Search
  • Gladys Agwai

Why do you keep doing things that you know are wrong?

“There is nothing worse than doing the wrong things right."-Peter Drucker


To stop defeating yourself, you must stop deceiving yourself! Are you pretending that something in your life is not a problem, or that the problem is no big deal? The problem could be in any area of your life, like, your personal or partner relationships, financial or business instability, job you do not like, or addictions. Are you realizing you are not avoiding the pain from your life by ignoring the internal and external signals that are telling you, “Something is just not right; a change is needed.”


Take an honest look at your life and face the truth. Do not self-destruct by ignoring the signals of change. If you choose and decide to get honest with yourself, you are then able to determine the root cause of your problem, focus on the right solution, and make room for the right things that will move you forward toward your goals and aspirations. End your cycle of pain. What tough questions do you need to be asking yourself about the problems in your life? What warning signs have you been ignoring? Is your ego in the way?


Making a mistake does not define who you are. However, your mindset will play a significant role in how you view and react to your mistakes. With a "growth" mindset, you see mistakes as an opportunity to improve versus a “fixed” mindset believing you have no control and unable to improve. How can you reframe your mistake as an opportunity to gain experience and become more knowledgeable and resilient? I have a client who is a single parent who loves to shop. She knows she must stop yet struggles. The external and internal signals were ignored, i.e., pandemic, inflation, global recession, job insecurity, guilt and shame, fear of losing her home and inability to support her children. This impacted her health, relationships, and job performance.


She was threatened with eviction and decided the solution was to ask for money from family and friends again. But that is a quick fix solution. A more sustainable solution is required to stop doing what she knows to be wrong – spending recklessly and putting her family in jeopardy. Begin with the mistake, and honestly ask and answer these questions until you get to the root cause of the problem. In my client’s case, she would ask and answer:


1. Why was I about to lose my home? I did not pay my mortgage on time.

2. Why did I not pay on time? I was overwhelmed and scared.

3. Why was I overwhelmed and scared? I did not have the money.

4. Why did I not have the money? I spent it all on stuff that cost too much for what I earn.

5. Why did I spend money on things that cost too much? I wanted to impress my boyfriend, friends, and co-workers.

6. Why did I want to impress others? I wanted to be loved, accepted, and belong.

7. Why must I change? If I do not change, my family will be homeless with important relationships and job lost. Lowered self-esteem impacting my ability to be a role model for my children.

8. What must I change? Knowing my value and worth, relationship expectations, and money mindset

9. What steps will I take to make the change? Live with more intention and authenticity. Live within my financial means and release myself of the outcome of what others may think. Hold on spending until I ask myself questions about the necessity and my motive for spending along with the sacrifices, I am willing to make, and understanding the cost of inaction to change.


The solution was not to continue borrowing money. She must find solutions that allow her to live consciously, intentionally, authentically, and unapologetically improving her sense of self-worth and value to stop spending recklessly to impress others. Focus on the right problem to solve. Life is short and you do not want surface level solutions that do not move things forward.


Acting is harder than learning the lesson itself and it takes practice. Action requires you to be motivated and disciplined to avoid self-sabotage. Find the practice that works for you to ensure you do not continue down the path of knowingly and repeatedly doing the wrong things. To err is human. Be gentle with yourself for knowingly doing the wrong thing. It is a great learning opportunity. Learn it and act!


“If you want healing, acknowledge the root of your problem, and face the truth about yourself.” -Rick Warren


Article Written By:


As featured in:





16 views0 comments