There’s a time old adage that teaches that happiness begins within. While it may seem at times that finding happiness in the right now is impossible, I can’t stress enough how much control you truly have in your own emotional well-being, in the path your life takes and in your experiencing of true joy. To help you achieve joy and happiness, I want to share my list of four self-sabotaging habits you need to stop now. One of my greatest joys as a life coach is seeing first-hand how my clients are able to effectively change their outlooks on life, personal happiness and achieve success. I won’t say that it’s an instant change, because it’s not. But, it’s a change that is entirely possible and that I believe that you, too, can make.
Avoid Autopilot Behaviour
What do I mean by this? Well, there are many behaviours that can easily achieve autopilot status under the right (or, in this case, wrong) circumstances. Some examples are mindless eating, binge watching television, losing hours to vying over your ex boyfriend’s recent trip with his new girlfriend… these are all examples of actions or behaviour that happen without a deliberate intention. They just get into autopilot.
Allowing yourself to carry on a life in which you regularly simply tune out and allow yourself to engage in autopilot behaviours can have a negative, direct impact on your happiness. It’s so incredibly important to be aware of this "brain habit" and consciously catch yourself. This way you can, in the moment, choose different thoughts.
When you allow your life and your mind to be filled up to the rim with unintentional thoughts and actions, you end up without any room for positive intentions. A life filled with deliberate, thought-out and intentional actions will ultimately lead to a much more fulfilling and happy day-to-day.
Avoid Criticizing Yourself
Believe me when I say that everyone experiences self-criticism, just simply of varying degrees. At the end of the day, we are all only human. With that being said, regular self-criticizing behaviour can have major negative impacts on your self-esteem, self-confidence, outlook on life and happiness.
When you feel yourself beginning to pick yourself apart, take a moment to breathe. It’s imperative that you follow that breath with a self-affirming statement. For example, not feeling beautiful today? Remind yourself that you are special (and gorgeous) in your own unique skin. Feeling down because a presentation you delivered at work didn’t go as well as you hoped? Remind yourself that you are capable, intelligent and will rock the next presentation twice as hard.
When you’re feeling down, it can be tempting to throw on the sweats and retreat to a weekend filled with Netflix, delivery food and just about nothing else. Allowing yourself to remain in isolation, particularly when you’re feeling especially down, can have more negative impacts than healing ones. While “me” time can be very fulfilling and productive, the difference between that and “isolation” really comes down to purpose.
The next time you’re tempted to cancel on friends with plans or decline an event invitation, ask yourself if you truly intend to spend the time working towards greater self fulfillment or if there is now a larger likelihood you will feel worse through isolating yourself. Again, I fully believe in recharging by spending time alone but we just have to be careful of when and how we do it.
Avoid Putting Everyone Before Yourself
Have you ever been called a “people pleaser” or thought of yourself a “yes man” or “yes woman”? Generosity and devotion to others is not a characteristic to be ashamed of, nor is it a negative. However, if you regularly put everyone else ahead of yourself to the point that your own needs and wants are not being met – chances are that you’re not as happy as you could be.
Spending time focused on working towards your own happiness will result in a lift in happiness of those around you. Everyone wins when you put your own happiness as value numero uno. This joy has influence and will emanate to those around you.
To your authenticity,