8 Ways You Keep Yourself From Being Happy

Ask yourself, “Am I happy?” What’s your honest answer?

Asking ourselves such a thought-provoking question connects us with a more profound part of ourselves. The pursuit of happiness is a life-long endeavor, and everyone struggles to feel happy at certain points in their lives. We yearn for success, power, love, and friendship because we believe these things will bring us emotional fulfillment. We dedicate our whole lives to searching for happiness and finding ways to make those fleeting moments of joy last forever.

But what if the things we do actually hurt, rather than help, our chances at finding happiness? What if we’re making ourselves unhappy without even knowing it? This kind of self-sabotage is actually more likely than you think. Happiness is more of a mindset than an emotion; it’s a choice, and it can difficult to make at times.

With that said, here are 8 ways you may be getting in the way of your own happiness and success:

1. You talk down to yourself

Talking down to yourself and paying too much mind to your inner critic is only going to hurt your self-esteem, your self-confidence, and your motivation. You keep yourself from succeeding and achieving your own goals by believing you can’t do it and that you don’t have what it takes to make it. You convince yourself that you’ll fail so you don’t even bother trying, but as cheesy as it may sound, you miss all the shots you don’t take. Don’t let your fear make you believe you’re no good at the things you love, and don’t let it stop you from going after what you want.

2. You don’t forgive yourself

It’s only human to make mistakes from time to time. What matters most is that you learn to forgive yourself and move on from them, striving to be better. Nothing good will ever come from dwelling on them too much and drowning yourself in self-pity. You’re too hard on yourself. Until you learn to look at your failures as the stepping stone to your success, you’ll never move forward in life.

3. You procrastinate everything

Do you frequently put things off until the last minute? Are you prone to pulling all-nighters and cramming everything you need to do only if the deadline is near? Even if you might feel proud of yourself for how much you can achieve in such a short span of time, procrastinating isn’t actually good for you. It’s a stressful, maladaptive, and unsustainable solution to a much larger problem. You end up hating yourself for being so lazy and never doing things on time, and the quality of your work suffers for it. Procrastination stops you from doing your best and pushing yourself to be the very best you can be.




4. You don’t take responsibility

It’s hard to own up to our mistakes and acknowledge our own shortcomings. Instead of taking responsibility for our actions, we tend to blame other people instead, but this is a destructive belief to have. When you feel as if you have no control over your situation and can do nothing but wish things were different, it can make you feel hopeless that it will ever get better.

Only in personal accountability do we find the willingness to grow. We need to try to be better people, but how do we know where to start if we can’t even be honest with ourselves about the part we play when things go wrong in our life? Know that you are in charge of your own happiness, and nobody else.


5. You gravitate towards the wrong people

Most people believe that we are powerless over who we choose to love, but the people you tend to gravitate towards can tell you a lot about yourself. Do you often fall in love with people who are bad for you? Do you find yourself surrounded by so-called “friends” who are rude or inconsiderate towards you? This is a common occurrence for people who struggle with self-loathing or are afraid of intimacy. After all, we accept the love we think we deserve.

6. You overwork yourself

Some people throw themselves into their work because they love what they do and they’re passionate about their jobs. Certainly, there’s nothing wrong with being a hard worker and doing your best to build a better future for yourself, but you need a healthy work-life balance, too. Don’t neglect your mental health by working yourself to the bone all the time. There’s no need to feel guilty about having a life outside of work.


7. You let fear control you

They say “what you’re afraid of is probably what you should be doing”, and more often than not, they’re right! Change can be scary and uncomfortable, and a lot of us never really get over our fear of the unknown. While it can be all too easy to stay in our comfort zone and remain stuck in our ways, it’s wrong to let your fear dictate what you do. If you’re in a situation where you’re unhappy but you’re too afraid to do anything, don’t learn to live with it – fight against it! You have to want something more than you fear it if you ever want to be happy with your life and what you’ve chosen to do with it.

8. You dwell on what could have been

Finally, but perhaps most importantly, you might be causing your own misery by dwelling too much on what you don’t have or what could have been. You feel envious of what everyone else has and take all the good things in your life for granted. You lose sight of how wonderful your life is by imagining all the ways it could be better and then beating yourself up for not making it come true. You put yourself in a constant lose-lose situation. We all wish things were different in our lives sometimes, but there’s no good in bringing yourself down by fixating on it too much.

Do you relate to any of the points mentioned here? At the end of the day, we are responsible for our own happiness. So try to figure out what you might be doing to cause your own unhappiness and find a better way to go about it. Let go of everything that’s holding you back and make space in your life for better and brighter things to come.

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  1. This is great advice. Unfortunately I’ve been through therapy for the better part of three decades. I’ve never overcome the long term isolation I suffered due to a couple somatic delusions. I was diagnosed with Avoidant Personality Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, PTSD and Major Social Maladjustment; Outlook: Grave I’m 55 and started therapy when I was 27. I’ve used and abused substances most of my life self medicating. I missed app. 240 days of high school and had to repeat my Senior year to graduate. I suffered a TBI as a passenger a year after graduation and was hospitalized for 7 days. I did have a complicated 19 year relationship with a woman who visited me one day and it went from there. She’s suffered from major mental illness, having a psychotic episode after her husband died and being admitted for a month about eight years before I met her. She has 3 daughters, all in their early 30’s with children. The relationship ended this past September and after four days homeless I suffered a mild subarachnoid hemorrhage after collapsing and falling straight back on the occipital region of my brain, the same spot I had a significant contusion from the TBI. I’m living in a rooming house now which is what I’ve done most of my life. I only worked five years of my life and have been on disability since ’94. It’s a sad existence. My enjoyment comes from reading, watching documentaries, and some sports. I only marked all the reactions because I accidentally hit a few and they can’t be deleted. I’ve been addicted to everything on and off because it was the only thing that kept me from taking my life and gives me some relief and occasional joy even if it’s artificial. Naturally I’ve suffered from very deep depression a lot of the time. Taken Klonopin and Suboxone is the only thing that keeps me going in this world that’s in its sixth extinction. I’ve been a pessimist most of my life.

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