You have worked hard, endured years of sacrifice to achieve your dream, and you can finally sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labors. Yet happiness still eludes you. These should be your happiest times, yet you are feeling miserable and often spend time thinking, “nothing makes me happy.”
This feeling is not unusual. The promise of happiness drove you on, gave you the positivity needed to overcome all the obstacles in your way, and yet now you are wondering whether it was worth the struggle.
Let’s examine some of the possible reasons why you are not happy and suggest some solutions to each one. Perhaps you can be guided towards happiness.
1. You have been given a false image of happiness.
We all have our own view of happiness. We know what will make us happy, but we have been led to believe that it is not enough. We have been seduced into thinking that material gains are all that makes happiness. Perhaps it’s having a big house, with grounds and a swimming pool, and staff to attend to our every whim. Status symbols, like expensive cars, flashy watches, jewelry, and a bank account with lots of money. You have likely been pulled into the world of an advertiser’s dream, not your dream.
The lifestyle that advertisers would like you to aspire to is to be seen all around you. TV shows and movies frequently display it and make you believe it is normal. Advertising creates a market through the use of aspirational images. We all get sucked into a world created to convince us to part with our hard-earned dollars.
You should enjoy happiness throughout your life. Even if you haven’t reached your ultimate goal, you need to be happy with your progress. Happiness comes from having achieved and the promise of more achievement ahead. Enjoy the moment, even if you have further to go on the road to success.
2. Feeling envious.
Envy is a destructive emotion born from negativity. When you see someone with a better car, a better house, or even a more attractive partner, it is easy to feel you have failed if you don’t have the same. Envy will never bring you happiness. Envy just feeds into your negative view of life.
Perhaps feelings of envy take you back to your school years and having failed if you couldn’t keep up with your peers. If you were jealous of your friends then, so it is natural you will feel jealous of your friends now.
You can combat feelings of envy by changing your friendship circle. Make friends with less materialistic people. Remember that you are a success, and look at your record. Look outward and try to make a difference in the world, and you will find that you will soon stop thinking about yourself. You will feel happier now you are helping others.
You might feel that your drive toward success has left you feeling disconnected from other people. Single-mindedness and hard work can make opportunities to make friends scarce. Having achieved a measure of success, you might think that you need the support of a close friendship group. It is well known that having a group of close, reliable, trustworthy friends adds to our happiness.
For some people, making friends is difficult, while others seem to have no trouble forming friendships. If you have no close friends but have acquaintances, you like and respect, then make an effort to talk more with them. Invite them for coffee, or spend a little extra time with them at work.
Other people are likely feeling friendless too, and your approach might be very welcome. When you treat everyone you meet in a friendly manner, with respect, and with kindness, the friendships will soon follow.
4. Demons from the past.
Many people will have suffered humiliation during their childhood or adolescence. Parents, siblings, playground bullies, or condescending teachers all can be demons from your past. It may be that you are subconsciously aiming to prove that they were wrong to have a low opinion of you.
Holding on to these demons can make you feel inadequate, whatever success you achieve. You will constantly try to prove that you are important and that you deserve your success.
Overcome these demons and achieve happiness by realizing that there is only one person you need to satisfy, and that is yourself. Understand that if you are proud of the achievements you have completed, then it does not matter what anyone else might think.
You are your own person, and the voices from the past can be silenced by knowing that you are happy with everything that you have done. There is contentment to be found in being proud of yourself.
5. Emotional insecurity.
Seeking help sometimes is seen as a weakness. Asking for help with emotions is often seen as a weakness and an inability to cope with life in general. Anyone needing emotional support and advice fears that they will not be able to cope with the stigma. Instead, it is easy to turn to harmful forms of support like drink, drugs, excess food, and buying too much stuff.
Fortunately, today, people are much more open about seeking professional help for mental health issues. Depending on the nature of your problems, there will be different levels and types of help available.
Don’t reject any of these forms of help. Ignoring your mental health problems can lead to physical illness such as cancer and heart disease. You might also find yourself losing friends, alienating your family, and increasing the pressure on yourself. In this way, you will be adding to your problems.
Don’t allow your dream and the success you have achieved already, to be wasted by not following up on the help that is available to help you cope. You may find that the emotional support a life coach can give will be enough to get you back on target.
Sometimes problems like feelings of unworthiness, rejection, humiliation, and loneliness can, as we have seen, stem from issues earlier in your life. While they may not be as serious as full-blown mental health issues, they must be tackled.
This is especially so if they have led you into addictive behavior. Look at your lifestyle and identify any addictive behavior. Smoking, drinking, gambling, working too much, overeating, and even exercising too much are all signs of addictive tendencies.
Behavior of this sort is going to harm you, bringing unhappiness and physical illness in their wake. Identify which addiction you are suffering from and take action to combat it. There are support networks available to help you, and coaches and counselors who specialize in this type of problem.
7. Never being satisfied.
If you fail to find happiness as you follow your road to success, it will be due to your inner feeling of inadequacy. When you reach one goal and do not feel happy, you are going to convince yourself that that goal was not a proper goal, or not a big enough goal, and you must reach the next goal before finding happiness. This process will just continue, leaving you permanently unhappy and unfulfilled.
You must look at the problem from a different angle. You must achieve happiness before you can achieve your goals. Travel the road to success, feeling positive and happy with what you have already achieved, and the goal will be reached more easily. Follow the path to success in a happy frame of mind, and happiness is assured. Cultivate happiness within yourself.
8. Loving yourself.
When a person hates themselves for the way they look, the way they behave, or for their perceived lack of success, they will just send out negative vibes. Other people will avoid your company, and you will become lonelier and hate yourself even more.
You must adopt a positive view of yourself. You must have self-belief, and you must love yourself for what you are. In turn, this will lead to greater confidence and a cheerful demeanor. Others will enjoy your company, and you will make more and better friends. You will become someone whom others will turn to for help and advice. You will be valued, and so feel fulfilled and happier. You must become your own biggest fan.
We have seen that a “nothing makes me happy” attitude can have several causes, all of which can be tackled by you. Rid yourself of the burdens from your past, put bad memories out of your mind, and replace them with positive thoughts and actions. Adopt an optimistic, joyful approach to life, and take care to avoid negativity. Look after number one, and happiness will return to your life.