You have probably heard someone say a quote along the lines of “I don’t want just to survive, I want to thrive.” This statement is basically about living a fulfilling life. In many cases, it can feel like you are just in survival mode. You are doing whatever it takes to get through the day, or you are living paycheck to paycheck and feel like you are stuck. There are many things that might be holding you back from a truly fulfilling life.
How would you define a full life? Is it about financial success? Personal health? A large family? Spirituality? Traveling frequently? It can look different for everyone. But the things that stop us from leading a fulfilling life are struggles that many will face. Let’s take a look at some behaviors or circumstances that are preventing you from experiencing true fulfillment and joy in your life.
The condition of your body can have a major impact on your quality of life. A sedentary lifestyle could lead to poor fitness and an inability to participate in all the activities that you love. Energy levels can get very low if you are not very active. Your body might be more susceptible to diseases that destroy your future outlook. Reversing this trend is crucial to leading a more fulfilling life where you can continue to do what you love and feel good while doing it. Even if your schedule feels too crazy to invest in physical health, all it takes to get started is one small healthy step. Start your morning with a healthy breakfast or a short workout. This new habit can put you in a healthier mindset for the day and improve your physical health one step at a time. The hardest part of a journey toward wellness is the first step, so make it one that is small and easy to adopt. (1)
Your own expectations can be the biggest obstacle to experience true enjoyment in your life. While it is important to have goals in your life, whether they are professional or personal, building up expectations for what you want your life to look like can lead to resentment or jealousy of others. Contentment is a mindset that takes a lot of practice. You need to learn to be happy with what you have and express gratitude for all of the good things in your life. This is not easy, but it starts with personal reflection each day. Rather than lamenting the things that you lack or the fact that you havent achieved your dreams yet, consider what you have accomplished and what you do possess. With this practice, you can change your expectations and reduce the pressure on yourself.
Mental health is just as important as physical health. Whether you face anxiety, depression, stress, or any other mental health issue, these things can prevent you from experiencing true fulfillment. Some strategies that could help you improve your mental health include learning to value yourself, speaking with a professional, making social connections, and pursuing hobbies. Investing in self-care can help change your mental health status and give you the freedom to enjoy all that life has to offer, which is extremely difficult to experience when you are struggling with these issues. Seek out help and to take charge of your mental health and improve your outlook in life.
Poor Job Situation
For many workers, the job that they do is simply a means to make money and pay the bills. Others have found a way to do what they love for a living. Though it may not be realistic to expect your dream job to come waltzing into your life, a poor job situation can really sap your energy and joy. Whether it is the mundaneness of your responsibilities or a toxic culture that is ruining your days, finding a better job situation could have a positive impact on every other aspect of your life. (2)
Lack of New Experiences
If you are stuck in the same old rhythms every day, week, month, and year, then you are missing out on all that life has to offer. Experiencing new things can be the key to a fulfilling life. Whether that means traveling to new places, trying out new sports, or learning a skill, adding to your list of life experiences can upgrade your outlook and mental health. Also, these experiences can give you a much needed break from the everyday, restoring your energy and inspiration when you return to those responsibilities. New hobbies or skills can give you a sense of accomplishment that might be missing from a repetitive job situation. Look for ways to experience new things to lead a more fulfilling life.
Be Open to Making Changes
Even if you don’t feel like you are missing anything in life, there are always ways to improve yourself. A fulfilling life will look different to everyone, but the biggest obstacle you could face may be something that many others struggle with. Whatever is holding you back from true enjoyment, whether it is poor physical/mental health, a bad job situation, or a lack of new experiences, do some self-analysis to see what changes you could make to positively adjust your life.