Be Happy With What You Have: 8 Destructive Habits to Kick

Are these 8 destructive habits standing in the way of your happiness? Click through to learn how to be happy with what you have & where you are

Be Happy! It sounds like such an easy thing to do, right? But we all know that it’s really not that simple. There are definitely people out there that seem to be happy all the time. What do you think they have in common? Were they born that way? Are they genetically disposed to positivity?

One of the main traits of positive people is that they live in the present moment. They have found a way to be happy with what they have and where they are.

Enjoying the present moment is a habit that takes practice. It’s so easy to think about where you want to be in 5 or 10 years and get hung up on the fact that you’re not there yet. It’s even easier to compare your life to someone else’s highlight reel and wonder why they seem to be happy and you haven’t gotten there yet.

Here’s a little secret: The successes that other people share (in person or on social media) are just their highlight reel. What you are not seeing is the struggles that they faced to get there — probably very similar struggles to what you are facing right now.

“It isn’t what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it” ~ Dale Carnegie

In order to be happy with where you are, it’s important to get rid of some destructive habits first. There are things that you are doing (either consciously or unconsciously) that are holding you back from that happiness we all desire.

Are these 8 destructive habits standing in the way of your happiness? Click through to learn how to be happy with what you have & where you are

8 DESTRUCTIVE HABITS TO KICK IF YOU WANT TO BE HAPPY:

1 >> LET GO OF JEALOUSY

Jealousy – that sneaky little pot-stirrer that serves as a reminder of all the successes you don’t have, the relationship you’d like to have, the dream job you don’t have. Jealousy is known as the green-eyed monster for a very good reason. It can cause perfectly rational people to turn into raging creatures of anger and hate.

Try to focus on your own journey. Let go of the jealousy and quit comparing yourself to others. Learning to stop comparing yourself to others is one of the best things that you can do in your quest to be happy.

2 >> STOP LIVING IN THE PAST

Regret for past mistakes can drive you insane. Dwelling on ‘what if’s’, re-living the past, and holding grudges is just a recipe for disappointment.

The power that the past can have over us (if we let it) is incredible. The key to releasing yourself from this power, is to let it go and forgive.

Letting go sounds a lot easier than it actually is, though. It’s hard to forgive and let go of resentment and hurt feelings. Forgiveness in this case can feel like we’re letting someone (or ourselves) off the hook without any recourse or “punishment”.

Forgiveness is a way to face what has happened, acknowledge mistakes, and move on. You aren’t saying that its ok. You aren’t discounting the gravity of what happened. You are simply acknowledging the fact and deciding that you aren’t going to let it bring you down anymore. You aren’t going to let it define you.

Related: Practice Forgiveness & Release Yourself From Your Past

3 >> DON’T WORRY SO MUCH ABOUT WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK

Easier said than done, right?

First let’s make a differentiation between ‘caring’ and ‘worrying’ about what other people think. When you care about what others think, you value their opinion. When you worry about what others think, you let what they think determine your self worth. That is where we get into dangerous territory.

To be happy, it’s important to carve your own path. Sometimes that means doing things that people will not always understand. If you live your life trying to please everyone all of the time, you are setting yourself up for burn-out.

4 >> DON’T BE SCARED TO FAIL

Here’s a little tip for you: failure isn’t failure until you give up!  Some of the most successful people have had a string of failures leading up to their eventual success.

I heard a quote the other day that “It takes 10 years to become an overnight success”. I wish I could site the source, but you get the point, right? There is no such thing as an overnight success, and anyone who tries to tell you otherwise is probably just trying to sell you something.

Failures are the way that we learn and improve our lives. Our failures are the building blocks of our greatest successes. If you let yourself be paralyzed by the fear of failure, how can you ever truly be happy?

5 >> QUIT PROCRASTINATING

Procrastination is a sneaky little bugger. The problem with procrastination is that this tiny little act piles up over time. When you put off things that are important and take the easy route instead, it may seem insignificant at the moment. The issue comes in when you start making procrastination a habit.

The more you procrastinate on even the smallest tasks, the more they pile up. They gradually become a major headache in your life and before you know it they will completely overwhelm you.

The key to beating procrastination is to first understand why you are procrastinating. What is stopping you from doing what you know needs to be done? After that, ask yourself what procrastination is costing you. Once you have a clear picture of how procrastination is affecting your life, you’ll be more likely to nip it in the bud and do something about it.

Just last week, I listened to a great podcast (How to Avoid Becoming a Procrastinator) by Hal Elrod all about overcoming procrastination. If you have a history of putting things off and letting procrastination hold you back, I highly recommend you give it a listen today!

6 >> STOP STRIVING FOR PERFECTION

Let me tell you one little thing about perfection. It doesn’t exist.

I like to think of perfection as an illusion. We are constantly chasing it, only to find that it disappears once it’s within our grasp. There is nothing wrong with striving to do better, but the problem occurs when we push ourselves too hard and chastise ourselves for not being ‘good enough’.

Striving for perfection is an endless pursuit because it is simply not achievable. Instead, strive for excellence. Be the best that YOU can be, and don’t worry about the rest.

“I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection. Excellence, I can reach for; perfection is God’s business.” ~ Michael J. Fox

7 >> LEAVE EXCUSES BEHIND

We can always find a reason to not take action, to not go after our dreams. It’s so easy to make excuses for why we can’t do the things that we want to. I don’t have enough time. It’s too late. It’s too hard. I don’t have enough money. I’m too young. I’m too old.

The reasons that we come up with are endless. But are they really reasons or are they just excuses? Are they just excuses to not pursue what we want in life? If you truly want to be happy, it’s imperative to take control over your own fate. Quit making excuses and start living a life that you can be proud of!

8 >> THERE IS NO ROOM FOR NEGATIVITY

Earlier this week I talked to you about dealing with the toxic people in your life. In addition to dealing with theses negative influences though, it is just as important to deal with your own negativity.

What are some negative thoughts that you have about yourself? Maybe it’s a negative body image, a feeling of never being good enough, or even a negative outlook on life in general.

Becoming a more positive person is not something that happens overnight, but it is one of the best practices you can undertake to be happy. Having a positive attitude is a choice, and it is one that we should all make to improve our lives.

Attitude is absolutely contagious. When you switch your mindset from negativity to positivity, you will begin to attract more positive influences in your life.


To be happy with what you have an where you are definitely takes practice. As with any kind of training, practice makes perfect — and yes, you can and should practice reducing your destructive habits to improve your life.

“Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” ~ Lao Tzu

What are some ways that you have found to be happy with what you have? Do any of these destructive habits need to be addressed in your own life?

Kara Benz
Kara Benz is the artist and author behind Boho Berry, where she inspires her readers to lead a more centered, fulfilled, and inspired life. Kara also runs a successful sticker shop on Etsy – Boho Berry Paperie.
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  • Tru

    Great tips! Some of this is so hard to do but once you take one tiny step in the right direction, you’re on your way!

    • Thank you! I totally agree… All it takes is one step in the right direction :)

  • Great tips Kara! I’m guilty of striving for perfection. My blog needs to look perfect, my posts need to be perfect and if it’s not perfect I do it over and over which ends up being a time waster. Sigh.

    • Thanks girl! I’m guilty of the same, so I always have to remind myself that it will never be perfect and not to let that paralyze me from putting myself out there. :)

  • Hey Kara! It’s so tough to let go thinking of what others think… but you’re right, it’s a secret to happiness. Thanks for the great post. Very uplifting to read today!

    Michelle – http://www.heylittlefighter.com – A blog for special needs families facing the journey with a positive attitude!

    • Thank you so much, Michelle! I’m so happy that my post spoke to you :)

  • Tiffany Austin

    All of these are great tips! It’s really important to keep your attitude in check and think positively

  • Jennifer S.

    I struggle with #6 hard core!! I really need to just Let It Go and focus on the moment…

    • Striving for perfection is one of the things that I struggle with as well Jennifer! :)

  • Shann Eva

    This is such a great post. It is really hard to do all of these things, but it is also so important. Thank you for all the great reminders. I’m working on letting go and not letting things bother me. Thank you.

  • I’m an expert procrastinator. I always reason that I work better under pressure… Yeah, no. lol

    • Haha! I actually went BACK to work because I found myself procrastinating too much working solely from home… I find when I have too much time on my hands I tend to procrastinate more so I hear ya Jenn! Thanks for stopping by :)

  • I LOVE all of these! Great post! I feel like I forget to do a lot of these. I really need to stop letting past experiences affect my present and my future. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks Anali! It’s hard to try to change all of these at the same time but being conscious and aware of them is a great first step :)

  • Jessica Haynes

    Hey there, visiting you from DYOB: Blog Beautiful! This is like the story of my life right now! I’m making a huge career change and taking a huge pay cut so I can do what I love, so tuning out others, what they’re doing, my own issues with jealousy and comparison are all becoming critical to my happiness!

    • Hi Jessica! Thanks for visiting! I love that this post spoke so clearly to you. It really sounds like you’re on the right track :)

  • Great post ! As you said above there are lots of pieces to being happy. I feel like the comparison part is the biggest part of the story. When you stop looking at when everyone else is doing can you focus on what you need to be happy.

    • Thank you so much, Amanda! I totally agree that the comparison game can definitely bring you down the fastest. There’s definitely something to be said for going your own way and not worrying about what others are doing :)

  • Sarah Spencer

    This = Yes.

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