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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 May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

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