As a life coach — I focus on what my clients want in order to be happy — how we want to feel, what we want to achieve, what we want to learn. Today’s video is a little different — I am going to focus on what we need to drop, stop, give up entirely. If you want to be happy — you will need to stop doing these things!

Put simply, we need to do some unlearning in our lives. I have observed that there are key things we do that keep us stuck, unhappy and living in the past. By holding on and continuing to do these we are guilty of sabotaging our success, our sense of peace and our joy.

Real Simple Six Habits That are Secretly Making You Miserable

1. Hold a grudge

Forgiveness is the key to freedom. As Marianne Williamson says, “Forgiveness is actually out of self-interest.” When we hate, feel anger or resentment towards another, the intended impact, to hurt them, backfires on us.

We harbour the anger and resentment within our own minds and bodies. Ask yourself, “how can I see this situation differently?” Keep asking that question and keep digging deeper until your grudge starts to shift and change shape.

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2. We give up

To me, giving up on our dreams is the saddest thing we can do. So often we bury our gifts, follow a “safe” path or simply do not give ourselves permission to pursue what it is that we really, really, really want.

This results in huge regret later in life and dullness in the present moment. I heard once that the definition of hell is when the person you are meets the person you could have been. Wow is all I have to say to that.

Our inner voice knows when we are not living our truth and this voice does not go away (although we try to tune it out). It’s very likely you know the exact voice I am talking about.

3. Let distractions guide our day

When we live life as I like to say, “from the inbox out” we are often completely unaware of the happiness we could be experiencing from self-directing our lives.

We need to allow some disconnect from the agenda that social media and email sets for our day – from our morning alarm clock through to bedtime Instagram “liking”. How different might your life look if your daily distractions were no longer there?

4. Settle for Superficial Friendships

Since moving to New York I really noticed this. When making new friends I realised that a lot of time people do not talk about things that really matter or make themselves vulnerable.

Whenever I bring up my early divorce or modest upbringing, people tend to open up with me too, as we all secretly want to make a genuine connection with other people. People sometimes tell me, “Its so nice to talk about this stuff.”

We don’t realise that connecting with others has nothing to do with our exotic vacations or successful career stories — it is about making a soul connection that only arises from deeper conversations.

Oftentimes if you keep it real with a story about yourself, other people lower their barriers and an authentic and awesome conversation and friendship can emerge. You don’t need to settle for surface friendships.

5. Compare!

Comparison is selective, exaggerated and unreal. We have no idea what is going on in other people’s lives.

We may envy their fortune but not know their child is struggling with bullying or that their marriage is falling apart. Instead we should be too busy envying our own good fortune (gratitude, my friends).

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6. Hold Back on the Giving

At the end of it all, it is not about us! The greatest, most real and rewarding sense of happiness comes from helping others.

I know a lawyer who teaches guitar on Sundays to children who cannot afford lessons. He says it is one of his greatest sources of happiness. To me, this is the most beautiful thing about the world — that giving of ourselves creates the most joy. It’s unbeatable.

In the spirit of a new season upon us, how can you start disconnecting a bit more, dreaming a little deeper and giving a little extra of yourself? And don’t forget that little star of forgiveness. We can’t shine fully without it.