In the not-too-distant past, people were, dare we say it; happier. Things appeared manageable, and once the clock hit 5, bosses couldn't instantly message their workers telling them more needed doing. There were no social media platforms that compel us to compare our jawlines to Hollywood actors and then feel aggrieved for coming up short. Or paradoxical dating apps that supposedly give us a plethora of potential suitors when in reality they have only made us pickier and more alone.
In sum, 21st-century living is fraught with difficulty and disappointment, and resultantly the days can often appear hopeless, even for the strong-minded.
However, where there's a will there's a way, so if you feel perpetually unhappy, you're probably making these common mistakes. Here are 10 mistakes unhappy people make every day.
1. Letting your own goals wither away
Most people's goals are similar to others in the sense that they frequently start out grand and then slowly get depleted by other things in life. It could be family arguments, falling in love and then not feeling a need to focus on anything else. In a nutshell, the older you become, the more life throws at you, and when time is of the essence most feel perusing a dream is futile and even selfish.
But that's arguably the biggest mistake people make. Sure, chasing a dream requires a lot of energy and a whole lot of patience, but if you're chasing something tangible, no matter how tiresome it might at first feel, you'll go to bed at night knowing you're doing something for yourself that could possibly lead to a better life.
2. Making sure everyone else is happy at the detriment to your own happiness
So often in life, people sacrifice their wants and needs for other individuals, and on the surface, this appears commendable. But in actuality, people who do this, at least further down the line, often feel emotionally drained and can end up resenting life itself.
After all, life is about sharing happiness with everyone, not giving it to others and seeing yourself suffer. It may appear hard, but once you learn what your limitations are, you'll find that you can still be helpful to others without your wellbeing and goals suffering.
3. Letting past failures convince you you're not good enough to succeed
The British education writer William Edward Hickson famously said, "If at first, you don't succeed, then try, try, and try again!" It's a quote no doubt plastered on the walls of many schools and workplaces, but for a good reason.
By saying that, Hickson merely stressed that determination and tenacity far outweigh natural talents, and if you are going to want to see success it's more than likely you're going to see a lot more failure first.
Admittedly, looking back at past failures and trying to move forward at the same time can be highly challenging, but by looking at the success stories of various artists, CEOs or whoever else you admire, you'll likely take solace from the fact that most experienced hardships earlier on in their careers.
4. Letting your inner critic sway you into thinking you're no good
Many people wake up in the morning with a heavy heart. And whether that be because of a continual longing for a love turned sour, general depression, or a belief that your life is going nowhere, waking up every morning to the same hollowness can trick you into believing you're defeated and that trying to achieve something would prove pointless.
Yet by doing that you're self-sabotaging yourself big time. Granted, the mornings may always feel difficult, but when you learn to embrace those thoughts of self-doubt and override them with thoughts of positivity, you are creating a world where anything is possible.
5. Worrying about the opinions of others
While it's easier said than done not to let people's opinions impact on your wellbeing, it's important to know that one person's opinion might not be that of someone else, let alone be the right one. Remember, opinions are subjective, which is why it's imperative you don't let opinions stop you from putting yourself out there.
It's almost an inherent trait of humans to judge others. You probably do it to others, too, so develop a thicker skin and just go for it.
6. Focusing on things that are out of your control
We all worry about outcomes out of our hands, yet can't help but predict what will happen because most of us hate things we can't control but if you learn to you'll likely be happier.
Instead, focus on the things you can control, like your future goals and the best way to achieve them. That way, the things that are out of your hands will often have a knack of working out.
7. Reminding yourself of everything you don't have
Newsflash: Most people in life don't have what they think they need, but that doesn't mean they don't already have enough. Sure, you may want more money or a better job, but unless you put your all into making things happen, nothing will change, and you'll forever remain bitter and disillusioned with life.
To combat this scenario, be grateful for the things you do have while also making a concerted effort to build towards something you feel will bring more clarity. Even slowing down and taking in your surroundings can work wonders to your state of mind.
8. Being around negative people
Negative people are no good. No matter how much love you have for them, or how far your friendship goes back, if they're not nice to be around, you might have to let go of them or at least see them less if you wish to move forward.
Worse, if they exhibit mean tendencies or regularly put you down, then it goes without saying that you should stop seeing them. Life doesn't have to be a place full of playground bullies forever, and the quicker you realize that the better you'll feel in the long-run.
9. Striving for perfection
Despite hearing repeated refrains from those dearest that 'nobody's perfect', that doesn't seem to stop most of us from ignoring such advice and striving for it anyway, even though we know deep down such a word is merely one assigned to fictitious characters.
Worst of all, you're wasting your time when you could be focusing on the important things like being happy and trying to better yourself as a human being.
10. Holding grudges
Being full of hate- no matter what has happened to you in the past- will only serve to make you feel just as bad as the experiences you went through, and there is a considerable amount of power to be had in learning to forgive and move on.
One study even found that the most content people are usually those who make the best decisions and are more likely to be innovative and creative, so it might be best to let the past be the past and focus on the here and now instead.