If you want to be happy you have to find the things that make you unhappy.

If you want to move forward, there are always things you need to let go of first. It's a process that shouldn't happen just once a year. Taking stock should be an ongoing activity. To make sure you're moving in the direction you want, ask yourself regularly about your progress and see if there is anything that's holding you back.

Here are 24 of the top troublemakers. How many do you need to let go of for the sake of your own happiness?

1. Trying to be someone you're not. If you have to fake it, you're probably never going to make it. Aspire to become your best self by celebrating who you are and what you have to offer.

2. Telling yourself it's too late. Live in action and possibility, not regret. It's never too late to make a positive difference.

3. Having to be right all the time. You're human, and humans make mistakes and don't know everything. It's OK to be wrong or not to know, and it's OK to say so.

4. Speaking badly about yourself. Sometimes we can be our own worst enemy. If you wouldn't let someone say it about your spouse or best friend, don't say it about yourself--even within your own head.

5. Passivity without progress. If you allow yourself to be a bystander in your own life, how do you expect anything to happen? Passivity doesn't bring any kind of happiness or satisfaction.

6. Riddled with guilt. No amount of guilt can change the past or the future. Do what you can to right any wrongs you may have committed, but don't allow the weight of guilt to crush you.

7. Negativity without positivity. If you keep thinking of the glass as half empty, you'll always be left wanting more. Develop a positive mindset, thought, and the impossible becomes possible.

8. Conditional approval. Let go of the people who make you feel you have to be someone you're before they will accept or appreciate you.

9. Envy breeds jealously. Don't walk around being envious of what other people have or do. Remember, happiness doesn't lie in having everything you want but in wanting everything you have.

10. Exploding with pressure. It's hard to feel good when your life is like a pressure cooker ready to explode. Teach yourself to stay calm and unpressured and you'll be happier--and get more done.

11. The need for control. Sometimes you have to let go of control to allow what needs to happen to happen. Trying to control things that lie outside your power is a waste of time and a major source of unhappiness.

12. Blaming others. You alone are responsible for your own life and your own happiness. Blaming others isn't productive or helpful. Whatever's happened in your past, life is about moving on and finding your own happiness.

13. Regret lasts forever. Make it a rule to let go of regrets and never look back. Regret is a waste of energy that keeps you from moving forward and leaves nothing you can build on.

14. Allowing fear to rule. Fear can never give you what you want or make you happy. Instead it cripples your visions and impedes your success. Nothing will hold you back more effectively.

15. The need for approval. The only permission, the only validation, the only acceptance, and the only opinion that matters are your own. Your approval, like your search for happiness, must come from within.

16. Anger as an expression. When anger arises, keep it at bay by considering how much it costs you. Anger accomplishes little besides giving away the energy you need for positive growth.

17. Mediocrity as a state of mind. If you're serious about seeking success and happiness, don't allow mediocrity into your life--not a mediocre idea, a mediocre thought, a mediocre business, a mediocre friend, or a mediocre partnership. The difference between excellence and mediocrity is more than worth the effort.

18. Excuses no more. If you want something to happen, make it happen. If it's important to you, you will find a way. If you're willing to settle for making excuses, it's not very high on your list of priorities.

19. Depending on others for happiness. If you can't find happiness within yourself, you're not going to find it in anyone else.

20. Procrastination is a habit. If you wait to get it done, it will never happen. Procrastination is among the most damaging of habits.

21. Old baggage is heavy to carry. We've all been wronged, pained, and challenged--we all come with baggage. But trying to carry it everywhere is hard. The less of you carry, the farther you will go.

22. Insecure feelings that keep you playing small. It pushes away happiness, steals happiness, and keeps you from being who you're meant to be.

23. Judgmental thoughts. The things we judge most harshly in others are the things we don't want to face within ourselves.

24. Comparison game. Let go of thinking everyone has their act together but you. The truth is they don't--and the way to be happy is to concentrate on yourself.

Today is the day to let all the things that make you unhappy go and the things that make you happy stay. If you are interested in finding out what gets between you and your greatness, pre-order my new book, The Leadership Gap.

Published on: Apr 17, 2017
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