Is happiness elusive to you? Do you think you deserve more from life? Knowing when it’s time to make a change is a deeply personal realization, but some things can help you make the decision.
For example, knowing that you’ve given up on trying to be happy. So, let’s look at what these signs are so you can take the next steps if needed.
1) You’re constantly dwelling on negative thoughts
Do you feel like there’s a mental cloud hanging over you, where even the sunniest days feel overshadowed by pessimism?
Perhaps you find yourself replaying past mistakes and worrying about the future, creating a mental loop of self-doubt.
That just means you’ve developed a pessimistic outlook, expecting the worst in different situations. You’re focusing on what’s wrong instead of what’s going well.
For you, imagining positive outcomes becomes impossible, and making long-term planning a daunting task.
Instead of finding solutions, you often resign to the idea that things will never get better.
If that’s you, I feel you. I’ve been there, and I did have to make a change in my life. In fact, I moved to a different country with my family, and we did a 180-degree in our lives.
2) You’ve lost a sense of purpose or direction in your life
Losing a sense of purpose or direction in your life is far too easy nowadays, isn’t it? I’m incredibly worried for the generations to come. What will their lives be like if it’s often so bad already for so many of us?
What I see daily is that for many, each day feels like a journey without a destination, lacking the meaningful goals that give us a sense of purpose.
We go to a bullsh*t job, come home way too late, and… Often that’s it. We don’t have the time to do much else, do we?
So what happens? The absence of a clear life purpose brings about a feeling of emptiness and dissatisfaction. But also:
3) Engaging in activities you once enjoyed no longer brings any satisfaction
Even if you have the time for hobbies and activities, they don’t fulfill you as they used to.
Hobbies and activities that used to bring joy now feel like a chore, devoid of the passion and enthusiasm they once had.
The creative spark that fueled these activities has dimmed, leaving a void in your recreational life.
If that’s what has happened, you need to dig yourself out of this hole, my friend. That’s no way to live a life. Do whatever it takes.
4) Your daily routine feels like a monotonous grind
It’s difficult to admit, but for too many years, every day felt like Groundhog Day to me, with the same tasks and responsibilities.
Each day blended into the next without any notable highlights.
I was working and sleeping. But then, I had an epiphany at the same time as millions of other people:
Why am I stuck at this job and this hellhole of a city? I can just find remote work and raise my anchor to move somewhere else.
And that’s what I did. Now, I’m no genius. I’m just a regular schmo. And trust me, if I could do it (with my wife and small kid), almost anyone can, too.
Now, the next thing is very interesting to me. I don’t know what it is, but I’m still finding it hard.
5) Socializing and connecting with others feel like a burden instead of an enjoyable experience
When you’ve given up on trying to be happy, socializing becomes an energy-draining activity instead of a source of joy.
You cancel plans or avoid groups because the effort it takes to engage socially feels more taxing than the enjoyment you get back.
If you’re an introvert like me, that’s normal. For almost everyone else, that should be something to perhaps worry about.
If you were always sociable but now you avoid others like a plague, think about why you’re doing it. Are you simply getting older, are you depressed, do you lack friends, and so on?
Be frank with yourself, as it could mean you’re deeply unhappy.
6) You struggle to find motivation and procrastinate
Struggling to find motivation and dealing with procrastination can also be challenging. It’s a common experience, and many go through phases where staying focused and getting things done are some of the hardest things for them.
Again, you need to get to the bottom of why you feel so unmotivated. Have you given up and are just coasting through life?
It’s a tough situation, that’s for sure. I mean, you need to do something about your life, but at the same time, you don’t have the mental energy for it.
So, what I recommend is that you pick one thing. Just one thing you want to improve in your life.
If it’s finding a better and more fulfilling job or career, spend a week thinking about what that would be and what your life would look like if you made the change.
Next week, find out how to get that position. What would be the most straightforward way of doing it?
Establish a reward system to celebrate achievements, no matter how small. Take it step by step until you consistently get to your goal.
7) You’ve stopped setting goals or pursuing things that once excited you
Talking about goals, if they used to be your guiding stars, providing direction and purpose, but you haven’t had one in a while, that’s a huge red flag.
As I just said, you need to get back on track and get one realistic goal or more. Now, set some far-out goals, too, just for good measure.
Make them your moonshots. Start with a big question – what if? You need to start thinking big to dig yourself out of a hole.
But here’s the thing. Even the most successful people battle with anxiety and the meaning of life, so don’t think this will just magically go away.
8) Small setbacks or challenges feel overwhelming, leading to a sense of helplessness
Look, we all f*ck up, okay. It’s what you do next is what’s important. Do you see it as a huge failure that you never recover from, or do you learn from it and do better next time?
So, if what used to be minor setbacks now feel like major roadblocks, you did perhaps give up on trying to be happy and successful.
Plus, when resilience gives way to a sense of defeat, it’s tough to bounce back from knocks.
That’s why you need to recognize this pattern and work on building resilience. Facing challenges head-on becomes more manageable when approached with a sense of control and a belief in your ability to overcome them.
How to make a change
Making a change isn’t fast or easy. Ideally, you have to take time to reflect on your current situation, identifying parts you want to change or improve.
Make sure you tell some people what you’re doing so you don’t give up and stick to your goals.
You’ll need to try new things, so make sure you’re ready to step out of your comfort zone.
And lastly, know that you will fail at some things but that it’s a part of the journey. You only lose if you give up.
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.