Telling someone who feels sad to cheer up because other people have it worse is like telling a happy person to be sad because other people are happier. Our feelings are important, and owning them can help us feel more grounded.
But focusing your efforts on trying to make everyone around you happy will not allow you to feel fully engaged with your own life, and it can prevent you from accessing lasting happiness. This is why so many of us walk around trying to do more, to fill that void inside. I've spent the past few years trying to uplift everyone else, building a company based on making others happy, but I failed to actually put myself into my own life. I was working so hard to make everyone else feel joy that I was losing my own self. Once I started to put my needs first, everything changed. I got a book deal, I lost weight, my business grew and I moved to my favorite place, Hawaii.
We can’t save or change anyone; happiness is dependent on you and only you. If there's something in your life you're unhappy with, you have the power to change it, or at least change your mind about it. The truth is that as long as we're more loyal to our shortcomings, our happiness can never be fully actualized.
For many of us, we're so used to trying to get happy that we miss it when it arrives. If we stopped trying to be happy, we could access the happiness already within us. We could see that we're naturally happy, and that it's part of experiencing and living life fully.
I asked myself these questions, and they transformed my life. I now find peace in each moment, and I genuinely feel happiness in my life.
What are you willing to let go of?
What is in your life that is no longer serving you?
What thought patterns and habits do you keep falling into?
Release them! It is time.
Are you giving yourself credit for all the awesomeness you are doing? Be proud of how far you’ve come, because you are doing amazing work.
If you have a hard time accepting your awesomeness and owning your happiness, these ten concepts from my book, Find Your Happy, can help.
1. Happiness lives in you.
2. Live by choice, not by chance.
3. Make changes, not excuses.
4. Be kind to yourself; you're doing a phenomenal job.
5. You have reasons or results.
6. You're supposed to stand out, stop trying to fit in by hiding your happiness.
7. Talk to yourself like you are your own best friend, because you're pretty cool when you get to know you.
8. Whatever you believe about yourself on the inside will manifest on the outside; focus on quality thoughts.
9. Instead of hating yourself for everything you are not, start loving yourself for all that you are.
10. You have come so far, be proud of yourself. It is okay to feel that love.
If you want to create a plan for lasting happiness, grab this FREE Love Your Life to The Fullest Guide.
Shannon Kaiser is the best-selling author of 5 books on the psychology of happiness and fulfillment including The Self-Love Experiment and Adventures for Your Soul, Joy Seeker, and Unshakable Inner Peace Oracle card deck, and the forthcoming book Return to You. She has a B.A. in journalism and communications from the University of Oregon. As an international life coach, speaker, and retreat leader, she helps people awaken and align with their true selves so they can live their highest potential.
She's been named top 100 Women to Watch in wellness by mindbodygreen, alongside Cameron Diaz, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kris Carr and Gabriel Bernstein, and was listed as of the freshest voices in mental health and wellness by Chicken Soup for The Women's Soul. She's been named one of Entrepreneurs Must-Follow Instagram Accounts for Inspiration and Top Facebook Accounts for Daily Motivation by Mind Body Green.
Her website Playwiththeworld.com has been names top 75 Personal development websites and top 100 self-help websites by the institute for the Psychology of Eating. She's an international life coach and author mentor, and a full time world traveler with a home base in Portland, Oregon with her best friend, her Golden Retriever Chance, who she flew to China to Rescue.