You won't be happy without THIS...

If there's one thing that inhibits happiness and reaching one's full potential, it's a lack of freedom to make one's own decisions.

It's no surprise that most of us eagerly await our 18th birthday, when we're finally old enough to hit up clubs, smoke, and vote. It's also the age most of us kiss our parents goodbye and embark on our college journey.

Can you imagine living with your parents your whole life? You'd never have the opportunity to make your own decisions, having to submit to the orders and whims of those whose roof you live under. Needless to say, that kind of arrangement would wear thin on you quickly.

The same applies to relationships. If you're with someone who orders your food for you at restaurants without letting you get in a word edgewise, your freedom is being trampled on. We've all heard horror stories of domineering partners who rob their significant other of their voice in the relationship. From decorating the home to such trivial details as where to grab lunch, these individuals want to call all the shots without their partner's input.

Then there are those controlling bosses who take the liberty of micromanaging everything their subordinates do. They demand to be kept in the loop on everything from office supplies to office politics.

In all cases, we're being held back by other people. Before long, we begin to feel so stultified that ending the relationship or finding another job, for example, starts to look like the more attractive option.

We can't live up to our potential and achieve fulfillment unless we have some latitude to exercise our options. 

Studies show that people are happier in jobs and relationships where they have some say in what goes on.

If you feel your voice isn't being heard, have a heart-to-heart with your partners, parents, boss or whoever else is under the misguided impression that you can't or shouldn't make decisions on your own account. If that doesn't work, maybe it's time for a new job, relationship, or living situation.

Don't let yourself be used as a pawn. Stand up for yourself and demand to be heard. 

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