It’s not a secret that virtually everyone wants to be happy. Happiness, however, can often mean different things for different people. Either way, we all want it. But, instead of looking for how to be happy, perhaps it is easier to take a look at what to avoid to be happier and then go from there.
I struggled for a long time with “happiness” and even the idea that I could actually be happy. Anxiety, depression, and a number of other factors can make it harder to be truly happy but that does not mean that it’s impossible. I can say honestly that I am now happier than I have ever been and happier than I ever thought possible. Sure, I took a lot of small and large steps to achieve that happiness but perhaps there is more to be said about what mistakes I’ve avoided to become happy and to remain so.
I’ve compiled this list of Major Mistakes that Seriously Sabotage your happiness in the hopes that other people can find their personal road to being truly happy:
1. Living in the Past
This is a big one. If you are constantly dwelling on the past, there is no room to be happy in the present or to build a future where you can become and stay happy. Seriously, what is the use in dwelling on past mistakes? Take the lesson learned and move it along.
I know, it is easy to say to move on from the past. Doing it can be a little harder. Simply keep training your mind when it brings up a past mistake to push the thought away. Over time, it gets easier and easier.
Remember, the person you are today could have absolutely nothing in common with a past you and that’s sometimes a good thing. We are all meant to grow. Do whatever you can to let the past go so you can be happy in the present and plan for a very happy future.
2. Focusing on Drama
Look, drama is a great fiction genre but it is not great to live in when it comes to the real world. People who are constantly absorbed in some type of drama are likely pretty toxic and best avoided.
Instead of giving 2 sh*ts about any drama, focus on yourself, your personal and work life and let all the other BS go. It does nothing for you but rather causes you to fixate on issues that are not your own. Move on from any drama and the people who are absorbed in it.
If you know a person who is constantly gossiping, you probably already know how extremely unhappy that person really is. People who are really happy do not gossip about others. They focus on themselves and steer clear of putting others down when they’re not around.
4. Starting but Not Finishing
It took me a long time to realize how much this one was weighing on my ability to be happy. I would have 10-20 projects going at the same time and probably was only finishing about 2-5 of them. I was taking on too much and trying to do too many things at once and this was causing me to not finish.
When you complete something you start, you get a sense of accomplishment. When you’re trying to do too much at once or not being real about your follow-through, you aren’t going to get that sense of accomplishment. And dammit, that feeling is a huge contributing factor to your happiness.
Make finishing what you start a priority.
5. Too Much Time on Social Media
I see a lot of people who seemingly LIVE on social media. They’re always arguing with someone, posting some nonsense, or are just always on there. Most of what you see on social media is fake or filled with people who have very little satisfaction in their real lives.
Limit the amount of time you spend on social media and I promise, you’ll be a hell of a lot happier.
6. Being Judgemental
We all have the capacity to be super judgemental. But, why? Why does it matter what another person is doing if it has ZERO effect on you or your life? A good rule is to avoid being judgemental altogether, as what makes one person happy isn’t always going to work for another person.
If something has nothing to do with you, why comment on it? It’s judgemental and simply a waste of energy you could be investing elsewhere.
7. Not Setting Healthy Boundaries
If you give some people an inch, they will take a mile. Even when it comes to close friends and family, there have to be healthy boundaries. Don’t like someone just showing up to your house at any time they want without calling – set the boundary.
If another person is having a negative impact on your happiness, a boundary likely needs to be set and sometimes, (especially with overly pushy people), enforced.
8. Not Being Grateful
Every person on this planet probably wants something they don’t already have. It’s just a part of human nature. However, if you are focusing only on what you don’t have and not being grateful for all the amazing things you do, your happiness is going to dwindle.
Be grateful for what you do have. Practice gratitude. It boosts happiness!
As a rule, do not settle for anything less than what makes you happy. This means your partner, where you live, where you work, and pretty much everything else. There are always different routes to take but if you settle, you’ll never really know.
Think of it like this: You’re not a tree. If you’re not happy, move. It’s as simple as that. You can always find a way to change your situation if you really want to. And, if you are not happy, you should!
10. Missing Out on Experiences
Experiences are more important than I realized they were when I was younger. They give you perspective and you can learn a lot about yourself in the process. Don’t miss out on experiences out of fear. If you have a chance to try something you’ve never done before – TAKE IT.
You may regret some things you have done but you’ll have a much deeper regret regarding the things you didn’t try.
11. Wasting Time With a Partner Who Isn’t Right For You
This is another big one that goes back to the point of settling. If somebody doesn’t treat you good, support you, motivate you, and make you feel good, it’s pretty likely that they’re a shitty partner and you could do a lot better.
The partner you choose in life is going to make a big difference in how happy you are. Don’t settle.
12. Comparing Yourself To Others
If you constantly play what I like to call “the comparison game”, you’ll never win and you’ll never know what true happiness looks like to you. There is always going to be someone who has something better than you do and on the other hand, there are going to be people who want something you have. Focus on yourself and your life.
It’s totally okay to admire and to aspire to be like other people but don’t constantly compare, especially if you aren’t aware of that person’s entire situation. Focus on YOU.
13. Caring Too Much About What Other People Think
Odds are, most people don’t care what you’re doing because they’re busy focusing on themselves. If you aren’t hurting anyone, stop caring what other people think. If they’re focused that much on you, they aren’t happy anyways.
14. Not Pursuing Your Passions
If there is something you think you may love doing – give it a try. If you don’t love it, it’s something you can cross off of your list. But, if you do love it, you may have found a new passion and that’s always a positive thing.
15. Consistently Being Negative
A “glass is half empty” attitude is not one that is going to get too far, especially when it comes to happiness. It is okay to be hesitant, of course, but being negative all the time just taints all the energy around you. Avoid negativity in all ways.
16. Resisting Change
As humans, we are meant to grow and to change. That can mean different things for different people but if you are constantly resisting change and remaining exactly where you are, happiness is not going to come easy.
Take the chance as often as you can and embrace change. It may be for the better!
17. Making Assumptions
This also goes back to gossiping and being judgemental but to really drive the point home: if you do not have all the information, do NOT make assumptions. Assumptions without facts are bias and usually false. Don’t assume without all the facts, you’ll be happier and you can even train yourself to worry less by not making unjustified assumptions.
18. Having Unrealistic Expectations
Having expectations that have no basis, in reality, are only going to set you up for a bunch of let-downs. It’s like wasting all of your money at a casino because you think you’re going to win it all back. Always maintain realistic expectations.
19. Not Taking Care of Yourself
I always really liked the quote, “You can’t pour from an empty glass.” I have no clue where I heard it first or who said it though, (sorry). Either way, you have to take of yourself mentally and physically. It’s not a shocker that when we feel better mentally and physically, we’re happier!
Always make time for self-care. Nourish your body and mind.
20. Neglecting Self-Improvement
It took too long for me to realize how crucial this is for overall happiness and satisfaction. Look, no matter where you are in life, there is ALWAYS room to improve in one area or another, (usually lots of areas).
When thinking of self-improvement, consider some of these areas:
- Learning A New Skill
- Health (Mental & Physical)
- Cutting Out Bad Habits
- Trying New Things
- Becoming Better at Communication
- Reading More
- Improve Relationships
- Devloping Better Routines
- Trying New Hobbies
Happiness is a Choice. It is Achievable.
Look, if you spend all your time complaining without taking action to change your sitation, engaging with toxic or negative people, wasting time or neglecting personal growth, you are likely not going to be happy. Avoid things that suck happiness away and engage in more things that make you, as an individual, happy.
What things do you avoid to be happier? Let me know in the comments!