How To Stop Living Vicariously: 13 Helpful Strategies

This new article will show you everything you need to know about how to stop living vicariously.

If you’re constantly indulging in Netflix binges, social media scrolling, or video games during your free time, you could be neglecting your own life. Living vicariously through entertainment can result in future regrets, but you have the power to shift your habits and take control of your life.

By reducing your exposure to distractions, identifying your true desires, and taking actionable steps towards achieving your goals, you can create a fulfilling life that you wouldn’t trade for anyone else’s.

How To Stop Living Vicariously:

1. Determine what triggers your tendency to live vicariously through others.

Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram are common culprits that encourage vicarious living, along with celebrity gossip, movies, video games, and books. Consider the type of content you consume and whether it enhances your life or substitutes it.

If you often fixate on a particular friend, character, or celebrity, it’s likely that you’re trying to live vicariously through them. For instance, if you rely on meeting up with a friend who shares tales of their worldly adventures, you may be living vicariously through them.

Look for other instances where you’re living through someone else, such as frequently scrolling through social media to check specific people’s updates or constantly distracting yourself from work by chatting with a friend about their exciting nights out. Pay close attention to how you’re spending your time, as these activities are likely your triggers.

2. Reduce your technology and social media usage to break the habit of living vicariously.

If you spend a significant amount of time on your computer or phone, make a commitment to reducing your screen time by deleting social media apps from your smartphone or tablet, or even deleting your social media profiles altogether. If you’re not willing to completely get rid of your accounts, limit yourself to just a few minutes per day to check them and browse the internet.

Although it’s common for parents to limit screen time for their children, adults are also exposed to unhealthy influences from social media. To break free from living vicariously, try a digital detox and limit your access to media for several days.

Additionally, avoid checking social media first thing in the morning, as it may set a negative tone for your day.

3. Steer clear of entertainment that hinders you from living your own life.

While TV shows and movies can be enjoyable, if you find yourself constantly preoccupied with the lives of fictional characters at the expense of your own, it’s time to take action. If you’ve been neglecting your own life to immerse yourself in made-up stories, it may be helpful to reduce your entertainment consumption or go on a complete entertainment fast.

4. Avoid the temptation to compare yourself to others as everyone’s life journey is unique.

Constant comparison can lead to feelings of inferiority and a greater tendency to live vicariously through others. Rather than comparing yourself to celebrities or friends, focus on your own potential to transform your life.

It’s important to keep in mind that people carefully curate their social media profiles to present themselves in a particular way. As a result, they don’t always provide an accurate portrayal of their lives.

Ultimately, the ability to live for yourself stems from self-love, self-acceptance, and a healthy level of self-esteem. It does not come from comparing yourself to others.

SEE ALSO: How To Develop Growth Mindset: The Ultimate Guide

5. Examine how you spend your time and identify common patterns to determine what you truly desire in life.

Examining your leisure activities can provide valuable insights into what you love and what you can potentially start doing.

For example, if you spend a lot of time watching a specific TV show or following a particular social media influencer, try to identify and prioritize the aspects of their lives that appeal to you, such as family, career, travel, fitness, or self-care.

Take note of the type of media or entertainment that captures your attention the most (1). Are you drawn to action movies, or do you find yourself lost in travel photos for hours? What you admire can offer valuable hints about the direction you can take in your own life.

6. Find inspiration in the people and things that you used to live vicariously through.

Consider how you can adapt their lifestyles to create your own. Let your admiration for them drive you when setting your own goals. For example, if you enjoy reading blogs about successful entrepreneurs, use that interest to motivate you to become an entrepreneur yourself.

Instead of simply observing the lives of these people, use them to fuel your own aspirations. Collect images of inspiring individuals, places, and quotes, and create a vision board.

Look at it every day for motivation to achieve your goals. Remember that your success does not have to look exactly like that of others to be fulfilling. Use them as inspiration, but do not consider yourself a failure if your path to success is different from theirs.

7. Create a list of aspirations.

Take some time to reflect on what you want to achieve in your life, and write it down as a list of goals. Think about what inspires you and motivates you to take action.

For example, if you are inspired by nature, you may set a goal to hike a mountain trail or learn a new outdoor skill. If you want to improve your health and fitness, you might set a goal to complete a 5k run or lift a certain weight at the gym.

Write down all the goals that come to your mind without worrying about whether they are achievable or not. You can always refine or adjust your list later.

8. Assess your current situation.

Understanding where you currently stand is a crucial step in determining how to get to your desired destination. Be truthful with yourself about your present habits, abilities, and constraints.

It’s normal to feel disheartened if you’re far from where you want to be. Keep in mind that the individuals you admire also had to put in significant effort to create their lives.

SEE ALSO: How To Overcome Your Weakness: 11 Effective Strategies

9. Review your list of goals and prioritize one or two that you find most significant.

Attempting to achieve every goal on your list all at once may lead to overwhelm, so it is best to start with one or two goals. You can consider choosing a goal that will have a positive impact on multiple areas of your life.

For example, focusing on improving your health first can make it easier to achieve other goals when you are in good physical shape.

10. In order to make your goals more manageable, it can be helpful to break them down into smaller, actionable steps.

This can make your overall goal feel less overwhelming and help you to stay motivated. For example, if you want to start a blog, you might break down your goal into smaller tasks such as creating a website, writing and publishing your first post, and promoting your blog on social media.

If you find it difficult to break down your goals, consider seeking the help of a life coach. A life coach can help you to set achievable goals, stay on track, and monitor your progress.

Alternatively, you may want to publicly announce your goals on social media, as this can help to keep you accountable and motivated.

11. When setting your goals, it’s important to give them a time-frame or a deadline.

Goals that have a specific end date tend to be more motivating and effective than those without. Consider how long each step in your plan will take and set a deadline accordingly.

However, it’s important to make sure that your time-frame is realistic and achievable. For example, it may not be possible to become fluent in a new language in a month, but it could be possible to reach a conversational level within six months.

12. To successfully reach your goal, it is important to take small and consistent steps towards it every day.

Determine a realistic target to accomplish each day and hold yourself accountable to it. Don’t try to do too much in one day as it may cause you to become overwhelmed and disheartened. For instance, if you’re working on writing a novel (2), set a goal to write 1000 words every day.

13. You can use various tools, such as a journal, spreadsheet, or an app, to keep track of the work you have done and the progress you have made towards achieving your goals.

This will help you see how far you have come and keep your motivation high, especially during times when you feel discouraged.

Here are the main points on how to stop living vicariously:

Identify what inspires you: Think back to the people and things you lived vicariously through, and use your admiration as fuel when you set your goals.

Set specific goals: Make a list of goals and write down every goal you think of. Then, choose one or two goals to work on and break them down into smaller, actionable steps.

Set a time-frame: Give yourself a deadline for each step of your plan. Make sure your time-frame is realistic.

Commit to making progress every day: Set a realistic daily target and stick to it. Avoid trying to do too much at once.

Track your progress: Use a journal, spreadsheet, or app to keep track of the work you do and the progress you make. Seeing how far you’ve come will boost your motivation levels when you get discouraged.

By following these steps, you can stop living vicariously and start creating the life you want.

Przemkas Mosky
Przemkas Mosky started Perfect 24 Hours in 2017. He is a Personal Productivity Specialist, blogger and entrepreneur. He also works as a coach assisting people to increase their motivation, social skills or leadership abilities. Read more here