From the conversations I have daily with my clients, from my own life experiences, I’ve put together ten most common costly mistakes we make in life. They could be best described as the set of lies we live by.
If you presently have a pinch of any of these mistakes in your life, there’s nothing—absolutely nothing to be ashamed about. Awareness is the first step to winning any situation. Having said that, let’s cut to the chase.
- Somebody owes you your success: I grew up as a very dependent child, a trait I carried into adulthood. Life was easy and beautiful as a child. Like every child, I had no care whatsoever. When it was time to cut off, I had the biggest scare of my life.
Then I started seeing people who claimed to derive joy in helping others. I felt some sense of relief until the sort of help they offered still required me to do some amount of work. It didn’t make sense to me, because they were supposed to do the work while I own the glory. I blamed everyone. I believed people were brutal. Successful people were so proud for all I cared; they didn’t want me to succeed like they did.
When you start believing a certain person must do the work for you, you grow lazy, handicapped and frustrated. You allow your progress and success at their mercy. Chances are, they could come back to attend to you, but that’s when they’ve finished attending to themselves. You see, you are the least of their worries and priorities.
So if they refuse to make you a priority, are you saying you too would refuse to make yourself a priority? Hmm! If you get any form of assistance, see it as a privilege and NEVER a right. Nobody, not even your parents or your spouse owes you your own success. Kill that dependency mentality and thrive in your lane, on your own terms.
- Your background disqualifies you from success: I find it funny when people say they couldn’t do it because they don’t fit in. I find it funny because I can easily relate. It’s a lie I’ve lived by too. If you believe your background, your past and your social class is any form of minus to you, you should rather be challenged to change the narrative and give everyone the picture and story you choose to be associated with.
So because you grew up in the ghetto, you want that part of you to define you? Would you want me to identity you as that one that grew up in the ghetto and amounted to nothing? You should rather find inspiration from your background and give us your reality. Have you read the stories of the most successful people? Let me bring it home.
There’s a man called Steve Harris, he’s one of the foremost life and business coaches in Nigeria; Google is your friend if you don’t know him. Having grown to the stage we all know Steve to be today, would one believe he doesn’t have university certificate? I mean who succeeds in Nigeria without a university certificate? It has even gotten to the point where first degree means nothing anymore, you must have a masters degree to have access to good opportunities. Yet, Steve succeeded without having a shop at Ariara, Onitsha, or Alaba.
He didn’t just succeed, he’s impacting lives in a place like Nigeria, without a university certificate. If you are willing, you truly can be all you want to be.
- Everyone is right except you: How often do you praise yourself as much as you talk yourself down? Everyone around you seems to be a good chap, except you. Even when these seemingly good chaps see much value in you, you rubbish their belief in you and stick to the lie—that you are worthless.
Listen up, I can’t value you more than you are willing to value yourself. Have you ever wondered why the ones you think aren’t so qualified stick to the game? Wonder no more, I would help you with the answer; they simply don’t believe you, they choose to believe in themselves, they don’t care if you believe in them or not; their belief in themselves is all they need to succeed.
Cut yourself some slack. You’ve made a mistake before, so what? Your business failed, who hasn’t recorded some sort of failure before? Build yourself with positivity, you are just what you say and believe you are.
- You must be living in a certain city to make it: Lagos is the Israel of Nigeria, a land flowing with milk and honey. For this reason, you live at Akure, and have tied your first step to achieving your dream to the day you move to Lagos, even when you don’t have any need to move to Lagos.
Now let’s get it clear. You live at Akure, you want to be a successful farmer, and you can’t do much about this until you move to Lagos. Excuse my question, but are there vast lands for farming in Lagos? Okay, farming isn’t your plan, but fashion is. And your thought is, “but all the big brands seem to be in Lagos.” My darling, do the people in your city still wear animal skin? Don’t laugh, I’m just curious.
Whatever dream you have, let me tell you why you believe you must live in a particular city to succeed; you have not identified what you want, you have not identified why you want it, and you have just refused to pay attention to the needs of the people in your city.
If personal development seminar is your Lagos need, how about organizing one in your city and inviting the same set of people to speak at your event? When you are able to define what you want and why you want it, location would have nothing to do with it. You my friend, is the problem not the city you live in.
- You know too much to be taught anything: I recently asked one of my mentors what her daily routine looks like. Her response left me ashamed. As successful and as busy as her schedule gets, she has made it a daily routine to read a page or a chapter of book a day. Now, you are just starting out, you are midway gone or whatever level you are, but you don’t want to increase your knowledge.
Okay, you read books, but you don’t implement the points outlined in the books. Perhaps, the problem isn’t books, but you’ve identified a gap in your life and business, you heard there’s this lady that can help you fix it, but who the hell is she? How can a ‘whole you’ (as if you were half before) sit under her tutelage to learn a simple thing? You would rather remain the same, or figure it out somehow. It’s fine, it’s your decision, but just so you know, you are not ready for success if you are not teachable.
- You have to live larger than life for people to know you’ve arrived: You’ve worked all year and have had it smooth and rough alike. Your business is still growing, not like there’s a business that’s not growing, but yours is barely 5 years old. To show them that you’ve arrived, you decide to spoil yourself and buy that luxury that would cost you the fortune you are supposed to churn back into your business. Enjoy life, you worked for it; but while at it, don’t forget to ask yourself, what would suffer if I do this?
- You are always competing with everyone: I don’t understand when you work so hard to prove to your supposed ‘enemies’ that you are something. You are constantly outdoing yourself to prove a point. It’s okay, I understand there’s a history why you do this, but is that your why? Are you here just to prove a point? Is that all you were created to do?
I’m just curious, because I don’t get why you would lose focus on your most important goals just because there’s someone who you must “show”. Look in the mirror, the only person who you should impress is you. The only person who you should out do is you. Today, commit to making yourself better than you were yesterday. Any competition besides this is a total distraction. For all we know, the person you seem to be competing with isn’t headed your way.
Stay on your lane and mow your lawn. The grass is greener when you water it.
- Poor money management: You can’t be in business and tell me you don’t need financial intelligence. When you start making some money, it’s easy to forget the reasons why you needed to make money in the first place, your priorities could easily get messed. You get puffed up and spend unnecessarily. This act will ruin you and your business, be wise.
- You dim your light so you don’t lose friends: We need human relationships to enjoy our stay on earth. Even if you have pets, you still need humans in your circle. Now, because you have friends who are not doing so well, who are not even ready to start building their dream, you grow uncomfortable. You wonder how you can just start shinning when others are not. You fear that you may lose your friends. For that reason you dim your light. You pause your progress and may eventually stop the energy flow.
Why? So your friends don’t think you’ve outgrown them, so they don’t get too uncomfortable with you, so you continue wasting together, so you continue pitying each other. It’s fine. This post is not even directed at judging you or telling you to stop, but a soft reminder that misery loves company.
- Not going after your dream: You are just so soft livered that your dream becomes impossible. You’ve tried a thing or two and recorded the most difficult phase of your life. Therefore the ‘sane’ thing to do is to leave in peace and forget the stressful chase after your dream.
That’s okay too. Who enjoys stress after all? But just remember, if you don’t do it, someone would do it. If you have a valid dream, build it! Like I said earlier, this post is not in any way written to make you feel sad.
If you can relate to any of these mistakes, it’s okay. You have the willpower to change it to what you want it to be. Knowledge, they say, is power, so having the knowledge of the mistakes you make empowers you to change the narrative and live a better life.