13 Ways to Make Your Life Ten Times Easier ASAP
By Kate Ferguson
Okay I don’t know if these tips will precisely make your life ten times easier, but I do know that they will in fact make it easier. I know this because they have been paramount in making my own life way easier. There are of course, a lot more than eleven ways to make your life easier. But let’s start with these.
1. Don’t Be Mad at Who You Were
Trust me, I know how cringe-worthy it can be to think about the past and ponder WTF. I’ve felt a lot of shame, and I’ve also purged a lot of shame. We all do dumb stuff and it’s seriously rough to wonder how things could have gone differently if we were different. But we weren’t. We were just who we were. And here’s the important part…the fact that you can reflect back and cringe means that you already grew and changed. That’s the hardest part. You’ve got awareness for days. So take a moment to thank yourself for doing the work and becoming who you are now. Give the old you a break, try to keep a sense of humor about them. You’re never going back there, so there’s really not a lot to worry about.
2. Clean Your Shit Up
I know they say that geniuses often have messy desks and stuff, but a lot of geniuses are also horrifically manic depressive and reclusive. I wouldn’t take that fact as proof that you’re on the way to greatness. I know how annoying it can feel to address a mess. But there’s a huge parallel being how you treat your physical space and your emotional space. Avoiding is avoiding. Getting rid of stuff is getting rid of stuff. Making room for new stuff is making room for new stuff. Clean out your closet or handle all those chores you’ve been avoiding and then try to tell me you don’t feel better. You won’t be able to. Life is simply easier when you don’t let things pile up.
3. Do it Now
Are you saving a cute little number for a special occasion? Waiting to start writing that book until you’re absolutely sure that the world will provide you a welcoming path? Procrastinating on a tough conversation. For F’s sake do it now. Wear the damn outfit, this is all life right here right now. You can wear it again if you don’t get any pictures the first time.
If you’re waiting for permission you better stop that right now, because you might not get it and you most definitely don’t need it. The only way that you get affirmation from the world is to do stuff. You don’t need someone to come grab you and pull your talents out of you. Or to tell you that you’re beautiful. Or to support your business goals. You just start living that now and your authentic embracing of it will simply tell people who you are. Not everyone will support you once you start, but you don’t need everyone. You need a group of people who believe in what you’re doing, or one single person depending on the circumstances.
4. Pivot Your Butt Off
Newsflash: not everything you try is going to work. That’s not a reason to not do it. Just like you don’t need to stop dating after you experience a breakup, you also don’t need to give up drawing because no one is buying your art. Life is not a linear experience and no one ever said that it was supposed to be. Everything changes all the time, so you need to be able to change all the time too. You can cry all you want when things don’t go right, but then pivot. Pretend you’re some adventurous badass who enjoys a challenge and try it again in a new way. I can assure you that if you try this enough you will actually become an adventurous badass.
5. Stop Blaming Other People
Other people can be awful hot messes, I know. But that really doesn’t have anything to do with your experience. Regardless of what someone does or says, you’re in control of how you respond and what you do with the feelings that come up around it. This doesn’t mean that other people shouldn’t be held accountable for their behavior, damn straight they should. But either way, you’re in charge of you. It’s a lot of responsibility to take on, but personal responsibility should be your top priority.
6. Set Your Boundaries
There are a lot of people who will push and take in a variety of ways. It can be exhausting. But you don’t have to allow it. Tell them no. Don’t pick up the phone. Walk away. Do whatever it is that you need to do to make it clear that your time matters, that your values matter, your money, whatever. As hard as it is to imagine, sometimes they don’t even know that you feel like your boundaries have been crosses. When you let them know, they’ll probably be like “oh whoops” and back off. If they don’t then you have even more reason to back away yourself. Don’t waste time with people who don’t respect you.
7. Stop Sharing Everything With Untrustworthy People
I had years upon years of frenemies in my life. Now I have none. It took me a really long time to figure out how to untangle some of those friendships, but the bottom line is that if someone is toxic some of the time, they’re just toxic. You don’t have to wait for things to get worse before you make an exit. Stop telling competitive people all your brilliant ideas. Stop gossiping with a backstabber. Stop looking for support in people who secretly want you to fail.
8. Ask for Help
WTF is up with the difficulties surrounding the concept of asking for help. You are under no obligation to do everything alone. You are no under no obligation to know everything there is to know. You are under no obligation to protect people who are hurting you. Find like minded people. Learn from people who know more than you. Tell on assholes. Life is very solo in the sense that we’ve really only got ourselves. But that doesn’t mean that you avoid other people. It means that you learn how to be the best you possible so that when you reach out to other people they’re willing to help you. And that you’re capable of returning the favor.
Similarly, collaborating can be key. When a concept is new or if you’re exploring a talent for the first time it can be tempting to keep it close. And sometimes during that incubation period that is absolutely necessary. Protect yourself and your art when you’re vulnerable. But when you’re not vulnerable, accepting that working together can work better can really save some time. If you can’t figure out how to do something, or it’s too big of a project for you to tackle alone, find a like minded human to join you. It’s better to do something with someone else than not do it at all. You can always veer off and do your own thing later.
10. Retire Your Limited Beliefs
Most people have a running dialogue of limiting beliefs in their head, but most of them are outdated. You learned something false about yourself when you were five, or 15, or 23. But you aren’t the person that you were at those ages anymore. In a lot of really obvious ways. So even if something was true at one point in time, that doesn’t mean it’s true now. You can rewrite that story any time you want. Change your mind. Shift your perspective. Come up with a new story that’s more supportive of what you want than of what you don’t want.
11. Write Down What You Want
A busy brain is not a reason to put off thinking about stuff. It’s just a clue that you should be writing things down for safe keeping. I’ve been making lists of wishes and whatnot since I was kid. (At my mom’s urging…most of this took place on the new moon.) I still have a lot of those lists, and I can tell you that I have a really strong track record of gaining or accomplishing what was on them. The act of writing something down gives it weight. That idea immediately exists somewhere outside of your mind. If you’re motivated, or you’d like to become motivated, seeing it written down can immediately provide some fuel to the fire. You don’t want to leave yourself hanging. Accomplishing things feels extra cool when you can reference back to the point you first conceptualized it. That’s pure proof that you’re capable, which will help carry you onto the next thing.
12. Let Go of Failed Romance
I know. It’s hard. I have failed at romance and been hurt in the rom com ways and also the more dangerous thriller ways. Dating is wild. But at the end of the day I’m a better person because of the shitty things I’ve gotten into. I’m more humble because of some blows. I have more clarity about my needs and values. I’m sweeter because I appreciate more. Everything you go through and lose is going to change you. Just let it change you in the good ways. Let heartbreak soften your jagged bits and give yourself credit for how much stronger you bounce back. I am eternally grateful to everyone I’ve dated even when it was rough. Most romances are not going to last. That’s okay. They don’t need to. Learn about relationships. Learn about yourself.
13. Be Kind
Kindness is the real deal. It does mean that you always have to be nice, or to let people do what they want. It means that you have enough clarity to know that what other people doesn’t have to do with you. It means you can empathize but keep your distance. Say no without going off on someone. That sort of thing. It also means being good to yourself, which is naturally the key take away from all of this. Other people respect you more when you obviously respect yourself, which makes things run a lot smoother in a variety of ways.
Easier said than done? Not really. Sure it takes time to change your habits but that’s all that a lot of these things are. Habits. The sooner you get started, the more quickly you’ll see results. And you will see results.