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Do You Have an Unfulfilled Life? 7 Reasons Why You’re Not Satisfied

Do You Have an Unfulfilled Life? 7 Reasons Why You’re Not Satisfied

Do you wake up and hit the snooze button? Well, that’s rather normal, so don’t worry.

But if you lack the motivation to get up every morning—even after you’re all showered up and up on your feet—then it’s probably a sign. A sign that you live an unfulfilled life and that you’re not satisfied.

Most people feel confused at some point in their life, but if you feel unsatisfied and unhappy about your life on a daily basis, then it’s time to do something about it.

Maybe you feel like you’re meant for something bigger, maybe you just want to do something different with your life, or maybe you have no idea what you want, or why you feel unsatisfied.

This article will take you through 7 reasons why you might not be satisfied with your life and it will help you take a step towards a fulfilled and happy life.

1. You Don’t Realize You’re Wasting Time

It’s easy to say you’ll do something. Another thing is to actually do it. We have all tried to put off something for the next day and we’ve said: “I’ll do it tomorrow.” But if you do this often, then it could turn into a habit.

If you feel like you’re meant for something bigger, but you’re not moving forwards at all, then it’s time to take a look at your day and your time management. You might not even realize that you’re wasting your time.

Sometimes, people tell themselves it’s enough to get out of the door in the morning and sit at the office until they clock out.

Unfortunately, it’s not enough if you waste your time during the day. Some of the most common time stealers are Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. In other words, take a look at how much time you spend on social media every day. You’ll probably be able to tell if you have a problem.

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Or maybe you plan on working on your personal projects at night or during the weekend (probably both if you’re an aspiring entrepreneur), but you end up on Netflix or only have fun with your friends and family.

If you re-examine your life, you’ll find out what you do right and wrong, and how you can make a better daily and weekly plan for yourself.

It’s not about neglecting people or only being able to do one thing. It’s about understanding yourself and your habits better.

2. You’ve Lost Touch with Yourself

People do different things to feel good about themselves. For some, it means going to the gym and working out.

A study made by Ceren Doğan from the Department of Psychosocial Studies, Birkbeck College, University of London shows a connection between going to the gym and people feeling good about themselves in more than one way:[1]

“Overall, it is argued that for many participants gym exercise is more than physical training; it is also training for life. Based on a thematic analysis of 32 semi-structured interviews it is argued that gym workout is a means to create better versions of the self on mainly three levels.

First, gym participants perceive themselves to be efficient and productive in general. Second, gym training is believed to increase the control they have over their lives. Third, gym members associate their gym workout with amplified emotional resilience, believing that fitness workout makes them not only fitter in a physical sense but also fitter and better equipped in a psychological sense. “

In this case, the gym is simply an example. The point is that we all have something we do that makes us feel good and if we neglect it, then we can lose touch with ourselves and how we feel.

If you suddenly stop doing whatever you do to feel good, or it falls down on your list of priorities, then it might sneak up on you later.

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3. You Put Too Much Pressure on Yourself

While it’s good to create a plan and be ambitious, it can also backfire if you put too much pressure on yourself.

A clear goal helps you move forward in the right direction. But if you put too much pressure on yourself to achieve it, you’ll slowly feel the drive disappear day by day.

Or maybe you have taken on too much weight on your shoulder at work and at home at the same time.

If you need to focus on an important project at work, talk to your family and let them know that you need to focus on that for the next few months, but make it clear that it won’t be forever.

If it’s the other way around, then don’t take on more than you can at work. Every work situation is different, but if it’s possible for you to not take an extra shift, work late all the time, or place yourself on a difficult project, then do it, and focus on your family for a while.

4. You Don’t Finish Things

Many people have ideas. Some of them are great. Some of them are not. But it’s often not about the idea itself. If you set out to do something, but don’t finish it, then it doesn’t come without a cost.

In your mind, it might just be the idea that never goes any further. In reality, it can be about so much more than you not finishing a project.

Humans are creatures of habit. If you decide to do something and then don’t manage to finish it a couple of times—it slowly turns into a habit — a bad habit. Once you start to feel like you can’t do anything, then you’ll feel unfulfilled.

The good news is, we’re able to break habits and create new ones. Take back control and finish your projects (big or small).

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5. You Don’t Have Social Life

Human beings are social animals, we all need some sort of social life to feel happy and fulfilled.

Even if you prefer your own company in most situations, it doesn’t mean that you don’t need some sort of social life.

Maybe you’re lonely without even knowing it, but you’ve told yourself that you don’t need a partner in life because you’ve been on your own for so many years.

Or maybe you’ve never really had any good friends, so you’ve given up on meeting new people and socialising.

Either way, it’s never too late to change it. It’s true that you don’t necessary need both a partner and a good friend, but you do need someone.

No one is meant to live a completely isolated life. Put yourself out there or reach out to someone you lost touch with.

6. You Lack Purpose

It’s easy to wake up every morning and go to work. Well, maybe not completely easy, but we can all do it. The same way we can go out and smile, but on the inside we might not feel like smiling.

If you lack purpose, then it’s probably not something that will sneak up on you over night. It’s going to take some time for you to realize that this is why you’ve been feeling unfulfilled and unsatisfied.

It’s going to take some time for you to realize it because you can easily live a good life on the outside and still lack purpose. You can have a good job and a great family.

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This might make you feel bad about feeling unsatisfied, but you shouldn’t. Purpose is about you and it’s okay to want something that you maybe forgot about along the way.

You can always change direction and find it.

7. You Feel Distant

A lot of people can be present without really being present. If you’ve been feeling distant from your own life, then you get the idea. You can go to work, events and meet friends while your mind is not really there at all.

It can come from something deeper like a lack of purpose, but it might also be as simple as remembering why you do the stuff you do on a daily basis.

Peter H. Diamandis uses a self-talk technique when he feels out of funk:[2]

“It’s going back to ‘Why do I believe this is important?‘ It’s, ‘Look how far I’ve taken it so far.'”

Use this self-talk to ask yourself the same questions about your life in general. Look at your job, your habits, and your social life etc. Take a good look at your life overall and ask yourself these questions.

This might be a wake-up call or help you find what you once saw and lost sight of.

In the end, an unfulfilled life comes down to asking yourself some tough questions and react to what you find out. Find out why you’re not satisfied with and change it.

Featured photo credit: Mark Alexandrovich via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Maria Jensen

Specializes in personal and professional development.

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Last Updated on November 6, 2020

Feeling Defeated in Life? 9 Ways to Take Back Your Power

Feeling Defeated in Life? 9 Ways to Take Back Your Power

The human feeling of wanting to achieve more is a shared one and, consequently, so does the sense of feeling defeated. Things don’t always work out as planned, and we then feel beat down and sometimes downright downtrodden.

This feeling is something that every achiever human-being feels once in a while. The good news is that there are proven science-based ways to help take back the power. It’s not possible to continually win without experiencing a loss, and the way we react to failure is what defines us.

There are (sadly) many practical examples—from battling a bad habit (did anyone say Netflix binge on a Tuesday night?) or even an addiction to dealing with a boss you don’t like who makes every day seem like it will never end. It might be other issues that make you feel like Sisyphus, the Greek god who was forced to push a massive rock up a hill for eternity as a punishment, doing the hard work and not being rewarded for it.

You Are Not Alone

You are not alone; Churchill and Lincoln were also defeated.

Fortunately, we’ve found some fantastic examples of ‘defeated’ people who made a remarkable comeback—showing that character is at least as important as talent. One of those people is none other than Winston Churchill. Most of us know that he saved his country and potentially the rest of the world during World War II, but we tend to forget that he famously stated, “I am finished” almost 20 years before that—when he was 40.

He had lost the Gallipoli battle, and everything seemed to indicate that he would go down in history like the rest of us: unknown. However, his plan to come back to the forefront of politics succeeded (only to lose the election after the war, and then win again). He was feeling defeated but he managed to bounce back.

There are other examples of leaders who experienced loss and then made a remarkable comeback. Abraham Lincoln is known as a former US president, but no one remembers that he was defeated in elections for the U.S. House of Representatives just a few years before that. Napoleon Bonaparte was the emperor of Europe, only to be exiled (and then come back and then go into exile again).

Most of us are not ruling Europe or the US, but you get the point—you win some, you lose some—and you should never give up on your goals and dreams. This isn’t relevant only to famous historical characters. The human spirit is measured when it’s at its weakest and in need of finding strength.

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Personally speaking, I experienced a tragedy, having to watch my father die in front of me when I was 25. Less than an hour later, as I was in the hospital, I told myself that nothing would break me, and I embarked on a journey to save other people’s lives with Safe Lane, a non-profit I started to prevent car accidents. It is what we do that defines us, and not what happens to us. It’s how we deal with feeling defeated that defines who we are.

Feeling Defeated Is Not Your Fault

Research shows that feeling defeated is not your fault. The deep-rooted feeling of defeat is validated in research. For example, studies of animal species with dominance hierarchies showed that after losing in non-lethal fighting, the animals that lost showed signs of depression.[1] Other studies suggest that defeat and feelings of entrapment are associated with depression and anxiety. Sadly, it happens to humans as well.

Research also suggests that it hurts the poor more than others. In a study conducted in economically deprived areas in England, over half of the people felt defeated. They experienced feelings of entrapment.[2]

The research also proved a connection to anxiety and depression, showing that this feeling impairs the mental health of those living in more impoverished areas. The clear connection between where you live and how you feel is disheartening, as it makes clear that some populations are inherently more prone to suffering than others.

9 Ways to Take Back Your Power

The good news is that there are pretty good solutions one can use to fight this horrible feeling. Some of them can provide immediate improvement, while others help within a matter of weeks.

Here are 9 ways to take back your power when you’re feeling defeated in life.

1. Write a Gratitude Journal

Once a day, take three minutes to write down two things you’re grateful for. It might seem like a childish thing to do, but investing time in a gratitude journal has been scientifically proven to be helpful. Taking a note for yourself of the good things in your life makes you appreciate them more, and this kind of positive thinking also helps your brain change patterns.

According to a study conducted in Berkeley, students who wrote a gratitude letter to their peers had “significantly better mental health 4 weeks and 12 weeks after their writing exercise ended. This suggests that gratitude writing can be beneficial not just for healthy, well-adjusted individuals, but also for those who struggle with mental health concerns.”[3]

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Martin Seligman, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania, proved that participants who took the time to write about the good things in their lives had a huge increase in happiness scores.

2. Take Regular Breaks

When you’re working too hard, it can sometimes feel good because you’re pushing your limits. Nonetheless, you can’t work without taking breaks. Your energy is limited, and there have been a few studies proving this.

According to numerous researches, “taking a break can be very beneficial for you and your work. Micro-breaks, lunchtime breaks, and longer breaks have all been shown to affect well-being and productivity positively. By taking regular breaks, you can boost your performance.”[4]

3. Find Yourself a Mentor

I’ve personally found this to be very helpful. Every issue that you’re going through has been experienced by someone before you, so learn from that. Having a mentor reduces stress and helps you both practically understand how to handle the situation and emotionally put things in perspective. It also helps remind you that you’re not alone.

According to UNL, “mentoring provides professional socialization and personal support to facilitate graduate school success and beyond. Quality mentoring greatly enhances students’ chances for success. Research shows that students who experience good mentoring also have a greater chance of securing academic tenure-track positions or greater career advancement potential in administration or sectors outside the university.”[5]

4. Meditation and Mindfulness

Meditation and mindfulness are powerful tools that are widely available today through the use of apps such as Calm and Headspace. There have also been countless books written about them. One of them is “Wherever You Go, There You Are:  Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life” by Jon Kabat-Zinn’s. By being present, you can control where your energy goes.

I used to be a skeptic, but I have learned that it’s helpful to meditate when you need a moment. Countless studies have proven that breathing helps build resilience. Just by breathing slowly and deeply, our body knows when to enter into a relaxation mode.

We’re living at a time that makes us feel overwhelmed. We have too much on our plate and sometimes, we’re in a position that doesn’t immediately allow us to solve the problem at hand.

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Don’t worry—by meditating, breathing, or just trying to relax, you can understand what to do by letting your mind some time to think and improve. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be here reading this article!

5. Your Self-Talk Is More Crucial Than Ever

Our thoughts and beliefs can sometimes be discouraging. Many people tend towards a negativity bias, which means that we’re prone to notice negative thoughts and emotions more than positive and neutral ones. This is where self-talk comes in.

Using self-talk to analyze whether your perceptions are helping you or not and whether they’re an accurate representation of reality can help you understand that things may not be as bad as you think. Research shows that this is, in fact, often the case.

It’s a good habit to also remember to be kind to yourself. Some of us sometimes forget the crucial ingredient of self-compassion. It also might be a good idea to motivate yourself by watching others—Youtube might be a good place for that.

Here’s an excellent example:

6. Educate Yourself

For whatever of life’s hurdles you’re currently facing, there’s an answer that someone else has already thought of. Google Scholar or even just plain old Google can help you find proven methods to deal with what’s bothering you. Educate yourself about your situation and learn what can and cannot work for you. Knowledge is power, indeed.

7. Don’t Obsess About What Happened

One of the proven ways to help sports teams stay on track is not overthinking the future and not getting stuck in the past. It’s useless to obsess about what already happened, and at worst, it can only harm your mental and emotional well-being.

One psychological way to think about that is the radical acceptance approach, which is pretty self-explanatory. It means that you should accept what happened and instead, think about what you should do moving forward.

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According to the NYU School of Medicine, “past experiences shape what we see more than what we are looking at now.”[6] So, it’s not easy to fight that. But it is also possible to change it by radical acceptance and growth mindset methods.

8. Create a Vision for Your Life

Another method for dealing with daily hardships is to think like an organization and create your life vision. When you understand your goals and purpose, it’s easier to not sweat as much as some of the difficulties on the way.

According to “Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice” by Francis J. Greene,

“Effective strategic management begins with the organization clearly articulating its vision for the future. The organization’s vision refers to the broad category of long-term intentions that the organization wishes to pursue. It is broad, all-inclusive, and futuristic (Ireland et al., 2009)”.

It is imperative to understand your vision and implement it in your daily life to keep your balance.

9. Stay Healthy: Exercise and Eat Well

You don’t have to run a marathon. Simply walking or doing any other type of physical activity you enjoy can help pump things up and make you feel better physically and emotionally. Exercise can help you overcome depression and improve your mental health. It also enables you to feel in control in some cases, and that’s a powerful tool for someone who’s feeling defeated.

Healthy eating and keeping yourself hydrated goes a long way. Sleeping more than 7 hours each night is also super helpful for improving your physical and mental well-being.

Final Thoughts

It’s normal to feel defeated in life sometimes. After all, we all have our unique struggles and challenges along our journey in life. The important thing is that you learn how to face these roadblocks in your life. Whenever you’re feeling defeated in life, you can start with these 9 ways to gain back power and control in your life.

More Tips When You’re Feeling Defeated in Life

Featured photo credit: Anthony Tran via unsplash.com

Reference

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