I know what it’s like not to feel fulfilled.
Several years back, I found myself feeling like I just didn’t have the happiness and contentment I was searching for in life.
I mean, nothing was seriously wrong. I had a relationship, a job, a place to live, and even a very chilled-out cat, but I still didn’t feel “full,” if you know what I mean.
Then you’ve felt unfulfilled before, or perhaps that’s how you’re feeling right now if you’re reading this article!
Well, I’m happy to let you know that I figured out a lot of where this feeling was coming from, and it turned out to be mostly springing forth from my own habits.
I found that I was doing things to myself that perpetuated this feeling of a lack of fulfillment, and that helped me know where to direct my energy to make changes.
So, if you’re feeling unfulfilled in life, say goodbye to these seven habits, and you’ll find your life a whole lot happier.
1) Comparing yourself to others
Feeling fulfilled is about feeling a lot of happiness with the life that you’re leading.
You’ve got to feel like what you have and what you’re doing is good enough. Yet, if you’re in the habit of looking around and comparing yourself to others, it’s going to be hard to feel great about your life.
You can see inconceivable numbers of disadvantaged people in the world, like the 682 million people in the world living on less than $2.15/day. But as soon as you see someone younger than you posting a picture of themself on their luxury yacht, you can feel like you haven’t got enough or succeeded in life.
Funny, isn’t it?
For some reason, we don’t feel amazingly happy every minute we’re living in a relatively wealthy country free of war. Instead, we can feel upset that other people have more than we do.
Well, this kind of thinking is a habit that you can change if you put your mind to it.
You can stop comparing yourself to others in unhealthy ways, and you’ll find you have a whole lot more time and energy to focus on making changes in your own life.
2) Not practicing gratitude
This isn’t actually a habit that’s making you unfulfilled. Instead, it’s the lack of cultivation of the habit of practicing gratitude that’s probably holding you back and holding you down in life.
Practicing gratitude is actively thinking about the good things you have going on in your life.
Are there none?
You’re alive, for one, and that in itself should be enough to amaze the pants off anyone. How does life even exist with all the odds stacked against it?
See, if you can think your way into not feeling fulfilled, then you can also think your way out of it. You may just have to change your perspective, and there’s no better way than really focusing on the positives.
A lot of people will do relaxation activities like meditation and yoga in combination with their gratitude reflections. You might write in a journal, record yourself voice notes, or even chant statements of gratitude to yourself.
Don’t be shy – I’ve done it, and all it did was make me happier!
3) Getting jealous of other people’s successes
One thing that was a real struggle for me personally in the past was looking at other people’s successes and feeling myself turn green, the color of envy (according to Kermit the Frog).
But I’m not just talking about just any other people. I mean people I know.
I would look at what friends or old schoolmates were doing with their lives and feel jealous when I saw some of them had achieved great success.
It could be their wealth, their jobs, whatever – it just made me burn with jealousy.
Why wasn’t I happy for them instead?
I spent a good part of my young adulthood working for charities and traveling to other countries. I have a wealth of experiences from that time, but I also ended up way behind in career, family, and wealth development.
While that’s a fact, it doesn’t give me an excuse for jealousy.
I had to really work with myself on this point and realize that I made my choices and gained things that I wouldn’t ever trade away. So, I really had no business being jealous.
As well, their successes had nothing at all to do with me so it was foolish to begrudge them in any way. This was a hard pill to swallow, but once I got it down, my feelings of being unfulfilled seriously decreased.
4) Being bored
The world we live in is full of so many things to know, do, and learn.
The philosopher Nietzsche famously said, “Is life not a thousand times too short for us to bore ourselves?”
These days, with the Internet always at our fingertips, it’s incredible to me that anyone could ever get bored. But as Nietzsche suggested, it’s not the world that bores us.
We make ourselves bored.
Knowing this is powerful. Boredom is an issue of perspective and not input. It’s not that there’s nothing to do; it’s that we don’t place value on the multitude of things we could do.
So, if it ever seems like life is boring, this means you’re allowing yourself to feel bored. The world hasn’t changed, just you, and this is a habit that you should say goodbye to if you want to feel fulfilled in life.
5) Not setting yourself challenges
One of the meanings of the word “fulfill” is to complete something, like fulfilling a requirement or your destiny.
One of the reasons you may be feeling unfulfilled is that you’re not actively setting up challenges for yourself so that you can achieve them.
This is one of the things we do that adds tons of dimension and depth to our lives.
But when we don’t do it, life can start feeling really flat and empty.
I know just what this is like.
Years back, when I realized I was feeling really unfulfilled, I took a good hard look at what I was doing in my daily life, and it didn’t look good.
I realized that I was really living in a sort of tape loop. I’d get up, go to work, come home tired, watch some entertainment, go to bed, and do it all the same way the next day.
My work was a long commute away, and the job itself was just OK. It paid well and was easy. It only required a lot of time, not a lot of brainpower.
Consequently, I felt like I was going nowhere and doing nothing with my life, even though many people would be happy in an easy, well-paying job!
I realized that I needed challenges and tasks to put my efforts into, complete, and feel a sense of accomplishment from.
6) Wishing upon a star
When you wish upon a star, it makes no difference who you are – it’s still only a wish.
Many of us have the habit of imagining the future or playing make-believe about big goals or targets in our lives.
Hey, I always wanted to be a stadium rock star!
The thing is, wishes don’t do anything. They don’t bring things toward you or make your goals any easier to achieve.
In fact, maybe they do something after all – they can make your goals seem out of reach.
If you wish you were a great chef but you just wish and don’t practice cooking, yeah… good luck with that!
If you really want something enough, you have to put in effort to get it. That’s just the way it works.
7) Dwelling on failure
Look, I know you’ve messed up in the past.
I have, too – well, who hasn’t?!
But if you keep yourself stuck in that failure mindset, you’ll definitely miss out on the happiness and satisfaction you could be finding in your life.
I did this in the past, especially in my love life.
I had a relationship with a partner who was great, but it still fell apart, and I really blamed myself for years for this failure.
Now, I look back at that time and regret all the time I spent beating myself up over it rather than accepting and learning from it.
Well, I eventually learned that we all make mistakes, and these are a big part of life. They make us who we are, so whether they’re minor or incredibly painful, they’re necessary.
No one’s born perfect, so of course, we’re going to mess a lot of things up along the way.
If you’re feeling unfulfilled in life, say goodbye to these seven habits because they’re holding you back and keeping you from the happiness you deserve.
Almost all of them require just a change of perspective and a little bit of hard work to get rid of.
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