Do you ever wonder why life never goes your way?
Everyone else seems to be doing okay but you’re stuck in this rut of unhappiness and are unable to escape.
Have you ever considered that you may be the problem?
Here are some habits you may have unconsciously formed that are sabotaging your pursuit of happiness.
1) Constantly comparing yourself to others
Do you find yourself comparing your achievements with others? Perhaps you’re wondering why no matter how hard you work; you’ll never be as good as the person next to you.
Remember that the grass is always greener on the other side; people only allow you to see what they want.
And this is very true in the age of social media. People flaunt their successes online but what we don’t see is the process they took to get there.
Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”
If your benchmark for success is the achievements of others, you’ll never be happy. There’ll always be someone doing better than you.
Focus on your own path and take the time to celebrate the milestones you achieve along the way.
You’ll realize that life becomes a lot less stressful once you stop comparing yourself to others.
2) Being ungrateful
Another habit of unhappy people is their inability to be thankful for what they have.
They’re always grumbling about how little they have or about how much more they can achieve.
Nothing satisfies their unending desire for more – more money, possessions, accolades, friends – you name it, they want more of it.
But being grateful is one of the ways to true happiness.
It helps us to appreciate what we have. We’ll realize that we have much to be thankful for, whether it’s the people in our lives or the accomplishments we’ve made to get to where we are.
Which brings me to my next point.
3) Looking down on your achievements
I know a friend who’s always doing this.
In school, he was always one of the better performing students and yet, always saw himself as mediocre.
At work, people often speak well of his contributions and ability to execute projects successfully. Yet, he’s the only one who dismisses everything he does.
Being overly critical of ourselves blinds us from our abilities and directs our focus solely on our flaws and imperfections.
This can hurt our self-esteem and eventually, erode our self-confidence and self-worth.
As we remember to show kindness to the people around us, we should also remember to have compassion for ourselves.
Engaging in positive self-talk will help reposition the way we see ourselves as we learn to focus more on the good.
4) Constantly complaining about everything
While this may stem from ungratefulness and comparison, it also builds an atmosphere of negativity.
No one likes being around someone who’s always complaining.
They zap people of their energy as they never have anything good to say. You may bring up something positive about a particular topic, and they’re quick to shoot it down.
This will end up hurting you most as you’re unconsciously feeding yourself with toxicity and clouding your perception of everything around you.
If you do this long enough, you’ll end up driving people away. And this will only make you feel lonelier.
I get it – going through every possible scenario before you make a decision, even the smallest ones, gives you a sense of security.
You feel that you have all your bases covered and are ‘prepared’ especially for the worst-case scenarios.
But if you agonize over every little decision, you’re just going to become even more stressed and anxious.
If left unchecked, this habit may cripple you from making bigger decisions and eat away at your self-confidence.
When you find yourself overwhelmed with thoughts, pause and take a breath. Clear your head.
Remind yourself that you’re capable of making this decision, and move on from there.
6) Remaining in your comfort zone
It’s normal to fear change and stay in a place we’re most comfortable in because it’s safe and familiar.
But remaining in one place for a long time can rob you of experiences that may develop you further.
Moreover, if the situation you’re in now isn’t the most beneficial (e.g. a toxic workplace, a relationship that’s not going anywhere), staying may seem like the safe option.
In the long run, this will impact your mental wellbeing.
Moving from this space may open up the possibility of failure and challenges, but you’re also allowing yourself to grow, meet new people, and get out of this cycle.
You’re giving yourself a chance at being a much happier person.
7) Seeking validation from others
Living your life for the sake of pleasing others is one of the easiest ways to sabotage your happiness.
Social media normalizes this as well. We edit photos and post them on social media to garner as many likes as we can.
We strive to paint a perfect life for others to see, while we scroll through our feed and wonder why our lives aren’t as perfect as everyone else.
Once we learn how to derive happiness from our own choices and decisions, we’ll also start building our self-confidence.
We don’t need the approval of others to lead fulfilling lives anymore.
8) Not forgiving yourself of past mistakes
The hardest person to forgive is usually ourselves.
Do you often replay scenes in your head, regretting moments and conversations? Or maybe you wished you had said something different or made another decision in the past.
We’re all imperfect and everyone makes mistakes.
Once you realize your wrongs, depending on the situation, try to make them right.
Then, move on and stop dwelling on it any longer.
Try to be kinder to yourself and allow yourself to be happy. You deserve it.
9) Not having clear goals
Cruising through life without a care in the world may sound appealing, but eventually, you’re going to feel empty.
Without a sense of purpose or a general direction as to where you should go, life can be devoid of meaning.
I knew a friend who just went through the motions of life without really having any goals. It was easy for him to do so, he just went on auto-pilot most of the time.
But after ten years (and these years just flew by), he realized that he didn’t have anything to feel proud of or happy about.
While life shouldn’t be entirely led by achievements, it’s good to bookmark sections of it with goals or milestones.
You’ll then have a path to work towards and life will be a little bit more fulfilling.
10) Neglecting self-care
The person we often seem to overlook is ourselves.
It’s so easy to say ‘yes’ to others but when it comes to taking care of ourselves, we ignore this.
I used to just push myself in everything that I did (sometimes over the limit) because I thought that if I worked hard enough, I’d get to reap benefits – and this applied to every area of my life.
There’s a saying ‘If you don’t pick a day to relax, your body will pick it for you.’ And I learned this the hard way.
After recovering physically and mentally, I made sure to schedule regular self-care days regardless of how busy I was.
Even if it just meant taking myself out for a nice meal or going offline for an entire day; every little action counts.
With proper rest, exercise, and nutrition, your body will thank you for it, and naturally, your mood will be much better.
11) Isolating yourself
While a lot of people believe that they can function without others, the truth is that humans are social creatures.
Some of us may be introverts or prefer being alone.
But they still treasure time with loved ones, even if it’s not in a big social setting.
An intimate meal with a friend or two, or even a conversation over the phone can be incredible mood boosters.
Isolating yourself will just lead to feelings of loneliness.
You don’t need to have a lot of friends; you just need a few supportive and encouraging ones who will always have your back.
12) Living in the past or future
Sometimes I catch myself thinking about possible scenarios that could have happened if I had chosen a different path, or made another choice.
The scenes that play out in my head can be so vivid that I spend the rest of the day living in regret.
When we spend too much time living in the future, or the past, this prevents us from enjoying our present.
Because who’s to say that life will pan out the way you envisioned it to be, had you made another choice?
It may make sense in your head but in reality, life could turn out entirely different.
Why worry about things that are out of your control? What matters is what you do now.