While we all deserve happiness, some people never experience it as they unknowingly sabotage themselves.
Breaking free from these harmful patterns is the key to unlocking a more fulfilling and content life.
So, if you really want to find happiness, saying goodbye to these 12 behaviors becomes crucial.
1) Negative thinking
First of all, you need to get rid of any negative thoughts that keep coming to your mind. Constantly dwelling on them simply leads you to a pessimistic outlook on life.
One way of doing this is by reminding yourself of your achievements. Another is journaling every morning or evening.
Simply write down what you’re grateful for or what worries you and focus on solutions and not problems.
2) Constantly comparing yourself to others
Another thing that has to go is comparing yourself to others. We know this leads to feelings of inadequacy and envy.
Social media has left a wasteland of terrible self-image and self-doubt for teens and young people worldwide, and I can tell you that many adults suffer from it too.
Instead of watching what others do or have, focus on your own progress, set personal goals, and celebrate your achievements, regardless of what others are doing.
Plus, keep your scrolling to a minimum and retrain or reset the algorithm to show you only useful things in your feed.
3) Seeking approval from others
I don’t know about you, but for me, relying on external validation makes me feel anxious and dependent on others’ opinions. Then again, we all have jobs and careers and regularly depend on other people’s opinions.
All we can do is learn to trust ourselves and make choices based on our values and principles.
Relying solely on external validation makes you feel insecure and uncertain. Develop self-assurance and do your best every time.
That way, you don’t need to look for approval elsewhere. And even if you do, you know you already did your best. If they don’t like it, screw them.
4) Holding grudges
Holding onto grudges can be emotionally exhausting and harmful to any relationship. Not just romantic ones.
Should I still hold a grudge for not being invited to a wedding, or that my friend damaged my car, or anything else bad that happened in the past?
At one point in time, you need to forgive to release yourself from the burden of resentment and encourage healthier connections.
Plus, constantly dwelling on the past prevents you from fully experiencing the present and creating a better future.
Learn from past experiences, but focus on the here and now.
5) Fear of failure
Fear of failure is something that holds many capable and good people down. It can prevent you from taking risks and pursuing your dreams.
It’s why you stayed in your hometown your whole life even though you hate it and the people living in it.
It’s also why you stayed in that crappy job for so long, even though it’s very poorly paid and you have a knot in your stomach every evening before bed.
How can we grow and get better at things if we don’t step out of our comfort zone?
You must embrace failures as valuable learning experiences that can lead you closer to success.
6) Avoiding change
The same goes for avoiding change. Change is a natural part of life. Avoiding discomfort and challenges can stunt your personal growth and resilience.
But avoiding change can also hold you back in your personal life. For example, when you put off having important conversations, like discussing emotions or addressing conflicts, to maintain a comfortable but stagnant status quo in your relationship.
Or continuing with habits that are harmful to your health or well-being, such as overeating or excessive screen time, instead of making positive lifestyle changes.
Adopt discomfort and change as a pathway to learning and growth.
7) Being overly serious
My wife tells me I’m too serious all the time. That I need to lighten up. And while taking life seriously when needed is necessary, constantly being serious leads us to miss out on moments of joy and lightheartedness.
Worrying excessively about things beyond our control also leads to unnecessary stress. Focus on what you can influence and let go of what you can’t.
Constantly dwelling on problems can also prevent you from finding solutions. Instead, focus on finding actionable steps to address the issues you have.
May God be my witness, I will get that stick out of my ass!
8) Ignoring your passions
Neglecting your passions and hobbies is a road to being less fulfilled and more resentful.
For a long time, I’ve neglected all my hobbies, but I’m slowly implementing many of them back into my life.
So, why did I neglect them in the first place? I’ve always told myself I don’t have enough time for them.
In reality, we all have the same hours in a day, week, or year. And if billionaires running 10 companies have time to spend all their time on Twitter or pursue all their hobbies like there’s no tomorrow, then I, too, can find a couple of hours every week for my little ventures.
Think about that for a moment and make sure you carve out time for activities that truly bring you joy and a sense of purpose.
9) Constantly seeking excitement
If you’re on the other side of the spectrum and you’re always chasing excitement and novelty, you could end up feeling empty when not engaged in thrilling activities.
Learn to appreciate and find joy in the ordinary and simple aspects of life.
Or, here’s my advice. Space out exciting activities and spend more time planning them. It was proven that planning a trip can bring you greater joy than taking the trip itself.
I love the planning phase of anything. It’s a great way to escape all your worries and responsibilities and dive deep into what’s ahead.
10) Pursuing material possessions
Look, I get it. Buying material possessions brings a sense of accomplishment, especially when linked to personal goals or hard work. We’d all like a bigger home, car, TV, phone, computer, etc.
You see where I’m going with this?
It’s no wonder slightly better models come out almost every year. It’s because we want new things all the time.
But going after material possessions all the time to fill a hole in our happiness can lead to a never-ending cycle of desire. Plus, put a dent in your credit card balance.
All these things do is clutter our living space or make more waste.
Instead, find joy in experiences, relationships, and meaningful connections with others. Organize and declutter your surroundings to create a sense of calm and boost a more positive mindset.
The happiest people don’t care about material possessions.
11) Indulging in unhealthy habits
Unhealthy habits, such as excessive drinking or unhealthy eating, negatively impact your overall well-being.
And hopefully, I don’t have to inform you how a sedentary lifestyle is the new smoking.
Aim for a balanced and healthy lifestyle to support happiness. Recognize any and all unhealthy behavior and its negative impact on your life.
Set achievable goals to gradually reduce or eliminate unhealthy habits and substitute them with positive activities like exercise, hobbies, or mindfulness practices.
Where do I even start with this one? We all know that gossiping is rude, unfair to others and can lead to a toxic social environment and harm relationships.
Yet we all do it. Why?
Because when we talk about someone else, it creates a sense of camaraderie and social bonding among people. Sharing information about others also promotes a feeling of closeness and connection within a group.
And when it involves negative or scandalous information, it creates a temporary sense of superiority or self-importance.
Some people also feel a boost in their self-esteem by comparing themselves favorably to those they’re gossiping about.
On the other side, discussing positive and uplifting topics also boosts stronger connections but also contributes to a more compassionate and understanding community.
In order to truly be happy and content in life, we need to develop a signature dance move and bust it out at every opportunity. No, no, no. (But also, yes.)
What we really need to do is remember that personal growth and change take time and effort.
If you shed harmful behavior and embrace a more positive outlook, you’re on your way to a happier and more satisfying life.
And you know what, that feeling is like a magnet so don’t be surprised if you start attracting likeminded people.
Lost Your Sense of Purpose?
In this age of information overload and pressure to meet others’ expectations, many struggle to connect with their core purpose and values. It’s easy to lose your inner compass.
Jeanette Brown created this free values discovery PDF to help clarify your deepest motivations and beliefs. As an experienced life coach and self-improvement teacher, Jeanette guides people through major transitions by realigning them with their principles.
Her uniquely insightful values exercises will illuminate what inspires you, what you stand for, and how you aim to operate. This serves as a refreshing filter to tune out societal noise so you can make choices rooted in what matters most to you.
With your values clearly anchored, you’ll gain direction, motivation and the compass to navigate decisions from your best self – rather than fleeting emotion or outside influences.
Stop drifting without purpose. Rediscover what makes you come alive with Jeanette Brown’s values clarity guide.