Pull Your Own Happiness Wagon

You just got a new haircut (outfit, promotion at work, etc.) and you proudly walk around the next day waiting for all the positive, praise-filled comments.  Then…they never come.  Your husband, family members, or co-workers don’t seem to notice your drastic change or accomplishment at all.  Cue the negative self-talk and second guessing.  

It’s easy to let your children trigger the same kind of doubt in your mind.  Sometimes I go above and beyond to make sure something is extra special for my kids and eagerly await their excited response.  Often, I don’t get the reaction I hoped for and end up feeling let down.  

I have spent a large portion of my life letting other people control my happiness.  I am a people-pleaser, so I have spent far too much time worrying about what other people think about me.  Finally, I have made peace with the fact that no one else can make me feel a certain way.  The choice is mine.  Bad things are going to happen.  You can either wallow in self pity, or you can look for the best in a situation.  

It is easy to feel like you are being selfish if you put your own happiness above that of your kids or your family’s.  Sometimes you have to do just that.  In order to be the best version of yourself, you have to find what truly brings you happiness and give yourself permission to make yourself a priority.  I’ve come up with a list of a few things that may help you find true happiness.

  1. Forgiveness.  In order to move forward, you have to be willing to offer forgiveness to others who have let you down.
  2. Don’t sweat the small stuff.  When you are in the middle of a crisis, stop and think “is this even going to matter tomorrow?”  If not, don’t let your self get too worked up about it.
  3. Do something every day to show kindness to others.  Putting love out into the world just makes every day a little sweeter. 
  4. Do something for yourself every day.  Read a chapter in a good book, spend a few minutes in prayer,  or go for a walk around the block to clear your head.  
  5. Surround yourself with positive people.  Put more time into the positive relationships in your life. This might also mean distancing yourself from the negative ones.  
  6. Learn to laugh at yourself.  Stop taking yourself so seriously.  Instead of obsessing about your imperfections, learn to embrace them.

Most importantly, don’t forget that you are pulling your own happiness wagon.  Goodness knows there will be people pulling against you, kids throwing legos down underneath the wheels, and some days the wheels will come off entirely…but you just have to keep pulling.  

 

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