What problem are you waiting to pass before you can feel better? What are you waiting for to make you feel better? What dream are you fantasizing about that you’re not actively working toward today? These things aren’t problems in themselves, they’re symptoms.

Most people exist in a mindset that tells you happiness is a matter of acquiring more. The opposite is true. Happiness has much more to do with what’s standing in your way than what’s not in front of you yet. Here, 10 specific things that you need to give up if you want to get there:

Saying “I’m going to…”

Kyle Cease says: Achievers always look at victims and say: your limiting belief is “I can’t.” But the achievers’ limiting belief is: “I’m going to.”

When you talk about what you’re going to do, what you want to be, you are creating the reality of not having and not being that thing. If you continue to do that every single day, you live your entire life not becoming that thing.

It’s why people often advise to show your work, not talk about your work. Get affirmed for doing, not talking about doing.

The most powerful prayer in the Universe is “I am,” and second to it is “Thank you” Say “I am” [the thing you want to be]. Say “thank you” for [the thing you want to have]. That’s what puts you in the place of being it and having it; you need to think that you are to act like you do.

Worrying as a defense mechanism.

The world is not withholding happiness from you until you “figure it all out” and fix every problem and dash every possibility of anything going wrong. You are withholding happiness from yourself because you aren’t letting your guard down. What you don’t realize is that you are creating what’s wrong in your life because you’re not engaging with it. You’re not actually living. You’re existing to solve problems that aren’t even real in the first place.

Stealing other people’s reputations.

The opposite of this is called Astaya, or the practice of not stealing people’s reputations. In other words: stop creating impressions of people for them. Let them show the world who they are, and let each individual they encounter respond to them how they feel they should. Stop being a driving force of other people’s reputations, especially if it’s negative. Stop perpetuating rumors and judgments. The karma is only yours.

Not taking care of yourself.

Take your vitamins. Drink water. Sleep. Sweat. Cry. Try to eat a vegetable. These things aren’t bonuses that you should do when you feel like it, these things are integral parts of your health and mental/emotional well-being.

Fearing the jump rather than the fall.

To quote Kyle again, people who are going skydiving are always most afraid when they’re standing on the edge of the airplane, when they are actually safe. Once they’ve jumped, they’re in euphoria, despite the fact that that is the moment that they are actually in danger.

Once you jump off the airplane, you let go. You aren’t trying to gauge potential danger because you’re too busy navigating your way down.

An abundance of anxiety and worry is almost never proportional to how many problems you have in your life, and almost always proportional to how little you’re actually living, and how much you’re thinking about living instead.

Visualizing “having” rather than “doing.”

The next time you sit down to visualize having what you want to manifest, imagine yourself waking up without anxiety, doing your work effortlessly, feeling happy to see people you love or enjoying your morning coffee rather than having a new car or imagining how other people will see your life once it’s “complete,” once you’ve reached one more milestone.

Not only is this easier because the only variable to control here is you, you’re creating what you really want, which is to feel good. Feeling good each day is what you should be funneling your power toward, not trying to get more things that will induce the good feelings.

Believing everything you feel.

I know the world has instructed you so far to “trust your gut” and “follow your heart” but perhaps that’s exactly your problem. You should not always trust your feelings. Your feelings are not always right. It’s giving your anxiety, your-self hate, your feelings of worthlessness all of your trust that are preventing you from seeing yourself, and your life, rationally. Ironically, you’ll feel happier if you trust your feelings less, and question them more. Things are not usually as bad or as wrong as your feelings make them seem.

Being cynical.

If you find something wrong with everything and everyone, the common denominator is you. Being cynical doesn’t make you look cool or smart, it makes you look weak and insecure. It also makes you a hard person to be around. Nobody enjoys spending time with someone who has something negative to say about everyone and everything.

Seeing critics as “haters.”

Sometimes your critics are trying to tell you something important. Perhaps some of the most important things that you will ever hear in your life: ways you need to improve, dreams that are leading you down a dead-end road, poor choices in romantic partners. Just because you don’t like what someone tells you doesn’t mean they’re wrong.

Confusing a lack of interest for laziness.

If you aren’t magically motivated each day to get up and start [doing the thing you say that you really want to do] perhaps the problem isn’t that you’re lazy and underachieving, but that there’s something else you should be doing.

Look, you do need to train your brain to be prolific, and to consistently perform at any given task or craft you choose. But there has to be momentum at the starting point. There has to be a natural inclination, a passion, an inherent talent.

If none of those things are present, and yet you think you want this thing, but can’t seem to actually take action, the problem is that you’re in love with an idea, specifically, the idea of what that thing makes you.

Failure is not a moral judgment on your character, it is the Universe responding to your actions, saying: there is another way. Change route. Think again. Try again. Your job is not to sit and bemoan the fact that you feel unworthy, it is to recognize that the things you lose are not losses, they are entryways to the path you were struggling to find in the first place.

Thinking too much of yourself.

Maybe you aren’t going to end up on the Forbes’ 30 Under 30, or pay off all of your debt by 25, or even do anything much out of the ordinary? Who cares? Millions and millions of people have done the same thing and have still managed to lead meaningful, happy lives.

The question isn’t: “Will you be successful?” The question is: “What will your life amount to if you’re not?”

Originally published at theleading.co