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Sabotaging Your Happiness: 12 Ways You Can Ruin Your Life

You can have everything you’ve ever wanted and more, yet still be dissatisfied and unhappy with your life. But what can you do to change that?

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If you feel down in the dumps about yourself, it’s probably because you have habits, attitudes, and actions that are hindering you from being the best person that you can be. In fact, these things can even ruin you and your chances of happiness. Find out how you might be ruining your own life and the things you can do to stop this from happening.

You are ruining your own life…

#1 By being lazy. It’s natural to be lazy, but it can help tremendously if you keep yourself motivated and driven. Putting off things by procrastinating or not going after what you really want because of the effort it entails is the definition of laziness. This attitude holds you back from progress and growth, whether in your career or your personal life.

What you can do: Add structure to your life. Create a schedule and make sure to follow it. Don’t let yourself be sidetracked, and keep your priorities in check. This gives you motivation to reach your goals and make the most out of your day.

#2 By talking about other people. Gossiping is like a toxin. It poisons your mind. It’s often a vice that you know ruins you in some way or another, yet you can’t stop. Sure, you may get some temporary highs out of talking about other people, but in the end, gossip just brings negativity. No matter if what you’re talking about is true or just a rumor, no one benefits from gossip.

What you can do: As it’s been said, “small minds talk about people, big minds talk about ideas.” Be the bigger person and avoid gossiping at all costs. If someone tries to talk about someone else with you, just avoid the topic or smile and walk away. It’s just another negativity that you don’t need in your life. [Read: 12 ways to stop negative people from sapping your energy]

#3 By doubting yourself. While self-reflection and self-critique can help you improve, they can also lead you to self-doubt with the wrong frame of mind. Doubting yourself will always make you hesitate and may even leave you stuck in a rut because you don’t trust your own decisions.

What you can do: If you’re going to make a big decision, like a career choice or moving to a different city, research all you can about it first. Learn about the pros and cons; and for once, trust your judgment! And once you make your decision, then by all means, stick to your guns.

#4 By being afraid. Fear can be crippling. It may lead you to stagnate, whether it is in terms of your career, relationship, or self-growth. While fear is healthy and can even protect you from doing something stupid, it is only helpful to a certain extent. If you are afraid to try, you’ll never know what lies beyond; you’re robbing yourself of the opportunity to learn, so you’ll never grow.

What you can do: Don’t be afraid to try something you’ve never done before. That is the only way you’ll get to where you’ve never been and experience things you haven’t before. If things don’t work out, be prepared to pick yourself up and try again, a little wiser this time around. [Confession: I don’t know what to do with my life]

#5 By caring too much about what others think. You can’t please everyone. Even if you’re the ripest peach there is, there will always be someone who doesn’t like peaches. Basing your actions and decisions on what others may think will just leave you feeling empty and greatly disappointed with them and with yourself. At the end of the day, most of what people say about you is just a reflection of themselves and their own insecurities.

What you can do: Learn not to care about what others think. It’s a matter of practice. If you want to do something but are hesitant because you’re afraid to disappoint a friend, family member, colleague, or even an utter stranger, throw that thought away and just do what you wanted to do for yourself.

#6 By making excuses for others. Ever had someone hurt or take advantage of you, yet you ended up tolerating it because you made excuses for their actions? You make yourself believe that it’s all right to be treated poorly by others, and this can leave you battered and drained in the end. Don’t deprive yourself of happiness for the sake of other people.

What you can do: There will be concerned people around you who may warn you that this person is just using you or taking advantage of you.Instead of validating that person’s actions and mistakes, take time to listen and find some truth in what genuinely concerned people have to say for your benefit. After all, the way other people treat you is their responsibility, not yours.

#7 By making excuses for yourself. Another way you are ruining your life is by making excuses for your own mistakes and shortcomings. While everyone has some room for improvement, it doesn’t help you to make excuses for them. You are robbing yourself of the opportunity to learn and to push yourself to be better.

What you can do: While it’s unhealthy to base your self-worth on what people say, you still need to discern what constructive criticism is amidst all the noise. Instead of being down or being indignant about these criticisms, use these as a launching pad to be better at what you do or to improve your attitude.

#8 By worrying too much. Worrying can also rob you of those moments when you should be happy. Instead of being grateful about little triumphs that come your way, you tend to brush these aside because you are more focused on your worries. You may not be able to see the good things in front of you because you’re busy worrying about something that is not even happening yet.

What you can do: Live in the moment and throw your worries away. A good way to prevent yourself from worrying is to have a plan so you can be prepared for anything that may come your way. When a problem really does occur, deal with it and move on. [Read: 13 happy things you need for a truly happy life]

#9 By choosing the wrong job. Often, people get stressed out by being in a job that they are not passionate about. If that’s you, then you know the feeling: you are just like a drone, a robot, going through the daily grind just because it offers you a steady paycheck.

What you can do: Think about this: the future will take care of itself. Do something that you really love, something that you are passionate about, and watch yourself grow. There are many inspiring stories of people who’ve quit their jobs to pursue their passions. Know that you can be one of them.

#10 By choosing the wrong person. You really don’t know if you’re in a bad relationship because more often than not, you are blinded and in denial. At this point, it’s easier for others to see what the relationship is doing to you, so listen to what they have to say, but know that you’re still the one who has to ultimately decide.

What you can do: Ask yourself: are you really the person you want to be when you’re with your partner? Are you really happy? It can be draining to be in a destructive relationship. It’s a hard choice, but if you find that your relationship is fueling the negativity in your life, you’ve got to put an end to it before it completely destroys you. [Read: 18 critical signs of an unhealthy relationship]

#11 By choosing the wrong friends. You can be around people who influence you to be negative. It might be a hard pill to swallow, but it’s true. As with romantic partners, there are also friends who can drain you emotionally, physically, and even financially.

What you can do: Stay away from these negative people. You deserve more out of life than to be around negative company who just makes you feel bad about yourself. [Read: 17 bad friends you need to unfriend from your life]

#12 By holding onto your past. Shit happens, that’s a fact of life. Heartbreak, confusion, disappointment, frustration, embarrassment, loneliness, anger—these are all part of life. These moments are meant to teach you and make you stronger.

What you can do: Don’t allow your past to dictate your present. Let it go. Those were moments, memories. Don’t let them ruin how you view your life and your world today.

[Read: What should I do with my life to make it better in no time?]

At the end of the day, you should be excited and happy to be alive. Get rid of all the excess baggage that is weighing you down so you can be more open to the positive things that can *and will* come your way.

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Tiffany Grace Reyes
Tiffany is a wordsmith who has played with words ever since her letter-to-the-editor was published nationally at the age of 9. Since then her writing has gone f...
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