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8 Ways You Hurt Yourself and Inadvertently Your Happiness

8 Ways You Hurt Yourself and Inadvertently Your Happiness

How do you view life?

Are you an optimist or a pessimist?

Do you tend to see the bad in everyone and everything?

Do you struggle with seeing things any other way?

Well, let’s change things up a little. It takes nothing more for you to see the good things in life than it is to see the bad.

Do not get down on yourself because unfortunately too many of us feel that way sometimes. Far too many of us have gotten into that rut and find it hard to get out of it.

The good news is, we can all change for the better. It doesn’t take much for us to change our life; we only need to redirect our thoughts from being negative to being positive.

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There is always something you can change to become happier. Sometimes going down the wrong path is the only way you can then get back on track and grow.

Life is not easy all the time, and neither is the path always smooth. We stumble and fall and even hurt ourselves. The bumps and bruises are what propel us to growth and heights we couldn’t attain unless we had struggles in our lives.

The experiences we gain from our challenges would not be learned any other way so in some sense even when you struggle there is something good to learn.

We all have habits that have caused us unnecessary frustration and stand in the way of our happiness. Some of those habits are good, others not so good, but they hinder our very survival at times.

These habits that aren’t good we allow to control our lives, and they make us miserable but not miserable enough to want to change them.

Today is the day to change some of those bad habits and refuse to allow yourself to be limited and or discouraged from becoming the best version of who you can become.

Quit fighting life

Life is unpredictable with its ups and downs, but life already has a plan laid out for you. Do not complicate things by forcing and fighting. Let life unfold for you as it should.

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To move ahead in life, you must be prepared to accept things as they are. When you can accept things in their current state, it provides you with an opportunity to start your journey to recovery and happiness. You are also allotted an opportunity to move in any direction you want to go.

Do not go back to the past and resurrect things that will only complicate and distract from your current life. To return to the past or to wish things were different is only wasting your precious time and will get you nowhere.

Accept things the way they are, this will help you to move forward and create a new life and a better future. This doesn’t mean you are giving up on your dreams but accepting things the way they are will enable you to move forward. You have to see things as they truly are in reality and then once you can accept your current situation as it is, only then can you move on freely.

Forgiveness is huge if you want to stop hurting yourself and your happiness. Forgiveness will open the door for you to move forward into your future and the life that is destined to be yours. Forgiveness is the acceptance of the present without any attachment to any thing, place or circumstances.

The best place to start the healing process and to forget all the hurt and pain on all sides is through forgiveness. This is when the heart becomes open as it has emptied all the pent up resentment, hatred and other things that take up space. Your heart is now clean and ready to accept love and the fulfillment of happiness.

Simplify and de-clutter

You need to simplify and de-clutter your life to make any headway. This doesn’t mean you need to reduce yourself to a state of poverty, but it means you need to get rid of the things in your life that aren’t helping you to get where you want to go. This means ridding yourself of all the negative influences. Clean your mind of all the baggage of past relationships, lack of forgiveness and regrets.

Start removing the toxic things from your life so you can have space in your life for the things that truly matter. Surround yourself with things that are essential to your development and progress.

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You have no clear direction

Before you can start your journey, you have to know which direction to take. You cannot be just running around in circles without clear directions.

Establish goals and work towards them. Do not just get a job with no clear ending in sight. What is it you want to do in ten years and where do you see yourself then? Once you set your goals, then you can start putting things in place to achieve them. Set very smart goals for your life. They must be specific, measurable, achievable and timely. Do not go through life blindly. You will be sabotaging your life and your happiness.

Take a break from your everyday life

There comes a time when you will have to break away from everything and everyone. It doesn’t mean you stop loving them, but you need to be able to recharge. You need to take care of yourself so you can take care of others.

You need some down time to refocus. Getting the necessary rest is part of growing and becoming stronger. Create habits that will be beneficial to you in the long run and will encourage healthy, safe habits.

Do not resort to stimulants and drugs to fix your life

People, unfortunately, tend to use all kinds of things including drugs to numb their pain. Sadly, these things do not help but rather hinder your growth and healing. They mask the pain and cloud the brain, and so you are left feeling worse about yourself and your problems.

See yourself as a strong enough person who can face life’s ups and downs without the need for any stimulant. You don’t want to go through your life numb.

Do not hurt yourself with things that you already know does nothing but cause more pain and destruction to your life.

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Commit to healthy eating habits.

One of the easiest ways to stop hurting yourself is to treat your body right. Your body is your temple and should be treated with respect and dignity. One way of showing that you love yourself is how you treat your body. Choose foods that will help and heal the body and make you happy and healthy.

Refuse to over indulge and put things in the body that you know are not helping you because that will rob you of your health and happiness like nothing else.

Do not neglect your body

The body is the greatest tool ever created. There is nothing that will heal your mind and spirit more than exercising. Exercising is one of the best medicines you can take to rid yourself of mental and physical problems; besides taking care of your mind it also makes you look and feel stronger. You need your strength to face life and its challenges. Taking care of your body will have an enormous effect on your quality of life.

Be prepared to do the work

There’s no secret to success: it is all about hard work. When you are prepared to offer your best you cannot help but see good results and be happy when you do. You must be confidence in your belief and know that you are doing and giving of your best.

The world needs more people with great ideas who are prepared to work to see their dreams come to fruition.

Give everything you’ve got towards your dream and be prepared to persist in spite of all adversity and setbacks. Take the action needed to get the results you want and do not stop until you do.

Featured photo credit: Sjoerd Lammers via flickr.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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