Three Steps to a Happier life
It can take a lot of confidence to live the life that YOU want
Have you got the confidence to be happy?
In order to be happy, you need to live a life that is in alignment with your true self
A life where you feel you are being authentic.
What makes for a happy life?
This will be unique to you
I will be putting three things to you.
The answers to your happiness will be revealed by the thoughts that these answers provoke within you.
Once you’ve read each section below, write down your thoughts and feelings.
It’s useful to do this straight away as your instant reaction is often the truth. This truth may be overtaken by logic once you’ve had chance to think about it.
“What’s your favourite colour?”
(oh no isn’t red a symbol of anger. I don’t want to be seen as angry. Perhaps I prefer blue).
“Actually no it’s blue!”
If your first answer is something that you’d prefer it not to be, you have some valuable information to work with.
Knowing how you don’t want be is the start of knowing what you do want to be.
No-one else will see your notes so do try to be honest with yourself.
So, here we go:
1. Live the life you want, not the life you feel you should.
There are lots of reasons why you can end up living the life that you do.
One of these reasons may be that you made the choice to take this path many years ago and have simply continued along it without question.
At the time you made the choice, it may well have been a good idea, but you’ve changed.
Whilst you’ve changed within yourself, you haven’t changed the path you’re on.
Maybe you’ve spent so much time, effort and money to get where you are professionally that changing doesn’t feel like an option.
Perhaps being in this relationship has too much tied up in it: house, children, holiday home, mutual friends. It doesn’t feel good to think about changing.
Or maybe it hasn’t occurred to you to change.
Think about your situation, whether that be work or personal.
Are you happy?
I am assuming you want more from life and that’s why this article caught your interest.
Do you want to stay in this same job/situation that no longer makes you happy?
Think about the situation you’re in - the life you’re living.
Think about how you got to where you are today, and why you are still there.
Write down everything that comes to mind, both facts and feelings.
Then write some more.
If you need some prompts, ask yourself these questions:
2. Feel proud of choosing what suits you best.
Whether this is in terms of a career, a relationship or something else, the sentiment is the same
Have you ever felt that you OUGHT to be doing a certain thing?
That you OUGHT to stay where you are?
Do you consider yourself to be lucky with your lot and therefore feel that you SHOULD be happy?
If our life looks good on paper we can feel guilty for not loving it.
If you could do anything with your life, what would it be?
What sort of work would you be doing?
What sort of partner would you be with?
What sort of life would you be leading?
Where would you be living?
How closely does this list measure up to what you are doing at the moment?
If the list is far removed from your present situation, why is that?
What has lead you to where you are, and what is stopping you changing it?
We can make choices about the paths that we take for many different reasons.
The decisions that we take may not be based on what would make us happy but on how many boxes it would tick:
- Will my parents be proud (whether they are still around or not does necessarily have a bearing on whether we consider what we imagine to be their opinion)?
- Will my friends be impressed with my job / house / car / partner?
- Am I in a 'noble' profession?
- Is my partner in a 'noble' profession?
But are you happy?
You may feel that to make a decision based on your own wants and needs is being self-absorbed.
But where did these ideas come from?
Why can’t you take a job/life that makes you happy as opposed to one that ticks all the boxes?
To whom do you owe the responsibility to have all of these boxed ticked anyway?
Did someone give you the list to tick off?
Or did you make it up, based on assumptions about what other people might think?
Based on what you feel you OUGHT to do?
Does using this list as the basis for your decisions in life bring you happy outcomes?
Think about what brought you to where you are today. Think about how happy you are.
Think about what you would be doing if there was no-one to consider but yourself. If there was no-one to impress.
Would you be doing what you are doing?
If yes then CONGRATULATIONS!
Having a job or relationship that we love and that fulfils us is a massive thing as we spend most of our time in these things.
What brought you to where you are now in the first place?
Whatever your original reasons for taking this path, do they still stand?
Are they good enough reasons to stay when you’re not happy?
Think about why you aren’t doing exactly what you would love to be doing.
In terms of work, I know that when I was at school, my careers advice was along the lines of ‘Do you want to be an accountant, solicitor or scientist?’. There was no suggestion that I might want to explore becoming a florist or a fashion designer. Maybe that was because they didn’t feel I personally possessed the skills to do those things but the point being that the choices that were put to me were pretty limited and so I left school with the impression that these were ‘proper jobs’ and so I should get one of those.
So I did.
In terms of relationships, was this partner someone that you would have chosen if you didn’t have to introduce them to your family or friends?
Did you choose them because they would fit the criteria of others’ expectations, or because this person met your expectations?
How did you end up where you are?
Write down everything that you can think of. Then write a bit more.
The more you write, the better chance your subconscious has of letting something come forward.
If you need some prompts, ask yourself:
3. Time for yourself is a must and not an indulgence
In today’s society, we see working 24/7 as a badge of honour. We consider it an admirable trait to hear of someone working all the hours under the sun.
But is it a good thing?
You may work so hard that you become too tired to enjoy – or even have – a social life.
Your idea of a great weekend may be catching up on sleep.
So, how do you feel about taking a day off just to ‘be’.
Not because you have some great plans but just to switch-off and relax.
What constitutes relaxing will be different for us all:
Do you take time to do your thing?
Do you, or can you envisage, taking a day to do something fun, for no particular reason?
Are your weekends full of housework, supermarket trips and running round after the kids?
Do you mark out time for you to do whatever you fancy, even if that is sitting down relaxing?
If you think about doing that, what is the emotion that comes up. Pleasure? Excitement? Guilt?
Do you have the ability to take time for yourself with no guilt?
When someone walks into the room and you’re sitting down reading a magazine, do you say hello and continue to read, or find yourself making excuses as to why you’re there?
“I’ve just this minute sat down!” “I’ve already prepared dinner and it only has to go in the oven.”
If you feel you have to justify taking some time to yourself, it may mean you need to give this some thought.
Relaxation and fun are a necessary part of your existence.
Switching off will ensure that you recharge your batteries.
It will enrich your soul and bring you happiness which in turn will make you more effective in every area of your life.
Time off isn’t a treat but a necessity.
How do you feel about allowing yourself this time - does it sound good or make you cringe at the thought of taking time purely for yourself?
Write down everything that has come to mind whilst reading the section on taking time for yourself.
If you need some prompts, ask yourself:
Take a look at your answers from all sections
What does it show you?
When you look through what you’ve written, it will show you where you are and whether you want to stay there.
You will have an indication as to whether you really feel happy in different areas of your life.
If not, look at the specifics of why not, and this will give you a starting point to finding where you do want to be.
Your answers will show you whether you really are contented.
Again, if not, why not? And what will you do about it?
Will you make a plan to make changes within your relationship / your work / your social life / yourself / your life , so that it fulfils your needs?
Or if you don’t think that’s possible, what will your next step will be?
Maybe talking to a therapist or Life Coach is what you need?
Congratulations on working through these exercises.
I do hope that you’ve enjoyed the journey so far.
What did this course tell you?
You may see what is lacking in your life and what you need to change in it to be happy.
When to get help
The area of life that you’ve been focusing on during this course; how long has it been an issue for you?
What have you tried in the past to put it right?
I’m guessing the answers are that it has been going on for a long time and that you haven’t been able to resolve it.
Is now the right time to get some help?
If that’s your decision, these are your next steps:
- Schedule a call with me
We’ll talk about what your experiencing and how I can help
- We will create a plan
We will unearth what’s at the root of your problems and create a step by step plan going forwards to resolve things for you
- You will have the future that you currently dream of.
Please do let me know about what you discovered and have changed as a result. I’d love to hear!