Everyone says they want to live a great life, have healthy relationships and look and feel their best, but how many are willing to put in the work day-after-day? If you look around your life and listen to all of the whining you'll soon find that most people are situated comfortably in their discomfort. If you are trying to break free but not sure why life isn't moving forward, you may need to do a bit of an assessment.
Read on for 10 reasons you're not happy with your life (and what to do about it).
1 | You complain about the same thing over and over (and over).
Here's a rule: If you have complained about something three times, you need to accept it or change it yourself. Whether it's your frustration with your weight, relationship or the way your colleague treats you, complaining should be taken as more than simply a momentary release of frustration; it's a warning sign than you're rejecting something in your life. Non-acceptance takes up a lot of energy and creates an internal and external toxic environment. If you have shared your unhappiness with someone and they have not worked with you to make things better, it means you need to make decisions that will help you get back to a place of peace. They may not be easy initially, but most of the time, we are not at the mercy of situations or other people unless we choose to be. We all have options.
2 | You tie yourself to people who bring you down.
Loyalty is something all healthy relationships need to have, but it can work against us when we confuse it with being a good person, love or even habit. Being loyal to someone who does not reciprocate, holds you back from progressing or who is participating in situations that go against our value system is truly one of the most self-destructive things we can do. It's OK to assess your relationships and let go of the ones that no longer fit who you are. The idea that every relationship has to last "for life" is a fantasy. Most will not and that is OK.
3 | You get caught up in stupid crap
Getting stuck on the little hooks of life will not only hold you back, it will irritate you and tear you apart. Does it really matter if the friend of a friend didn't "like" your new job status or some acquaintance from college disagrees with your stance on breastfeeding? Do you really care what your neighbor thinks about your not having kids? Remember that you are living your own life and stay focused on what matters most to you. Keep your eyes on your goals, stay true to your own values and don't allow yourself to get sidetracked by trolls and people who care more about being "right" than being decent.
4 | You don't draw a line on the spot.
Back in the day, I was one of those women who believed that biting my tongue when someone insulted, upset or offended me made me "nice" or showed "decorum". The reality was that it made me feel terrible, I was treated as a pushover and there are plenty of ways to stand up for yourself without looking like you belong on a reality show. Once I started saying things like "don't speak to me like that again" or "I am sure you don't realize how you're coming across, but I am finding it very aggressive" or simply staying silent, my life changed. Not only did most people stop, many apologized, and guess what? They knew not to do it again. Yay for no drama and loads of self-respect!
5| You're a martyr.
We live in a world where people love to show off how much they can achieve in a day-and then complain about how exhausted and unappreciated they are. The truth is we have 24 hours in a day and 7-8 need to be for sleep and a few need to be for you. I don't care what is going on in your life, a person who doesn't take a few minutes to connect with themselves and take a few deep breaths is going to be bitter, angry and resentful quite a few moments each day. These small moments will add up and corrode your happiness and seep out in ways you never expected. You are not a superhero or a saint. You're a human being who needs food, shelter, water, spiritual nourishment, mental stimulation, affection and an identity that stems beyond what you do and what other people call you. Only give what you can while still making time to take care of yourself and ask for what you need to make that possible.
6 | You're not willing to do the work.
This is such a big one. If you don't do what you need to do, you'll never get what you want. Even if, by some stretch, you prove me wrong and someone hands it all to you, you won't keep it. While life can throw us curveballs, the truth is most people are not willing to do the work it takes to achieve what they want. We don't always like to hear it, but the reality is that, if you want something, it is your responsibility to do the research, reach out, ask for advice, sharpen your skills and make the effort. Those who work hard and smart tend to find a version of what they are looking for (or something better) whereas those who stand there with their proverbial hand out spewing out wishes and whining they are unlucky are guaranteed to go nowhere.
7 | You're rude.
There are some people who mistake snarky for clever and others who just straight-up hate. They rarely get emails about job opportunities, invites to birthday parties and have loads of drama in their friendships. Guess why? Nobody likes them.
8 | You don't make the effort.
We all have busy lives and things to do, but when you can't be bothered to show up for someone's birthday (every year) and think a text is an appropriate of sharing your condolences to a "dear" friend who has suffered a loss, you send the message that you don't care. Do this enough and your friends will hear the message loud and clear and respond accordingly.
9 | You take more than you give.
Doing things for people we care about is one of the joys in having relationships, but when you're constantly giving to someone without ever being on the receiving end, it gets draining. Worse, if you're more concerned with what you want than what the person in front of you needs, there's a massive issue. Say you're sorry when you need to and let the friend who has just been hit with hard news have a few days before you ask them to do you a favor.
10 | You're afraid.
Here's an undeniable truth: fear is a very real part of life, but unless we learn how to manage it and move through it, we will stay paralyzed in situations we don't want to be in instead of moving forward to something better. To have a full, complete and authentic life, you are going to need to take risks. The risk to speak up and out, to move on, to open your heart, to pack up and move to another country...and the list goes on. The good news is that most of what we worry about happening never does and confidence are built by making small efforts each and every day. One small act of courage can have a massive domino effect. Give it a try!
Brenda Della Casa is the owner of BDC Digital Media and the Founder of Badass + Living. She is also the Author of Cinderella Was a Liar, the former editor-in-chief and Digital Content Strategist at Preston Bailey Designs and a blogger for YourTango and Thrillist. Facebook: BrendaDellaCasa, Twitter: @BrendaDellaCasa, Instagram: @BrendaDellaCasa.