The 12 Most Common Mistakes People Make In Life

There's always time to course-correct.

Common mistakes people make in life Dean Drobot | Canva

When you're struggling in life, it often feels as though no one else in the world has ever messed up in the same way or as badly as you have. Fortunately — or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it — you're not alone. Many people have made the same mistakes and many more will continue to, long after you've gotten you're life together. 

Here are the 12 most common mistakes people make in life:

1. Unclear priorities

Many people simply live assuming life works out, but never clarify what is important to them or why. This makes them make more sacrifices than they want to make, which often leads to regret.


2. Unspecific dreams

Generalized dreams lead to generalized goals. They end up somewhere within their generalization, but often that is not where they wanted to be. “Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it” — which is another way to say: If you do not wish for exactly what you want, you may get something else.


3. Entitlement

You are alive. That is it. There is nothing owed, no payment to be made and no reward to be given. Life is not fair and the world does not owe you anything. Either you accept responsibility for where you are and for your own life or you continue to gamble with your future.

RELATED: 14 Signs You Have A Major Entitlement Problem

4. No backbone

Being too agreeable and too liked should be a red flag. Not everyone should like you, and no one should like everything about you. You are a person of positives and negatives, but if you stand up for yourself and for your boundaries, the people who truly like you will like you more deeply, which includes yourself. Do not please others at the cost of yourself.

5. Money ignorance

Money is the currency of this game of life. If you do not learn the rules you cannot win in this game.


The 12 Most Common Mistakes People Make In Life wee dezign / Shutterstock

6. Holding back

Holding back creates a self-fulfilling prophecy of misery. Example: If you never truly love, the other person never gets a chance to love the real you back. You’ll always feel like they do not truly love you because they do not know you, and you hold back more, eventually forcing them to either love half of you or leave for someone who shows them all of them.

RELATED: 11 Limiting Beliefs That Seriously Hold You Back In Life


7. Living half-heartedly 

Going all in is the only way to get everything out of it, but it also means you open yourself up to misery. Either you live fully and hurt fully, or you live and hurt halfway. Limit your pain and you limit your joy. Not only should you not hold anything back, you should instead invest everything you have.

8. High expectations

It takes years of dedicated work to make significant results in anything. You know this when it comes to working out or losing weight and is the same with being happy or reaching success. Slow and steady wins all kinds of races.

9. Counting losses

The wins do exist, and they are abundant, just like the opportunities, good moments, and instances of luck. The problem is that you always find what you are looking for, so be wary of what your mind tries to find. If you only count the losses you train your mind to find more of them.

RELATED: 10 Items To Stop Counting If You Want To Be Truly Happy


10. Living for others

Eventually, you will be alone. It may not be for long, but you will have to deal with yourself. If you have never lived for yourself you will only find misery here, but it is something you should focus on. Learn to love yourself and you will learn to live for yourself. This is your life after all.

11. Lack of acceptance

You are where you are, for better and for worse. You cannot change the past to get to a different now, as this now is the only thing that exists. Go ahead and try to change where you are right in this moment. You cannot change what is, for you’d have to change what was, but you can change what may be. Accept what is, and do not try to change what was.

12. Trying too hard

Life is a mess. No one gets out alive. Don’t aim for perfection or greatness, for glory or to be remembered forever. You do not need to be a hero or someone that changes the world. Just live a good life. There is nothing wrong with a life lived humbly. Be happy.


RELATED: Why My Biggest Mistakes Made Me A Better Person

Lukas Schwekendiek is a life coach who's helped hundreds of people lead a life worth living. He is a writer with over 5000 articles published and has been featured on multiple sites like Time, The Huffington Post, Medical Daily, Apple News,, and more.