nail right on the head. We’re constantly bombarded with images and messages and articles designed to make us want more and do more and buy more. Sometimes I get so exhausted trying to tune everything out. I think we are doing more things right than we give ourselves credit for! Love your post, you’re always so insightful. 🙂 xo

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on February 19, 2016 at 9:34 pm

      Thank you Mia. I love that you shared how exhausting it is block out all of the voices “telling” us how to do things better. We are doing so many things right in our lives.

  4. Bourbon & Lipstick on February 17, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    Tried to comment on this earlier from my phone and Disqus signed me out! UGH! Anyway, I think you nailed this. I know we’ve talked about this a lot but you hit the best points! I am so tired of being told that I’m not doing my life right and the pressure is too great. Thank you for saying it so eloquently!

  5. Sandy Mangis on February 17, 2016 at 5:03 pm

    Sheryl, I have started to listen to myself lately and ask many of these questions. I had lost myself through being a career mom and wife. Now it is my turn to see who I am and where I am going. I am finding what is right for me, and I am loving it.

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on February 19, 2016 at 9:32 pm

      Good for you Sandy!! We have the answers within ourselves if we allow ourselves to hear them.

  6. Rachael | The Rachael Way on February 17, 2016 at 9:50 pm

    This is well said. I can’t stand it when people act like they know me better than I know myself. We have to ignore the voices in our heads and society and instead listen to our hearts. After all, we know ourselves best.

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on February 19, 2016 at 9:31 pm

      It takes practice to learn that our internal voice truly knows what is best because those external sources are so loud.

  7. Anne @ Love the Here and Now on February 17, 2016 at 10:19 pm

    As is the norm you are spot on. It’s a constant barrage of info thrown at you saying you just arent good enough….yet. But you could be…. Ugh.

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on February 19, 2016 at 9:30 pm

      Sadly, everyone is trying to “sell” their stuff and their stuff is only what will make you happy and successful. It’s exhausting.

  8. Emelia @ Dream Big & Buy the S on February 17, 2016 at 11:35 pm

    The pressure put on us by society as a whole is kind of insane. While I have big dreams and high hopes for my future- I’m content with doing it at my own pace and I’m a little frustrated with some of the things thrown in our faces daily by people who should inspire us rather than make us feel bad that we aren’t doing more. Great points!

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on February 19, 2016 at 9:29 pm

      Thank you for saying what you have said. I so wish there were more inspiration in society rather “instructions” on what we need to be doing.

  9. andwhatamom on February 18, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    PARENTING! I feel like I’m being judged and frowned upon every time I leave the house. But the amount of pressure I put on myself inside the house is just as ruthless. There are countless books, ads, and societal messages telling us the way we parent is wrong and harmful. It makes it hard not to question everything you do.

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on February 19, 2016 at 9:27 pm

      It is sad that there is such a significant amount of pressure placed upon each of us but as you said, much of the pressure also comes from within and thinking we are not measuring up. Thanks for stopping by!

  10. Monica Bruno on February 18, 2016 at 12:19 pm

    Great post, Sheryl! I always say the problem with the saying “the grass is always greener…” is that wherever you go, there you are. Meaning, it doesn’t matter where you go, what you get, what status level you achieve, how much weight you lose, if you aren’t happy with yourself, you still won’t be happy when you get “there”, wherever that is. Happiness comes from within.

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on February 19, 2016 at 9:26 pm

      You are so correct Monica. Our stuff goes with us regardless of our weight or house size. Happiness starts within each of us and there is not s quick fix of finding it.

  11. Runwright on February 19, 2016 at 4:56 pm

    I agree that we should get to know ourselves well enough so we know what works for us. The same advice doesn’t work for everyone because we all have different needs.
    http://runwright.net

  12. Sarah Elizabeth on February 20, 2016 at 6:39 am

    Beautiful xx Great inspiration

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