The Elusive Happy

Do you ever feel confused about why you are not happier in your life?

You have a job that pays the bills. You have a home. You are healthy. You have family and friends who care about you.

Despite seemingly having all the ingredients to live a satisfied life, you just can’t seem to find happiness.

It always feels like something is missing or you catch yourself constantly wondering is this it?

Most of the women that I work with come to me to work on this very issue. They want to be happier, they want to feel better.

They believe that I can help them complete a task of some sort that will lead them to the elusive happy-land they have been seeking.

Unfortunately, when we learn to understand why we feel the way we do, we also come to realize that there is nothing that I can do to make you happier.

There is nothing anyone can do to make you happier.

You are going to have to go this one alone.

In our society, so many people blame their unhappiness on things outside of themselves:

I’m unhappy because I hate my job.

If my spouse was more affectionate, I would be happier.

I’m unhappy because I don’t make enough money.

I’m unhappy because I’m always broke.

Circumstances outside of us have no way of imparting feelings upon us. There are no magic feeling zappers that other people use to control how we are feeling. People cannot reach out and inscribe emotions onto your brain.

Your feelings are created by your thoughts and the often-times nasty things swirling around in your head.

If you are unhappy, it might be because you spend 99% of your time thinking about how much you hate your job, or how your partner isn’t good enough, or you don’t have enough money. Those thoughts feel terrible.

Those thoughts will never create happiness.

People are so incredibly wed to this notion that circumstances create our feelings. When I explain this concept, they get so defensive. They want to tell me how terrible their boss is or how broke they really are, because once I really understand their circumstances, I will get it. Then I will see that their bank account balance is what is making them unhappy.

Nope. Your bank account balance is just a circumstance. When you see that balance and think how am I going to pay the bills, that thought is what is creating unhappiness. That thought only leads to worry and a whole parade of terrible emotions, insecurities and does not create any good results.

If circumstances were able to change the way we felt, then we would all feel the same way about your bank account balance. But we don’t. There are undoubtedly people on this planet who would see your bank account and think wow, that’s a lot of money or I wish my account was that big. They might feel jealous or envious of your bank account based upon the thoughts that come up for them. The point is, the circumstance is neutral. Your thoughts about it create your emotions.

The same is true for happiness. If you want to be happier in your life, take a look at the thoughts you are carrying with you. Do those thoughts invoke happiness?

If your thoughts are breeding negativity and pain, it’s important first to understand that your brain is just running some old patterns, rinsing and repeating thoughts it is comfortable with. That is what brains do—they want the easy route, the neural pathways that they know and are good at running.

Second, try to shift how you are viewing and characterizing the circumstance. Instead of agonizing over the job you hate, consider thinking I am a good employee and you are going to miss me when I’m gone or I am using this opportunity to learn how to use my voice or this job is a stepping stone to get me one stop closer to my dream job.

I call this truth shifting. Find a better truth to focus on and ditch the old one. The key is that the thought has to be something you believe: something true.

Any of those thoughts will create feelings of motivation, inspiration, focus and excitement. Spend more time in that space and less time in the space where you are feeling depressed and unhappy about your job.

Imagine what you could create and who you could become if you learned to create positive emotions instead of letting your brain keep you stuck in a mental rinse and repeat cycle of negativity.

The next time you find yourself wanting to be happier, think of it as an opportunity to sit with yourself and examine your thoughts that are creating those emotions. The truth might surprise you.

Need support? Schedule a free coaching consultation and learn about how to take this basic concept to the next level.