How To Stop Taking Things Too Seriously

Eduard Ezeanu

Note from Josh: It’s been a good week.  I’m on the road again in pursuit of awesomeness and glory and I just got invited to lunch by Seth Godin next week.  While I try to calm down, please enjoy this guest post from Eduard Ezeanu from People Skills Decoded.

by Eduard Ezeanu

A couple of days ago, somebody asked me a very powerful question: “What one advice would you give your younger self?” I only thought about it a couple of seconds and I immediately new the most important advice: “Stop taking things too seriously”.

Looking at my coaching activity and the people I work with, I realize a lot of people take things way too seriously and they sabotage their happiness this way. We live in a world where we have more money, more comfort, more options, more knowledge than any of our ancestor ever had, and yet we manage to make ourselves sad, anxious or frustrated, because we’re having a bad hair day.

There are certainly a lot of tips & tricks out there for changing this. But which ones have the most value and are worth applying the most? Here is my answer, some of the top ideas I believe you can use to stop taking things too seriously:

1. Look at the big picture. Losing a client can seem like something very important when you look at it like that. But when you realize all the other clients you have and the entire stream of clients you will have over the years, it really doesn’t matter anymore.

Taking things too seriously is almost always associated with focusing too much on the immediate impact and not seeing things in perspective. As you look at the big picture, you realize that almost any negative consequence fades away in the big scheme of things. This gives you more peace of mind and freedom.

2. Do goofy things. One exercise some therapists and coaches give to clients who take things too seriously (me included) is to intentionally do things which might seem goofy, weird or stupid to them and notice what happens. Like going out with a big umbrella in a very hot summer day.

As people do these kinds of things and notice the real results, they realize a lot of the consequences are not that bad, far from what they expected. They had just blown things out of proportion in their heads. So now that they understand this, they can relax and have more courage in behaving in new, different ways.

3. Celebrate your results. One thing which often makes people take negative things too seriously is a lack of awareness and a lack of enjoyment of the positive things in their lives. Because they don’t celebrate them enough.

Getting into Harvard is good enough to celebrate, but not writing a good article. Why not? I think this is silly. It’s important to see every progress, every result, and reward ourselves for it. As we do this, we amplify the positive in our lives and we are better able to respond constructively to the negative.

Asking people about their lives and what they want, I discovered in time that what almost every person truly, deeply wants is to enjoy her life while it’s still there. The rest is just fluff. By learning to stop taking things seriously, you’re taking one big leap toward enjoying your life to the fullest.

About The Author:

This is a guest post from Eduard Ezeanu, a communication coach who writes personal development advice at People Skills Decoded. You can follow him on Twitter at @eduardezeanu.

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