We all want to live happy, fulfilled lives. Sometimes, however, it seems like we’ve become experts at avoiding happiness. If you are missing out on happiness, you may have subconscious beliefs that make it impossible to experience happiness. In fact, at some level you may simply believe happiness is wrong, or not for you. This belief leads to emotional deprivation. Emotional deprivation can become a psychological attachment, a pattern so familiar that it literally becomes a self-sabotaging a way of life. So how can you tell if this is the case?
10 signs that you subconsciously believe it is wrong to be happy
Think of these 10 signs as manifestations of something deeper within your psyche. The underlying cause is an attachment to something negative. Again, attachments form in childhood when you learn what is right and wrong. Sometimes, you learn that it is wrong, or not advantageous, to be happy!
They key to resolving these issues is to make them conscious, where conscious choice resides. Do any of the following apply to you?
1. When you 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 get 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. Therefore, it is not beneficial, according to this belief, to live in a state of happiness.
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 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 take advantage or take them for granted. They will not speak up or put their foot down. Yes, people should not take you for granted, however, you can guarantee that they won’t if you speak up.
Getting your needs met leads to fulfillment. 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. Focusing solely on the needs of others at the expense of your own is a disservice to you and others. It 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 attract emotionally unavailable or self-centered people
A sure way to NOT be happy is to attract emotionally unavailable or narcissistic people. 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. The need to be physically and emotionally fulfilled is the juice of life! Going into situations anticipating disappointment often becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
8. You don’t know what you want or cannot define your purpose in life
Not knowing what you want or refusing to take time 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.
If you find yourself “working for the weekend” then you are probably missing out on the deeper purpose of your life. Lasting happiness comes when you are in contact with a meaningful purpose.
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 from a mental distance
Happy people tend to relive happy memories up close and view upsetting memories as if from a distance, like a neutral observer. Unhappy, pessimistic people tend to relive unpleasant memories up close and view the good memories from a distant, observer perspective.
We’ve been noticing this trend in NLP for decades. It’s a simple mental construct that has a tremendous impact. To be happier, 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 be happy?