If you find yourself wanting more from life but aren’t quite sure what to do about it, there is a good chance you are sabotaging your happiness in one of these four ways. That’s not to say that you can’t improve your happiness, but first you have to make sure you aren’t standing in your own way.
What makes me an expert? Well, truthfully, I am not. I’m just someone who has lived through all of these sabotages in my own life and lived to tell the tale. My negative habits, thoughts, and actions led me down a dark hole that I had to crawl my way out of. So, I am proof that you can, too. And only then will you be able to begin creating happiness and living life to the fullest.
Let me know in the comments below which of these applies to you. I’d also love to know what you have done, if anything, to change your behavior.
1. You are dwelling too much on being unhappy because you are unhappy.
You spend a lot of time thinking about all the ways your life could be better, if only.
- If only you won the lottery when it was up to $1.5 billion.
- If only you had taken that job a few years ago.
- If only you could find someone to make you happy.
- If only your home was nicer, or you had a better vehicle, or you and your in-laws got along.
- If only ___________.
There are thousands of different scenarios that would make your life better, if only. And without realizing it, you are dwelling on each and every one of them. You are living in the past or thinking too much about a future that may never happen. Yet, you seem to believe that a time machine or this magical future are the only things that will allow you to find the happiness you are so desperately seeking.
You think you will only be happy once you are rich, married, or have children of your own. You focus on these possible sources of happiness and you completely forget to enjoy anything that is making you happy now.
The truth is, if you continue down this path, you will never find happiness. All your dreams could come true, but as soon as they do, you will be looking for the next better thing. There’s nothing wrong with dreaming, but you can’t forget to live in the present and enjoy the time that you have. No future is ever guaranteed.
[bctt tweet=”Live in the present instead of dreaming of a future that is not guaranteed. #Wisdom #Thoughts” username=”ablissfullemon”]
2. When something bad happens, you can’t remember ever being happy.
You are on top of the world when good things happen. You’re happy and thoroughly enjoy each and every moment and feel lucky to be alive. But when something bad happens, all of that goes out the window and you completely forget a time when you were ever happy. Your mind focuses only on the bad, and everything else disappears.
It’s good to focus on what is happening in the moment, but it’s only when you refuse to accept that it is just a moment and it, too, will pass, that things get worse. So, you push people away who are trying to help. Without thinking, you make decisions that can have terrible consequences, and ultimately you dig an even deeper hole for yourself.
Feeling pain, sadness, or anger is not inherently a personal sabotage. Unless you begin to actively choose to feel those things instead of allowing yourself to feel happiness.
There are going to be, and may have already been, moments in your life that are absolutely going to feel like your world is ending. The death of a friend or loved one. The loss of a job and financial security. Heartbreak. These moments in time will seem like all there is, but eventually you are going to have to allow yourself to see through the pain and remember what it was to be happy.
3. You focus too much on what other people think, have, and do.
It doesn’t matter what you have going for you in life, or how wonderful it may be, if you can’t stop comparing it to what someone else has or is doing with theirs.
This is especially problematic if you spend a lot of time on social media.
Josie just got a new car. Ben just got a promotion. Oh, and look, Sally is buying her own house, while I am stuck in this dump of an apartment. Why can’t good things like that ever happen to me?
Jealousy is natural, but remember that you probably aren’t seeing the whole picture. It is easy for other people to edit their lives and only allow you to see the very best things. Your old friend from high school might seem to be happily vacationing a lot, while you’re stuck at home, but is that the whole picture? Or are they actually traveling for work, missing their kids, and completely miserable? The truth is, you may never know.
It’s all about perspective. Anyone can make their lives seem perfect when they give you glances of just the things they want you to see. So, just because someone seems like they have it all together by the things they do or what they own, that doesn’t mean that you would truly be any happier in their shoes.
Have you ever read or heard any of the horror stories about people who have won the lottery in the past? Their friends and associates were undoubtedly jealous of their good luck and fortune. But beneath it all, many winners turned to drugs, excessive gambling, and illegal activities that ultimately resulted in them losing all of their money – and in some cases, their lives. They thought that money would solve all their problems, but in the end it cost them so much more.
The secret is – and it’s really not much of a secret – stop worrying about everyone else and start focusing on yourself. If you want something, figure out what you can do to make the positive changes in your life to get it. But first, be sure to ask yourself why you want it. You have to decide whether it will actually make you happy or if you just think it will.
4. You are afraid of change and think that if you are afraid of something, you shouldn’t do it
Sometimes it is good to be afraid of things. Fear is a natural, instinctive response that has kept the human race alive for millions of years. It’s what keeps most of us from doing stupid things like jumping out of an airplane without a parachute or sticking long, pointy metal objects in power outlets.
Sure, some of us don’t get the memo, but for the most part we are pretty good at figuring out what has the potential to harm us. Then we move far away from the danger.
With that said, what you may not realize is that sometimes fear does more harm than good.If you are one of the many people who are afraid of change, even the most positive changes seem like a threat because of the uncertainty of what happens next. You allow your fear to take over and keep you from actually reaching your goals or finding true happiness.
Take, for example, people who are terrified on their wedding day. They have decided to spend the rest of their life with this one person, and despite how happy they are, they also know that it’s going to bring a ton of changes, both good and bad. Having a baby? Buying a house? Taking a new job. These are all examples of wonderful, truly amazing things that can happen, yet they terrify us immensely. Why is that? What are we so afraid of?
You, like everyone else, are a creature of habit. You like what you like, do what you do, and think what you think. With few exceptions. That’s not to say that you are boring, but you find what works and stick with it because the fact that you are still breathing is proof that it is safe. Your mind feels safe. Consistency is safe.
Any sign of change is a threat. Once your habits, thoughts, or really any aspect of your life is threatened, your fight or flight response kicks in. You are ready to either run for the hills or destroy anything that is threatening you. And it all happens so quickly, you don’t even know it.
So, what if that change is something that has the potential to bring you immense joy? This is where it gets tricky. Your brain is going to still tell you that it’s a scary situation and you should run away as quickly as possible, but you have to be strong enough to push back. You have to stick it out, even when you are terrified. Changes can be wonderful, but only if you let them happen.