How to overcome the 5 major obstacles to happiness

Published on Apr 26, 2023

Person walking dog along the beach in Portugal at sunset

Many of us suffer from ‘superhuman syndrome’ and the ‘I can do it all on my own’ mentality, and we forget the importance of sharing experiences with others. While pushing and doing and trying to solve all our life problems on our own, we are often left unhappy and depleted. Read about how I broke free from isolation and how you can overcome obstacles to happiness.

We need each other

Last year was one of the worst years of my life. So at the start of this year, I decided that my main theme for 2023 would be ‘community’. I wanted to make sure that I would break out of the isolation I had been experiencing.

Looking back, I can clearly see how the lack of IRL community was one of the main reasons I was struggling. It didn’t matter how many tools and years of training I had, I still needed a like-minded community to exchange, cry and laugh with!

There is only so much we can do alone.

We need each other.

We need to stop ridiculing dependency.

The superhuman syndrome

With our culture being so focused on the ‘I can do it on my own’ mentality, we forget that being ‘dependent’ on someone else has two sides – it’s not only a bad thing (codependency), it’s also a good thing (needing and getting support).

We obsess (me included!) about being able to do things on our own. My teacher Michaela Boehm calls it ‘superhuman syndrome’. We’re getting so good at becoming independent and ‘not needing anyone’ that we can end up feeling lonely.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with learning to manage our feelings and life alone, BUT we need to recognise that we are emotionally dependent on other humans.

From online to meeting in person

I arrived in Faro, Portugal and felt excited, like a teenage girl getting ready to go out with her friends. ‘What will I wear?’ and ‘I wonder what we will talk about?

Claudia, a woman I had only met on Zoom so far, had booked a beautiful little guest house right on the beach, where we stayed for two nights before the retreat.

I decided to ground myself with a barefoot walk on the beach and a strawberry lemonade while watching the sunset.

A glass of strawberry lemonade in the sunset in Portugal

I had been part of my teacher Michaela Boehm’s women’s study group for a little over three years. Most of the women in the group I had only met online.

We had shared our deepest secrets with each other, but none of us knew how the others looked below the waist!

Usually when you meet someone for the first time you engage in small talk – a bridge for getting to the real topics… but not this time. When we went out for our first dinner, we dived straight into what really mattered in our lives.

After a few days in Faro, the journey continued with a taxi to a little village and retreat centre called ‘Orada’, where we joined the rest of the participants.

It was a practise retreat, meaning we had a programme from morning until evening. But Michaela made sure there were breaks for resting, dipping into the natural pool and sweating out the day’s work in the sauna at day’s end.

A few years ago, I would never voluntarily get up at 7 a.m. to meditate! But here, I happily jumped out of bed to climb the wooden stairs to the roof to sit for an hour and let the rising sun caress my face.

The retreat group meditating during sunrise in Portugal. One of the practices that increased happiness.

Healing with community

What I valued in this retreat was the focus on releasing emotions from the last three years through the body. And doing that TOGETHER!

We so often ask ourselves the question, ‘what’s next?’, always focusing on the future.

But when we haven’t acknowledged and worked with the emotions of the past, we very often find ourselves lost and stuck. There are often layers of unresolved ‘stuff’ in our way to deciding what’s next. What we want to do next with our job, our relationships, where we live.

I was on the mat doing the release work on my own, but knowing there was a woman on my right and a woman on my left going through the same process, made me feel strong.

Afterwards, we sat like sardines in the sauna, laughing like teenage girls telling stories about silly things we had done in our lives. Laughing is such an important part of the release process!

We ended our evenings with stargazing and a quick night swim in the pool (me, who HATES cold water!).

I hadn’t felt this carefree, relaxed and happy in a long time.

You can check out my reel from the retreat on Instagram here.

The 5 major obstacles to happiness

During the last few years, I have learned a lot about what stands in our way to feeling relaxed and happy. Here are some of the most common things:

  • Constant DOING and PUSHING. When you are in constant ‘go mode’, you can’t think clearly. We need to acknowledge our emotions, release, and let go from time to time to create space for our next steps in life.
  • Overthinking and perfectionism. Very often we get stuck in overthinking and trying to find the perfect solution. We let worries and fear stop us from ‘trying out’ and finding the answers through experience.
  • Listening too much to other people’s opinions. It’s very individual what makes us happy and what we want to do with our lives. Listening to others won’t help you decide. Only listening to yourself will.
  • The belief that ‘you can do it all alone’. We need each other, and the more you ask for support and build communities of like-minded people, the more likely you will feel stability, security and fulfilment in your life.
  • Not investing in your happiness. Many find it difficult to spend money on their well-being. We would rather buy a new sofa or a dress, something we can see and touch. The value you get from investing in coaching, therapy or going on a retreat, creates long lasting happiness (not a quick fix!).

Find inner peace

I have good news for those of you who are tired of all the obstacles! I have created a step-by-step method for how you can release and let go of what doesn’t serve you any longer, so that you can start moving forward with more ease and find inner peace.

You will get coached by me, get access to all my valuable worksheets, a reading list and a bonus session with one of my guest coaches.

I have proof that it works, I have worked with hundreds of individual clients who have successfully gone through one of my coaching programmes. Check out some of my fabulous testimonials.

Last week a client said when he left the session: ‘This is the most powerful hour I’ve had in a long time!’

So, if you want to unravel your obstacles and create a life where you feel confident, happy and free, it’s time to invest in your well-being and say YES to a life on your terms!

Take the first step and book a free coaching consultation with me here.




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I’m Katarina

Welcome to my blog, where I share real-life stories and offer valuable and practical tips for how to achieve fulfillment without burning out.

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Learn how to break free from overthinking to feel healthy, happy and confident – the easy waywith my free guided journal.

Learn how to break free from overthinking to feel healthy, happy and confident – the easy way – with my free guided journal.