We all have moments and periods of happiness in life but are you a happy person?
In my wilderness years building up to my burnout, I went through some terrible periods of unhappiness. Although things were good at times, there was an underlying dullness and ache inside me, a sadness that made me feel lost, incomplete and unhappy.
I am an upbeat, energetic woman with a sparkle in her eye but that had dimmed so much that I feared that it would never return… but it did. That happened when the pain of remaining lost and disconnected resulted in me deciding that I had to find me again. I owed it to myself.
When I looked at the causes of my despair, gloom and low energy, so much of it was because I wasn’t looking after myself, I wasn’t doing what filled my soul and gave me joy. Instead, for much of the time, I was doing what I felt I ‘should’ be doing. I was doing what others expected me to do and what others indicated was the right thing for me to do.
Without realising it, because it crept up so slowly, I had lost my way.
Authenticity has always been one of my top values, but I had stopped honouring it. I no longer knew who I really was, and I was scared. I didn’t know what to do and I didn’t know if I was brave enough for the journey ahead.
What I want you to know is that this journey was the best one I have ever embarked on, and I can honestly say that facing up to my demons was, in no way, as bad as I imagined it to be. Yes, there were tears, but they were cleansing and in articulating thoughts I had never shared before I felt immediately freer, enabling me to take action on them.
To be authentic, we need to be able to face up to the truth about ourselves, no matter how unpleasant that might be. Through doing this, I rediscovered and reconnected with me and came out the other side a much better version of myself and into a place of happiness. I started to honour that authenticity again.
So how can finding that true you, bring you to a place of happiness?
Follow these three steps.
1. Do what you love and what you are passionate about.
What is it that you love to do?
What is it that makes you smile and brings you joy?
What is it that you would do for long periods of time if you could?
By indulging in the above, and in what you are passionate about, you will be so much happier. You will spend more time in a place that is joyous. That will then rub off on others and you will attract others who want some of that happiness too.
2. Know your values. Your values are the things that are important in your life and determine who you are. Without them you would feel lost and rudderless. They act as a benchmark to guide you on your path and can be used as a measure to determine whether you might decide one thing over another. They help you prioritise. Examples of values are freedom, recognition, belonging, community, fairness, loyalty, authenticity.
Once you know your values then the next step is to ensure you are honouring them. Going against your values will not make for a happy outcome. It might not seemingly affect you in the shorter term but in the long term it will gnaw away at you. This was one of the things that led to my burnout.
3. Get in tune with your intuition.
This can take practice but learn to trust your gut feelings and follow your instinct. If you think back to times in the past, I am sure you will see where this has served you and where ignoring it has let you down. Being in tune here makes you much more self-aware and it’s easier to make decisions from this place.
When I am looking to really connect, I go for a walk in nature and allow that space and time to weave its magic. I may get into the meditative rhythm of my walk or find somewhere to sit where I can breathe deeply and connect, but you can of course do this indoors too.
These three things honour your authenticity and when you live life from that place then you know who you are. You have the confidence to step up as yourself in your beliefs and to speak your truth. It is easier to create your path, to set your goals and intuitions and to attain them through ease and flow.
You are freer and living a life of choice. The relationships in your life are truer and deeper too as you are not willing to give time to people who don’t value and appreciate you. You want to be with people who share your interests, goals and philosophies and to build genuine loving relationships.
This is not going to happen overnight so give yourself permission to take small, sustained steps as that is what gets us there. Small steps give us plenty to celebrate along the way, and celebrations and achievement bring happiness, so we are building that at all stages of our journey.
My book “How Walked Saved My Life” covers my burnout and how I used walking to recover from it. It also covers moving on and how that shaped what I do now and how I want that to develop. I have been told that this book is full of ‘golden nuggets’ so why not grab yourself a copy now and take those nuggets and use them for your benefit too.
Then come and join our new Virtual Book Club starting on January 17th. Email me by clicking below if you’d like to join.