Exploring Happiness: Your Life Is Great and You’re Still Struggling?

Available for Interviews:  Dr. Karen Doll

Karen Doll, PsyD, L.P., is a licensed psychologist, professional coach, and the author of Building Psychological Fitness: How High Performers Achieve With Ease (February 2022).

What Dr. Doll can say in an interview on
Exploring Happiness:

      • COVID-19 has impacted everyone on the globe to varying degrees. 
      • A challenge I frequently hear is people are struggling, yet they feel guilty about it because, by western societal standards, their life is “great.” They are healthy, employed, and have a family. So they aren’t struggling in the literal sense, yet their life feels like a struggle.

      • We grow up with misconceptions of what thriving looks like. We’re given a repeated message of what “happy” or “success” looks like. We’re sold a story that if we get into the right college, get the right job, right partner, make X amount of $ then . . . life will be great, we will be happy.  
      • Once we get to that next step, we often become disillusioned. We get the promotion, feel excited for a minute, then look to what’s next. What often comes next is the sentiment of…is this all there is? And, the cycle starts over.
      • It becomes an elusive search for what external conditions we can seek in order to feel better internally. Cultural messages are often misleading. And, the goalpost keeps changing
      • Disney movies, Facebook, Instagram perpetuates misconception. We get exposed to what we think life is supposed to look like. These superficial ideals create unrealistic expectations in our minds. Then we face the daily realities, challenges, and boredom that adult life brings, and it doesn’t add up.
      • Social media fuels self-doubt across age groups—people to compare their insides to others’ outsides/highlight reels. 
      • Part of the problem is that we think we shouldn’t have any problems. We are led to believe that we are supposed to feel happy all the time. 
      • Since neither of these constructs are reality, it often leads to disappointment.
      • Expecting the unreachable, setting unattainable goals, and always thinking about what’s next are also recipes for dis-ease.
      • High achievers often buy into the myth that fatigue is a weakness. 
      • So if our lives are so great, why are we miserable? Life can be hard and there is no way to short-circuit this truth. We need to acknowledge the struggle in whatever form we experience it. AND, at the same time; understand that although the struggle is real, maybe it doesn’t have to be so hard.
      • We need a reset. We need to re-calibrate with reality. We need to understand: What is attainable? What is realistic? What are our human limitations? What will really make us happy? We have experienced mass disruption and with change comes the opportunity to review and take inventory. We can focus on what is in our sphere of control. We can have agency in our lives, decide what’s next, and make progress.


Interview: Dr. Karen Doll

Karen Doll, PsyD, L.P. is a Licensed Psychologist, Consultant, and author of Building Psychological Fitness (forthcoming February 2022). She has spent nearly 25 years partnering with industry-leading organizations and coaching high-achieving professionals; she is motivated by a desire to help people thrive, enhance well-being, and optimize leadership skills at every phase, from burgeoning new entrants to accomplished senior leaders. Throughout her career, she has remained committed to mental health awareness and advocacy.


Jo Allison
Managing Editor
Director of Public Relations
Success In Media, Inc.

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