We are born to be happy and enjoy life. Yet, so often, instead of a life full of joy, our daily reality is mainly exhaustion, resentment and disappointment. What is it that is in our way?
As children, we learn that certain behaviors are more welcome by our parents, grandparents and teachers than some other behaviors. Having good marks, keeping our room clean, obeying rules, being on time – all earn us positive attention, reward and approval.
Unless we receive a lot of reassurance from our loved ones that no matter how we behave we are still unconditionally loved for who we are, we are likely to develop various limiting beliefs that sabotage happiness:
- I must work hard to earn happiness
This most common limiting belief about happiness is often making us become workaholics. In our mind, we have to work first and deliver all what we are asked for (and often even what we are not asked for) and only then we can enjoy happiness.
The trouble with this concept is that the work is literally never done. Once one to-do-list is completed, another one appears. We feel constantly pushed to do more and more, before we can be happy.
When we allow our accomplishments to become our main source of self-worth, we often become too busy to enjoy our family, friends, and the simple pleasures of life, like a walk in a nature or watching a sunset. Instead of happiness, we often feel empty and exhausted.
- I must be perfect to deserve happiness
There is a saying: “There are no happy perfectionists” and sadly, the saying is often true. A belief that anything we do or say must be 100% perfect all the time is one of the most harmful ideas for our personal happiness.
Trying to avoid even the smallest mistake at all costs, always delivering what we are asked for, answering every e-mail and never being late for an appointment are usually creating an enormous pressure which sooner or later becomes a major obstacle to a happy life.
When we allow a fear of criticism from others for not being perfect rule our life, we become our own enemies. We can never relax; our constant self-judgment is so strong that there is only a very little space for feeling content and happy.
- I must suffer to be happy
When our mind is programmed that we have to suffer to be worth of happiness, our life often becomes a series of unhealthy sacrifice, pain, and struggle.
A belief that sacrificing our happiness will make others happy keeps us in abusive relationships, puts the needs of others always first and rarely allows us to follow our own dreams. We don’t speak up, don’t say what we want, don’t ask for help in a belief that our happiness would be selfish.
Our suffering is so often well intended. We believe that it is the right thing to do and often completely overlook a huge resentment and sadness building inside ourselves.
A secret to a happy life is to replace our limiting beliefs that sabotage happiness with empowering ones that help create a happy life.
Following are examples of such positive beliefs:
- “Who I am is enough.”
- “I do not need to suffer to be happy”
- “My mistakes are not who I am.”
- “I do not need to do anything to be happy. Happiness is my birthright.”
- “Everyone benefits from my happiness. My happiness is my gift to the world.”
- “Happiness is the main purpose of my life.”
- “I make the world to be a better place by my happiness.”
- “I love myself as I am right now.”
This post is also available in: Czech