The Happiness Test: How Happy Are You?
Here are 10 deeply-held beliefs that act as barriers to true happiness and lasting change:
1. What will people think of me?
2. I have to be the good ________. (Fill in the blank -- teacher, wife, daughter, son, etc.)
3. I have to achieve more.
4. I have to be perfect.
5. I'm not good enough. (Or substitute -- pretty, thin, worthy, smart, rich, etc.)
6. I can handle it all on my own.
7. I'll pretend everything is OK.
8. I should put everyone else first -- I'll worry about "me" later.
9. I have to be a people pleaser or "they" won't like me.
10. I can't be perceived as weak.
These deeply-held beliefs and faulty assumptions prevent us from putting ourselves out there and taking risks, strategies that happy people rely on to succeed. They also prevent us from having those tough conversations, whether with ourselves or with important people in our lives.
Self-help strategies will help, but only if you first understand the belief system driving the stress, unhappiness, and unfulfillment. The next time you are stressed, write down the beliefs you have about the event and the emotions that are produced. As you become more aware of your crooked thinking patterns, you can break the cycle and begin to develop a better understanding of those mindsets that stand between you and lasting happiness and change. What else would you add to the list?