Simplify Your Life by Eliminating These 7 Problems

Life has a tendency to become overly complicated and stressful, particularly because things change so quickly. I’ve identified seven problems that you can eliminate to make your life a whole lot simpler (which doesn’t mean boring or less interesting).

Problem #1 – Too Much Responsibility

Think back to a year or two ago. How much extra responsibility has come into your life since then? You may have too much stuff, too many possessions, too many projects, and too many commitments.

Spreading yourself too thin reduces focus, increases stress, and lowers overall performance.

Too much stuff could include anything from a new cell phone to a new swimming pool to a bigger house. It might be nice to have more possessions and new gadgets, but they often come with responsibilities and maintenance. Ask yourself if you’re being owned by the things you own.

It’s also exciting to get caught up in many new hobbies or projects. I did this when I got into building websites. Before I knew it I was working on twenty projects at the same time and seeing minimal results across the board. It took me a while to realize that I was working like a maniac, yet none of my projects were anywhere near completion.

These days I’m only working on two to three projects in total. Not only do I feel more relaxed because it’s easier to keep track of what I have to do, but I can also see significant progress in my work month after month since I am doing less.

Try to simplify your life. Cut down your possessions, projects, and hobbies to relieve some of the responsibilities that you don’t really need to have.

Problem #2 – Limiting beliefs

Limiting beliefs are negative thoughts that you’ve come to accept as the truth.

Through years of social conditioning, media advertising, and peer pressure you’ve shaped your reality. You’ve decided on the things that you can and cannot do in your life. You’ve also very likely told yourself that you’re not good enough, smart enough, or talented enough to do certain things.

I used to have many limiting beliefs. I always thought I wasn’t smart. I thought I wasn’t cool enough to have many friends or be a person that people wanted to invite to events. I believed that I wasn’t attractive or interesting enough to ever get a girlfriend.

Fast forward a few years and I’ve managed to make a steady income from my own websites, I’ve got a circle of close friends that I’m really happy with, and I haven’t had any problems meeting girls.

In short, the limiting beliefs you (don’t know that you) have could be holding you back from a lot of happiness, success, and even the life you’ve always dreamed of living. Take the time to identify and release them.

Problem #3 – Negative Relationships

Certain relationships can become emotionally draining, and they can even leave you feeling mentally abused and take advantage of.

I used to know someone who I considered a good friend, but the reality was that he would only be a good friend if he wanted something from me. He would never call me just to hang out—only when he needed a lift or place to stay. Eventually I decided that it was time to let go.

I’ve also been in relationships with girls that involved unnecessary jealousy and competition to see who’s right or better.

I know that it can be very difficult to end a relationship like this because there are feelings involved. You have some sort of history together and you hope in vain that things will get better. But these relationships can be toxic.

Be polite and let the person know how you feel, but be prepared to cut them out your life entirely if they’re not willing to make any adjustments.

You’ll be amazed at how much energy and enthusiasm you’ll have after you cut out all the negative and emotionally draining relationships in your life.

Problem #4 – Highly Stressful Job

You choose your direction when you're young, but over the years you may find that your job creates more stress than you want to deal with. It may even leave you feeling trapped and unhappy about life.

After high school I went to work with my dad and sister in a supermarket that we bought as a family business. Supermarkets are open fifteen hours per day, every day of the week, all year.

We had management but we were almost always present in the business to ensure that things ran smoothly. I had no time for anything else but work and sleep for the two-plus years that I worked there. Fortunately, the business made good money, but when we got the chance to sell and get out, we took it. Sometimes hard work and sacrifice are worth the effort, but there’s only so long we can sustain that.

Unless you’re doing something you love, consider looking at alternative jobs. Everyone needs money, and sometimes you don’t have immediate options. But you have the power to plan and work toward something different if that’s truly what you want.

Problem #5 – Debt

Debt enslaves you to other people. It limits the freedom and choices you have, and it might require you to pass on fantastic opportunities because you need to manage your debt first. Aim first to minimize it and then eliminate it.

The first step in this is to stop taking on any additional debt. Don’t buy anything on credit unless it’s a life-threatening situation. Especially stop buying anything like TV’s, vacations, and other gadgets on credit!

Secondly, stop spending money on all unnecessary things and start to pay off your debt as fast as possible. For example, you can stop eating out, cook at home, and use the money you save to pay off your debt.

The faster you become debt free, the faster you’ll be able to have more freedom to follow your own path. Once you pay off your debt, you can start saving money, both for an emergency fund and to invest in your passions.

Problem #6 – Bitterness

Sometimes things happen that are difficult to deal with, like death and other tragedies. Events like these can have a big impact on you, especially because you have no control over the situation, but somehow you still feel you could have done something to prevent it.

A few years back I had a decent amount of money saved up that I lost by making some bad decisions. At the time I thought I knew what I was doing, but reality showed me that I didn’t have a clue at all. After I lost that money, I beat myself up about it for months.

Eventually, I realized that I couldn’t change the past. I needed to stop making myself feel bad about it and just make sure to not let it happen again. I’ve made my peace with what happened and now I make smarter choices with my finances.

Learn how you can make peace with your past and move on. You’ll be able to get a lot more out of life (and spread the joy to many others) when you don’t carry bitterness through your day-to-day life.

Problem #7 – Hate

Hate is a poison that leads to anger, sadness and, ultimately, suffering.

If you hold animosity toward anyone, do the work to release it. That hate hurts you more than them, and it slowly degrades the quality of your life.

The best way to remove the hate from your heart is through forgiveness. Be the bigger person, forgive, and move on. Don’t focus on settling the score. Revenge only leads to regret.

If you cut out even just a few of these problems you’ll find that a huge weight is lifted off your shoulders. You’ll also have more emotional freedom to enjoy the things you love doing.

Photo by AlicePopkorn 

About Dirk de Bruin

Diggy is a confident young man who is his own boss, travels the world, and has fantastic friends and relationships. He enjoys teaching people how to be confident If you'd like to download a guide with the 7 Mistakes of Shy People, subscribe to Diggy's Flawless Confidence newsletter (It's FREE).

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  • Vickied82

    I think your list is accurate. As I read the list, I was thinking I have a lot of house cleaning I need to do in order to simplify my life….but what a better time to start than today!

  • My biggest problem is being Bitter. I’m slowly, but surely, learning to let go of the bitterness…. and to be able to forgive others….and myself! It’s still a work in progress. 

    Thank you for this wonderful post. 

  • Most negative relationship I’ve had lately is the one with myself. Reminds me of the quote “If you want to change your life, change yourself”.

  • lilewok

    Limiting beliefs and bitterness are the 2 that I am stuck on now… I got out of the 20 + yr toxic relationship, but finding myself after that is hard.  Esp. since I feel that I worked harder than he did to make us “work”…. but, I have a beautiful teen, and she reminds me every day of the good.  Thanks for the article!

  • Carlos

    I’ve done a lot of personal house cleaning in the past six years or so –even more– and just when i thought i was almost done, i realized there was even more to be done. But it’s been a great process to downsize and simplify my life –starting within myself! Om…:-D

  • Cynthia

    I enjoyed this post and agree with much of what you said. I do take issue, though, with something you say in #1. You say, “Too much stuff could include anything from a pet, to a new swimming pool, to a bigger house.” I would argue that there is a huge difference between a pet (a living, breathing creature for whom you have chosen to take responsibility and who has no one else s/he can turn to) and a swimming pool (just don’t fill it, if you don’t like maintaining it. Or fill it in.)  Pets are not “stuff” to be cast off like an old video game when they get tiresome. As one who works in dog rescue I had a very hard time getting past this sentence at the beginning of the post. Please, please do not perpetuate the idea that a dog who becomes boring, or who doesn’t look the way you want, or who you don’t want to feed or walk anymore, can just be dumped at a shelter or left outside in a park to simplify your life.

  • I wish you hadn’t used pets as an example of a “possession” that might be too inconvenient. As someone active in rescue, I can assure you the shelters and rescues of the US are already overflowing with abandoned and unwanted pets. A pet is a living, feeling being. It is not something that can or should be discarded as excess. If you could see your discarded, unwanted pet after it’s dropped off, you might not toss off that quite so sanguinely.

    I died today….You got tired of me and took me to the shelter. They were overcrowded and I drew an unlucky number. I am in a black plastic bag in a landfill now. Some other puppy will get the barely used leash you left. My collar was dirty and too small, but the lady took it off before she sent me to the Rainbow Bridge . Would I still be at home if I hadn’t chewed your shoe? I didn’t know what it was, but it was leather, and it was on the floor. I was just playing. You forgot to get puppy toys. Would I still be at home if I had been housebroken? Rubbing my nose in what I did only made me ashamed that I had to go at all. There are books and obedience teachers that would have taught you how to teach me to go to the door. Would I still be at home if I hadn’t brought fleas into the house? Without anti-flea medicine, I couldn’t get them off of me after you left me in the yard for days. Would I still be at home if I hadn’t barked? I was only saying, “I’m scared, I’m lonely, I’m here, I’m here! I want to be your best friend.” Would I still be at home if I had made you happy? Hitting me didn’t make me learn how. Would I still be at home if you had taken the time to care for me and to teach manners to me? You didn’t pay attention to me after the first week or so, but I spent all my time waiting for you to love me.I died today. Love, Your Puppy

  • azfree

    Great advice! A lot that rings true here. Thank you.

  • Hi Gregg,

    Thank you for making this comment. I did not write this post, but I did edit it–and I think you have a valid point. I don’t think Dirk would have intended to imply a living breathing thing is a “possession.” I think he intended to imply that getting a pet is an extra level of responsibility that some of us may not be in a place to have. I have omitted this part to more accurately reflect the site’s values. We’re animal lovers here at Tiny Buddha. =)


  • Hi Cynthia,

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. I just responded to another comment along these lines, and I think you are both absolutely right. I am surprised that I read right past that when editing this post, as there is a huge difference between a living, breathing thing and a swimming pool. I think Dirk intended to imply that there are some responsibilities we may be better off without, but I can see now that this sentence does not read that way. I have changed this part, as to not suggest readers should get rid of pets to simplify their lives. As someone who recently lost her family dog, I know the value of an animal’s life!


  • This in particular- “Spreading yourself too thin reduces focus, increases stress, and lowers overall performance”- is something I’ve come to learn very clearly about myself the past year. 

    Make commitments only when inspired, and strive to finish more before starting something else. That alone has simplified my life.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Dtollett09

    I appreciate your thoughts and suggestions.  I am kind of stuck on forgiveness right now.  I understand that forgiveness is for my benefit and not that of the forgivee.  However, there are pending legal actions involved in a child abuse case.  If someone could just tell me how forgiveness plays into that scenario, I would be eternally grateful and could possibly move on.  Thanks!

  • Csweet

    Such important information that I really needed to hear today.  Thank you!

  • I like your ways to simplify your life. They all seem helpful and are things we should all look at. When we strive to make positive change in our life, we may find some of our past relationships just don’t work as well anymore and we need some distance. Making the decision to find our authentic self makes life easier as well. We are not trying any longer to be someone that other people want to see, we can be who we truly are and life becomes more meaningful.

  • “limiting beliefs” – that’s a term my fiance always use when i ask “what if”. he calls me a worry wart. and if i say something can’t be done, he says “thats a limiting belief” 
    its good reminder and good to have someone around like that!

  • Mel

    I went to Diggy’s website for more inspiration and instead found his to-do list and found his sex topics off-putting.  Whatever ~ it’s his life and his list ~ but he’s not anyone I’d go to for insight..

  • Hi everyone!

    For some reason, Diggy’s comments refuse to show on this post. He put a lot of time into responding to everyone–and I even entered them a second time on my end to get them to show, but they wouldn’t.

    I am pasting his responses here:


    Hey Cary,
    Yeah that’s quite true, be
    the change you want to see in your life. It’s not always easy to accept
    that, but once you do it will be a lot easier to move on.
    Good luck,


    Hi Gregg,
    I by no means
    meant that pets are something to discard once you have them. My point
    was that pets are a huge responsibility that can add a big burden or
    stress to your life, so that’s something that anyone should seriously
    consider before getting a pet. Once you have a pet, it’s a
    responsibility for 10-15 years. Some people would be better off without a
    pet simply because they can’t handle the responsibility it adds to
    their lives, so my intention was meant as a warning to those thinking of
    getting pets, not people who already have them.

    Best Wishes,


    Sorry to hear about your relationship, but happy to hear that you’re focusing
    on the good so that you can move on with your life to find happiness
    and success. Here’s an article I wrote that you may find useful:
    Good luck!


    Hey there,
    thank you! It may seem like a lot of work but once you go through your entire
    house and clean up, you’re feel a lot “lighter” and will have more
    energy to focus on your goals.

    Good luck,


    Yes as Lori said, I had no intention to suggest that people should ditch their pets. I
    simply meant that pets are a big source of responsibility and that
    should be considered before you get one. It wasn’t worded in the best
    way possible so I can see why you’d say that.

    Best wishes,


    That’s really a tough issue to comment on. I really do believe in forgiveness
    but that doesn’t mean that people should get away with evil or criminal
    acts. Carrying a grudge will only serve to make you bitter and destroy
    your own quality of life. I guess if it were me I’d like to see this
    person get appropriately punished for his actions and then I’d forgive
    them (or rather make peace with the fact that it happened).

    I hope this helps,


    You’re very welcome, thanks for sharing your own experiences!


    yes it always ends up being more work than you initially thought, but once it’s done then you feel enormously better.


  • dt09

    Thanks Lori and Diggy! 

  • Why S

    I’m struggling with negative relationships now.  I’ve just had to release one toxic “friend” from my life and trying to figure out how to wriggle away from another one, but without being hurtful. 

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  • Although I learnt it the harder way, but letting go and accepting others as they are helps in reducing bitterness and hate from life. You find it hard to hate someone when you accept them the way they are.

  • I agree with you Lori, Pets are a great responsibility and if you cant manage it then the best is to give them away instead of being cruel to them.

  • ggn

    I’m learning to give up and let go, my ex let me go because I was toxic in his life and he was right. He was toxic to mine too. It’s hard learning this the hard way, harder accepting that you are toxic as well. Hopefully, life/fate/God helps you all eliminate them, I’m hoping for it too. 

  • I think it is very good advice. We are setting limits for ourselves when in reality we could be free if we really wanted to.

  • Samm

    This helped so much!! Thank you! ❤️