Three ways happiness can deter you from success

Happiness is something most people want, although they might define it differently. To one person, happiness might be a room full of people to talk to while to another, happiness might come in the form of an evening spent alone with a book. The point is, what is it that makes YOU happy?

It’s essential we spend time doing things we love. The stronger those happiness feelings are, the more we can tap into feeling confident and allowing ourselves to have fun. The stronger our feeling of happiness, the more we can tolerate it when we feel differently.

Wait, what? Yeah, those happy feelings are essential but we need to be okay with the feelings that come into play when we’re taking a risk and doing something new or different. Why? Because our brains like patterns and sameness. It’s why little kids like playing the same games over and over. It’s why you like watching your favourite movie again, or doing anything in which you know the outcome.

Your brain likes you humming with sameness so when you’re contemplating something new, such as traveling to a new place or learning a foreign language, it’ll throw things at you. “You won’t like the food.” “It’s dangerous there.” “You’ll look like a fool speaking that language.” “No one will understand you.”

In other words, your brain defaults to the definition of happiness as sameness. And while sameness can be good, it can kill your chances of success if you don’t understand it.

Know that happiness is more than sameness. Anticipate that when you try something new, your brain will try to stop you by increasing your anxiety.

When your self-talk turns negative, remind yourself that you can change your self-talk. The ‘don’t do it’ messages are your brain saying, “Hey let’s go back to happy! Why do you want to take a risk like that?”

Happiness also compels us to return to things we already know we love. So it prompts you to go to the movies, not work on that novel you want to write. Or it whispers, let’s read and not go to that dance class.

Here’s where you learn to acknowledge those feelings and do it anyway. Confident people have learned to tolerate the rush of anxiety that comes with new experiences. They do it anyway because stopping means buying into the illusion that not doing anything will preserve their happiness.

Next time you’re considering making a change, let the anxiety come in, thank it, and then tell it to take a nap. You’re on to bigger and better things!

If you’re interested in finding more ways to be happy, let’s have a chat!