There are lists everywhere about things we can do to feel happier. So, I thought I’d offer a bit of counterpoint! Here are some things you do not have to do anymore.
I have a hunch you’ll feel better. Let me know how it goes….
1. Practicing Perfectionism
Spoiler alert! You will never be perfect. Never. (Sorry!) So, stop letting perfect or ‘in control’ bully you around. When we are seeking an unattainable reality there will never be a chance to stop. Worse, since by definition we will not be able to achieve what we seek, we are one (self) judgment away from feeling like crap. There is another option. Give yourself permission to take risks. Let yourself get messy. Then, laugh (out-loud please!) at your humanity. It is our humanity that connects us, not our stepford homes!
2. Living Based On Comparison
You don’t have her life. You have your life! This is infinitely better… if you allow it to be! We all know the cliches: ‘Comparison is the thief of joy.’ Blah blah blah. And yet, we compare ourselves all the time.
Ask yourself: How is comparing yourself serving you? If you can find a healthy answer to that question then- compare on! Otherwise though, stop wanting something you’ve seen and start seeing how great you are!
How many times have you told yourself what you ‘should’ do and, consequently, bummed yourself out. Yeah. Me too! Should is negative in nature. It implies ‘not enough’. It implies ‘wrong’.
Maybe instead of ‘should’-ing ask: Am I living well and in accordance with my beliefs? Am I honoring my needs? When we look at our lives through the lens of these questions, often our shoulds seem like shit!
I spent a good deal of time doing what other people told me I should do. I even tried to be who they said I was. It didn’t work. The people I was desperately trying to make happy still had their own feelings and I hurt my internal compass trying to supplement the those people. Basically, it was a major fail.
TRUTH: If you are living for someone else chances are you will not be able to make that person happy and you’ll ultimately feel like crap! Of course we are here to support and celebrate each other. But, this part is important, we are not here to live our lives as a band-aid for someone else. We all have the capacity to heal. Do not martyr yourself in the name of someone’s growth.
5. Being ‘Cool’
Remember how you didn’t dance your heart out at your friend’s wedding because you felt insecure and didn’t want to seem uncool? Stop doing that. (And, yes. I’ve done it too!) Too many of us operate with a fear of not fitting in or looking silly. We stifle ourselves in the name of ‘cool’. EXCEPT– ‘cool’ does not actually exist; not in a way that functionally makes your life better.
Redefine cool. What if ‘cool’ meant being willing to embody yourself and your passions so fully that you held the space for everybody to do the same. Heartfelt embodiment. To me that’s cool.