Have you ever had the thought that, “I will never be happy?”
Be honest. Maybe at one point in your life the thought had at least crossed your mind, or maybe this belief still persists today even as you read the words on this page.
Because I’ll be honest with you, I have had this belief before.
Now the belief is in the distant past, but there was a period in my life where it really stuck with me – to the point where “I will never be happy” became a self-fulfilling paradigm.
At the time, I thought that “I will never be happy” was just a part of reality. I couldn’t imagine a world where I was actually enjoying life, having fun, or doing activities that really mattered to me. Happiness simply wasn’t compatible with my worldview.
You see, the beliefs we have about ourselves and the world we live in play a huge role in what we are aware of in life and how we respond to our situations.
From a young age, life threw some experiences at me that made me sad, angry, hurt, and frustrated – and I was wrongly led to believe that was all there ever was in this world.
Our first experiences give us our first perspective on how we think the world works. We learn this perspective from our time spent with family, friends, teachers, etc. – but isn’t always accurate.
However, over time this perspective can become so embedded in our minds that it’s all we ever begin to see, despite it not necessarily being the only way the world works.
It took me years of reflection and will-power to finally identify these erroneous and destructive beliefs, then begin changing them. It’s a process that doesn’t happen overnight.
Day after day, I had to sit back, look at my thoughts and actions, question my conditioned responses, and play with new and better ways of approaching the situations in my life.
It was hard work. I had to let go of my stubborn worldview and be open to new ways of understanding and experiencing the world. I had to be just as willing to unlearn all the crap I absorbed as a kid as I was willing to absorb new knowledge and information. I had to at least entertain the possibility that I could be happy with my life.
Shredding the belief that “I will never be happy” is the first step toward achieving happiness. It’s not always easy, but there are some things you can remember to help make this belief weaker, and eventually get rid of it entirely.
- The past doesn’t dictate the future. Just because you’ve never been happy before doesn’t mean you can’t be happy ever.
- You have more control over your life than you think. Everyone has the power to turn their life around and be happy – if they are willing to put in the work to make gradual change.
- Your worldview can sometimes become a self-fulfilling prophecy. By believing “I will never be happy” you in fact think and act in ways that reinforce this and make it more true.
- By expanding your worldview to include the possibility of happiness, you are more open to thoughts and actions that make you happy.
- Our negative beliefs are often faulty and prone to error. Question yourself by asking, “Why do I believe this?” or “Are there situations or events that may make this NOT true?” You will often find ways in which your belief is false.
- Replace these negative beliefs with ones that are more practical and optimistic. “I can be happy” is a completely attainable goal that can be achieved with faith, persistence, and dedication toward a new life.
No single article is going to make you magically happy. However, I hope some of the points made here are getting you to think in a new direction.
“I will never be happy” can be a common belief among many individuals who have depression, but this belief is not necessarily reality.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy, and other forms of “thinking therapy,” can be a valuable tool in getting our minds to act in happier and more productive ways.
By using these tools, we can overcome deeply ingrained negative beliefs, and begin seeing ourselves and the world in a new and fulfilling way.
Discover more tools to daily growth in the digital guide The Science of Self Improvement