Establishing a true practice of happiness is an elusive but powerful skill. In its own right, it is a hard goal to achieve. Harder still, however, is chasing the commodified and distorted versions of happiness that we have been taught to seek and think we can achieve.

Happiness has become a myth that has been both downplayed and exalted, made to seem both commonplace and unattainable. Busting the myths of happiness can be an important step toward truly being happy. See which ones might have caught you in their snare and be happier now.

7 Happiness Myths:

You know how to be happy:

I have to start the list with this because it is such a common myth that gets in the way of people being happy. We think that we are supposed to know how to be happy, but I find that most people do not have the skills they need to make themselves truly happy. The good news is that you can learn how to truly be happy and, with a little work, you can get yourself feeling great.

The goal is to be happy all the time:

You can’t be anything all the time and if you were you would likely lose the capacity to recognize it. But you can benefit from moving in the direction of being happier as often as possible. In fact, find time each day to do one thing that makes you happy and you will be feeling the difference in no time.

Happiness is linked to external events:

It does not matter how much money you have or where you are from. True happiness is not about circumstances or possessions, it is our relationship with ourself.

Other people can make you happy:

While being around toxic people will affect your happiness, there is no one who can really make you happy but you. It is important to pay attention to who you feel happy around and who you don’t, but recognize that learning how to make yourself happier can only come from you.

You can be anywhere and be happy:

This one sounds like, “If I just do enough work on myself I will be happy with my crappy job and my unfulfilling relationships.” This has to be on the list because, while happiness is an inside job, losing sight of the impact that outside circumstances have on our happiness is equally problematic. Unload the toxic parts of your life and open up to more happiness.

You need to be somewhere (else) to be happy:

If you are one of those people who keeps looking around the corner or over the horizon for your happiness, I have to tell you, you are not going to find it there. When we chase happiness we don’t find it. We find whatever else we put in its place. The keys to happiness lie within us, not in the next city we plan to move to.

Happiness is available to you regardless of how you act or what you do:

This sounds like, “Happiness is my birthright and I should have it even if I make little effort at my own personal development.” Happiness entitlement gets in our way. It also denies the reality that some of us battle biological predispositions that make attaining happiness even harder. Approach happiness with gratitude, and you invite more of it.