Healthy Habits, Mental Health, Self-Management

9 Things I Quit to Simplify My Life

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Previously, I shared a list of habits I believe were decisive in helping me lead a less complicated life and reduce the overwhelm. Now, let’s look at specific things I quit doing to further declutter my mind and simplify my life.

These are behaviors quit in recent years, and now I feel a lot more free and relaxed.

Quitting these things has also allowed me to tame that insufferable voice in my head that was perpetually questioning my every move and decision.

Now, life feels a lot easier and simpler.

So, here’s a list of 9 things I quit doing in order to simplify my life and maintain peace.

1. Committing to things I don’t want to do or people I don’t want to see

I stopped saying yes out of obligation or guilt.

But in order to do that, and feel at ease doing it, I first had to get clear on my values, my core self, and my goals.

clarity workbook

Knowing what truly matters to me is what helps me protect my time and energy, and make (but also stick to) decisions that align with my priorities.

It’s about valuing your time and understanding that it’s okay to say no to things that don’t serve your purpose or bring you joy.

Don’t be afraid to say no; your well-being depends on it and it’s up to you to enforce the limits you want others to respect.

clarity workbook

2. Perfectionism

Perfectionism often leads to unnecessary stress and prevents you from enjoying the process.

For the past four years, I’ve learned to gradually let go of perfectionism; it is life-changing!

Now, I focus on two things:

  • Rapid action (rather than overthinking and planning)
  • Doing my best rather than striving for an unattainable ideal.

This shift in my mindset has allowed me to feel a lot less stressed by external things while being a lot more productive and satisfied with my efforts.

I’ve learned to accept that mistakes are part of the learning process; I almost enjoy it now. It’s part of the journey! And failing means I’m actually taking part on this wonderful trip called life (or entrepreneurship, or parenthood, or whatever…). Isn’t it a blessing?

Besides, life is a lot more simple now, and I don’t feel as overwheled as I used to.

And remeber, you are your worst critic. Other people don’t judge you as badly as you judge yourself. And if they do, it’s probably because they are following your lead.

So, stop talking crap about yourself; you’ll feel better.

Related post: Don’t Beat Yourself Up After a Mistake; Do This Instead

3. Multitasking

I do not take pride in multitasking. It’s not a skill; it’s a pervesion of the mind.

Okay, okay, I’m being dramatic, but seriously, stop giving importance to multitasking, as if it were a skill you should cultivate.

It’s not.

things i quit to simplify my life

Yes, I can multitask, but I don’t want to do it anymore. It makes more anxious, as if I’m constantly buzzing with this weird energy that does not entirely feel good.

Now I do deep focus/deep work. I focus on a single task for a set period of time and give it my full attention.

I dedicate time for every single task that needs to be done throughout the day: writing, working, eating, exercising, checking social media, replying to emails, and even, yes, phone calls.

Just because YOU decide to call at that moment does not mean I have to answer now, or choose to.

Except if it’s my mom 🖤

Now, I am a LOT more at peace in every single thing I do.

Related post: How I Got Rid of My Crippling Anxiety For Good

4. External validation

I used to have an almost pathological need for external validation.

I believe it’s one of the things that led to my illness: my body was literally rebelling and refusing to continue like this.

For so long I was driving myself insane, holding myself back, and stopping myself from living, for fear of upsetting others.

I didn’t dare take any action without torturing myself, constantly wondering if others would approve. I was suffocating myself.

And I did suffocate.

P.S. Have you read this book by Gabor Maté: When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress? I highly recommend it.

Now, I no longer seek external validation.

And if I stop myself from doing something in fear of what others would say, then I force myself to do it anyway.

There is, however, a handful of people (or even less than that) whose opinions I do value. But still, not above mine.

If they talk, I listen (it doesn’t mean I cave, though). But, in the end, I act according to my values, not theirs.

clarity workbook

Again, this implies that you worked on getting C-L-A-R-I-T-Y.

If you constantly feel pressured by others, then you are probably not clear yet on who you are, what you value, what your goals are, etc.

Clarity is often the first, most important step of any transformative journey.

5. Comparing myself

Engaging in the comparison game is a b*tch for your mental and emotional well-being and a significant source of stress and anxiety.

The problem is, you probably don’t even realize you do it, and that makes it all the more damaging.  

But when you keep following people who are more advanced in business than you, have more followers than you, appear to have a better relationship than yours, more money, a more comfortable house, a better-trained dog, etc., it does something to you.

It keeps you wanting. Wanting more of what you seemingly don’t have.

simplicity

Gratitude is key to a less stressed, less anxious, and more simple, enjoyable, life and the comparison game is the opposite of gratitude.

I don’t follow “influencers” on social media.

Heck, I didn’t even have Instagram until recently. I only started one for my Etsy shop, and I have to spend some time on the platform a little to learn its codes.

And, although I follow the occasional big account, I mostly follow people like her.

I target small to medium-sized accounts and watch them grow. This is what is truly inspiring, and it’s so much more fulfilling.

6. Social Media

I haven’t quit social media per se, but I do not spend much time on it.

The main reason why I go on Facebook is to check my Mastermind membership group for bloggers (where I find sooo much value, it’s worth making an exception). I haven’t been active there in years (I want to say a decade), and my life is better for it.

I don’t have Instagram, or Tik Tok. I’ve blocked YouTube history, and I avoid the “Shorts” tab like the plague.

I also don’t have social media on my phone. If you want to contact me, send me an email (if we are not close) or text me/call me (if we are).

I will reply or call you back when I’m available.

Please don’t take it personally. It’s not about you; it’s about what is good for my mental wellbeing.

If you do take it personally, then I might just move you to the “this relationship is probably not good for me” list.

Related post: Should I remove this person from my life? The complete guide to help you figure it out.

7. Meetings and client calls

Of course I have to take client meetings and calls, but I limit them to a MAXIMUM.

I almost never give my phone number to clients or people I barely know, and I will not schedule a meeting with someone unless absolutely necessary.

That’s because, when it comes to calls and meetings, you have to adapt to the other person’s availabilities too. This means, you have to be flexible with your schedule.

And I am a stickler for my routine.

Discipline and a routine are key to maintaining a simple and stress-free life, so I’m very mindful of not just giving my time freely to other people, just because they ask for it.

Related posts:

45 Reasons Why a Routine Might be Just What You Need

The Best Morning Routine for the Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)

8. Following the news

Yes, I am a former political science student/government analyst who does not follow the news.

It doesn’t make me a cavewoman.

It just makes me someone protective of my mental health, and very mindful of the content I consume.

If you want to understand the news, read a book on the topic or do some (serious) research on the specific country/political party/event you are trying to understand.

Don’t watch the daily news. Ninety percent of the time, it’s a load of crap whose sole purpose is to create sensational headlines and induce negative feelings in the reader/viewer.

That feeling is usually fear.

I also do not start my day with the news, and you shouldn’t either.

personal transformation workbook

9. Guilt

I no longer have the energy or mental space for unnecessary guilt.

Feeling guilty used to be almost like a sport, and I was training to be the world champion. Well, no more.

Guilt is a surefire way to make you feel overwhelmed and complicate your decision-making processes. It’s such a waste of time and energy!

And the worst part is, you think that feeling guilty actually makes you a good person; as if it were proof that you actually care. That’s a load of crap. All it does is undermine your self-worth, strain your relationships, erode your patience, cause emotional fatigue, and I could go on.

But again… you are able to let go of guilt only once you get super clear on what you want, what your values are, what matters to you, and where you want to take your life.

clarity workbook

Ok, now be honest.

Do you actively do the opposite of all the things listed above? How have you been feeling?

Let me know in the comments what is working and not working for you at the moment, and what you think is missing for you to feel more at peace in your life.

And as always, thank you for reading. I appreciate you!

Read Next: 13 Things I No Longer Buy as a Minimalist

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About Steph

I am a personal growth/self-management enthusiast. I was able to completely transform my life using everything I share here. I hope this blog helps you transform yours as well.
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