The other day, I wrote a post on Instagram that said “minimize your expectations, maximize your joy.” It’s something I’ve been trying to implement more in my life. In fact, I’ve been trying all sorts of things to maximize my joy.
I generally believe that one’s happiness comes from within, and therefore I am consistently working on myself to be a better person, but to also gain happiness just from myself.
But, to start implementing good habits, I had to take a look at my bad habits to see where it all went wrong. Here’s what I have learned!
5 Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Own Happiness
1 – You’re relying on someone else to make you happy.
One surefire way to be disappointed is to try to get someone else to bring you happiness. Sorry, y’all, but if you’re relying on your partner or spouse to do the work for you, they are always going to fall short. Plus, it’s really unfair to put that expectation on your significant other. If you can’t be happy all on your own, you definitely can’t be happy with them. Remember – your partner isn’t someone who “completes” you, despite what Tom Cruise may say. Instead, your partner ADDS to your life and happiness.
2 – You’re living in the past.
Learning from your mistakes is important. It’s how we grow as humans and become better people. However, once you learn from that situation, you gotta let it go. Holding on to past failures and disappointments will only bring you down. Practice living in the present, because that is the only thing you’ve got. Learn and grow, but don’t dwell. It’s a trap!
3 – You’re trying to control everything.
Most of what happens to us in life is out of our control. If you’re constantly grasping and desperately hanging on trying to save face and control the situation and people around you, you’re wasting your time. Life is really good at saying, “oh you think you’re the one calling the shots? Hold my drink…” The key is to be adaptable. Learn to roll with the punches and adapt to change in life rather than fight it. Once you give up that control, you’ll feel so much happier.
4 – You seek flaws in others.
Perhaps it’s second nature, or maybe it’s something born out of middle school gossip fests and sleepovers, but something about seeing other people’s flaws makes us feel better about our own. However, that good feeling is fleeting, and you’ll constantly be looking for more and more flaws in those around you. If you’re always seeking the negative instead of the positive, your mind will be consumed by negativity, and that’s not a good look on anyone. Instead, practice celebrating others’ successes and good qualities (Yes, even people you don’t like) and in turn, you’ll focus on your own positive attributes. Accept others and accept yourself.
5 – You crave validation from everyone but yourself.
Validation feels great. There’s no point in denying it. When someone compliments me, I freaking love it. I especially love it when that person is my partner or best friend or someone I work with, etc. And there’s really nothing wrong with that, except when that validation becomes the one thing you’re constantly seeking. Remember – you gotta find that validation from within. You have to be your biggest cheerleader. You have to love yourself so fiercely that you don’t even notice when the validation doesn’t come. Keep doing you, boo. And just know that if you don’t get that validation from others, it’s not because you aren’t worth it. It’s because everyone else is focused on their own shit. And, maybe you should keep on focusing on your own shit, too.
Here’s to being happy, y’all! Because life is too short to seek anything else.
Photos by Jenna Sparks Photography