Why can’t I be happy? 20 things that keep you away from happiness

“Why can’t I be happy?” If this is something you ask yourself every single day, this article is for you. 

There are far too many reasons why we feel unhappy, unfulfilled, and unwanted. Nowadays, we struggle with tons of insecurities, mental health issues, society’s standards, and so much more factors that contribute to our misery.

However, our fate remains in our hands. We have the choice and the power to change the course of our lives and be happy.

If you are on the verge of believing you can never be happy again, keep on reading.

Here are 20 reasons why you may struggle with reaching happiness

1. You care too much about others’ opinions. 

You just cannot please everyone. It’s not only impossible but also absolutely pointless. Impressing people you don’t even know should not be amongst your priorities. If you want to enjoy your life and live it by your own rules, you must break free of the vicious people-pleasing cycle. Only then you will be able to make time for what truly matters, which is definitely not what others think of you.

2. You go for the wrong things. 

Getting confused and losing track of your goals is normal. We live in a society where everyone is trying to teach you how to live and what to do if you want to be successful. However, chasing things that don’t bring you joy, even if everyone says it’s the right thing to do, is not going to make you happy. There will always be a little voice in your head telling you that this isn’t the life you want.

3. You don’t believe you deserve to be happy.

Sometimes it’s your own perception of yourself that stands between you and happiness. You are telling yourself you don’t deserve to be happy. You are so hard on yourself that you believe you should never experience contentment. But if you forgive yourself for whatever makes you feel that way, you might be surprised at how cleansing it is to be able to tell yourself: “I am happy.” and actually mean it.

4. You fear failure.

There are people so damn afraid of making a mistake, that they intentionally don’t try at all. Not only do they avoid taking risks, but they refuse to consider even the slightest change. Instead of holding onto the negative scenario you create in the back of your head, try to imagine what would happen if you actually take that step. Even if you fail, you would still have earned a valuable lesson that would help you live up to your potential.

5. You compare yourself to others.

There will always be someone who sings better, has a fancier lifestyle, or goes on more exciting trips than you. But this someone might be wishing for the life you have, who knows. So, comparing yourself to others instead of being focused on your goals and following the dreams that would make you fulfilled, regardless of what others say, is a waste of time. Don’t let social media fool you. Most people there may appear they have it all figured out, but in reality, they might be much more miserable than you. No one is going to show you a picture of them crying their eyes out, right?

6. You’re holding on to the past. 

Learning from your past is essential. However, living there could be detrimental. Dwelling on mistakes, what-ifs, and missed chances only takes you further from achieving your goals. If you want to grow, you must first make peace with your past.

7. You’re struggling with insecurities. 

Accepting your true nature can be incredibly challenging. However, it is crucial for your wellbeing, as it allows you to be happy despite your flaws and imperfections. There is not a single person in this world who doesn’t struggle with insecurities of their own. Some people simply make time to learn how to tolerate their self-doubts and live happily despite them.

8. You are refusing to grow. 

If you have stopped learning new things and acquiring new skills, or improving the ones you already have, you are actually refusing to grow. Investing in your personal growth requires an eagerness to explore the world around you. What’s more, it brings you a special kind of excitement that takes you a step closer to happiness.

9. You are always out of time. 

You are too occupied to hang out with your friends, to spend some time with your parents, to pay attention to what your partner says, or to make time for yourself. This busy mindset keeps you distant from what truly matters. It makes you overlook the things that make you feel alive. But if you try to be effective instead of being busy, you might be able to save some time for the things and people that bring value to your life.

10. You are not satisfied with your job.

Working is something we all do throughout most of our lives. Yet, millions of people stick to jobs they hate only because it pays the bills. Sadly, they fail to realize that getting a paycheck at the end of the month is not the most valuable thing in the world. Sometimes loving what you do is much more important than that raise you’ve been waiting for in the past few years. If you wake up every day wishing it was Friday, even though it’s only Tuesday, you might need to entirely change your working environment.

11. You are afraid to embrace your true self.

Unfortunately, far too many talented people are afraid of being themselves. They fear that revealing their true nature might be too much for those around them. They are scared they would become a subject of criticism and judgment, so they choose to limit themselves or to act like someone else. If you don’t trust your own instincts, you put yourself at risk of losing your identity. On the contrary, putting faith in your intuition will take you on a much more gratifying path.

12. You avoid taking risks.

Nothing extraordinary ever happens inside of your comfort zone. Sometimes taking a risk is what you need to move forward. Challenging yourself might be the kick that would take you exactly where you have to be. Happiness may not be a destination, but it is definitely something you create. Besides, creating is all about growing. Therefore, staying at one place, refusing to take a risk and make a change, only prevents you from reaching your true potential.

13. You never learn from your mistakes. 

Dwelling on your mistakes and actually working towards making things right and learning from them are two entirely different things. Although it can be extremely difficult to face the consequences of your wrongdoings, it is the only way you could stop making the same mistakes over and over again.

14. You usually see yourself as a victim.

How can you be happy, when you are so convinced you are the victim of your story? In your mind, you have no power over your life, which couldn’t be further from the truth. You should be, in fact, the hero of your story. You are the only one who gets to decide what happens next. Once you realize this and get rid of the victimhood mentality, you will finally be free to choose happiness instead of seeing it as an impossible goal.

15. You worry too much. 

Worrying only increases your anxiety. It makes you feel stressed out even before anything happens. The negative scenarios inside your brain create an inner turmoil that usually has nothing to do with reality. But worrying does not help you solve your problems. So, in the words of Bobby McFerrin, “Don’t worry! Be Happy!”

16. You hold grudges.

Letting anger pile up inside your mind is self-destructive. It does more damage than gathering the strength to forgive the ones that hurt you. Holding a grudge can never lead to happiness, so you might as well consider letting that bitterness go for your own good.

17. You believe material things will make you happy. 

No matter how much money you have, how many cars you drive, how designer your wardrobe is, piling up things won’t make you happy. The most valuable things in life are priceless. Your family, friends, and heart-warming memories can never be measured in gold, cash, or assets. However, they bring you more fulfillment than any treasure could ever give you.

18. You don’t appreciate the present moment.

Planning ahead is great. However, if it makes you forget about the now and stops you from enjoying the present moment, it might not be the healthiest of habits. Sometimes happiness stands right in front of you, you just have to look around. Finding joy in the now is what life should be all about.

19. You feel unfulfilled. 

The feeling of being unproductive, in the middle of nowhere, desperately trying to find your place in this world, can be heart-trenching. Besides, today’s society makes it incredibly hard to keep up with expectations and standards. All of this mess we live in makes many of us feel unfulfilled, seeking a purpose we are not sure we want. Finding your passion should not be about living up to someone else’s expectations. It should be about embracing your true self and following your heart. Only then will you be at peace with your journey.

20. You don’t allow yourself to be happy. 

Sometimes the only thing that stops you from being happy is YOU. Yes, you read that right. Happiness may be a choice you are too afraid to make because you can’t imagine letting go of sadness, grief, or sorrow. It had a lot to do with believing you don’t deserve contentment. But you, and every single person out there, are worthy of being happy. So, don’t worry. Be happy!

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