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12 Little Habits That Steal Your Happiness Away (When You Aren’t Aware)

12 Little Habits That Steal Your Happiness Away (When You Aren’t Aware)

We all want to be happy at least most of the time, but, unfortunately, that’s not the case, and we end up searching aimlessly to find happiness, and it always seem to eludes us.

We are all creatures of habit, and often we get stuck in a rut because we refuse to make the necessary changes to our lives that will bring us the happiness we yearn for.

Not all our habits are bad, but sometimes we need to look at the things we do continuously and decide whether we need to make some adjustments if they don’t yield the results we need.

Unfortunately, as humans beings we tend not to want to change, and so we fight tooth and nail not to do this.

We suffer the same headaches and frustration time and time again and never do anything about the issues that are causing us such unhappiness.

Remember if you continuously do the same things over and over again not only will you get the same results but you will become the things you do.

So, if those habits aren’t helping you they are hurting you, and you need to change now to avoid being the same way for a very long time.

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Some of the many reasons you are unhappy are that you:

Hold on to what you know and refuse to budge

Life is about living and learning. When you stop learning, you stop growing and thriving; hence you won’t  be living a fulfilled life. You have to be prepared to venture out of your comfort zone into unfamiliar territory to truly grow and become who you were meant to be.

You need to be challenged and tested because only when you face challenges will you grow and become better. Remaining in one position will only keep you stuck. Being stagnant is not progressing.

Find ways to challenge yourself and do not be afraid of being pushed. Push back when pushed but do not accept the normal as progress. You must hold fast to your core values while you search for your purpose in life.

Keep resisting life and its changes

There is nothing more painful than when you try to resist life and the changes it brings. Change is never without pain and discomfort. There is nothing more painful than remaining where you are for the rest of your life.

Whether you want to change or not you are in fact changing every day. Look back at your life and see the many changes that have taken place, some positive and others negative. That is life, and you must accept it and work with it as it comes instead of fighting to remain stuck.

Allowing other people to decide what is possible for you

Close your ears to all the discouragement and negativity from people who do not know or care about the real you. You know yourself, and the plans you have for your life so do not allow them to use words to discourage you.

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Most of the time they are only telling you what they think and want for themselves so close your ears and forge ahead. Choose to do things your way and if you mess up, you’ll know at least that you did it your way.

Focusing on others and not your own life

You could spend your entire life focusing on others while they build their lives and enjoy it, and neglect yours, or you could choose to use your time to build your life. Do not sit around and admire the success of others while your dreams fall apart.

Be happy for them but put the focus on building a life for yourself. Do not allow others to use you to build their dreams and life either.  Cut a path for yourself and chart it. Do not be burdened down with other people’s load.

Focusing too much on your problems

You need to change the way you view difficulties in your life. The challenges you face most times aren’t the real problem: it’s how they are perceived. Change your attitude towards the difficulties you encounter.

See them as nothing more than minor infractions in your life; keep maintaining a positive attitude and you will be fine. You have the power to control your mind and how you view things. Use this to help you to keep your mind away from your problems and focus more on your goals. Let go of the stress by letting go of the problems.

Focusing on being right all the time

When you are focused on being right all the time, you are losing valuable insight into things. Not only are you destroying some great relationships but you are allowing your pride to sabotage your future.

Sometimes you have to choose to be wrong even though you aren’t to maintain and keep an important relationship. You must become confident enough to accept when you are wrong, and even when you are right; sometimes, you must be willing to back down.

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Holding on to someone who is pulling away from you

It is important to build a great relationship, but you need to make sure the persons or person with whom you are building that relationship are offering you the same in return. It doesn’t make sense for you to be forcing yourself to maintain a relationship with someone who doesn’t want a relationship with you. Do not waste your time trying to prove to them how wonderful you are. If they can’t see it, then that’s their bad luck. Use your time and energy to build yourself up and find someone who will treat you right.

Loving others more than you love yourself

It is fine to love others, but you must remember if you do not invest into yourself no one else will. It is alright to give to others, but you need to be giving to yourself as well. There is nothing wrong with loving yourself and taking the time make sure you are being taken care of.

You won’t be able to take care of others if you aren’t well. The only way you can do that and give them your best is if you give yourself the best as well. Do not let anyone make you feel guilty for loving yourself and who you are. You can only be happy if you are happy with yourself.

Being too self-absorbed

You cannot spend your life focusing on you and not take some time to lend a helping hand to someone else. Being kind is what will help to make you happy. Giving to someone who needs it is what is going to make you smile on a bleak day. Being kind is what will make you feel as though you are contributing to human lives.

Expecting that people will always like you

You have to understand that not everyone is going to like you and want to be around you. People aren’t going to be nice to you all the time, and you must accept that and move on. Do not waste your time trying to convince them to love you. Accept the love from people who want to show it to you and forget the others.

Refusing to let go of the past

Letting go of hurt and pain is necessary for you to be happy. You cannot be holding on to things that you no longer have control over while trying to build something new. You must be willing to let bygones be bygones and leave them where they are. They are in the past for a reason; they should no longer be part of your life. Stop picking back up old pain and burdens that have weighed you down for so long. Rid yourself of them and move one.

Waiting for the right time to be happy

Happiness is not an event; nor do you have to achieve any specific goals to be happy. You must be happy where you are while working to get where you want to go. You should not be waiting around for some great accomplishment before you can be happy.

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If you can’t be happy with little, you will not be able to be happy with much either. Choose to be happy now while working on achieving the goals you set for your life.

Life is filled with ups and downs, and you must be prepared to adjust to make your life as happy as possible and that includes making some changes. Even though you might not want to do so, you must realize that the temporary discomfort is good for you in the long run.

Accept these changes in your life and you will see the results you have always wanted.

What are some of the changes you have made in your life that have served you well?

Featured photo credit: Giedriusok via shutterstock.com

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Last Updated on August 19, 2019

How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

We live in a world that constantly tells us what to do, how to act, what to be. Knowing how to be true to yourself and live the life you want can be a challenge.

When someone asks how we are, we assume that the person does not mean the question sincerely, for it would lead to an in depth conversation. So telling them that you are good or fine, even if you’re not, is the usual answer.

In an ideal world, we would stop and truly listen. We wouldn’t be afraid to be ourselves. Instead, when we answer about how we are doing, our mask, the persona we show the world, tightens. Sometimes even more so than it might have been before. Eventually, it becomes hard to take off, even when you’re alone.

Imagine a world where we asked how someone was doing and they really told us. Imagine a world where there were no masks, only transparency when we talked to one another.

If you want to live in a world that celebrates who you are, mistakes and all, take off the mask. It doesn’t mean you have to be positive or fine all the time.

According to a Danish psychologist, Svend Brinkman, we expect each other to be happy and fine every second, and we expect it of ourselves. And that “has a dark side.”[1] Positive psychology can have its perks but not at the expense at hiding how you truly feel in order to remain seemingly positive to others.

No one can feel positive all the time and yet, that is what our culture teaches us to embrace. We have to unlearn this. That said, telling others you are ‘“fine”’ all the time is actually detrimental to your wellbeing, because it stops you from being assertive, from being authentic or your truest self.

When you acknowledge a feeling, it leads you to the problem that’s causing that feeling; and once you identify the problem, you can find a solution to it. When you hide that feeling, you stuff it way down so no one can help you.You can’t even help yourself.

Feelings are there for one reason: to be felt. That doesn’t mean you have to act on that feeling. It just means that you start the process of problem solving so you can live the life you want.

1. Embrace Your Vulnerability

When you are your true self, you can better self-advocate or stand up for what you need. Your self-expression matters, and you should value your voice. It’s okay to need things, it’s okay to speak up, and it’s okay not to be okay.

Telling someone you are simply “fine” when you are not, does your story and your journey a great disservice. Being true to yourself entails embracing all aspects of your existence.

When you bring your whole self to the table, there is nothing that you can’t beat. Here’re 7 benefits of being vulnerable you should learn.

Can you take off the mask? This is the toughest thing anyone can do. We have learned to wait until we are safe before we start to be authentic.

In relationships especially, this can be hard. Some people avoid vulnerability at any cost. And in our relationship with ourselves, we can look in the mirror and immediately put on the mask.

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It all starts with your story. You have been on your own unique journey. That journey has led you here, to the person you are today. You have to be unafraid, and embrace all aspects of that journey.

You should seek to thrive, not just survive. That means you do not have to compete or compare yourself with anyone.

Authenticity means you are enough. It’s enough to be who you are to get what you want.

What if for the first time ever, you were real? What if you said what you wanted to say, did what you wanted to do, and didn’t apologize for it?

You were assertive, forthcoming in your opinions or actions to stand for what is right for you, (rather than being passive or aggressive) in doing so. You didn’t let things get to you. You knew you had something special to offer.

That’s where we all should be.

So, answer me this:

How are you, really?

And know that no matter the answer, you should still be accepted.

Bravery is in the understanding that you still may not be accepted for your truth.

Bravery is knowing you matter even when others say that you do not.

Bravery is believing in yourself when all evidence counters doing so (i.e. past failures or losses)

Bravery is in being vulnerable while knowing vulnerability is a sign of strength.

It’s taking control.

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2. Choose Your Attitude in Adversity

You can take control of your destiny and live the life you want by being true to yourself. You can start anytime. You can start today.

You can start with one day at a time, just facing what happens that day. Most of us get overwhelmed when faced with the prospect of a big change. Even if the only thing we change is our attitude.

In one instant, you can become a different person with a change of attitude. When you take control of your attitude, you become able to better understand what is around you. This allows you to move forward.

Originally, you may have had a life plan. It could have started when you were little; you were hoping to become a mermaid, doctor, astronaut or all three when you grew up. You were hoping to be someone. You were hoping to be remembered.

You can still dream those dreams, but eventually reality sets in. Obstacles and struggles arise. You set on a different path when the last one didn’t work out. You think of all the “shoulds” in your life in living the life you want. You should be doing this…should be doing that…

Clayton Barbeau, psychologist, coined the term “shoulding yourself.’[2] When we are set on one path and find ourselves doing something different. It becomes all the things you should be doing rather than seeing the opportunities right in front of you.

But in all this disarray, did you lose sight of the real you?

It may be in our perceived failures and blunders that we lose sight of who we are, because we try to maintain position and status.

In being who we really are and achieving what we really want, we need to be resilient: How to Build Resilience to Face What Life Throws at You

It means that we do not see all possibilities of what might happen, but must trust ourselves to begin again, and continue to build the life we want. In the face of adversity, you must choose your attitude.

Can attitude overcome adversity? It certainly helps. While seeking to be true to yourself and live the life you want, you will have to face a fact:

Change will happen.

Whether that change is good or bad is unique to each person and their perspective.

You might have to start over, once, twice, a few times. It doesn’t mean that everything will be okay, but that you will be okay. What remains or should remain is the true you. When you’ve lost sight of that, you’ve lost sight of everything.

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And then, you rebuild. Moment after moment, day after day. We all have a choice, and in this moment, that matters.

You can choose to have a positive attitude, seeing the silver lining in each situation and, where there is none, the potential for one. Maybe that silver lining is you and what you will do with the situation. How will you use it for something good?

That’s how you can tap into yourself and your power. Sometimes it happens by accident, sometimes on purpose. It can happen when we aren’t even looking for it, or it can be your only focus. Everyone gets there differently.

You can rise, or you can remain. Your choice.

When the worst happens, you can rely on your authenticity to pull you through. That’s because Self Advocacy, speaking up to let others know what you need, is part of finding the real you.

There is nothing wrong with asking for help. Or sometimes, helping others can help us deal with the pain of a hurtful situation. You decide how you’re going to help others, and suddenly, you become your best self.

3. Do What Makes You Happy When No One’s Looking

Being the best version of you has nothing to do with your success or your status. It has everything to do with your Character, what you do when no one’s looking.

In order to create the life you want, you have to be the person you want to be. Faking it till you make it is just a way to white knuckle it through your journey. You have the fire inside of you to make things right, to put the pieces together, to live authentically. And Character is how you get there.

If you fall down and you help another up while you’re down there, it’s like you rise twice.

Along with attitude, your character is about the choices you make rather than what happens to you.

Yes, it’s about doing the right thing even when obstacles seem insurmountable.  It’s about using that mountain you’ve been given to show others it can be moved.  It’s about being unapologetically you, taking control, choosing your attitude in adversity and being the best version of you to create the life you want.

How do you know what you really want? Is it truly status or success?

Unfortunately, these things do not always bring happiness. And aspects of our image or “performance driven existence” may not achieve satisfaction. Materialism is part of our refusal to accept ourselves as enough. All the things we use to repress our true selves are about being enough.

“Enoughness” is what we truly seek, but ego gets in the way.

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Ego is the perception of self as outer worth. It’s not REAL self worth.

Ego represses our true self with a new self— the self of chasing ‘“Am I ever enough?”’ questions. And instead of filling our true selves with self-love and acceptance, when we “should ourselves” and chase “enoughness,” we feed the ego or our image.

It’s important to realize YOU ARE ENOUGH, without all the material trappings.

Stanford psychologist Meagan O’Reilly describes the damage of not thinking we are enough. One of her tactics for combating this is to complete the sentence,[3]

“If I believed I were already enough, I’d ____”

What would you do if you felt you were enough?

By believing you are enough, you can live the life you want.

So many fake it to try to get there, and they end up losing themselves when they lose more and more touch with their Authenticity.

Final Thoughts

By being yourself, you are being brave. By acknowledging all you can be, you tell the universe that you can until you believe it too. The steps are easy, and you are worth it. All of it is about the purpose you are leading and the passion that is your fuel.

Being true to yourself is all about mastering how to live life authentically rather than faking or forcing it. Having the life you want (and deserve) is about being trusting in yourself and the purpose you are living for. Both need passion behind it, fueling it each second, or you will experience burn out.

When you are authentic, you can call the road you walk your own. When you live your life for you and not just the results of all your actions (faking it till you make it), you can let go of what you don’t need. This clarifies and pushes purpose to you, living for something that is greater than you.

You will find that making decisions based on what will actually achieve your goals, will help you attain the life you want, and your success with each step, will allow you to enjoy the process. Good luck!

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Featured photo credit: Ariana Prestes via unsplash.com

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