Most people will tell you that they would do just about anything to be happier. Even happy people could always use a little more joy and cheer in their lives. After all, there is no such thing as ‘too much’ happiness, right?
We are often quick to blame other people, situations, or external factors for our unhappiness. While it is true that these things can sometimes contribute to how we feel, did you ever stop to think that maybe your unhappiness is perhaps a result of something that you are/not doing? It can be very easy to sabotage your own happiness. Unfortunately, you might not even realize that you are doing it.
This article will focus on six different ways you may be sabotaging your happiness. if you recognize any of these habits, you can take positive action and put a stop to them. Once you do that, you will quickly realize that you may have been holding yourself back from true happiness – it’s out there for the taking, so don’t stop yourself from grabbing it!
1. You Are Your Own Worst Critic – And You Believe It!
We all have moments of self-doubt, and sometimes it can hard to ignore that little voice in our head that wants to fill us with negative thoughts about ourselves. Whether it’s about our looks, our abilities, or something entirely different, negative self-talk can be brutal when it comes to our happiness.
It might be almost impossible to ignore this inner-critic altogether. But, by trying to decipher what you actually mean when you are criticizing yourself, you may be able to get it under control. Start by accepting yourself for who you are! Change the way that you speak to yourself. Stop beating yourself up and give yourself a break. Remind yourself that you ARE good enough and that you are doing your best.
You may have been able to get away with procrastinating in high school or college when you had a big paper due. In life, though, you can’t wait until the last minute before getting something important done, or you will be putting yourself in a consistently stressful situation.
Most of the time when you procrastinate on something, it is not because you’re lazy. It might be a lack of motivation or fear. Identify what might be making you procrastinate, and learn how to combat those thoughts to get things done in a timely matter. Use a journal every morning and plan your day ahead. Use a to-do list and tick each task off when completed. As the slogan goes “Just do it!”
3. Fear of Failure
No one wants to fail, or sets out to do so in their endeavors. But, failure is inevitable throughout life. This is harder for some people to accept than others. A fear of failure can really hold you back from doing the things that will make you happy. It can also destroy whatever happiness you do have by taking over your thoughts.
Sometimes it can be difficult at first to just ‘get over’ the fear of failure. If you try something and you are not successful, see it as a learning experience and ask yourself what you can do differently the next time.
4. You Can’t Let It Go
There are plenty of old stereotypes about how hard it is to forgive other people. Do you know what’s harder? Forgiving yourself! This ties in with the first self-sabotaging characteristic in this article. We are our own worst critics at times.
If you make a mistake, forgive yourself and move on. You would want others to do that for you, so why not do it for yourself? It is unproductive to sit there and think about all of the mistakes that you made in the past. Feeling constant guilt will undoubtedly lead to feelings of self doubt, and a lack of motivation to do anything more.
Everyone makes mistakes. It sounds cliché, but it’s true. Release those feelings of negativity that you might have toward yourself, and focus on moving forward with your life. Learning from your mistakes is hugely important, dwelling on them is not.
5. Shifting the Blame
Taking accountability is an incredibly important characteristic to have. If you make a mistake or you don’t want to own up to something, it might seem easy to pass the blame onto someone else. Whether that blame is justified or not, you are not doing yourself any favors in the long run.
Eventually, you might start to feel guilty for shifting the blame onto others. Blaming others for the way you are or certain aspects of your life isn’t going to get you anywhere, and it certainly isn’t going to make you feel better about yourself. The sooner that you start taking accountability for your own actions, the better. In fact, when you recognize that some things may actually be your fault, you can work toward fixing them and live a happier life.
6. Being a Perfectionist
Not everything will always go according to plan. It’s okay to have high expectations about certain things, but if they don’t always go your way, or end up ‘perfectly,’ you can’t let it bring you down. Being a perfectionist has its place, and it can be considered a positive trait in small doses. But, if you let perfection take over, it becomes a debilitating habit that will never leave you fulfilled. When you are a perfectionist to a fault, nothing will ever be good enough, and those thoughts can keep getting worse and worse. Give yourself a break, don’t be your worst critic. Not everything can be perfect.
If you struggle with unhappiness in any area of your life, try looking at these six possible reasons why. Sometimes, we can be our own worst enemies, and you may be keeping yourself from a life with more happiness and joy. Once you are able to let some things go and move on with your life in a positive direction, you can take control of your own happiness!