Are You Getting in the Way of Your Own Happiness?

Success…that’s we all want isn’t it?  Financial success, business success, success in our relationships, in raising our children?  So why is it so hard to achieve?  Sometimes we’re afraid of failure; sometimes we’re afraid of success. Sometimes we’re afraid we won’t be taken seriously; that others will laugh, sometimes we think we’re not good enough, we don’t deserve it…the list goes on and on. So what do we do?  We protect ourselves from this perceived unpleasantness. The problem is that the very things we do thinking we are protecting ourselves are often the exact same things that get in our way of achieving the success we desire.

All of us only want three things:  to be accepted, to be loved, to feel important in our lives.

Here are four examples of how we get in the way of feeling that:

We are so terrified of not being accepted for who we are, of being rejected, that we bend and twist ourselves into a pretzel trying to make other people happy. We try to be all things to all people all the time. We never say “no”, because we are afraid others will be mad at us, won’t like us…etc., but because we say “yes” to everyone all the time, we are unable to keep all of our commitments and we end up lying and making up stories to explain why things don’t get done. We let people down, we feel resentful toward them and angry at ourselves, and we end up creating the very separation we are so afraid of because now others are disappointed, and sometimes even angry at us.

Or, we are so afraid that there is something wrong with us, that we will be rejected, that we never even try. We talk ourselves out of applying for a job or a promotion, we list the reasons that starting our own business is a bad idea, or why we can’t have the life we want. We have sabotaged ourselves before we even begin!

Anger is another way we sabotage ourselves. We want so badly to be liked, to be successful, to fit in, and when we feel that someone is not accepting us, or doesn’t like us or what we’re doing,whether at work or in our personal lives, we immediately get aggressive and angry, or, we shut down. Inevitably we end up pushing away the very people we want to be accepted by and, who could potentially contribute to our success.

Perfectionism and control creates the same separation. I have a friend who always looks, behaves, and speaks perfectly. She is always in a good mood and a cheerleader for everyone else. If you ask her how she is the answer is always the same “’I’m fine, everything is really good”. She never lets anyone know when something is wrong, and in doing so, she pushes away people who would like to be part of her life and share in her concerns and challenges. So here again, the thing she does to protect herself only keeps other people away because she won’t “let them in” to her life.

So I ask you…what do you do to get in your own way of being accepted, loved, and feeling important – the very things you say you want?  Here are four things you can do to get out of your own way:

  1. Accept that you can’t be all things to all people. Stop projecting your fears on to others. Yes, if you       say “no”, people might be upset but isn’t that their prerogative?  And, if they truly care about you, it won’t harm the relationship; in fact, they will have more respect for you!
  2. Cultivate a habit of “believing you can” instead of “believing you can’t”. The next time you are tempted to talk yourself out of doing something you want to do, stop, turn it around and list all of the reasons why you can!
  3. Accept that not everybody is going to agree with your ideas or the way you do things. Just because you have made a mistake or do things differently does not make you “less than” or unlovable, it makes you human. Surprisingly enough, people like you more when you’re human!
  4. Give up the need to be perfect. It’s a noble pursuit but it’s not achievable and, it pushes people away. Accept that you are not perfect, love yourself anyway and learn to be vulnerable. People will not think less of you they will think more of you!

None of these things are easy to do, but practiced on a consistent basis, they will bring you more peace, more happiness, and inevitably, since whatever we put out to the Universe is what we will get back, you will have more success in all aspects of your life!

Susan Armstrong is an International Speaker, Author and Trainer helping people break free of the invisible prison of their own making to transform their lives. Author of An Invisible Prison: A True Story of Survival Susan can be found at for more free information on how to transform your life now! Or visit

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