Photo courtesy of Nicholas Canup
Many of us are striving for something better, something more. We want a life that’s full of the kind of experiences and people that make us happy.
As you move toward living your best life, you’re probably working daily to make changes to your circumstances. You may be surprised when you discover that the hardest hurdles to overcome are the intangible kind.
Unhappy at work? You can get a new job. Lackluster marriage? Invest in couple’s therapy. Trouble paying the mortgage? Get a tabula rasa with a good bankruptcy lawyer. If you’re still feeling a general dissatisfaction with life even after you’ve taken strides to change the obvious, you’re probably wondering:
What is blocking my path to happiness?
For each of us, the precise answer will be different, but one thing is certain: the most important changes come from within. In order to live authentically, you must continually challenge yourself to live up to your own expectations. Is it easy? Absolutely not. But it’s so totally worth it.
As you take a closer look at what’s standing in your way, see if any of the following inner obstacles are blocking your forward momentum:
- Passivity – Allowing yourself to get too comfortable with a mediocre existence can and will prevent you from ever making significant changes. Let yourself feel the discomfort instead of becoming numb. A little bit of pain for a lifetime of happiness is more than a fair trade.
- Fear of failure – Sometimes, a fear of failing becomes strong enough to blind us from acknowledging to ourselves that we need a new approach. Denial is a deep ditch to dig yourself out of, but once you’re out of the ditch, your view of the journey ahead will be much clearer.
- Envy – Take it from me – pining over the grass that’s always greener on the other side is putting your energy into the wrong yard. Buy some fertilizer and watch your own grass grow. Maybe even plant a garden!
- Regret – Looking longingly backward in time, wishing for a do-over or obsessing over a what-if is a waste of your time in the here and now. You can’t go back again. Shift your focus from the coulda, woulda, shoulda and start telling yourself: ‘I can.’
- Unrealistic expectations – Try to set reasonable, attainable goals for yourself. Expecting perfection will leave you disappointed in yourself rather than feeling accomplished and confident.
- Guilt – If you’re living with the guilt surrounding an event from your past, attempt to make amends with the situation. This will allow you to move forward more freely and easily. Feeling guilty about your current circumstances? Remind yourself that no one’s perfect. Adjust your behavior accordingly, let go of the guilt and embrace yourself – flaws and all.
- Impatience – Opportunities for immediate gratification are bountiful. As information and results become readily available, you may find yourself frustrated with achievements that take time. Feeling impatient can really weigh you down, making you crabby and edgy. Remember: good things come to those who wait. Your dreams will come true if you have the patience to put in the necessary time, effort and dedication to get there.
As you gather speed on your journey forward, you’re going to get really good at swerving to avoid any outside obstacles that threaten your momentum toward your best life. By eliminating any interference from within, you’ll be sure to cross the finish line even sooner.