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13 Things You Should Give Up If You Want to Be Happy

(This content is being used for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted in the content is a model)

By Cheryl Steinberg

With the holiday season upon us, culminating in the start of a new year, it’s a tradition to make New Year’s resolutions. Here are 13 things you should give up if you want to be happy.

1. Give Up Your Need To Always Be Right

Many of us, myself included, are addicted to being right and can’t stand the idea of being wrong. If you’re like me, you engage in arguments over Facebook – even at the risk of ruining a great friendship simply out of the need to be right.

It’s time to gain some perspective: It’s just not worth it.

“Would I rather be right, or would I rather be kind?” Wayne Dyer

2. Give Up Your Need For Control

Part of the need to always be right is the need to be in control. Giving up your need to always control everything – or at least being willing to – will bring you much more peace and happiness in your daily life. One way to do this is to allow others to just ‘be’ – whether they are loved ones, coworkers, or even strangers you encounter in your daily comings and goings.

By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try. The world is beyond winning.” Lao Tzu

3. Give Up On Blaming Others

Be accountable for yourself and give up the need to blame others for what you have/don’t have, for what you feel/don’t feel. Think about it like this: by blaming others, you are playing the victim as well as giving away your power.

4. Give Up Your Negative Self-Talk

Do you have an inner dialogue that criticizes you about everything? Not good enough. Not smart enough. Not talented enough. You’re not alone. It’s time that you realize that YOU control your thoughts and that those things aren’t real. And just as you have created those negative thoughts, you can create positive, supportive thoughts to tell yourself instead.

It’ll take some practice but, you can effectively erase the negative tape and record over it with the good stuff you should be telling yourself. You’ll be amazed at just how much changing your inner dialogue will change your life – for the better.

“The mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. Used wrongly, however, it becomes very destructive.” Eckhart Tolle

“A belief is not an idea held by the mind, it is an idea that holds the mind.” Elly Roselle

5. Give Up Complaining

Give up your constant need to complain about everything – people, situations, events – that make you unhappy, sad or depressed. Take responsibility for how you feel; no person or situation can make you happy or unhappy unless you allow it to. Focus on what you can control: not the situation that triggers those feelings in you, but how you choose to look at it.

Try giving up complaining for 24 hours, starting over each time you find yourself complaining – in your head or out loud. You’ll be surprised at the differences you’ll notice.

6. Give Up The Luxury Of Criticism

Give up your need to criticize people, things, events or people, that you might dislike or find annoying; instead, come from compassion. Everyone wants to be happy, to be understood, to love, and to be loved.

7. Give Up Resisting Change

Pretty much everyone has a fear of change. But change is good. Change is a source of growth; it will help you make improvements in your life and also the lives of those around you.

“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls.” Joseph Campbell

8. Give Up Labels

Give up labeling things, people or events as being weird or different because it’s new to you or you don’t understand it. Try opening your mind. Minds only work when open.

“Your mind is like a parachute; it only works when it is open.” Anthony J. D’Angelo

9. Give Up On Your Fears

Just like those negative thoughts, fear is just an illusion that you created. It’s all in your mind. Correct the inside and the outside will fall into place.

“The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.” Franklin D. Roosevelt

10. Give Up Making Excuses

A lot of times we limit ourselves because of the many excuses we use. When we use excuses, we get stuck in a pattern of lying to ourselves. This stunts our growth by keeping us from working on improving ourselves and our lives. And just like fear, excuses are not even real.

11. Give Up Holding Onto The Past

The past is just that: past. Look to it only as a source of lessons learned – knowledge and experience. We all have done things in the past that might make us cringe but, rather than regretting them, choose to forgive yourself and promise to learn from them.

Practice being present in the now.

12. Give Up Attachment

There is a distinction between ‘love’ and ‘attachment.’ Real love is pure, kind, and self-less; attachment comes from a place of fear. And the two cannot co-exist.

The moment you detach yourself from all things, which takes time and practice, you will experience peace, tolerance, kindness, and serenity. This is something that many achieve through meditation.

13. Give Up Trying to Live Up to Other People’s Expectations

Way too many people live their lives according to what others think is best for them: what their parents, friends, enemies, teachers, government, the media think and so on. That’s not only exhausting, it’s unfulfilling. Trying to please everybody by living up to their expectations will result in you giving up control over your own life.

Listen to your inner voice, that inner calling – we all have it. Sometimes it needs cultivating. Do what makes you happy; what fulfills your needs and desires. You have one life – this life – it’s yours to live, to own. Don’t let others distract you from your path.

Many people turn to alcohol and other drugs because they don’t know how to be happy. It becomes their only coping mechanism, leading to full-blown addiction. Life has much, much more to offer. For help, call toll-free 1-800-951-6135 day or night and you can speak directly with a live person, one who understands what you are going through and who can help you find your way.This can be the first step on finding your true path in life.

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