If you want to be truly content in life, say goodbye to these 9 behaviors

Avatar by Lachlan Brown | April 3, 2024, 6:31 pm

There’s a stark contrast between living a life of constant struggle and embracing contentment.

This difference often comes down to behavior. Certain habits can keep you stuck in a cycle of dissatisfaction, always wanting more and never feeling truly happy.

Choosing contentment, on the other hand, involves letting go of these behaviors to make room for peace, fulfillment, and joy.

Contentment doesn’t mean settling for less; it’s about appreciating what you have and living in the moment.

And wise folks know that there are specific behaviors that need to be ditched to achieve this state.

Here are some behaviors you might need to say goodbye to if you want to be truly content in life.

1) Constant comparison

Contentment often seems elusive in a world that encourages constant comparison.

The tendency to compare ourselves to others is deeply ingrained in our psyche.

It’s the rationale behind social media’s popularity, and the driving force of many marketing strategies.

Consider this: how often do you find yourself measuring your success against someone else’s?

Whether it’s their job, their body, their lifestyle, or their relationships, it’s all too easy to fall into the comparison trap.

Comparing yourself to others is a mental treadmill. No matter how far you run, there will always be someone further ahead.

This behavior not only breeds discontentment but also blocks you from appreciating your own accomplishments and growth.

If you want to cultivate a sense of contentment in your life, it’s time to quit the comparison game. It might be challenging initially, but remember that everyone’s journey is unique.

2) Overthinking

I’ve learned from personal experience that overthinking can be a major roadblock to contentment.

There was a time in my life when I would analyze every decision, every conversation, and every event to the point of exhaustion. I would lay awake at night, replaying scenarios in my head, imagining different outcomes, and worrying about things that were out of my control.

This habit of overthinking didn’t contribute anything positive to my life. In fact, it only added unnecessary stress and anxiety. It kept me from enjoying the present moment and appreciating the simple joys around me.

It took me a while to realize that not everything requires intense scrutiny. That sometimes, things are just as they appear. No hidden meanings, no catastrophic consequences.

When I decided to let go of overthinking, I found myself feeling lighter and more at peace. Sure, I still have moments when old habits try to creep back in. But now, I consciously choose to redirect my thoughts towards more productive and positive paths.

3) Neglecting self-care

Self-care is not just about pampering yourself with spa days or indulging in sweet treats. It’s about taking care of your physical, emotional, and mental health.

Did you know that the World Health Organization includes self-care in its definition of health? They recognize it as a vital component of overall wellbeing.

Ignoring your needs and prioritizing everything else above yourself can lead to burnout, stress, and dissatisfaction.

On the other hand, taking time to nurture your body, mind, and soul can significantly boost your mood and energy levels.

4) Dwelling on the past

Living in the past is like walking through life with your eyes glued to the rear-view mirror. It’s impossible to appreciate the beauty of the present or anticipate the joys of the future when your focus is stuck on what has already happened.

Whether it’s past mistakes, lost opportunities, or old hurts, dwelling on them won’t change anything. It only serves to keep you stuck, unable to move forward and enjoy what life has to offer now.

Instead of ruminating over the past, try to learn from it. Every experience, good or bad, is a lesson that shapes us into who we are. Accepting what has happened, forgiving when necessary, and moving on is a crucial step toward finding contentment.

The past is a place of reference, not a place of residence. It’s time to pack up your baggage and embrace the present with open arms.

5) Chasing perfection

The quest for perfection can be a relentless and exhausting pursuit. It sets an unrealistic standard that is impossible to attain, leaving us feeling perpetually inadequate and discontented.

Chasing perfection often means focusing on what’s missing or what’s wrong, rather than appreciating what’s already good and right. It’s a surefire way to overlook the many blessings and achievements we do have.

Instead of striving for flawlessness, aim for progress. Embrace the perfectly imperfect reality of life and learn to love yourself, quirks and all.

When you stop chasing an unattainable ideal, you free yourself to enjoy life as it is, with all its ups and downs, twists and turns. That’s when true contentment can start to take root.

6) Holding onto grudges

Holding onto grudges is like carrying a heavy weight around your heart. It’s a burning ember of resentment that can consume your joy, peace, and ultimately your contentment.

Unforgiveness doesn’t punish the person who wronged you; it punishes you. It keeps you chained to the past and prevents you from experiencing the fullness of the present.

Letting go of grudges doesn’t mean forgetting or condoning what happened. It means choosing to free yourself from the burden of bitterness.

When you decide to forgive, it’s like setting a prisoner free and realizing the prisoner was you. You’ll be amazed at how much lighter and happier you feel when you release the heavy weight of unforgiveness.

Life is too short and precious to spend it harboring grudges. Choose forgiveness, choose peace, choose contentment.

7) Fear of failure

Let me tell you about a time when fear of failure held me back. I had a dream project, something I was incredibly passionate about. But the fear of messing it up, of not meeting the high expectations I had set for myself, paralyzed me.

Instead of taking steps towards my dream, I found myself stuck, unable to move forward. The fear of failure was like a dark cloud hovering over me, constantly whispering “what if you fail?”

But then I realized, failure isn’t the end. It’s not a stain on your character or a sign of your incompetence. It’s merely a stepping stone on the path to success.

Once I accepted this, I found the courage to pursue my dream project. Yes, there were bumps along the way and yes, I did fail at times. But each failure was a lesson learned, a stepping stone that brought me closer to my goal.

If fear of failure is holding you back from pursuing what you want in life, remember that everyone fails at some point.

What matters is not the failure itself, but how you respond to it.

Embrace it, learn from it and keep moving forward. That’s where true contentment lies.

8) Seeking validation

We live in a world that often makes us feel like we’re not enough. Not smart enough, not attractive enough, not successful enough.

As a result, many of us seek validation from others to fill that void.

However, constantly seeking approval from others puts your happiness in their hands and breeds discontentment.

It’s like trying to fill a leaky bucket; no matter how much validation you get, it will never be enough to make you feel truly content.

Instead, learn to validate yourself. Celebrate your successes, acknowledge your efforts, and remind yourself of your worth. You are enough just as you are.

When you stop seeking validation from others and start validating yourself, you’ll discover a sense of contentment that is deeply satisfying and enduring.

Your worth is not determined by what others think of you but by what you think of yourself.

9) Living for the future

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you’ll be content when you achieve a certain goal, get a particular job, or reach a specific milestone.

But the truth is, happiness isn’t a destination you reach; it’s a way of life.

Constantly living for the future robs you of the joy of the present. Life is happening right now, in this very moment.

If you’re always waiting for ‘someday’, you’re missing out on the precious moments that make up your ‘today’.

Instead of postponing your happiness for some future event, choose to find joy in the now.

Take pleasure in the small things, cherish the moments, and make the most of what you have today.

True contentment comes from appreciating and living fully in the present, not from perpetually chasing an elusive future.

Final thoughts: The choice is yours

The journey towards contentment is deeply personal and unique to each individual. It’s not about achieving a particular state or reaching a preset destination. It’s about making choices that align with your values, priorities, and true self.

The famous psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor, Viktor Frankl, once said, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

Letting go of these nine behaviors is not an overnight process. It requires self-awareness, patience, and a consistent commitment to personal growth.

But remember, every step you take towards letting go of these behaviors is a step closer to finding your unique path to contentment.

And while the journey may be challenging at times, the destination—living a life of contentment, free from the burdens of comparison, perfectionism, grudges and fear—is undoubtedly worth it.

In the end, the choice is yours. You have the power to shape your life and find your own path to contentment. Choose wisely.

Did you like my article? Like me on Facebook to see more articles like this in your feed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *