Do you suffer from “Self-Limited Happiness” Syndrome?

something so greatHappiness.

It’s the ultimate thing that we all want isn’t it?

“Being happier” is one of the key goals that sends many of my clients to work with me.

They want to “feel happier” about their bodies, relationships, jobs and lives.

The funny thing that happens when we start examining exactly what “happier” means to them, is that all these fears, anxieties and limitations about happiness start coming up.

The biggest and most self-limiting belief goes something like this: “If I really allow myself to feel happy, then when my life turns back to shit, it will hurt too much and I won’t survive it.”

When we dig a little deeper, the logic behind this belief becomes something like this: “I know how to deal with being unhappy or lonely or depressed. I know the rules, I know what to expect, it’s familiar and there is something safe about it, even though I feel miserable. But if I let myself get too happy, if I starting believing that happiness can last, if I start getting too comfortable feeling good or loved or looking forward to things, if I get dumped, if I am rejected, if I am disappointed or deceived or wrong, I can never go back to how I was before I knew what real happiness was like. I will know what I have lost and what if I can never be that happy again? I will end up worse off than I was before.”

I call this cluster of beliefs “self-limited happiness syndrome” because the majority of us DO have limits on just how much happiness we will allow ourselves to feel and how long we will allow ourselves to feel good.

How do you self-limit your happiness?

  • You shrug off compliments, don’t believe them or immediately tell the person why they are wrong to compliment you.
  • You don’t celebrate your wins or constantly minimize your talents and abilities.
  • When something good happens, you are always on edge “waiting for the other shoe to drop.”
  • You don’t believe people when they say they love you or like you.
  • You can hear 50 positive things about you in one day but the one negative comment is the one you focus on and replay in your mind.
  • You have beliefs like; “good things never happen to me, I always get disappointed, everyone always let’s me down, nothing ever works out for me or I can’t trust anyone.”
  • You don’t allow yourself to really love with all your heart “just in case”.
  • You have a secret fear that the moment you finally get what you have always wanted, you let down your guard and are truly happy, that you will get really sick, or someone will die or something terrible will happen to take your happiness away.

Self-limiting happiness syndrome, is a protective mechanism that we create to reduce the risk of experiencing emotional pain, heartbreak and disappointment.

The bigger the potential happiness, the greater the fear of losing it.

There is a belief that by self-limiting our happiness, keeping it small, not really allowing it in that we somehow avoid drawing bad luck, envy or tempting fate to strike us down.

You may feel somehow “safer” but self-limiting happiness syndrome means that you risk never really living, never truly experiencing the full, glorious happiness that could be yours if you could just let go of your fear of losing it.

Waiting until you feel safe, waiting until you feel good enough, waiting for some perfect moment in the future to be happy is only keeping you from the happiness you can be experiencing now if you are willing to trust.

Trust yourself that whatever happens, you will be ok in the end.

Trust that you are deserving of happiness, love and joy.

Trust that somehow, someway, things are working out as they are meant to and that you have more courage than you believe.

In the words of Sarah Addison Allen “happiness is a risk. If you’re not a little scared, then you’re not doing it right.”

Where are YOU limiting your happiness or do you want to share in the comments how you learned to overcome your fears and claim your happiness?

Need some help in overcoming your self-limited happiness syndrome?

I specialize in giving you the tools, confidence and motivation to reduce your fears and boost your joy and happiness!

Visit me at and let’s talk about how I can help you overcome self-limiting happiness syndrome.

Warm wishes


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