Ways you create a miserable life.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Are you creating a miserable life?
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Are you making yourself miserable?

Life can be hard, things happen that are out of your control. The things you do in response to life’s ups and downs can make things better or they can keep you stuck in a downward spiral.

Bad life habits can create more misery. How many of these misery creating habits have you drifted into?

You believe one thing and do another.

Discrepancies between what you believe in and what you are doing cause a great deal of misery. If you find you are not practicing your religious or ethical values take another look at your life. How much unhappiness are you creating by excusing your failure to do the things you believe you should be doing?

You lie to yourself.

If there is one person on earth you need to be ruthlessly honest with, it is yourself.  Those lies you tell yourself often enough become part of your core schema, the way you look at life. Do not make excuses for your mistakes. Do not blame others for the things that go wrong in your life.

Begin today to recognize the things you have influence over and can change. Work on your part in things and do those things you know you need to take care of.

You avoid feelings.

Feelings have a purpose. They convey valuable information to you. Get in touch with these feelings. Learn what makes you happy. Stop doing the things that make you sad. Recognize that if a thing feels wrong it probably is.

Avoiding feelings and numbing out does not protect you from life’s pain, it can keep you stuck there.

Putting happiness off till someday keeps you miserable.

Someday never comes. It is always today. Everything that happens to you happens in the now. Work on becoming more present in everything you do. Waiting for someday keeps things from happening for you.

Take small steps today and every day and those small steps will mount up. Fail to take action now while waiting for someday and when that anticipated day arrives nothing will have changed. Why live less of a life now while waiting for that someday which may never come?

You tell yourself you can’t.

Do you believe that saying you can’t, protects you from feeling bad when things do not go your way? Not trying guarantees you won’t feel any better. The consistent quality of winners is that they believed they could.

Tell yourself that you can and you will make a lot more progress towards your goal.

You avoid anything new or difficult and stay in misery.

People who avoid the new and different become stagnant. Those who grow embrace challenges. This does not mean you need to chase every momentary fad. Be consistent in your efforts to grow, learn and improve the most valuable resource you have –you.

We all have our comfort zones. Staying in the center of your comfort zone keeps you stuck. Move towards the edge of that place of comfort and see if you can stretch out your places of comfort. Keep expanding that comfort zone to take in new things and new people.

Everyone falls into some of these miseries creating habits occasionally but if you find that you are doing many of these or that you do them often take another look at how you are living your life.

Start today creating the best life possible, the one we might call your “happy life.” Take a few self-change steps and see how much more happiness and how much less misery you can place in your life.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Three David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

SasquatchWandering through a hole in time, they encounter Sasquatch. Can they survive? The guests had come to Meditation Mountain to find themselves. Trapped in the Menhirs during a sudden desert storm, two guests move through a porthole in time and encounter long extinct monsters. They want to get back to their own time, but the Sasquatch intends to kill them.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Books are now available on Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, and many other online stores.

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

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12 ways you are self-sabotaging.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

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Bad neighborhood.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

How many of these self-sabotaging things do you do?

1. Hold onto the past.

Most people know they have baggage, resentments left over from the past. You can choose to hold onto those resentments as a justification for your failures or you can decide to toss those bags, unpack that baggage and lighten your load. You can’t change the past but you can stop letting it dictate the future. Put those old hurts in the coffin and bury them.

2. Unfinished business.

You should have been something, you were supposed to get something but it never happened. You can stay hung up on those failures or you can finish off that leftover business. Didn’t get to finish that schooling you wanted, go back no matter what the age and finish up. That or decide that even if you had that education you never finished it would not be helping you today.

Those first loves that got away, those were fairy tales. Those people who bullied you or rejected you are long gone. Resolve what you can and let the rest go. Continuing to brood over the unfinished business of the past keeps you from living the life of today.

3. Lie to yourself.

Do you have lies you tell yourself so often that you have started to believe them? You have to do this and you can’t do that. If you tell yourself so you make it true. You can make up excuses for your setbacks and failures that only you believe. Blaming others for your troubles may feel good now but it does not change anything. Blaming others keeps you stuck. Take responsibility for what you can do and move forward.

Of all the people you need to get honest with, getting honest with yourself is the most important one.

4. Wreckage – Clean up your messes.

If you have wreckage get it cleaned up. People often have unpaid fines or tickets. Bills that are still due and relationships that ended in disaster. Whenever possible clean up that wreckage. Do what you can to get those old debts, financial and emotional cleaned up so that you do not have to continue to pay on them well into your recovered life.

5. Hold on to harmful and hurtful people.

Are there people in your life that are harmful or hurtful but you just can’t seem to give them up? Just because they were there when you were down, does not mean you need to stay down with them. True friends will want to see you succeed. If you have to hold yourself back and be less than the person you were meant to be because of someone in your life these are not healthy relationships and they are not true friends.

6. Try to be perfect.

Perfectionism is the enemy of getting things done. You can tell yourself you never will be perfect and that excuses not trying at all. You miss out on all the things you never try. Students find that the pursuit of all A’s may keep them from graduating. If you insist on being perfect or not doing things at all you will keep quitting things that could have benefited you.

Do your best and call that good enough.

7. Doing nothing.

Doing nothing is a sure way to fail. Trying to be perfect is one way of alibiing your lack of effort. There are lots of other ways you can talk yourself out of ever trying.

The process of building the happy life begins with those first small steps. Get moving and the momentum will build.

8. Looking for happiness in all the wrong places – drugs – sex.

In the beginning, these crutches seem like ways to get by. You use drugs, alcohol or other addictions to try to be enough. Eventually, those addictions become all you can be. Do not get fooled by an illusion that more of an addiction will cure the emptiness inside.

9. Thinking money will buy happiness.

Money buys things. Having some things is better than having nothing. Things alone will never make you happy. Too many things will bury you. Make sure that in your pursuit of money you do not leave family, friends and your true self behind.

10. Beat yourself up.

There is no evidence, that I have seen, that beating yourself up makes you try harder. Love yourself and do your best. Be kind to yourself. Find the good in you and in others. Constantly reliving your failures keeps you stuck in failure.

11. Thinking you can control everything – worrying about things outside your control.

Most things in life are out of your control. You can’t make it rain. We have little control of the weather, who will get sick and a host of other things. Rather than fussing and worrying about things that are far beyond your control put your efforts into the things that you may be able to influence, that will mostly be your actions and your attitude. Catch your children and yourself doing things right and give yourself credit for the things you do well.

12. Do not accept credit for things done well.

Is it hard to accept a compliment? Do you find you can’t please yourself? Learn to give yourself credit for things well done. Be ready to give and receive compliments.

Compliments are an antidote for that feeling of failure that can creep in when all you ever hear and think is the things that you have been able to do in a less than perfect way.

How many of these 12 self-sabotaging practice do you use? Creating that happy recovered life may be largely a matter of discontinuing these self-defeating behaviors.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.