7 Things You Should Give Up If You Want To Be Happy
“It isn’t what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it.” ― Dale Carnegie
Let’s face it, we all want to be happy.
If you didn’t want to be happy you wouldn’t be reading this.
You talk about how you want to be happy, but you don’t ever seem to do anything about it.
If you want to be happy you don’t need to add more things to our life — you need to give some up.
Here is a list of things that you need to give up to create more happiness in your life.
Give Up On Your Fears
“Where fear is, happiness is not.” — Lucius Annaeus Seneca
Fear has the ability to take control of your life. It keeps you from doing things that could kill you. It also prevents you from doing things that make you successful.
We can all have fears.
Some of us have a fear of snakes.
Some of us have a fear of heights.
I, for one, have a fear of needles.
Some of us even have a fear of happiness.
It’s true, it’s actually a real fear and it’s called cherophobia.
“Aversion to happiness, also called cherophobia or fear of happiness, is an attitude towards happiness in which individuals may deliberately avoid experiences that invoke positive emotions or happiness.” — Wikipedia
There are four major reasons why cherophobes fear happiness:
- They fear that being happy will cause bad things to happen to them
- They fear that happiness will make them a worse person
- They fear that expressing happiness is bad for them and others
“Some people — in Western and Eastern cultures — are wary of happiness because they believe that bad things, such as unhappiness, suffering, and death, tend to happen to happy people.” Wikipedia
Unfortunately, fear and happiness can’t exist at the same time.
So, fear becomes a problem if it is keeping you from being happy.
To overcome the cherophobia, you need to start by taking small steps to reduce your fear.
Let yourself feel happy when you have accomplished a difficult task.
Learn to enjoy a beautiful sunrise or sunset.
Enjoy being present with your friends and family.
Once you start being happy with the little things in life, you will see that you have nothing to fear, and you will allow yourself more happiness.
Only then will you be able to break the power of fear in your life and begin to live a happier life.
Give Up On Your Negative Self-talk
“Positive thinking and negative thinking cannot operate at the same level in your mind, one needs to be the master and the one you feed it more will rule over the other.” ― Oscar Bimpong
I am my own worst critic.
I have a constant conversation going on in my head telling me that, “I will never be successful.”
When I forget things it tells me that, “I am such an idiot.”
Lately, it has been telling me that, “I suck at writing” (this one might actually be true).
Negative self-talk leads to poor self-confidence, low self-esteem, and a bad attitude.
Some of the most common forms of negative self-talk include:
- Filtering — when you increase the negative and decrease the positive things in your life.
- Personalizing — when you blame yourself for things that go wrong.
- Polarizing — when you only see things as black and white (this is my favorite).
“Never give a negative thought an inch or it will take a mile.” ― Matshona Dhliwayo
Negative self-talk will never lead to happiness.
If you want to be happy, you need to get rid of your negative self-talk.
Pay attention to your negative self-talk and when you hear it….
Change your thinking and turn your negative thought into a positive.
“I will never be successful” to “I will find a way to make this work.”
“I can’t do this” to “I can learn how to do this.”
“This is impossible” to “I will give it a try.”
You get the idea.
You can change the way you talk about yourself.
It will not happen overnight, and it may take some time, but you can do it.
Learn to be kind, gentle, and encouraging to yourself.
Start by not saying anything to yourself that you wouldn’t say to your best friend.
Give Up On Your Past
“Just because someone screwed up your past, it doesn’t mean you should give them permission to screw up your future.” — Zig Ziglar
We all have a past.
It can be filled with good experiences, or it can be filled with a bunch of negative crap that is screwing up your present, and even your future.
If you don’t want your future to look like your past, you have to let go of the baggage that is holding you back.
You have to let go of the people who have screwed up your life.
Once you do that, a huge weight will be lifted off of your shoulders, you will immediately feel lighter.
You will finally be able to let yourself be happy.
I know how incredibly hard it can be to let go of the past.
Your past shaped who you are today.
Sometimes your past actually looks better than your present.
But, the present is all that you have.
This moment is the future that you have always dreamed of.
It is the moment where you have to decide to either let the baggage of your past weigh you down or to let it go so that you can be happy now.
Don’t forget that life is a journey, and not a destination.
Don’t carry the baggage of your past with you.
Lighten your load and be a happier traveler.
When you look back, you will be glad that you did.
Give Up On Living Other People’s Dreams
“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” — Mark Twain
Way too many people spend their lives living other people’s dreams.
They are living the dreams of their parents…
Or the dreams of their friends…
Or even the dreams of someone they don’t even know…
They are so busy trying to live up to other people’s dreams for their life, that they are not living their own life.
They don’t know what makes them happy…
What they want…
What they need….
You only have one life and you must live it on your own terms.
Quit living other people’s dreams and find what will make you happy.
Give Up On Seeking The Approval Of Others
“An amazing thing happens when you stop seeking approval and validation: You find it. People are naturally drawn like magnets to those who know who they are and cannot be shaken!”- Mandy Hale
We all want to be liked, but way too many of us are living our lives based on the approval of others.
We spend our lives trying to please others by living up to other their expectations.
There is a huge problem with doing this!
You will never please everyone, and even if do it will not make you happy.
So, give yourself permission to stop trying to please others.
It doesn’t work.
“If you try to please everyone, you end up pleasing [no one], sometimes not even yourself.” — Alok Pandey
Instead, focus on what makes you happy.
The second that you decide to be yourself, and to stop trying to please others, you will find that the right people will be drawn to you.
Give Up Comparing Yourself To Others
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” — Eleanor Roosevelt
There will always be someone smarter, better looking, and more successful than you.
You can never win.
So quit comparing yourself to others.
It will not make you happy.
Instead, focus on you.
The things that make you an awesome individual.
Give up your need to impress others.
The day you stop comparing yourself to others is the day that you will become much happier.
Give Up Negative People
“You cannot expect to live a positive life if you hang with negative people.” ― Joel Osteen
We all have them in our lives.
They are negative…
You know who they are.
Why are you spending time with them?
Why are you are allowing them to steal your happiness?
If you spend your time with negative and unhappy people you will become negative and unhappy.
If you spend your time with positive and happy people, you have a higher probability of becoming positive and happy.
Happy people know that who they surround themselves with can mean the difference between a happy life and a miserable one.
Stop wasting your time with negative and unhappy people.
Get rid of them.
It may be difficult in the beginning, but you will be happy that you did.
“Remember: We all get what we tolerate. So stop tolerating excuses within yourself, limiting beliefs of the past, or half-assed or fearful states.” ―Tony Robbins
Happiness is a choice.
You are in control of your happiness.
Every day you get to choose to be happy or not.
Quit making excuses.
Quit blaming others.
Quit blaming your circumstances.
It’s time to take responsibility for your own happiness.
Call To Action
If you want to be extraordinarily happy and create the life of your dreams, check out my checklist.
(P.S. I have included some Amazon affiliate links to help defray the ridiculously high cost of my daughter’s education)
This story first appeared on Medium.com