The mind is a real magician. It often presents an illusion so real that we don’t even stop to consider if it’s true. When we define ourselves by our projections (projections created by our minds – the same tricky mind that likes lying to us), we lock ourselves in the fiction that we already know who we are based on fears, logic, conditioning and habits.
We're limiting our true potential.
It’s time to examine your mind and ask yourself, “What lies am I telling myself that are holding me back?” Here's a list of 10 that you should be aware of and avoid, to become the happiest version of yourself.
1. You are your feelings – you are your thoughts.
When you're encompassed by a powerful emotion it can feel like it's in every fiber of your being. But is this actually true? Are we our emotions?
If we were our feelings or thoughts, when they disappear, we should disappear too. But we don’t. Thoughts, feelings and emotions fade away like a weather system passing through. They are not you.
2. Risks aren't worth it.
Many people are on a quest for safety, but the reality is that no one will never attain it, given the certainty of uncertainty. Everyone lives in a constant state of change. So whether you play it safe or take risks, the outcome isn't guaranteed
Make choices that put you above everything and everyone else. Even your loved ones. After all, if you're not taking care of yourself, your relationships will eventually suffer.
3. Happiness is attached to material success.
You can’t buy happiness. The things in life that truly make us happy are always free: love, laughter, the present moment, kindness, acceptance, gratitude and compassion.
4. You’re fat, ugly, short or dumb.
There will always be someone smarter, funnier, more successful or better looking, you will never live up to the projections you seek. Remember that life is impermanent, so putting your self worth in the basket of physical appearances always will let you down. Stop worrying, because you'll only face an endless struggle of trying to maintain something that will always be out of grasp.
5. You’re a victim, or it's never your fault.
Stop being the victim. Is anyone else really responsible for how you feel inside? We all love to blame; how convenient it is that we often overlook our own responsibility in our relationships.
Accepting fault will improve your credibility, increase learning, solidify relationships and you will appear trustworthy. It will give you strength, not weaken it.
6. You don’t need my friends.
Many times your friendships will take a back seat to other prioritizes, like your kids or work, but telling yourself you don’t need to make the effort is a big mistake.
Friends are good for your health. Friends can help you celebrate good times and provide support during bad times. Friends prevent loneliness, enhance happiness, reduce stress and give you companionship.
7. The past decides the future.
Stop trying to hold on to the past, and stop beating yourself up for your past actions. We all make mistakes. It’s the way we learn, but you are not your mistakes. The past is gone, and dwelling will only strip the present of joy. This is your life, right now!
8. You are alone.
When you feel lonely, sad or hurt you may mistakenly believe that you're alone, that no one else has ever felt so low. The reality is that everyone in the entire universe at one time or another has felt these exact emotions. Just because you can’t always see the connection doesn’t mean it isn’t there, so take comfort in our interdependence.
9. You need to be perfect.
Find the balance between doing a good job and obsessing. Perfectionism causes stress, pessimism, obsessiveness, guilt, and the list goes on. Rememmber you are only human. Tackle life with a light playfulness. Stop taking yourself so seriously.
10. You need to worry about everything.
It is true that worrying strips you of all joy. Can we end suffering? I think we can, if we could only realize that all our suffering comes from our own unpleasant feelings. What if we changed our reactions and thoughts to outer problems. Just ask yourself, what if? It opens up a whole new world of possibilities.
Recognize your thoughts, and don't be afraid to question them and redefine them.
About the Author
Tina is a student of Buddhism, meditation and yoga. She writes about cultivating happiness through mindfulness at her own blog: Barefoot Beginnings. Tina lives near cottage country in Ontario, Canada with her husband and two dogs. Also a vegetarian and animal lover she enjoys photography, travel and nature. But mostly she’s just a free spirit trying to follow the path.
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