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8 Beliefs That Are Keeping You From Happiness

8 Beliefs That Are Keeping You From Happiness

Why do some people seem so happy and healthy, while others are so miserable? There are many reasons why people are happier than others, but one fundamental truth about happiness is that the power to change your life and create happiness resides within you. Happy people consciously decide to have a positive mentality. They see opportunities when others see closed doors and flow with (not against) the natural groove of life.

If you meet your basic physical needs of food, shelter, clothing and comfort, but still find you are not happy, chances are that some of your core beliefs and habits are limiting you from living a full life. Change the following core beliefs that are keeping you from happiness today to lead a more fulfilling, happy life.

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1. Belief that life is fair

Life is not always fair, nor is it a joyride every single day. There will be days when you feel like the whole weight of the world is on your shoulders. Your heart will be broken and weighed down by injustices in the world. These days will suck, but that is life. Stop wasting too much time and energy wishing that everything was fair in the world. Instead, seek out things you can do to make life better. There will always be something you can do to make life that much fair. The joy you get from improving the quality of your own life and that of others is worth every effort.

2. Belief that playing it safe keeps you from getting hurt

Life is about taking risks and learning from the positive and negative outcomes of risks. Many people are quick to quantify the risks involved in trying something new or venturing out in a different direction. These same people, however, are far less adept at analyzing the risks of staying the course. While staying the course and playing it safe can keep you from hurt in the short term, the cost of complacency is comparably greater in the long run. Happy people adopt a little more blind faith in life, which boosts their long term personal development and happiness.

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3. Belief that you are in control of everything

Life is full of surprises. No matter how obsessively we plan and prepare, things sometimes play out differently than we want or expect them to. Random events occur all the time for all sorts of reasons and meticulous plans can get disrupted at the last minute. While proper planning and risk management is important for your success and happiness, being in control of everything is just an illusion that puts you on edge and drains energy and happiness out of you. The sooner you realize this truth, the more prepared you will be to deal with all that life deals you, and the happier you will become.

4. Belief that the future is bleak

The glass can either be half full or half empty, depending on how you look at it. The belief that the future is bleak is usually a matter of perspective driven by such factors as fear, worry, lack of faith and childhood programming. People who focus more on the negative see only a bleak future for themselves and others and are less happy than people who look on the brighter side of things. Of course, blind optimism can be contrived and irresponsible, but blatant pessimism is worse. Think more positively and see the good things around you to lead a more balanced, happy life.

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5. Belief that others are better off than you

The belief that others are better off than you is a fallacy. As human beings, we all have equal capacity to experience joy, pain, need and comfort. We all grow and advance in life at our own pace, depending on various factors like hard work, opportunity and resources. While some people might be stronger, more gifted and more beautiful than you, they are not necessarily better off than you. If you can figure out what you really want in life and then go for it, you too can lead a rewarding and happy life that others envy. Just see through the need for other people’s approval and you will be fine.

6. Belief that people are obligated to love you a specific way

Not everybody will love or support you the way you want them to, but that’s okay. People are not obligated to love you in a specific way just as you are not obligated to love others in a certain way. We all have the ability to love, but our capacity to express this love is unique. Just be grateful that someone actually loves you and wishes the best for you, even though you might feel like they are not compassionate or supportive enough. Stop demanding that people love you how you think they should and you will truly be a much happier person.

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7. Belief that suffering is bad

Suffering gets a bad rap all the time. But, if you scrap the surface you will realize that suffering has a silver lining that never gets the credit it deserves. Suffering stirs change and builds resilience and wisdom. It is almost always a stepping stone to something better. For example, a failed relationship is the gateway to a successful one and an illness the right motivation to re-examine your life and adopt a healthier lifestyle. If you face suffering with the right mindset and take appropriate steps to address its cause, you can only get stronger, wiser and happier in life.

8. Belief that others are the reason for your unhappiness

One of the most overlooked truths of life is that you are responsible for your own happiness. Nothing defines who you are and how you feel unless you let it. People can hate on you as much as their little cold hearts desire, but that only highlights deep-seated insecurities within them‒which have nothing to do with you. People don’t decide who you are. You are only whomever you decide you are. Other’s actions or inaction will only hurt your ego and affect your happiness if you let it. Happiness is a choice. Choose to be happy from today regardless of what everybody else says or does!

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David K. William

David is a publisher and entrepreneur who tries to help professionals grow their business and careers, and gives advice for entrepreneurs.

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Last Updated on August 6, 2020

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

We’ve all done it. That moment when a series of words slithers from your mouth and the instant regret manifests through blushing and profuse apologies. If you could just think before you speak! It doesn’t have to be like this, and with a bit of practice, it’s actually quite easy to prevent.

“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napolean Hill

Are we speaking the same language?

My mum recently left me a note thanking me for looking after her dog. She’d signed it with “LOL.” In my world, this means “laugh out loud,” and in her world it means “lots of love.” My kids tell me things are “sick” when they’re good, and ”manck” when they’re bad (when I say “bad,” I don’t mean good!). It’s amazing that we manage to communicate at all.

When speaking, we tend to color our language with words and phrases that have become personal to us, things we’ve picked up from our friends, families and even memes from the internet. These colloquialisms become normal, and we expect the listener (or reader) to understand “what we mean.” If you really want the listener to understand your meaning, try to use words and phrases that they might use.

Am I being lazy?

When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, a strange metamorphosis takes place. People tend to become lazier in the way that they communicate with each other, with less thought for the feelings of their partner. There’s no malice intended; we just reach a “comfort zone” and know that our partners “know what we mean.”

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Here’s an exchange from Psychology Today to demonstrate what I mean:

Early in the relationship:

“Honey, I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I’m noticing that your hair is getting a little thin on top. I know guys are sensitive about losing their hair, but I don’t want someone else to embarrass you without your expecting it.”

When the relationship is established:

“Did you know that you’re losing a lot of hair on the back of your head? You’re combing it funny and it doesn’t help. Wear a baseball cap or something if you feel weird about it. Lots of guys get thin on top. It’s no big deal.”

It’s pretty clear which of these statements is more empathetic and more likely to be received well. Recognizing when we do this can be tricky, but with a little practice it becomes easy.

Have I actually got anything to say?

When I was a kid, my gran used to say to me that if I didn’t have anything good to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. My gran couldn’t stand gossip, so this makes total sense, but you can take this statement a little further and modify it: “If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

A lot of the time, people speak to fill “uncomfortable silences,” or because they believe that saying something, anything, is better than staying quiet. It can even be a cause of anxiety for some people.

When somebody else is speaking, listen. Don’t wait to speak. Listen. Actually hear what that person is saying, think about it, and respond if necessary.

Am I painting an accurate picture?

One of the most common forms of miscommunication is the lack of a “referential index,” a type of generalization that fails to refer to specific nouns. As an example, look at these two simple phrases: “Can you pass me that?” and “Pass me that thing over there!”. How often have you said something similar?

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How is the listener supposed to know what you mean? The person that you’re talking to will start to fill in the gaps with something that may very well be completely different to what you mean. You’re thinking “pass me the salt,” but you get passed the pepper. This can be infuriating for the listener, and more importantly, can create a lack of understanding and ultimately produce conflict.

Before you speak, try to label people, places and objects in a way that it is easy for any listeners to understand.

What words am I using?

It’s well known that our use of nouns and verbs (or lack of them) gives an insight into where we grew up, our education, our thoughts and our feelings.

Less well known is that the use of pronouns offers a critical insight into how we emotionally code our sentences. James Pennebaker’s research in the 1990’s concluded that function words are important keys to someone’s psychological state and reveal much more than content words do.

Starting a sentence with “I think…” demonstrates self-focus rather than empathy with the speaker, whereas asking the speaker to elaborate or quantify what they’re saying clearly shows that you’re listening and have respect even if you disagree.

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Is the map really the territory?

Before speaking, we sometimes construct a scenario that makes us act in a way that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual situation.

A while ago, John promised to help me out in a big way with a project that I was working on. After an initial meeting and some big promises, we put together a plan and set off on its execution. A week or so went by, and I tried to get a hold of John to see how things were going. After voice mails and emails with no reply and general silence, I tried again a week later and still got no response.

I was frustrated and started to get more than a bit vexed. The project obviously meant more to me than it did to him, and I started to construct all manner of crazy scenarios. I finally got through to John and immediately started a mild rant about making promises you can’t keep. He stopped me in my tracks with the news that his brother had died. If I’d have just thought before I spoke…

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