Why Self-Referencing Bias Prevents You From Being Happy

Self-referencing bias prevents you from being happy because it refers to a belief that you are unique and the center of the universe, so to say, just because you are you. In terms of happiness, if ever you feel happy or unhappy, you believe that this is just the way it is, and you can’t do anything about it.

Why Self-Referencing Bias In Practice

You know you exist, but you can’t be sure that I live. This makes you feel special. Furthermore, everyone else tells you that you are unique. They say this because you have your own set of preferences, desires, and shopping behaviors, which society encourages you to explore. You walk, talk, and behave in a specific way, and therefore you am an individualist.

Happiness wise, society proposes you a specific road, which most of us follow. Generally speaking, it tells you that we need to go to school, get a job, a house, a car, marry someone, have children, and to do everything in the between. Thus, society promises you happiness and fulfilment. Yet, for many people who tried to follow this promised road through, they are still unhappy. What’s happening?

Self-referencing bias

The Problems Is Not With You

And so you are unhappy, or at least not as happy as you wish you were. In terms of self-reference bias, it means that you tried your best to be satisfied, and you failed to reach this desired state. 

Now, society will tell you that happiness is still possible and that this failure to reach well-being is your fault because you are not trying hard enough. Perhaps you need to buy a new set of different products, to travel more, and get a tattoo.

Self-referencing bias

How Limiting Beliefs Are Created Towards Happiness

In turn, you will rationalize your unhappiness. Maybe happiness is not possible, perhaps something is wrong with you, or satisfaction is not a reasonable goal. There can be several other limiting beliefs.

Either way, the self-referencing bias will state that because you didn’t get it and special, happiness is not possible overall. This is indeed one of the most basic and most profound limiting beliefs you can have as an individual, which will prevent you from being happy. 

In other words, the most significant restriction towards your happiness is you. 

Roman Russo

Roman Russo

Roman Russo is the visionary founder, senior happiness coach, and Chief Happiness Officer of Optimal Happiness. He has written the revolutionary Optimal Happiness: The Fastest and Surest Way to Reach Your Happiest Potential, a must-read book about achieving our happiest potential. After researching this field for over eight years, Roman is confident that anyone can become happy and invites us to undertake this transformation. Are you ready to start living the life you always meant to live?

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