Just because you seem to have a successful business or a high-paid job, doesn’t mean you also have a satisfied and meaningful life. Success in one area does not guarantee satisfaction and happiness in life. With that on your mind, here’s how to turn things around and boost your life’s satisfaction.
Write down what you love
If you feel like your life needs a kickstart, start by writing down everything you love about it. From the very first school project that brought you an A to your career or personal relationship. Make it your reference list whenever you feel that something’s off with your self-esteem.
“When you tie your self-worth up in your career, you guarantee that you’ll be hard-hit by work’s inevitable downturn. Making nonnegotiable time for outside interests guarantees one thing: No work glitch feels catastrophic,” says clinical psychologist Toby Haslam-Hopwood, Psy.D.
Generally, when people are unhappy with their lives, they feel like the whole world is against them. They see themselves as victims and blame everyone and anyone other than themselves for the unhappiness that they feel.
“Unhappy people see themselves as victims,” says Greg Hicks, co-author of How We Choose to Be Happy. That’s not you. When things seem to take a turn for the worse, asking yourself “What can I learn from this?” and “What’s the opportunity?” can help you break out of the victim mentality and realize that what happens to you is more often than not the result of your actions.
Besides victimization, here are other Unexpected Ways You’re Self-Sabotaging Your Happiness.
Speak clearly and honestly
No need for ambiguities and flattering. Honesty is the best policy. “You’re judicious, but when you do talk, your intention is twofold: You’re not hurtful. You’re always straight. Sucking up provides momentary benefits, but it will shred your integrity, and integrity is the ultimate passport. When you’re consistently honest, people can rely on you and trust you, and, in turn, they’ll have no problem having your back,” says Hicks.
Don’t take all the credit
Make sure you always share credit where it’s rightfully due. A simple “thank you” to the co-worker who’s always helping you with the printer or the office assistant who makes sure that coffee is ready every morning, can take you a long way. Making others feel good about themselves will also help you feel more satisfied with who you are and focus less on the negative things, says Hicks.
Show a little empathy
In the book called “Empathy: Why It Matters, and How to Get It”, empathy is defined as “the art of stepping imaginatively into the shoes of another person, understanding their feelings and perspectives, and using that understanding to guide your actions”.
According to Redford Williams, M.D., a professor at Duke University’s Behavioral Medicine Research Center and author of In Control, empathy is “appreciation’s first cousin. The never-fail talent to employ is listening. Look the person in the eyes, keep your mouth shut, and, most important, stay open to being swayed”. Being a good listener and showing some empathy with someone’s situation translates into a better relationship with people and ultimately, with yourself. Feeling more connected to others will make you feel happier and more satisfied with your life.