Today’s final post in the happiness series goes into 3 ways to give yourself permission to be happy. Because you deserve it! We’ll be highlighting three things to keep your eye on as you move through life as they will always, always promote a life well-lived, a life that feels as good on the inside as it does on the outside; a life you love to be living.
As a former people pleaser and a former school teacher, I framed these three things as permission slips for you. The way we were raised and the influence of our patriarchal society has us often looking for permission to do things. Today I give you permission warriors. I give you permission to lay down the superwoman cape and lean into these 3 things to bring more ease and happiness to the life you’re living.
1. Permission to dream and set goals
One of the most important factors in happiness is to feel like the things you’re doing matter. To think that you have a purpose here on earth. It is my deep belief that everyone is here for a reason. The universe doesn’t make duplicates. The things you dream about and desire are unique to you and paint a picture as to what your purpose is. This is permission to allow them in and then follow them! As Shannon Kaiser from post 100 points out you don’t have to know how you get to the dream you have, you just need to have a dream and take the next right step. I’ve heard from a lot of you that you’ve put your dreams on hold or you’ve stopped planning during this time. I’ve also heard from many of you that you’re stressed, overwhelmed, sad and frustrated. The two are not unrelated warriors! We need to feel like our day’s matter.
Cathy Heller says the opposite of depression isn’t happiness, it’s having a purpose. Feeling as if what we do in our day’s matters. Many of us have been saying it feels like Groundhog day. Okay, but do you remember the point of that movie? It wasn’t a 2 hour video on him doing the same thing over and over and getting more and more depressed. Nope. He went through a dark, depressing period and then… what happened? He began making minor shifts and changes in his day that brought happiness and betterment to his being and life. He accepted what was (that he may be living like this forever) and chose to make the best of it. With his daily shifts, his days shifted.
I invite you to get your notebooks and planners back out. We never knew what the future brought. Never. Not in 2019 or 2009. We make an educated guess and then move forward. That is still necessary today. Dream. Plan. Reconnect with yourself and your inner dreams and desires. If you feel blah, helpless and hopeless, it’s possible you’ve lost your vision, which means you’ve lost your drive. During challenging times it is essential to remind yourself of your goals and the person you want to be. Permission to do that. (picture: be addicted to being the best version of yourself”). Which brings us to the second permission slip for today.
2. Permission to be a student
A Lifelong Learner. Whatever you want to call it, choose to enroll in the education of life, for your life. Happy people have a growth mindset! They choose to think that we don’t know it all and will never know it all. That’s not the point. We are here to learn all we can about the things that interest us. Ultimately, I think life is a whole lesson of learning about ourselves, what excites us and what triggers us. The triggers teach us where we have healing to do while the excitement shines a light on what we are here to do. I have always been deeply and incredibly interested in learning about other people, why they do what they do, what makes them upset, what makes them happy, what they do about it, etc.. I thought everyone was like me; intensely interested in learning what people are thinking. Nope! My interests and dreams lead me to do what I’m doing. It’s no wonder that I’m a coach.
The more I lean into what interests me and excites me, the happier I am. What are you interested in? Follow that spark! As an aside, I want to mention that a beautiful upside of being a lifelong student is that it comes with a layer of self compassion and is the opposite of perfectionism. In accepting that I will never learn it all, perfectionism is off the table and where I am today is enough. It has brought me incredible freedom to draw a line at the end of the day and say, boom, done. Since I will never be finished learning, since there is no possibility of perfection or getting there or being done, I get to enjoy the journey along the way to discovering my greatness. Which leads me to permission slip number 3.
3. Permission to celebrate
Permission to celebrate your current awesomeness along the way towards your greatness. To celebrate yourself every single damn day. Every single day there is something you can congratulate yourself on or give yourself what I call a yay me moment. As discussed in the beginning of the series, this is one significant way of raising your happiness set point. It is also a wonderful in-the-moment mood lifter. To pause at any point during the day and be your cheerleader (PICTURE me your own BFF) This is especially important for tough times, those groundhog days when we feel like it’s all the same. What can you celebrate about yourself today? That you got out of bed? That you set an alarm? There is always something, even on those days… I promise. Did you apologize after you bit your spouse’s head off? That’s worthy! Did you stop eating before you finished the bag? Yay me! Look for it, warrior.
Even if it’s a behavior that you are looking to change, reflecting with kindness (as in, well at least I didn’t finish the whole bag) will get you far further than (“hey dumbass, there you go again, shoving your face full of food you don’t need”). Behavior change comes from acceptance and learning, not from judgment, guilt or shame. And so, permission to celebrate; to give yourself yay me moments. Ideally, these will happen all day long, like just now I took a break from writing my notes to recording my podcast and connected with my sons instead of checking Instagram or Facebook. Yay me! That’s worthy. Nothing is too small.
And so warriors, we finish our series on happiness and positive psychology. I know that if you read this you got ideas and tools. Knowing the tools isn’t the same as using them though. Please make sure you’re a member of the warrior woman group and get my weekly newsletter so you have the support needed to use your tools. We don’t get flat abs by reading about flat abs. You don’t learn how to ride a bike by listening to a podcast on bike riding. You don’t live a life you love by reading a weekly blog post (although that helps!).
What we repeat in our day becomes our week, becomes our month; becomes our year; then becomes our decade; and finally becomes our life.
Permission to be happy and live a life you love. You matter to me.