We often hear people say they just want to be happy!  It is certainly a quality that is worked on regularly with our clients, but often there are things getting in the way and sabotaging happiness.

Have a look at the following ideas and work out if any are getting in your way to being happier:

Inner control freak – if you are someone who feels the need to control things, this will not help you to feel good about yourself.  It is time to set some boundaries for yourself and in turn allow others to make their own choices and do things in their own way.  Recognise that just because things aren’t done in your way, it doesn’t mean they are wrong – just different.

I had to learn pretty quickly to stop my inner control freak when I was recovering from an operation and relying on others’ help.  Ultimately nothing went wrong and there were no disasters!  It was so refreshing to just go with the flow and accept things being done differently for a change.

Everything has to be perfect – if you are a perfectionist, this really is getting in your way.  For starters, nothing is perfect so you are trying to achieve something that is unattainable.  For seconds, you are wasting so much time and energy focusing on what’s wrong or what you haven’t done and not enough time recognising what you have achieved.  Next time you start to give yourself a hard time about doing something ‘perfectly’, stop and give yourself a reality check, ask is this good enough?  You will notice that often it is, and you can then move onto the next thing instead of going round and round in circles.

Criticising and moaning – we all love a good moan from time to time, but it really does depend on how much of your energy is eaten up with this activity.  If you find yourself constantly moaning about others, what does this say about you and your life?

Consider that everyone is unique in their own way and we all have our little quirks which make us the people we are.  You need to accept that you can’t change anyone else and criticising them will only make you feel bad.  Instead of submerging yourself in lots of negative thoughts and feelings, accept their differences and individuality and work on feeling good about yourself.

Finding blame – if you find yourself blaming others or situations as a reaction to things not going right, this will be sabotaging your happiness.  Instead, how about considering whatever has happened as a learning opportunity?  Think about it as having a choice over how you react, which in turn will be so much more empowering and open you up to more useful options.

Fear and avoidance – this can be your worst enemy and stop you from really being happy.  Everyone has fears but it’s how you respond to those fears that really makes the difference.  Do you find yourself avoiding things because of a fear and find yourself making excuses so you don’t have to face them?  Do you find comfort in the familiar and avoid stepping outside of that comfort zone at any price?

It’s time to take a risk and try something new.  It doesn’t have to be anything big, but you need to start.  Your confidence will blossom as you build up your successes and before long, you will have wondered why you feared them in the first place.

Need to impress – this can show up in lots of different ways from the things that you own, to the things that you are doing, to demonstrating your knowledge and preaching to others.  If you find yourself seeking approval or constantly needing to share your opinion, give yourself some time out and reflect on what is happening.  Take a breath and relax, recognise your achievements and be proud of yourself and remember to let others have the stage for a while, that way you can sit back and enjoy the interaction.

Being ungrateful – if you don’t recognise the good things in your life, you are really missing out.  Start to think about all of the things, no matter how small they are that are right in your life, the things that make you smile and reconnect with being grateful.  Make sure you express your gratitude to others too, it’s amazing how good it feels to thank someone sincerely.

We are all responsible for our own happiness and if you feel something is missing in your pursuit of happiness, a great starting point is to look at places where you are sabotaging yours.

I hope these thoughts sparked a few ideas to help you find more happiness in your life.  It would be great to hear your suggestions for happiness saboteurs, leave us a comment below.