The 5 Blocks to Happiness (and How to Overcome Them)

Happiness is such a subjective term. It means so many different things to different people. But there are common blocks that apply to us all, and they may not be what you think. Let me explain.

Most of us think that the blocks to our happiness involve things like not having enough money or being in a bad relationship. Whatever the case may be, we often blame our unhappiness on things and people external to us. But in doing so, we’re completely missing the mark, which is why no matter what we try we stay stuck in our unhappiness. But there’s another solution.

Whenever we are unhappy is can be attributed to one or more of the reasons below. And these are the real blocks to your happiness. But the good news is, because they are within your control to change, your happiness is within your control to improve as well. Let’s take a look at these real blocks to happiness and what you can do about them.


1) Lack of self-worth and self-acceptance: When you lack self-respect and self-love and acceptance what ends up happening is you give your power away to others. You allow others to disrespect you and this causes you to feel frustrated and unhappy. Now, while it may appear like others are treating you badly, the truth is that their behaviour is simply mirroring your own beliefs about yourself. So instead of blaming others for your unhappiness, take responsibility for how you allow others to treat you, and most importantly, how you treat yourself.

Main lesson 1: Take responsibility for your own life. That’s the only way anything will change. See where you are giving your power away and stop. Start talking to yourself, and about yourself, in loving terms and you will see the people and circumstances in your life change for the better too.

Main lesson 2: Set healthy boundaries of what you will and will not accept from others, and then uphold them. When you show others how to respect you, they will respect you. Then make choices about who you want in your life. What are the relationships that matter to you? Which ones are toxic? Know that you have to love the soul but you don’t have to love the behaviour. So make your decisions with love and compassion and know that this doesn’t mean you have to be a doormat. It benefits all when we stand up for ourselves in a healthy way.

2) Lack of confidence; seeking approval. When you seek others’ approval to live your life by your own terms you end up chasing after something you may not even want. You allow others to dictate how happy you are based on whether or not they approve of who you are and what you’re doing. In all likelihood, there will always be someone who disagrees with you or doesn’t understand your choices, and if you live your life trying to get everyone to approve of you, you will be wasting a lot of your personal energy. This then depletes your happiness reserve as well. Find your inner confidence, the one where your self-worth doesn’t depend on anyone else’s opinion. Then live your life as you feel is best without apology and without having to defend or justify it to anyone else. Those who really matter in your life will support you either way because they love you either way.

Main lesson 1: Find your inner confidence. While sometimes this seems easier said than done, it is possible if you decide it’s what you want to do. The first step to confidence is acceptance. So accept yourself as you are right now and even where you are right now. You are exactly where you need to be for your personal journey. You were made exactly as you needed to be for your personal purpose. So don’t discount your worth and don’t compare yourself to others. We each have our own path in life, sometimes they intersect, and sometimes they don’t, but either way, we each are valuable just as we are.

Main lesson 2: Own your choices. Know your motivations and do your best to ensure your choices are proactive and loving and aligned with your truest desires (rather than your ego’s desires). Then you will always have the confidence to follow through on those choices and you will no longer fear making mistakes because you will realize that when your choices are rooted in love, there are no such things as mistakes; only learning opportunities. So stop questioning yourself and start taking action towards your best life now.

3) Lack of authentic direction; following the whims of your ego that are inspired by competition and a lack mentality. When you are thinking in terms of what you think you don’t have that others do, you are aligning yourself with lack of happiness and lack in general. When you chase after dreams that are based on filling a perceived void with things external to you, like material things or even relationships, then you are looking for happiness in the wrong places. It’s not the things or the people that are the issue; it’s always the motivation and intentions behind your drive that matter most. Find your inner happiness center and all those externals will become compliments to your life rather than what you depend on for your joy.

Main lesson 1: Know what you want and why. Decipher between your authentic and inauthentic desires. To do this you simply need to pay attention to how you are feeling about your desires. Are you feeling a lack that you feel you need to fill, a desperation of sorts? Or are you feeling peaceful and excited to manifest what you already know is yours and within your capabilities to do, be, and have? Your motives and intentions are what determine the tone of your life experiences. If you can figure out the “what” and then the “why,” you will be ahead of the curve in living the life of your dreams. And the best part is that you will be doing so from a place of joy and inner confidence rather than a place of stress and uncertainty.

Main lesson 2: Often unhappiness stems from feelings of “not enough.” When you feel lack in your life it causes you to feel depressed and lonely. But you can change that by adopting an attitude of abundance. Now this doesn’t mean pretending to be something or someone you’re not. All it means is becoming more appreciative and observant of what you already have in your life right now. When you are appreciating, that means you are not depreciating. So no matter how small you think it is, find something to be grateful for right now, and build on that feeling by seeing the world as your oyster.

4) Lack of higher purpose and grander goals and visions. When you lack purpose you lack direction and it’s much easier to get swept up in the ways of the ego that cause your unhappiness. That’s why it’s so important to figure out what drives you, what you are passionate about, and what purpose you’re driven towards. Figuring out your purpose and who you are at your core is extremely important to your level of happiness.

Main lesson 1: In order to find your purpose, which will ultimately bring you immense joy and satisfaction, simply ask yourself a series of questions like, “What do I feel called to do in my life? What am I passionate about? What qualities do I have that can be valued and shared with the world? What am I exceptionally good at? What kind of person do I want to be? What do I want my legacy to be?”

Main lesson 2: But remember that your purpose is something you infuse into everything you do and everything you are. It’s not just about your vocation. It’s about what fuels you in every area of your life. Look to your passions and truest desires and there you will find your purpose.

5) Lack of priorities; misguided and scattered energy. You need to define what happiness means to you personally and then prioritize those things, people, and activities that mean the most to you. Then make time for it all. It’s about balance and delegation where necessary. It’s about finding your inner Zen, which gives you the energy and strength for everything you need to accomplish in life.

Main lesson 1: What’s important to you? If you strip away all the distractions in your life for one moment, what are you left with? Why are you doing all of this in the first place? Figure out what’s most important to you and then make sure you make it a priority in your life.

Main lesson 2: Understand that being balanced in your life is extremely important to your overall happiness and well-being. That doesn’t mean that sometimes certain things won’t grab at your attention more than others. It simply means that if you look at each year or even each month of your life, for instance, that you’ll be able to say that you gave every area of your life its fair dues. It means that you realize that life is not a dress rehearsal and that you get out of it what you put into it. So learn to prioritize and you will no longer feel the pains of regret for days gone by where you didn’t do what you really wanted to do. Make this life and every moment count and you’ll be happier for it.

So these are the 5 blocks to your happiness. They may not be the most obvious blocks, but guaranteed, they are key factors in how happy your life will be. So figure out which of these blocks apply to you and then choose to do something about it. Know that patchwork never works in the long run and so if you want to truly be happy from the inside-out, you’re going to have to address these issues in one way or another. But it’s always your choice and that’s the most empowering part!



Dora Nudelman is a personal-development and self-empowerment writer, author, advisor, holistic life coach, and the principal of The Quality of Life Advisors Group (www.qualityoflifeadvisors.com), a lifestyle consulting company that provides expert advice and guidance for successful living.

Educated in the fields of Sociology, Spirituality, Journalism, and Holistic Life Coaching, Dora takes all of her knowledge and experience and provides a contemporary and grounded view of spiritual principles, helping others apply these principles to their modern-day lives.

“You Are Here: How to awaken your potential and live your greatest life now!” is her debut book and the embodiment of how presence and spirituality can bring peace and happiness into one’s everyday life. For more information please visit: www.youareherethebook.com


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