No matter how hard we try, we all come across difficult periods sometimes. Often, we might chalk it up to bad luck or a set circumstances we can’t control. However, there is such a thing as trying too hard, and it might be holding you back. For example, you might agonize over what you are going to wear to work today, or which meal you are going to have at lunchtime — and that’s just the meaningless stuff. Maybe you’re even worse when it comes to your work.

We seem to be doing everything we can to make our lives more difficult sometimes. Here are nine things you can avoid to try to make your life easier starting today.

9 Things You're Doing That Are Making Your Life More Difficult

9 Things You’re Doing That Are Making Your Life More Difficult

Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don’t.

— Steve Maraboli

1. Your decisions are motivated by fear

This is probably the main reason people stick with a job they hate or a relationship which they would be better off without. You stick with either one because you are afraid of not being able to find something better. But things are never going to get better if you keep doing the same thing over and over, so find the strength to change things. There is plenty of research which suggests that fear, as well as other emotions, impair your ability to make rational decisions.

2. You take on more than you can handle

According to economist John Pencavel at Stanford university, working more than 50 hours a week actually makes you less productive and more prone to missing days at work or even leaving it behind entirely. Whether it’s your boss piling up new projects for you when your plate is already full, or the demands being placed on you in your personal life, you need to realize you can only take on so much. Beyond that point, you need to learn to say no to friends and colleagues, delegate your work, or simply find another, more flexible job.

3. You constantly compare yourself to others

By comparing yourself to others all the time, you are putting unnecessary pressure on yourself, and you are risking becoming envious or jealous of their success. You should follow your own path to success. Looking at what your competition is doing should be done in order to learn from their mistakes or to come up with something better, not to beat yourself down.

4. You purchase items you don’t need

While you should definitely treat yourself every now and then, try to think your purchases through. Useless things not only cost you money, but they also create clutter and require you o maintain them, even if you aren’t using them. Statistics suggest that your average American home has around 300,000 items! And on top of that, about 10% of Americans rent extra storage space. Only purchase and keep items that you really need, and you will be surprised how much simpler your life will become.

5. You avoid risk

Avoiding risk is the main thing that’s preventing you from achieving the success you deserve. You will never know if that great new idea you have is going to work out if you don’t try. Sure, there is a chance that you might fail, but even if you do, you can use it as learning experience. But if you succeed, you will be glad that you’ll have taken that risk. We tend to emphasize failure more than potential gain, and we overestimate the consequences.

6. You take offense easily

Everyone values the freedom to say what they want, even if it’s not backed by arguments. You probably wouldn’t expect people around you to get offended when you present your opinion, so why should you get offended when someone else does the same? If you are right, nobody can force their opinion on you, and that should be enough.

7. You are not living in the present

While it’s great to have goals and plans that you will achieve a few months and years from now, or to expect something better to come along as a result fo your hard work, you cannot put your whole life on hold just because of that. In the meantime, you need to enjoy your life, day by day.

8. You are worried about other people’s opinions

If you are trying to meet everyone’s expectations, you will never truly live your own life and meet the goals you’ve set for yourself. Don’t let others dictate what you should do and follow your own dreams and wishes.

9. You don’t get enough rest

Spending too much time at work or with your family and not having any time for yourself will inevitably burn you out sooner or later. You need to have enough time just for yourself. You can write a journal, jog, write, watch TV, read a book, or do just about anything that will help you relax and take you mind off obligations and chores. By taking a breather, you are actually safeguarding your own health, because being constantly under stress can cause migraines, chronic pain, increased blood pressure, and a whole slew of other negative effects on your musculoskeletal, respiratory, cardiovascular, and just about every other system in your body.

Life is for living

No matter how much you time you take to create a perfect plan, there is always going to be something you can’t control, so why stress about it? Focus on making your life easier, and then simply enjoy it.