If you don’t recall the last time you felt real joy, say goodbye to these habits

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Feeling genuine joy seems elusive to many of us. In our pursuit of success and security, we often overlook the simple pleasures and moments that bring us pure happiness.

The truth is, our daily habits hold the power to either enhance our joy or rob us of it. And often, it’s the seemingly harmless routines that we unknowingly cling to, which are the culprits.

If you can’t remember the last time you felt joy coursing through your veins, or if your smiles feel more forced than spontaneous, it’s time for a change.

In this article, we’re going to explore seven habits that might be dimming your inner light. Letting go of these could be your first step towards reclaiming your joy.

1) Clinging to perfectionism

Perfectionism is often hailed as a virtue, especially in our productivity-driven society. Striving for excellence can propel our personal and professional growth. However, when we stubbornly cling to perfectionism, it can quickly turn into a joy-stealer.

The problem with perfectionism is that it sets unrealistic standards that we can never live up to. It leaves us perpetually dissatisfied with our achievements, no matter how significant they may be. This relentless pursuit of an unattainable ideal can rob us of the joy we could derive from our accomplishments.

Moreover, perfectionism can make us risk-averse. Fear of failure or not meeting these high standards can prevent us from trying new things or stepping out of our comfort zones. This robs us of potential joyful experiences and opportunities for growth.

If you find yourself obsessing over minor details, constantly self-criticizing, or feeling anxious about making mistakes, it’s time to reassess your relationship with perfectionism. Letting go doesn’t mean settling for mediocrity. It’s about celebrating progress over perfection and embracing the beauty of being perfectly imperfect.

2) Overcommitting your time

In our fast-paced world, it’s easy to fall into the trap of overcommitting. We pack our schedules with endless tasks, meetings, and obligations, leaving little room for rest, relaxation, or spontaneous joy.

I’ve found that when I try to do too much, I end up feeling stressed and overwhelmed instead of fulfilled. The simple joys of life – a leisurely walk, a stimulating conversation, a peaceful moment of solitude – often get pushed aside in the hustle and bustle.

Remember, time is our most precious resource. How we choose to spend it directly impacts our happiness and overall quality of life. If you’re constantly rushing from one task to the next with no time for yourself, it might be time to reconsider your commitments.

As the renowned author and speaker Brené Brown wisely said, “Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves even when we risk disappointing others.”

It’s okay to say no sometimes. Protecting your time is a form of self-care that allows joy to flourish.

3) Neglecting self-care

In the hustle of our daily lives, self-care often takes a backseat. We may think we’re too busy to take a break, too important to step away, or too dedicated to pause. But, as I’ve learned, neglecting self-care is a surefire way to drain joy from your life.

Self-care isn’t just about bubble baths and spa days. It is about prioritizing your mental, emotional, and physical well-being. It’s about setting boundaries, saying ‘no’ when needed, and not feeling guilty for taking time for yourself.

Neglecting self-care can lead to burnout, which in turn can leave you feeling exhausted, irritable, and devoid of joy. On the contrary, when you make an effort to take care of yourself, you’re better equipped to face challenges and enjoy life’s pleasures.

To understand more about the importance of self-care and how it can impact your life, I invite you to watch my video on giving up on the idea of constantly being a “good person.”

This belief can lead to internal criticism, judgment of others, and makes us easily manipulated, whereas letting go of this ideal fosters a more authentic, fulfilling life.

If you find value in this video and want to explore more about living a life with greater purpose and freedom, consider joining over 20,000 others who have subscribed to my YouTube channel. You can click here to subscribe and journey with us towards authenticity and freedom.

4) Comparing yourself to others

In a world where everyone’s highlight reel is on display, it’s easy to fall into the trap of comparison. We look at others’ successes, their possessions, their relationships, and feel that we fall short. This constant comparison is a quick route to dissatisfaction and unhappiness.

The truth is, each of us is unique, with our own journey and timeline. Comparing ourselves to others not only robs us of joy but also undermines our self-worth. It makes us forget that we are inherently valuable and deserving of respect and dignity, regardless of our achievements or possessions.

Furthermore, this comparison often leads us to make decisions based on what we think we should do rather than what aligns with our values and aspirations. This can lead to a life that feels inauthentic and unfulfilling.

As the saying goes, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” So next time you find yourself comparing your chapter 2 to someone else’s chapter 20, remember that you’re on your own unique path.

Celebrate your progress, acknowledge your strengths, and embrace your individuality. This is the path to authentic joy.

5) Ignoring your creative potential

Contrary to popular belief, creativity isn’t exclusive to artists, writers or musicians. It’s an inherent part of our humanity – an essential force that allows us to innovate, solve problems, and express ourselves. Yet, many of us neglect this integral part of our being, leading to a joyless existence.

When we suppress our creative potential, we deny ourselves the opportunity to explore new ideas, learn new skills, and express our unique perspectives. This not only stifles our personal growth but can also lead to feelings of frustration and dissatisfaction.

Moreover, creativity often acts as a channel for emotions. It allows us to process complex feelings and experiences in a healthy way. By ignoring our creative potential, we may inadvertently be bottling up emotions that could otherwise be expressed and released through creative outlets.

To tap into your creative potential, you don’t need to become a professional artist or write a bestselling novel.

Start small. Write in a journal, doodle in a sketchbook, try out a new recipe, or rearrange your living space. You’ll be amazed at how these small acts of creation can bring immense joy into your life.

6) Avoiding vulnerability

In a world that seems to prize strength and invulnerability, admitting our fears, expressing our emotions, or acknowledging our mistakes can feel uncomfortable, even terrifying. Yet, it’s precisely in this vulnerability that we often find our deepest joy.

Avoiding vulnerability can create an emotional barrier between ourselves and others. It can prevent authentic connection, hinder communication, and even lead to feelings of isolation. This is why embracing vulnerability is so crucial.

Being vulnerable means being open to the full spectrum of human experiences – the highs and the lows, the triumphs and the failures. It entails sharing our true selves with others and inviting them to do the same.

In this process, we create genuine connections based on empathy and mutual understanding, which are key sources of joy.

Moreover, vulnerability allows us to grow. By confronting our fears and challenging our limitations, we not only build resilience but also pave the way for self-discovery and personal growth.

So next time you feel the urge to shield your vulnerabilities, remember that these very aspects make you human. Embrace them, share them, grow through them. This is where authentic joy resides.

7) Neglecting your values

In the pursuit of success, approval, or conformity, we often end up neglecting our core values. We make decisions that don’t align with what we truly believe in, leading to a life that feels out of sync and unfulfilling. This misalignment can significantly diminish our sense of joy and satisfaction.

Our values are the guiding principles that shape our decisions and actions. They reflect what is truly important to us and give meaning to our lives. When we neglect these values, we risk living a life that doesn’t feel authentic.

One way to ensure you stay true to your values is by regularly revisiting them. Reflect on what truly matters to you. Is it honesty? Compassion? Creativity? Freedom? Then, assess whether your actions align with these values. If there’s a disconnect, it’s time to make some changes.

Living in alignment with your values not only brings a sense of peace and satisfaction but also paves the way for genuine joy. Remember, joy doesn’t just come from external achievements; it also comes from knowing that you’re living a life true to who you are.

Rediscovering your joy

The journey back to joy is deeply personal and can often mean confronting some ingrained habits and patterns of thought. It’s about choosing authenticity over pretense, embracing vulnerability, and aligning our actions with our core values.

Most importantly, it’s about understanding that joy isn’t a by-product of external circumstances but an internal state of being that we can cultivate. It’s about taking full responsibility for our happiness rather than seeking it in things, people, or validation from others.

In essence, to invite joy back into our lives, we need to let go of the habits that hinder it and embrace those that foster it. Each of us has the capacity to create a life filled with joy, fulfillment, and authenticity; it’s just a matter of making the choice.

As you embark on this journey towards rediscovering your joy, consider this: What is one habit you can start letting go of today that can make room for more joy in your life?

If you found value in this article and want to explore more about living life with greater purpose and authenticity, consider subscribing to my YouTube channel. Together, we can uncover insights and strategies for leading a more fulfilling life. Just click here to join me and thousands of others on this journey.

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Justin Brown

Justin Brown is an entrepreneur and thought leader in personal development and digital media, with a foundation in education from The London School of Economics and The Australian National University. As the co-founder of Ideapod, The Vessel, and a director at Brown Brothers Media, Justin has spearheaded platforms that significantly contribute to personal and collective growth. His deep insights are shared on his YouTube channel, JustinBrownVids, offering a rich blend of guidance on living a meaningful and purposeful life.

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