As Long as Fear Controls You, You Will Never Be Happy
We spend a lot of time fantasizing about being happier. Yet, we rarely make the changes needed to achieve true happiness. There is a powerful reason behind this: fear. What would happen if what we do doesn’t help us be happier or, even worse, if it messes up what we have now?
The fear of disappointment, of changes, of losing what we have, no matter how small it is, works as a barrier that not only keeps us from the possibility of being happy. It creates a great sensation of frustration that makes the current situation look even worse. Ironic, don’t you think?
“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible of accomplishing: the fear of failure.”
Overcome the fear that’s holding you back
Many people create routines, and even though they make them miserable, they give them enough security to think that, though their lives aren’t fully satisfactory, at least they have it under control. That’s how they disguise panic as laziness or comfort. And they complain about their lives as if others had control over it. But this isn’t true. You’re not controlling anything this way.
This false sense of security makes us feel scared to do what we truly know we have to do. What we truly need in order to feel better and become happier. But the fear of not achieving it, of the sensation not being what we had imagined, or the fear of being “certain” that happiness is nothing more than an illusion… all of this holds us back.
That fear plunges us into inaction, which makes us settle for merely thinking. Thinking about what we could do and what we could accomplish. But thinking without actually doing only makes us feel more miserable.
“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action generates confidence and courage. If you want to beat fear, don’t sit at home and think about it. Go out there and get to work.”
Steps to overcome the fear that keeps us from being happier
In order to have a better life, it is necessary to overcome the fear that’s holding you back. You must abandon frustration and place a little more trust in yourself. You have the potential to be happier, but you have to surpass the limits you have set for yourself. How? Read on to find out:
1. Define what happiness means to you
We constantly receive messages about what happiness is and how to achieve it. These messages are usually contradictory. Many times this criteria arises from consumerism, marketing and advertising or different views of life.
But, what is happiness? This is something that each one of us must define based on self-knowledge, on our own values. In truth, many times the fear of being happy is actually a fear of stepping out of the mold that has been set by your surroundings and society.
If you feel trapped, you should consider if the happiness you’re searching for is truly what you want. Otherwise, it could simply be what you think you should want. If you set clear goals in regards to happiness, you’ll see that it’ll be easier to identify the steps you need to take in order to reach it.
2. Convince yourself that you deserve to be happy
You didn’t come into the world to suffer. You deserve to be happy. But saying that we deserve happiness is one thing, and believing it is a completely different thing. Maybe your childhood experiences or the memory of past relationships have made you think that it is hard for you to be happy, that you don’t deserve to feel this way.
The lack of self-esteem that can stem from traumatic or negative experiences can serve as an obstacle when it comes to pursuing our dreams. But the past is in the past. Before you there are still plenty of opportunities. The fear that something similar will happen shouldn’t paralyze you. Instead, it should give you strength. At the end of the day, the fact that you had a hard time in the past will help you enjoy and savor each little detail even more.
3. Make your happiness your priority
We are often willing to put everyone else’s needs before our own, leaving our happiness on the back burner. However, in order to have the necessary energy to take care of others, you need to make your own happiness a priority.
That’s why you have to find ways to create a bigger balance in order to focus on our own goals. Also, we should establish healthy boundaries for the people around you. If someone criticizes you or tries to make you feel bad for thinking about yourself, don’t worry or feel guilty.
Only he who loves himself is capable of truly loving others.
4. Prepare and plan out your path
The fear of getting stuck along the way is normal and natural, especially when you wander aimlessly and unknowingly. In order to feel more confident along your journey, you must plan it out and analyze it. That way you’ll put an end to part of the uncertainty, while reinforcing your goal at the same time.
Think closely about which obstacles there are or could emerge, how you can address them, and how you are going to manage the problems ahead. Also, don’t forget that change always demands sacrifice. Think of the advantages of renouncing to certain things or habits, and think about how you are going to deal with the difficulties that this implies.
5. Believe in yourself
Many times, when we contemplate a change, we are paralyzed by the idea that we won’t be able to do what is necessary. The idea that we won’t be able to be successful comes from within our inner critic, and it returns us back to the starting point.
But it’s okay. This is normal. When it comes to making important life decisions, we have all experienced fear and doubt. The time has come to respond with confidence. If you are set on achieving something, you have already come a very long way. Remember, you have to give up something in order to move forward. Giving up your fears is part of the plan.
If you believe you can be happier, then you can be happier. You simply have to believe, in that fact and in yourself.