Something I often ask new clients is what is getting in the way of their happiness. More often than not, the answer is the same. ‘I am’. When we tease this apart, it is not that you are physically standing in front of your happiness, but it is either how you view happiness or how you view yourself that is getting in the way of you leading a fulfilling, happy life.
When we experience anxiety or low mood, our minds are rarely in the present. In my experience, if we picture a timeline in our minds, if you’re suffering from depression your mind is in yesterday, and with anxiety, your mind is in the tomorrow. We are never living in the moment, present and grounded.
1. The ‘I should’ statement
A common pitfall is when we use the term ‘I should’. ‘I should be better at that’, ‘I should be more confident’ and ‘I should be more successful in this area’, the list goes on.
‘I should’ are a key block between you and your happiness. To address this habit, turn ‘I should’ into compassionate statements with a troubleshooting focus. Instead of ‘I should’ be better at this part of my work, consider ‘Its understandable that I’m not confident in this, as I haven’t been doing it that long, I will ask for further training in this area this week’.
By changing this statement, you’re embracing self-compassion, with an active outcome. We all have areas to improve on, but use them as a springboard, not a weight.
2. Unrealistic standards
This is a common pitfall. Unrealistic standards, provide an unattainable standard, that you will never reach. Think of it as trying to reach a balloon on a high ceiling. Take the time today to write down what you see happiness to be. Define your values and draw happiness from the things you see value in by asking the following questions:
What makes you feel fulfilled?
What do you feel your purpose is?
What relationships do you want to see deepen?
What makes you happy?
Refereeing back to our original question of ‘what do you see happiness to be?’, by asking yourself these simple questions, we begin to build a picture and what is your version of happiness. More often than not, it has nothing to do with the newest apple product or losing weight, but with deep meaningful connections to loved ones or enjoying a hobbies or interest.
Thank you for reading.
Have a lovely week.