Joy – How You Can Ruin it in 6 Sneaky & Easy Ways
You want to grow emotionally, spiritually, and physically, but does it feel like something is blocking you? Well, the resistance may be coming from within you. As a life coach for entrepreneurs, I want to help you achieve clarity on how you view your life and your circumstances.
In this article, we will discuss 6 sneaky ways that you can ruin your joy. Note, none of these joy killers are ranked in any particular order.
Envy is a liar and a thief. It is a liar because it causes you to overestimate the achievements of others while underestimating your capabilities and potential. Envy is a thief because it distracts you and drains your joy, resulting in missed opportunities.
Furthermore, when we feel envious, we are susceptible to comparing ourselves to others, and that is a recipe for disaster.
Constantly Comparing Ourselves
Endlessly comparing ourselves to others, especially on social media, can lead to feelings of inadequacy and unhappiness. When we are comparing ourselves we minimize the time and energy others invested in order to obtain their own unique goals.
In a study conducted by Princeton researchers, they found that participants who engaged in self-comparisons experienced negative outcomes, such as feelings of inferiority and dissatisfaction.
Remember, everyone’s journey is unique, and focusing on our own progress is more important than comparing it to others.
Why ingratitude ruins our joy
When you are hyper-focused on others, you fail to appreciate the positive aspects of your own life, which can lead to a constant sense of dissatisfaction. In simpler terms, we become ungrateful. Learn to cultivate gratitude by acknowledging the good things, no matter how small, can help improve your overall happiness.
Ingratitude is particularly harmful because it leads us to the next joy killer, the false sense of entitlement.
Do you want to know the number #1 thought that can drive us crazy and ruin our peace? Even as a life coach, I am not immune to this thought: “I deserve it because…”
The false sense of entitlement is rather pervasive. You see it everywhere. Kids are raised expecting to have the same lifestyle as their parents. New business owners think their experience as an employee will translate to their business.
Why do we feel entitled and how does it impact our sense of joy?
I’ll be honest and say that I have felt entitled way more times than I care to admit. Why do we think this way? We study hard, make sure we say all the right things, and put in the hours. We believe that we deserve it. But do we really?
Too many of us are driving ourselves miserable because we believe someone or something owes us. We think everything should go on our timeline. Unfortunately, everything except our thoughts is out of our control.
If we want to regain our sanity, we have to stop thinking we deserve everything we want. This doesn’t mean we don’t do the work – still do the work. But don’t let your desires destroy your clarity and peace.
Another sneaky joy killer is perfection. Let’s dig into how we may develop a perfectionist mindset.
My client Clyde (not real name) was raised in a sports performance-oriented environment. Both of his parents were natural athletes, and they drilled into Clyde and his brothers that their family must compete to win the game called life.
Despite having a height of 6’3″, Clyde had no interest in basketball or any other kind of sports. All he wanted was to spend time creating things with his hands, and so he decided to open a bike shop, rebelling from his parents.
However, his life script, “be perfect,” never stopped just because he chose not to become an athlete. My client spent countless hours making sure everything in his business was perfect at all times. If anyone said anything that could be interpreted as critical or negative, it would ruin his day completely.
Perfectionism is real punishment. Flaws, real or imagined, are a capital offense. This joy-killer can lead to a never-ending cycle of disappointment and self-criticism.
If you want to have a healthy mindset, you must celebrate your overall progress rather than the missteps that will naturally occur.
It really isn't about getting things right, it is feeling right about the things you do.— Denise Lee (@DeniseGLee) August 7, 2023
Future telling and mind reading
Do you have a crystal ball that can accurately predict what people will say or do? If you do, please let me know. Or do you have psychic abilities? If so, I will try to get you connected to someone in the entertainment industry.
All jokes aside, too many people try to judge based on scant or imperfect information, as if they think they can assess future motives or behaviors based on present body language or actions alone.
While we can assess the character of people (to some extent) or things based on behavior, you or I cannot predict the future.
People are the ultimate wild card. Based on countless external or internal factors, people can fall in or out of love with a particular thing or person (which includes you).
We cannot, nor should we, try to predict things that are largely beyond our control. The best thing we can do is focus on our behavior and actions so that we can keep “our side of the street clean.”
Rushing to the worst-case scenario robs us of our joy and clarity. Moreover, it can cause us to spiral into negativity and make us susceptible to illness.
Closely related to mind-reading and future-telling is personalization.
Have you ever watched Seinfeld? It is one of my favorite 90s sitcom shows. There was one particular episode when the character George Costanza was breaking up with a girlfriend. During the conversation, the woman said, “It is not you, it’s me”. To which George responded that he was the cause of the breakup.
When we engage in personalization, it robs us of our joy and clarity. We lose perspective and pile all the fault and blame on ourselves. In a relationship and so many other areas of life, we are just a part of a bigger picture. Personalization robs us of the ability to see how other factors might have impacted a situation.
Finally, I saved the worst for last. Next, we will talk about codependency or assuming responsibility for another person’s feelings.
Codependency or people-pleasing could be an article in itself, but for the purposes of brevity, I will focus on it with respect to joy. Note: if you are looking for a great book about codependency, I highly recommend “Codependent No More” by Melody Beattie.
Anyway, when we focus on the moods of others at the expense of our sanity, we become their permanent prisoner.
Vicki and A Sad Tale
Sadly, this reminds me of one of my father’s former girlfriends named Vicki (not real name). Based on Vicki’s behavior, you would have thought the sun rose and set on my father. Anything my father wanted, Vicki was there.
This went above and beyond spending quality time. Vicki paid for my father’s housing and the majority of the food while they were living together. Despite knowing that my father was using Vicki, she stayed because my father said he was “sad” about the ending of his marriage.
This arrangement between Vicki and my father lasted for nearly two years. I am shocked that it lasted more than two months.
When you are codependent, your self-worth and esteem are completely dependent on others. In Vicki’s case, her worth was dependent on the presence of a man, and it didn’t matter if the man used and abused her.
Final thoughts about joy
Joy is a choice. Envy, entitlement, personalization, and all the other factors mentioned above tend to distort our perspective and diminish our happiness. If we want to be filled with joy, we must recognize when we are losing clarity or perspective.
If you need help obtaining clarity or joy, consider working with me today!
DISCLAIMER: THIS ARTICLE DOES NOT PROVIDE MENTAL HEALTH ADVICE
The information in this article is for informational purposes only. No material in this article or website is to be a substitute for professional medical and/or mental health advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you read from me or anyone else online.
Also, this article is not designed to diagnose or treat you or anyone with a suspected mental health illness. Please, if you need help, seek appropriate help from a lawyer, health care provider or law enforcement officer.