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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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