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The BS Diet – 50 Ways To Reduce the BS In Your Life & Increase Happiness

  1. Drop your excuses. At least you can get down to the real reason.
  2. Don’t make excuses for other people. They’re drivers of their own life and don’t need you drumming up all manner of inaccurate or even unacceptable excuses dressed up as reasons for why they’re not being or doing something.
  3. Stick to empathy not over-empathising which is where instead of putting yourself in another person’s shoes and seeing things from their perspective based on who they are and what they might feel or do in that position, you make it about you and your perspective, ignoring the true nature of the actual person and make it about what you feel or their excuses. Check out the classes on empathy on your course page.
  4. Have more than one negative feeling setting. ‘Hurt’ is a blanket descriptor for all manner of negative feelings but it’s not always accurate and doesn’t differentiate between anger, frustration etc, or just different levels of behaviour. You might be annoyed that somebody didn’t do something but are you truly hurt in the way that you have experienced genuine mental anguish and distress?
  5. Stop make everything about you including what other people be and do or don’t be and do. You will feel ‘hurt’ and bloody miserable all of the time if you don’t stop.  People are operating with their own thoughts, feelings, actions, motivations, beliefs, characters and habits. It is not about you. The world is not out to get you. People overwhelming operate out of character and habit which means that they’re being and doing what they’re already predisposed to do. We don’t roll out our characters on a person-by-person basis.
  6. Stop trying to control the uncontrollable. Get in control of your own life. The person who is responsible for you and your happiness is you.
  7. Reduce the amount of gossiping and judging you do. Get out of other people’s business. It’s easy to judge but actually it’s just as easy to not judge what everyone else is doing. We live in a time when it’s become acceptable to make it part of a our daily activity to judge others on their appearance, their choices, what they say etc, and we are spending too much time up in other people’s business while clicking ‘like’, ‘share’ or posting snarky comments.

  8. Don’t write things online that you wouldn’t be prepared to say to somebody’s face.
  9. If you’re going to be annoyed with somebody about their indirectness or indecision, remember to be direct with this person and to also be decisive yourself, especially around their own indecision.
  10. Don’t project. Just because you see things a certain way, doesn’t make it a fact that the other person does too. Just because you would do something one way does not mean that others ‘should’.
  11. Respect the differences in people. When you bet on potential or make assumptions about somebody or expect them to change, you’re not only bullshitting, but you’re disrespecting them. When you make things up about people based on your ‘feelings’ or perception of things and then you make decisions off the back of them, you wind up getting mired in bullshit.
  12. Don’t treat thoughts, feelings, beliefs, assumptions and basically what passes through your head or that you’re told as facts.
  13. Quit ‘Sheeping’. When you read newspapers and other media where they make bold claims about your age group, or they use so-called statistics to suggest that you’re screwed for some reason, or they say something that runs counter to your own choices or whatever, remember that long gone are the days when the news is about reporting the news or even the truth. A lot of the stuff written in the media is about tapping into insecurity as well as generating traffic or purchases based on reader outrage. Get behind your choices. Stop looking for a commercial entity or even strangers to pat you on the back for those choices.
  14. Reduce the amount of time you spend on Facebook especially if you’ve tended to get upset about what people put on there or believe that everything on there is ‘true’ or that everybody is having a much better life than you. In fact, don’t overdo it with social media and make sure that you’re engaging in real life more than you are online.
  15. Don’t allow a lie to pass unaddressed particularly if the lie changes what you think you know about somebody or undermines something that has been promised or is just downright outrageous / unhealthy. Definitely don’t accept a lie if to ignore it would mean compromising your self-esteem and integrity.
  16. Don’t act happier than you feel all of the time. Yes sometimes you do have to drag your ass out of bed and fake it till you feel it, but if you pretend to be happy all of the time instead of addressing why you’re not happy, you’ll find it incredibly difficult to identify your feelings. You could also end up with depression.
  17. The things that you complain about in others are often things that you may need to address within you. That doesn’t take away from how irritating they are but what it does mean is that you also need to address your own actions and thinking.
  18. Quit showing off. There’s a difference between being proud of who you are or an achievement, and then being pretentious, doing your best to portray certain things about you and parading your possessions.
  19. Don’t protest too much. The more that you say that you are something or over emphasise it is the less that you’re believed.
  20. Be careful of the company that you keep. Embody the values you claim to have and that includes in the choice of people you have around you. The amount of people I hear from who claim to be nice, upstanding, honest citizens who go out with not so nice liars is astounding.
  21. Drop the convincing. Stop trying to convince people to like / love / accept you. It’s not attractive and sends the wrong messages about you while eroding your own value in your own eyes. Who you are is self-evident. Be a person of integrity and let who you are speak for itself. Those who are supposed to be in your life will grasp this and the rest can jog along at high speed.
  22. Stop carrying on like anger is beneath you. Anger is a healthy emotion. It’s acknowledgement of where you rightly or wrongly feel annoyed or bloody furious. If you act like you’re too posh for anger, you silence your true feelings and opinions. Anger is not the same as rage, which is violent, uncontrollable anger. If you don’t get angry with others, you will get increasingly angry with you which can lead to depression or you erupting in a rage one day. Whatever associations you have with anger, address them and evaluate the truthfulness of them. I experienced and witnessed a lot of anger as a child but I had to stop generalising that these experiences would be all of my experiences with anger. Of course you only have to keep having the same experience if you keep suppressing or you keep engaging with people who are aggressive and disrespectful.
  23. Stop trying to be what you think will get you accepted. The more that you try to be what you think others want you to be or that will get you accepted is the less like you that you are because your mentality and actions are driven by pleasing them, not by being your authentic self. It’s also disingenuous.
  24. Go on a People Pleasing Diet. Spend 30 days not pandering around to other people’s needs, wishes, and expectations. Record how you feel, note what happens. I doubt that I’ll be reading a news story about the sky falling in on you. Spend 30 days not saying yes to everything, not suppressing your own needs, wishes, and expectations, and not making other people’s behaviour and business about you. Tell people that you will get back to them instead of saying yes immediately and only do something if you genuinely want to do it. In fact, only say yes if you would still be happy to do it if you didn’t think that there was going to be some sort of approval reward or the opportunity to collect at a later date on an IOU. Also see #28.
  25. Absolutely no people pleasing of anybody who has treated you without love, care, trust, and respect. Put your doormat costume away.
  26. Be mindful – stop living in the past, stop worrying about what isn’t happening, and stop trying to anticipate what’s next, which might mean anticipating doom or Future Faking and Fast Forwarding yourself. You have a now to live.
  27. If you do online dating, no more than a week’s contact without arranging to meet, keep eyes and ears open, and absolutely no fantasising or talking about the future when you haven’t met or hardly see each other.
  28. Stop with the hidden agendas.
  29. Don’t be a martyr. Victimising yourself and taking up a position of helplessness isn’t to your medium to long-term benefit unless you genuinely want to remain unhappy. If you’re complaining a lot about the same thing, you’re engaging in some bullshitting.
  30. People who make and stick with assumptions are invariably very unhappy people. Reduce the number of assumptions you’re making and your life will change dramatically as you don’t have to be a victim to your overactive imagination and presumptions. Assumptions are your baselines and temporary slot fillers for facts. This means you can make an assumption about somebody but it needs to be replaced with facts as soon as possible and you can only really make assumptions about them based on repeated consistent evidence of something over an extended period of time.
  31. Address your unhealthy beliefs. Use the Get Out of Stuck Guide.
  32. Manage your expectations. Having a strong belief that something will happen is one thing as we all need to have expectations but just as having no expectations to minimise your disappointment is a bad idea, so is having unrealistic and excessive expectations. For instance, it is realistic to expect that a relationship that you’re putting your effort, emotion and time into should go somewhere but it’s unrealistic to expect that relationship to go somewhere if when you remove what you’re doing, there isn’t much left, or you’re engaging in unhealthy behaviour within an unhealthy relationship.
  33. There’s a big difference between ‘can’t’ and ‘won’t’ because you don’t like the alternative to getting out of your comfort zone. At least be honest about which one you’re using.
  34. Don’t try to have a decision-free lifestyle – it’s not going to happen. Not making decisions is a decision in itself. Decision-making is like a muscle – the more you get in the habit of making and sticking to decisions, is the stronger you get at it.
  35. Avoid passive aggression. Don’t be obstructive and instead of saying one thing and then doing another but still making out like you’re going to do what you said when you’re not, stop telling people what they want to hear and don’t be manipulative. Instead of agreeing to do something or go somewhere and then doing your usual flip flapping or even cancelling, if you say that you’re going to be or do something, honour it. That will make you think twice before speaking.
  36. Don’t carry other people’s shame. When people do shameful acts to you, that’s not your shame to carry; that’s theirs, even if they choose to act like they’re The Best Person On Earth TM. If you were abused and neglected as a child, you did nothing to deserve this. If you’ve been abused as an adult, you did not provoke it. Abuse is never, ever deserved. If you wouldn’t tell a child that they deserved this treatment or you would be horrified at somebody else experiencing abuse, why shame you over the same thing?
  37. Absolutely no taking the blame for other people’s behaviour – own your own. Anything else is complete and utter bullshit than can seriously impact your emotional health.
  38. Do recognise when a previously made decision has stopped working for you but don’t keep analysing the crap out of recently made decisions. Do the work to go through the questioning that you need to do to consider all the important stuff that you know at that time about the decision, reach a conclusion and make a resolution and see it through for long enough for you to see that decision in operation. If you’re analysing the decision, it still hasn’t been made and you’re undermining that commitment. If you’re still analysing a decision after a long period of time, you are procrastinating and living in the past. Bullshit alert. Why keep robbing your own happiness?
  39. Nip unhealthy comparison, the type where you ‘chop’ at who you are and perceive you as not being good enough, in the bud. It’s oh so easy to do but when you do it, pick you up on it immediately. It’s an opportunity to recognise who you are and your own value. Can’t stop comparing? Do the classes on gratitude and self-compassion. You don’t get more in life when what you currently have is never enough anyway.
  40. Don’t put yourself down to pump up others. In fact, stop putting you down as it’s bad enough when other’s chat shit about you behind your back but even worse when you’re doing it to you.
  41. We’re all guilty of procrastination to greater and lesser degrees but if what you’re procrastinating about is affecting the quality of your life or causing issues with others / your self-esteem, face the source of it.
  42. Stop being a perfectionist – it’s seeking to achieve something that doesn’t exist. Its accepting failure from the outset and beating you up for something that you know is a long shot and it gives you permission to remain in an uncomfortable comfort zone.
  43. Do a list of ‘good enough’, ‘perfect’ and ‘not good enough’ – I bet there’s little or no difference between the first two or the ‘good enough’ list is unobtainable.
  44. Acknowledge and internalise your achievements. Stop undermining your talent, intelligence, achievements and accomplishments by being so busy focusing on negative stuff or what you need to move on to next, that you don’t spend long enough appreciating who you are, what you have, and what you’ve done.
  45. Keep a What I Did Today List – each time you say that you’re not good enough or that you’re doing enough, you’re likely doing some heavy duty bullshitting.
  46. When somebody is quiet or seems upset, don’t jump to conclusions and assume that you’re the cause. There could be umpteen reasons. If you think that it’s you, you’re making it all about you and have no real concern for them. You’re concerned about your ego. What are you going to do after you’ve made some grand accusation or started acting weird, when you find out that the real reason. I operate on a ‘If it’s me, they’ll tell me about it’ policy. I’ll ask them what’s wrong but they’re not under obligation to tell me what it is and even if it was me, I wouldn’t lose my mind over it. If they said that it’s not you, accept it and respect it.
  47. Don’t do something or be paranoid and then accuse the other person of doing it. If you’re angry, say that you are instead of making out like they have a problem with you.
  48. Address unhealthy habits of thinking and behaviour that aren’t working for you. If you don’t, it’s engaging in insanity, doing the same thing and expecting a different result.
  49. Don’t expect others to be and do for you what you’re not already being and doing for yourself.
  50. Knowing that something isn’t working or that you’ve made an error in judgment isn’t going to disappear because you pretend that it doesn’t exist. That’s how something that could have in the grand scheme of things been small turns into something that snowballs. The mistake isn’t in making a mistake; it’s in denying that you have, making out like you’re not allowed to, and not acknowledging and learning from that mistake. Mistakes pave the way to success and some mistakes are not mistakes – they are successful recognition that you made a decision or choice and that you now see that it’s not working. Job done.

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