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30 Reasons Why You’re Still Unhappy With Your Brilliant Life

30 Reasons Why You’re Still Unhappy With Your Brilliant Life

Have you every wondered why some people seem to exude happiness, while you’re still stuck feeling like a less-than-happy camper?

What is it that you’re missing? You have a right to be happy with your life. You have a right to live a brilliant life. Here are 30 reasons you may be unhappy with life, in various areas of it. See which ones apply to you, and then get to work on correcting them.

Self

1. You Accept Mediocrity

You have full control over what you allow into your life. You get to decide whether you demand success or settle for mediocrity.

Here’s one piece of advice: no one should ever expect more from you than you expect of yourself.

2. You’re Afraid to Fail

This is a huge, although often overlooked, reason why so many people are unhappy. Maybe you have a goal in mind that you want to achieve, some positive step you want to take in your life. You know you want it, and you know how to make it happen, but your fear of failing is stronger than your desire to achieve.

That’s a tough pill to swallow, and one that’s almost guaranteed to make your brilliant life a little dull. You have to realize that failure is necessary step to success. It’s not a fatal event that you’ll never recover from. In fact, you may be more afraid of what people think about your failure, than the failure itself.

3. You Don’t Practice Gratitude

There are plenty of studies showing the effect gratitude has on happiness. It’s been proven time and time again that when you can take the time to get clear on what it is you’re thankful for, your happiness goes up. So break out the pen and pad and starting writing out what you’re grateful for.

When you can shift your focus from what’s going wrong in your life to what’s going right, it’s bound to make you feel better.

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4. You Don’t Live in the Present 

If you’re anything like me, you have a future-oriented mindset. You’re always thinking about the future or working on something that creates a better future. But the problem with this is we often miss what’s going on right now. We miss the life that’s happening right in front of our eyes.

Take the time to slow down and just enjoy the moment. Whether that means going for a walk or just enjoying a conversation with a good friend, take the time to be present.

5. You Won’t Take Ownership

Being a victim doesn’t usually lead to happiness. So if you’re shying away from taking control of your own life, you’re setting yourself up for a life filled with unhappiness.

6. You Can’t Let Go

We all have vices in life. We all have thoughts, perspectives, habits, and relationships that are difficult to let go of. But sometimes you have to separate your emotions from your choices and realize that somethings are better left in the past.

Whether it’s the girlfriend you can’t stop arguing with, or the bad habit of procrastination that’s continually stressing you out, you have to take stock of what’s going on in your life and determine what things you need to separate yourself from.

7. You’re Ignoring Your Heart

Everyone had dreams at one point in life. There was a time when you had a burning desire in your heart to achieve something special. But as you get older, life conditions you into thinking that “following your heart” is an activity created only for kids. But take the time to listen to your heart again and relive the feeling of being exhilarated and excited.

8. You Never Praise Yourself 

You deserve a pat on the back. Often in life we get so caught up in moving from one project to the next that we never take the time to see how far we’ve come. Take a moment and realize how much work you’ve put in, and how much you’ve accomplished. You deserve it.

9. You Live With Too Many Self-Imposed Rules 

Some rules are superficial: “I don’t eat breakfast after 10 a.m. I don’t wake up any later than 5 a.m. I don’t do anything that isn’t on my calendar.”

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Other rules are deep, personal, and extremely limiting: “I’m not made for college because I’m not smart enough. I can’t have a career I’d actually enjoy, I’m not skilled enough. I can’t be in a happy relationship, I don’t deserve it.”

You made these rules. So you can break these rules.

10. You’re Afraid to Stand Out 

Living a happy life will sometimes send you down the road less travelled. You have to get comfortable with being the odd one out. You can’t always follow the crowd, because chances are most people in the crowd are unhappy.

11. You Haven’t Consciously Decided to Be Happy

Now there are lot of things affecting your happiness, but at some point you have to consciously make the decision to be happy, in spite of the whirlwind of negativity that the world is throwing at you. Once your mindset is in the right place, taking action to become happy becomes easier.

Career

12. You’re Unclear in Your Career Path

You’re putting everything you’ve got into your career, but you’re not sure where you’re headed. You don’t see any opportunities for growth and this is bound to make you feel unhappy. Get clear about where you want to head in your career.

13. No Work-Life Balance 

If your work is dominating your life, leaving little time for anything else, it’s hard to stay happy. Dealing with a constant barrage of emails, texts, presentations, and reports is exhausting. Set clear boundaries for your work so that you can still enjoy your life.

14. You Won’t Quit That Job You Hate 

You’ve already identified that you hate your job, for whatever reason. But that was 18 months ago and you’re still there with no plans to leave. I’m not suggesting you walk away from your responsibilities, but I am saying you need a plan that moves you from your current job to one you can get excited about.

15. Your Values Don’t Match Your Company

You’re a vegan personal trainer working at a meat packing company? If you’re spending 40 hours a week at a place that doesn’t value the same thing as you, not only will be unhappy, you’ll be miserable in your work.

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Social

16. You Spend Too Much Time Alone 

Your happiness is directly tied to your relationships, and not having many quality relationships can cause happiness to decline. Get out there and be social. Create meaningful relationships with people.

17. You Don’t Spend Enough Time Alone 

On the flip side, if you never spend time alone, you could be affecting your happiness as well. We all need that time to reflect and recharge. Don’t be afraid to say no to a drink after work every once in a while.

18. You Keep Comparing Yourself 

Your happiness is linked to your self-esteem. When your self-esteem is high, it’s easier to be happy. When self-esteem is low, it’s easier to be unhappy. Your self-esteem depends heavily on the relationships you have with other people, and how you view yourself in comparison to those people. If you’re constantly comparing yourself to other people, and feel that you’re lower on the proverbial totem pole than the other person, you’re self-esteem is going to nosedive.

So stop comparing yourself to other people, and instead focus on improving yourself. Compare where you are today to where you were yesterday.

19. You’re Friends Are Holding You Back

You are who you hang out with. And if the company you keep is moving in a direction that doesn’t coincide with the life you’re trying to create, unhappiness is sure to follow. Focus on finding friends who are moving in the same direction that you are.

20. You Let Others Make Important Decisions for You

You can’t make everyone happy, and the only person who ends up losing when you try do that is you. You lose.

No one knows your situation as well as you do. So do you really want the direction of your life to be determined by an outsider who doesn’t understand the intricate details of your life?

Intellectual

21. You Stopped Developing New Skills

There’s an immense amount of joy in learning a new skill, whether it’s something hands-on like sewing or woodwork, or something less tangible like public speaking. When you can develop a certain skill, you feel good about yourself.

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22. You Haven’t Read Any Good Books

A good book can bring happiness in many different ways. There’s the inherent happiness of reading a good story, and then there are books that help you develop personally. If you’re not reading, you’re missing out on both of those opportunities for happiness.

Physical

23. You Always Point Out What You Don’t Like about Your Body 

If you stand in the mirror every day and point out every single thing you don’t like about your body, of course you’re going to be unhappy. Change what you can through exercise and healthy eating, and accept what you can’t change. Focus on what you do like instead.

24. You Fill Your Body Up with Junk 

The two boxes of Krispy Kreme seemed like a good idea until you stepped on the scale. Don’t let your taste buds run your life.

25. You Haven’t Broken a Sweat in a While

You’re not trying to be the next Arnold Schwarzenegger, but regular exercise does wonders for your happiness. It doesn’t even have to be in a gym, just get out and get your heart pumping. It’ll definitely give your happiness a boost.

Financial

26. You Don’t Have a Plan for Your Money

A budget is sometimes defined as “telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.” It’s stressful to live life without a plan for your money, and that stress is eating away at your happiness.

27. You Don’t Spend According to Your Plan

If you’ve got a plan in place, but you’re not using it, you’re going to end up regretting it.

28. You Don’t Save for the Future

Those $5 coffees from Starbucks are costing you your retirement. You don’t have to cut out all of your discretionary spending, but make sure that you’re setting a little aside for a rainy day. The peace of mind that comes with it will definitely make you happier.

29. You Make Impulse Purchases 

I’m not talking about a stick of gum. I mean that 70 inch 3D smart TV, or the $200 heels that pushed your checking account into the negative. Splurging might make you happy in the moment, but when your bills come due, I bet you won’t be as happy.

30. You Forget That Money Can’t Buy Happiness

Money by itself isn’t enough to keep you happy. So although mismanagement of money can lead to unhappiness, you can’t solely focus your life on making money. You have to develop every area of your life.

Featured photo credit: Pink Sherbet Photography via flickr.com

More by this author

Tony Robinson

Tony writes about mental strength, happiness and motivation at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on March 30, 2020

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

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1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

2. Be Honest

A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

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If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

4. Succeed at Something

When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

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6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

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In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

Final Thoughts

When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
[2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
[3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
[4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
[5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
[6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
[7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
[8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

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