5 Secrets of Happy People
Sabotaging Your Happiness
I was meeting my friend Linda at our favorite Brooklyn cafe to discuss a project. "Six, sharp. I'll see you then," I promised. And by 6:15 p.m., there sat Linda, with a cool margarita in front of her and steam coming out of her ears. I breezed in at 6:30, full of apologies and excuses. But it was no use: I was late -- again -- and she was furious. She tartly informed me that if I kept her waiting once more, I'd be kicked off the project.
Everyone's got bad habits such as lateness or procrastination. But if you consistently act in ways that cause you to lose face, lose friends, or fail when a goal is within reach, your harmless personality quirks may have morphed into serious self-sabotage. "A bad habit becomes destructive when your behavior causes more than momentary regret and leaves you feeling disappointed in yourself," says Pauline Wallin, PhD, author of Taming Your Inner Brat.
Why do we derail our own happiness? Experts attribute it to a variety of unconscious beliefs: nagging doubt about whether we really deserve what we're striving for; apprehension that we won't be able to handle increased expectations and responsibilities; even fear that our achievement may isolate us from our peers or family members.
To overcome self-sabotage, you must first identify its origin and then take steps to interrupt the cycle. Here are five ways you might be tripping yourself up, and suggestions for how to (finally) get out of your own damn way.
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