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Things You Should Stop Doing to Become Happy

Robert Parker

By Robert Parker

We all want to live happily. However, what most people don't know is that we stand in our way more often than circumstances prevent us from living freely. Here are fifteen things you shouldn't do if you want to live happily.

We can really make life difficult for ourselves, and often we do just that. We worry too much, burden ourselves with anxieties, feelings of guilt and doubts, are unhappy, but do not change anything and remain in our learned patterns.

And then we complain that the world is so unjust and we are so poor when, in truth, we have a lot of control over whether we live happily or not.

Experts from have conducted a research and discovered what you can do differently in the future to be able to live happily and feel much better.

Want to Be Happy? Avoid These 15 Things

1. Waiting for the perfect moment

"Actually, I want to be a writer, but this is not the right time."

And because it's not the right time, you stay in the old job that you can't stand. It is not possible to change things now. First, Venus and Mars have to be in the perfect place, or some other cosmic sign need to arrive that signals you that it's okay to act.

Successful people who live happily differ from less successful people in that they have stopped waiting and started doing something. You can find out how to do this here: don't talk, do it!

2. Social expectations

"Actually, I want to quit my job, start as a musician, confess my feelings to my great love, have a child, and finally eat vegan, but that's not possible."

And why is that not possible?

Because your parents would be disappointed if you quit your job, because your brother says that all musicians are poor, your buddy thinks that you should be single and not bind yourself, and your boss thinks vegans are weak people who cannot perform.

Well, that's stupid. Then you best bury your dreams in the depths of your subconscious and continue to eat meat for the boss. That way, you can die with the satisfying feeling that, although you never did what you wanted, at least you didn't risk a discussion.

WAKE UP: It's YOUR life. If your buddy wants to be single, then he can do it, but why are you guided by his ideas? Stop wishing to meet the expectations of others at all costs and decide for yourself how YOU want to live happily.

You can find out how to stop worrying about what others think here: stop caring what others think too much!

3. Self-devaluation

"I am an idiot who forgot the laundry in the drum again." "How can I be so stupid?" "I hate that I have feelings for my boyfriend." "He's definitely not looking at you. What do you have to offer you stupid, ugly thing."


We already have enough stress and conflicts outside. We don't have to make life hell for ourselves. But that's exactly what we do. We punish ourselves, we criticize ourselves, we scold ourselves, we condemn ourselves, we refuse, and we keep showing how inadequate and worthless we are.

Guess what? If you want to live happily, that's NOT the way to go. The opposite is the case.

Especially when things are going badly outside, make sure that things are going well inside. Especially if you miss friends outside, be yourself a friend you would want to have. Especially when there is no support from others, support yourself.

Be there for you unconditionally — with self-love and self-compassion.

4. Perfectionism

Good is not good enough. We have to be the most beautiful, smartest, most successful, and most talented. We have to make everything 100% perfect. We expect us to be the perfect parents, the ideal employees, the ideal lovers, and the perfect children.

That is based on our fear that we are not good enough the way we are.

So we try to prove our value through the best performances.

The problem with that is, in truth, nobody cares about you but yourself. No one cares whether the cake is homemade, or if the report cost you three days instead of one, and your hair was being styled an hour instead of 20 minutes. Only you worry about it.

And the side effects: the constant feeling of being inadequate and failing (because perfectionism is a bottomless pit), continuous pressure and stress, often doing tasks too long because you cannot hand them in in their inadequate state.

Do you want to continue as before? Be my guest. But it doesn't make you a better person — just less healthier and more unhappy. Do you want to change something?

5. You worry about what others might think

So, often we let ourselves be limited in our happiness because we worry about what others might think.

"What do you think he thinks of me?" "What does it look like when I do this?"

Watch out: other people think about you a lot less than you think.

Why? Because they are concerned with their own lives and problems. The kiosk seller doesn't look at you negatively because he condemns you for getting a Coke again or doesn't like your hairstyle, but because he just had a fight with his wife.

And one more thing: if others actually have a problem with you, it's their problem. Not yours.

6. Wait for the fear to go away

Everything that is new and everything that we do not know frightens us. This fear will always be there because you can never know everything that is going to happen.

So learn to live with fear.

Learn to act despite fear.

That is the only way you can move forward in your life. Fear is a sign that you are developing and chasing your dreams. And it's worth being scared for that.

7. Must

We have to... we have to...

Basically, we should completely remove this word, which we all use far too often, from our vocabulary because it suggests that we are unfree. As slaves, we have to do certain tasks until we are finally freed.

For heaven's sake. Who wants to live like this?

Nobody. You think now, but "I have to."


You don't have to do anything.

You always have a choice.

You don't have to take over your father's business just because the four generations before you did. You can also choose differently. Sure, it may not make your father happy, but it is up to you to decide what consequences you are willing to accept.

8. Wanting to prove yourself

We are constantly trying to prove something to someone.

"Look, dad, I can earn my own income." "Look, boss, how much overtime I do." "Instagram followers notice how exciting my life is." "Look how quickly I got a slim body again after giving birth."

We want others to see our success and to admire and praise us for it. We long for the recognition of others, like a bee for the nectar of the flower. It is the stuff that makes us high. At least we think it does.

Because, in truth, we rarely get the recognition we crave, rarely hear what we need to hear.

Dad is only satisfied when you are a civil servant, no matter how much money you make. And your slim body may have 1% more body fat than someone else's. And we feel inadequate again, which means that we want to prove ourselves once more.

An eternal vicious cycle that you can only break if you stop trying to prove something to others because you yourself have recognized your worth.

9. Your victimization

"I had a difficult childhood," "my parents don't love me," "everyone just uses me."

It can be anything, and yes, that's a buttload of bull.

And yes, it certainly shaped you.

And yes, you will be allowed to work a little bit more to straighten everything out and let go of the past.

But what do you want? Have an excuse for the rest of your life or leave all the crap behind and live happily?

The latter requires that you reconcile with and accept your past, stop feeling sorry for yourself, and start taking control of your future.

10. Wait until you can

What we cannot do scares us. That's why we prefer to do certain things only when we can.

The problem is that we only learn most things by doing them.

It's like swimming: so many people stand on the edge of the pool and say, "I will only hop in when I can swim," which means you will never swim.

Because we learn to swim by jumping into the damn pool. Although we are not yet able to hold ourselves in the water and are afraid. So you can spend three years looking at the other swimmers and taking the whole thing apart theoretically, or you can jump in and learn to swim within 15 minutes.

In our coaching sessions, we always see people who say: "I only do something when I know what I want." And then they get stuck year after year and become increasingly dissatisfied and think that there is no solution.

But there is, and it is simply called DO. Only when we become active can we learn, discover new things, find out what we like and what we don't like, and, ultimately, live happily.

11. Compare yourself with others

Susie earns five figures a month as a management consultant while you are still struggling with your starting salary? And Jen just bought a fancy new car while you are again driving to work in the old Fiat?

Of course, you feel bad.

You question all of your life decisions that led you to this stupid Fiat, and you are annoyed that you can't get your life sorted out.

How do you want to live happily when you keep an eye on what others have or how others live? There will always be someone who is taller, nicer, leaner, more successful, better known, or richer.


But, you know what?

What Susie and Jen do has no meaning at all in your life. It is their life. If you want the same thing they have, you have to make the same effort they make. If you are not ready to do that, leave it alone and be happy with what you have.

Look at your strengths and what you have already achieved. That's all that counts.

12. Whining

"Oh, why is the world so bad?" "Why is it so difficult for me?"

There is actually only one answer here: LOVE IT, CHANGE IT, OR LEAVE IT.

So, if you are unsatisfied with your job, quit. If you are suffering in your partnership, change or leave it, if you feel uncomfortable with your body, start exercising, and eat healthier food. If politics bother you, do it yourself. If you can no longer stand factory farming, get involved in something else. If you complain that there is no cure for cancer yet, study medicine, and look for one yourself.

Instead of complaining that the world is so bad, do something to change it. And no matter how small the step.

Do not leave the rescue of the world to other people. Be the change you want for this world.

13. Hoard useless objects

There are things in your own home that you are really happy about. The beautiful souvenir photo or maybe the great blender, with which you can now always make delicious banana milkshakes. And then there are about 205,820 other things just hanging around.

Things we don't use, and we don't need. Things that don't fit and things we don't like.

They all dirty up our apartments become dusty, have to be maintained, and annoy much more than they make us happy.

Get rid of all the stuff.

If you want to live happily, you don't need as many objects as possible, you need the right objects (or none).

Convince yourself of what a wonderfully liberating feeling it is to clear out and carry bags of stuff out of the apartment. You will be rewarded with more space, more air, and more freedom. The beautiful things in your apartment finally come into their own, and you will rediscover old treasures.

The best things in life aren't things anyway, so set yourself free.

14. Burden yourself with guilt

We all make mistakes. We cannot always foresee all the consequences and sometimes let ourselves be carried away. We do things that we later regret.

And then we feel guilty.

We think we are bad people.

Just because we did something bad doesn't make us bad people. Our psychology is quite complex, and we are not machines. That means there are many reasons why we do something. The fact that we have a corrupt character is never the reason.

And, of course, we want it not to happen again. But we don't have to feel guilty and bad forever. It is enough if we consider our mistake, consider what led to it, and how we can do it differently in the future.

15. Focus on negatives

The news shows us: a terrorist attack here, the refugee crisis there, the murder in the neighborhood, the hunger in the world...

The impression quickly emerges that the world is a cruel and unjust place.

And we don't even have to look far. Now the aunt also got diabetes, the neighbor of the parents lost his job, the girlfriend wants to break up, and it has been raining outside for days.

In short: everything is crap.

And yes, all of these things exist, and they are bad.

But they're not the whole picture. They only make up a small part of the world, and the other part, the positive one, we completely ignore.

Do you know that world peace researchers have found that we have more peace in the world today than ever before in human history? So our world is becoming more and more stable. But, of course, you won't find out about this in the news. Because the press focuses on the negative.

And what do you do if you believe that there is nothing good in your life?

The fact is: there are always positive and negative things in the world and around you. It is your decision what you pay attention to and what you want to put in the foreground.

Do you want to live happily? Then start paying attention to what is going well, what you can be thankful for, and what is nice.

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