What thoughts scroll through your mind when you read a self-help book promising daily happiness, or see an interview with a beaming positive psychology guru? Do you find yourself thinking, ‘That’s not real’ or ‘No one’s that happy in real life?’
If so, you’ve just encountered your joy limit – the amount of positivity you believe is possible in your your life at any one time. Joy limits aren’t actually real (there’s no ceiling on the happiness you can experience), but they have a very real impact on your quality of life. If you ever find yourself exceeding your limits – say, being deliriously happy because you’ve just met the love of your life, your job is fantastic, and you’re about to go on an amazing holiday to the luxury tropical resort of your dreams – you probably experience a sudden jolt of fear and pessimism. After all, if things seem too good to be true, they probably are, right?
Wrong, wrong, wrong.
The truth is that there is no upper limit to the joy you can allow into your life. Yes, negative things will happen at times, such as the death of a loved one, but knowing that is not an excuse to punish yourself day in and day out by assuming that you can only feel a certain amount of joy before things go wrong. That’s not the way the world works, unless you create that reality for yourself through negativity and pessimism.
If you’re tired of limiting your own joy, it’s time to empower yourself to make a change. You’ll need to take the time to work through the assumptions, beliefs, and behaviour patterns which are trapping you at your current level of achievement and happiness. You’ll need to dream big dreams and find the courage to be open about what you truly want in life. You’ll need to put in the work necessary to achieve personal growth, but when you do, the rewards will be immense.