If given the opportunity to experience happiness at any level you wanted, what level would you choose?

That question is one that Matthew Hornsey and an international team of researchers asked more than 6,000 people from 27 nations. You might think that everyone would choose the maximum level, but they didn’t.

Even when faced with the possibility of an ideal world, most people limited the amount of happiness they wanted. “People impose mindful ceilings on how much of a good thing they aspire to in a perfect world” (Hornsey et al., 2018).

Perhaps that’s one reason that self-sabotage is practiced by so many people who want to experience more happiness but fall short.

When you argue for your limitations you limit your happiness

Sabotage takes many forms, but arguing for your limitations is one of the most common. When you have a problem that someone suggests a possible solution for, and you come up with reasons why it won’t work, you’re limiting yourself.

Now, the reasons might be valid challenges such as illness, limited experience, challenging finances, or social stigma. When it comes to hardships, we all have them because life isn’t fair.

However, staying focused on your limitations doesn’t let your mind see past them. You don’t realize it while you’re doing it, but arguing for the reasons something won’t work shuts down all opportunities for greater happiness.

Argue for your right to be happy

While everyone experiences hardships, everyone also has the right to experience joy in life. Acknowledge that you have a challenging situation but argue with yourself that there has to be a way to overcome it.

This subtle shift will allow your brain to look for and see opportunities and solutions. Instead of sabotaging your happiness, you’ll look for ways to create it.

For more information about creating happiness in your life, visit www.doctorjosegomez.com and download my free report, “7 Ways to Be Happier.”

Also available The 7 Secrets to a Happier Life.