Today's post comes from Life Coach extrodinnaire Amy E. Smith, who also happens to be my coach! Enjoy!
“I know I’ll be happy when I find the person I’m supposed to be with.”
“I’ll be happy when the kids are older.”
“I’ll be happy as soon as I can quit this job.”
“As soon as I get this house cleaned, I’ll be so much happier.”
“Once I lose a few pounds, I’ll be totally happy with myself.”
Any of these sound familiar? You aren’t alone. Plenty of people spend their lives waiting for that magical day when all the stars will be perfectly aligned and at last…they can be happy. If true happiness seems like a dangling carrot in front of you, check out the tips below, and maybe, just maybe, you can take control of your happiness.
1. Get Rid of the Perfection Poison
Big surprise here, right? Any perfectionists out there? The more you are on the eterna-quest for perfection, you are setting yourself up for happiness that is always in the future…always elusive. You can’t quite be happy until you lose that stubborn 10 pounds, until you have the perfect home, until you have the promotion. Here’s the problem with perfection: it never, ever, ever comes. For those of you perfectionists out there, have you ever actually accomplished something that you really thought was perfect? No!! Because you always could have spent a little more time on this, perfecting that, polishing this, finessing that. It’s the same story. Let it go. Perfect isn’t possible, and the quest is poisonous.
2. Become Your Own Person
YOU need to become the most important thing in your life. Period. If you aren’t living in some hole in a mountain somewhere, chances are you have relationships with other people…co-workers, bosses, friends, lovers, kids, family, etc. Now, how many of these people have a shit-ton of control over how happy you are? As long as everyone else is happy and happy with you, you’re cool. Here’s the problem: if you are constantly looking outside of yourself to find reasons to be happy, you will almost always be let down. Why? Because everything outside of you is NOT IN YOUR CONTROL. You can’t control if the boss likes you, if the in-laws like you, if (gasp) your kids like you. What you can control is, is how you show up in the world…being the person you are proud of being. I have never once met someone who is sublimely happy in their life who isn’t madly in love with themselves. Don’t let anyone or anything be in charge of your happiness…’cept you.
3. Change Your Belief about What it Takes to Make You Happy
Awesome. I’ll get right on that. I hear what you are thinking, so allow me to elaborate. First off, you need to look at what conditions you have placed on your happiness. Have you decided that the only way you will be happy is when you have the perfect body, when you find your soulmate, when you have the perfect job, fill in the blank… Ok, so listen up…YOU are the only person getting in the way of your happiness. YOU are the one telling yourself that you cannot possibly be happy without these external factors. What happens when you don’t find your soulmate? When you don’t get that job? You know what you are really doing? Wasting time. Wasting your fucking time. You have set up ridiculous conditions for your life and happiness stipulations. Happiness does not have to be conditional. It can be a way of being. So…start with looking at what you have been telling yourself. What are your conditions?
4. Start Being Selfish
Look at your life right now. How much of your time is spent doing for others? Now…look at how much of your time is spent doing things that actually fill you up…bring you joy and fulfillment? Seriously. How much time? What is the lie that you have made up in your head? Commonly, I find that people, women in particular, have adopted the belief that if they spend time on themselves and put themselves first they are causing the suffering of others in their lives because now they are neglectful. It’s actually probably the opposite. So…I’m dispelling this myth right now. You aren’t causing any suffering by loving yourself and spending time caretaking for yourself. You will make this world a better place if you care about yourself enough to tend to your own fulfillment. We need more selfish people. Delicious, self-loving, selfish people.
5. Adopt an Attitude of Gratitude
I guarantee you that the simple, humble concept of gratitude can radically change how happy you are in your life. Gratitude banishes the need for perfection, the “if only’s”, and “I’ll be happy when’s”. When you choose to focus on gratitude you eliminate room for any conditions on your happiness. Try focusing on all the things you are thankful for in your life. Write them out. Read them each morning and night. Repeat throughout the day. Become grateful, and you will attain happiness that you never thought possible.
Amy E. Smith, ACC, CPCC
Life Coach. Speaker. Life Enthusiast. Hippie. Wife. Artist. Philanthropist. Writer. Nerd. Lover of self.
Amy is a self-proclaimed life and love enthusiast and is passionate about sharing the message of living your biggest life. Founder/Owner of Joy Junkie Enterprises, she uses her work as a personal and couples life coach to be a facilitator of change and strongly advocates self-love and healing. She fervently calls the masses to “Get Your Shit Together” through self-discovery, bravery, and personal empowerment. Joy Junkie. Get loaded.
Start stalking Amy at www.thejoyjunkie.com