We all want to live happy lives. Sometimes, however, it seems like we’ve become experts at avoiding happiness.
If you are missing out on your share of happiness, you may have unconscious beliefs that make it impossible to experience happiness. In fact, at some level, you may simply believe that being happy is wrong.
This belief leads to emotional deprivation. As we teach in our free AHA Solution video, emotional deprivation can become an attachment, a pattern so familiar that it literally becomes a self-sabotaging way of life.
How can you tell if this is the case?
Here are 10 signs that you believe it is wrong to be happy.
1. When you do feel happy, you also feel anxious that it won’t last.
Happiness is so unfamiliar to some that they don’t trust it. If, when you begin to feel happy, you also feel anxious that something bad is just around the corner, then at some level you believe happiness cannot last, or that it makes you vulnerable.
This is unfortunate but common. Many people believe that if they allow themselves to be happy, they are setting themselves up to get blindsided by something terrible.
2. When you feel good, you feel guilty.
Most people feel guilty when they do something wrong. Some people feel guilty when they enjoy themselves as if they were doing something wrong.
If you grew up with people who did not allow you to be happy or express your joy, then you learned it was wrong to be joyful. Now, you probably have a hard time letting loose and having a good time.
3. You don’t express your needs.
Millions of people allow others to ignore, take advantage, or take them for granted because they will not speak up. If you speak up and let others know it’s not ok to treat you these ways, their bad behaviors will probably stop. Or, if you let others know exactly what you need, they most likely will provide it.
Getting your needs met leads to fulfillment, often even happiness. Ignoring your needs is a sign that fulfillment is not something you are seeking. Why not?
4. You are overly focused on the needs of others.
Focusing on the needs of others is noble. It feels good to make others happy. However, focusing solely on their needs and not your own is a disservice to you. Why do you feel your happiness is not important? Unfortunately, this behavior typically leads to resentment and emotional martyrdom.
5. You cannot enjoy the moment.
Letting go and having fun in the here and now is an important way to experience fulfillment and reduce stress. It is a huge need! In fact, happiness is just an awareness away, in the here and now. If you avoid the here and now, you are avoiding peace and presence.
6. You are attracted to emotionally unavailable or self-centered people.
A sure way to NOT get your needs met is to choose emotionally unavailable or narcissistic people to be in relationships with. When you commit to these kinds of people, you set yourself up for a lifetime of emotional deprivation.
7. You expect disappointment or that things won’t work out.
Expecting disappointment keeps happiness at a distance. It actually keeps you from either doing what would make you happy or not enjoying it while you’re doing it. The need to be physically and emotionally fulfilled is the juice of life! Going into situations anticipating disappointment becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Often, the situation would not have turned out disappointing had you not made it that way.
8. You don’t know what you want or cannot define your purpose in life.
Not knowing what want or refusing to take time to figure it out is a way to avoid your purpose in life. Living with a sense of purpose is a huge need that brings meaning and fulfillment. Are you keeping yourself from finding yours?
9. You avoid intimacy.
The need for intimacy is fundamental to relationships and happiness. When you avoid close relationships or shy away from deeper connections with people, you miss out on this aspect of life.
10. You relive the bad times, but observe the good times.
Happy people tend to relive happy memories and view upsetting memories as if from a distance, like a neutral observer. Unhappy, pessimistic people tend to relive unpleasant memories and view the good memories from the observer’s perspective.
We’ve been noticing this trend in NLP for decades. It’s a simple mental construct. Relive your happy memories, up close and personal. View your unpleasant memories with a big picture perspective, learning from them, not reliving them.
Is it time for you to move beyond these patterns and give yourself permission to satisfy your needs? I hope so.
Our AHA Solution Program is a great tool for increasing happiness. It will help you identify specifically how you are sabotaging yourself and show you how to make new choices that are fulfilling. Check it out.