Happiness is the acceptance of the internal and external emotions that affect us.
However, we often look for happiness in the wrong places because we associate it with things and possessions. For instance, whether it’s getting a hot car, a dream job, a fancy vacation, or a perfect relationship, the end goal is happiness.
But the truth is, we’ve been blessed with happiness since the beginning of time. And we can only tap into it by bringing awareness to our reactions, perceptions, and emotions of the world around us. How, then, do we sabotage our happiness?
Here’s how we self-sabotage and how to stop. And subsequently, get out of your own way.
1. Negative Self-talk
Your inner critic is the small naysayer voice that lives in your head and convinces you that you’re not good enough or stuck.
Trying to ignore it is easier said than done. And even though the entire negative self-talk isn’t true, often the damage has already been done. Why? Because after hearing something over and over, we become inclined to believe it.
For instance, you may be the most confident person in your team. However, constant negative talk will make you end up with self-esteem issues. Consequently, you cannot even talk to your friends without feeling insecure let alone your colleagues.
Why do you judge and belittle yourself? Why do you say hurtful things to yourself?
You’re worthy and perfect. Don’t be harsh on yourself.
Practice positive affirmations. For instance:
Beat your inner critic with positivity. These therapeutic mantras will silence the negative self-talk. Trust.
2. Fearing Failure
Most people choose certainty rather than risk the unknown. Don’t be most people.
You need to actively choose to do better even though you don’t feel like it. Don’t wait to hit rock-bottom to make a change.
My favorite quote is, “ Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” In other words, fear is our main inhibitor. Is fear stopping you from following your dreams? Has it stopped you from keeping fit?
The fear of “what if” is a problem if it’s keeping you from making your life better.
For instance: “What if I can’t achieve my goal weight?” “What if I fail my exams?” Well, what if you’ll achieve your goal weight and pass your exams? So join that gym and enroll in that class. Cut your losses and make a change.
If you feel like you’re the only one who’s ever failed, look at every entrepreneur. Better yet, every successful person.
Everyone is guilty of procrastinating at one time-there’s no denying it.
Procrastination feels good at the moment, but what you’re stalling won’t disappear. And the work you need to do, or uncomfortable conversations still need to be made. You may be “relaxing,” but you aren’t fooling anybody.
At the back of your mind, the delayed work is bothering you. Consequently, it’s weighing you down and blocking your happiness.
Instead, identify the limiting belief that’s preventing you from taking action. Acknowledge the discomfort and act anyway. This will reduce your procrastination tendencies.
4. Not forgiving your past mistakes
You’ve made mistakes- we all have. However, if you hold onto pain and guilt instead of forgiving yourself, it’s high time you practice self-compassion.
You can’t time-travel, but you can fix your future. Similarly, don’t concentrate on your old story. Rather, write a new one. Avoid lingering on the past.
Also, statements like “I wish I didn’t do this or that ” will only demoralize you. Regretting only disrupts your happiness. Bluntly put, but accurate.
Moreover, repeat this mantra whenever you feel regret, “ I’m not my past mistakes.”
5. You’re a perfectionist
It’s great to aim for the best, the perfect partner, apartment or car.
However, if your happiness is dependent on outcomes, you’re only setting yourself up for disappointment.
You may already know this, but- nobody is perfect. Consequently, you don’t need to kill your happiness just because your relationship is short of perfect. You don’t need to be perfect to feel worthy or validated.
Importantly, happiness means accepting that there will be some bumps on this journey of life.
6. You compare yourself to others
It’s natural to compare ourselves to others at one time or another. Some of us more often than we’d like to admit.
Comparison can be motivating. However, it surfaces feelings of resentment, jealousy, and “less-than” thoughts in most cases.
If comparison makes you feel demoralized and worthless, it’s time for you to change your perspective on it or stop comparing.
For instance; You can have a positive approach and establish a belief that you can achieve your goal since you’ve witnessed someone else achieve it.
It’s important to remember that social media encourages us to post some-what “perfect ” flattering pictures instead of real, raw experiences.
Besides, ever noticed how everybody on social media is happy or in a good mood?
Also, how many selfies that you normally take actually make it to social media? I bet very few.
It’s hard not to compare ourselves to others. However, by being hyper-focused on how others have it better than you, you fail to notice the incredible things you have. Practice gratitude instead.
When it comes to happiness, we are our own enemy. Negative self-talk, comparison, procrastination, and fear are just some fire- recipes for unhappiness. Happiness is a choice- embrace it today.