Have you ever noticed that your own mind is sabotaging your path to happiness? While your mind may not be the sole culprit, it is a clever foe. Your brain can mislead you and make you miserable... and you won't even know it.
Image via Lasse Kristensen/Shutterstock.
But all is not lost. You can learn how to recognise your mind's deception and develop the right mindset. Check out this list of seemingly harmless thoughts to see if your mind is tricking you out of happiness.
From now on, I'm going to do my best.
How often have you pressured yourself to think positive after an unhappy incident or after seeing something inspirational? While pressure can sometimes provide the necessary push, commanding yourself to do your "best" doesn't give you much flexibility.
We've been conditioned to believe that when we want to make an important change, we have to take a huge leap. But what if you're having a bad day? The energy is suddenly lost, everything looks bleak, and you can't talk yourself out of it. You feel like a failure.
It's important to remember that the change you want requires time, persistence and patience. So, take one small step at a time and leave room to learn from your mistakes.
I just need to be more like...
It's normal to think that you should strive to be like those you admire. The problem arises when you wish you could be them.
If you get too wrapped up in mimicking someone else, you'll forget to pay attention to who you are — your needs, your values, your character, your journey.
By all means, learn what you can from your role models, and adapt or modify ideas to fit you. But don't forget to find your own voice. Gaining self-knowledge and self-respect is invaluable to building a lasting happiness.
I'll just follow what the experts say.
It's easy to think that experts can help you find your way to happiness. When you're down, their words are like beacons of hope. But that hope can be fleeting if you don't apply the lessons to real life.
Experts share lessons from their own experiences. While advice helps, their words serve only as hints, not answers for your journey. It's in your own real experiences where you will piece yourself together, realise your capabilities and find out what matters to you.
Learn to trust yourself.
I'm so busy. I'll find more time to focus on myself later.
Nowadays, being really busy has become something worth bragging about or something you can't escape. However, keep living this way and finding "you" time will start looking impossible. You will probably even blame your commitments for stealing your time.
But is it truly impossible for you to make time for yourself? Are you busy or is it avoidance? Are there duties you can cut out?
Really look at your schedule, prioritise, and put in a little "you" time. Everything else would benefit more if you spent some time caring for your needs.
I'm so tired. I need a break.
Maybe you are taking some "you" time, but you don't want to think about anything too intensely. Breaks help you recharge your mind. However, there is such a thing as having too many breaks. In this case, "taking a break" becomes an excuse to escape.
Thinking about your life shouldn't feel like a chore. Take advantage of the moments when your brain isn't dwelling on too many things. For starters, take 10 minutes and ask yourself what you've been doing, why you're doing it, and what will make you happier. It's worth your time.
Other people are just luckier than me.
Bad luck — a popular self-reassurance when we're incapable of understanding why we're not getting what we want. It's a mild form of comfort that temporarily eases the pain but can create resentment of others.
But why put your life at the hands of luck? I'm a firm believer of "you make your own luck". Do the work you know is necessary because luck can't give you your future happiness — you do.
Have some more faith in yourself because your goals need you — your energy, passion and determination — if they are to survive.
I can't wait until the day...
...when I'm happier about my life... when I'm successful... when I'm healthier... when I find my purpose in life.
Daydreaming is healthy to some extent. It allows you to be creative and visualise where you want to be. It only becomes dangerous when you don't do anything about it.
Don't live that happier life in your head. Good things come to those who go after them.
Sure, it's not going to happen overnight. You may experience plenty of false starts and — let's face it — there's a chance you might fail. But keep going, try again or move on to the next thing. After all, isn't life about experiencing and learning from the good and the bad? Meeting new people, exploring ideas and discovering new places?
Your life won't change if you are passing the time in your dream world. Time is precious, so be in the present and get going.
Want happiness? Know and believe in yourself.
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Melissa is a doodler, entrepreneur, inspiration seeker and negativity fighter. She doodle-blogs about achieving greater happiness by living a creative, productive and purposeful life at lumecluster.com. She is also the co-founder of music learning and inspiration centre, PianoVerse.