Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

Can you actually say that you’re happy? Saying “yes” to that question seems to be more automatic than heartfelt to most people. It’s like we think that we’re “supposed to be” happy and don’t want to look bad for answering “no.” But too often the real happiness isn’t there. When a counseling client says they’re happy, I ask why? They usually don’t understand the question. So I ask them to fill in the blank:

I know I’m happy because______.

They get confused. I explain it’s good for everyone to actually look deep inside of you and identify why you’re happy. It’s so easy to say, “Sure I’m happy” but harder to actually figure out why. But it’s important to do so. It’s similar to counting your blessings but connecting different aspects of your life to your happiness. Many people come up with factors that are external and those kinds of things don’t contribute to true happiness.

I hear things like:  “I know I’m happy because I make a lot of money.” The material things that money buys give you happy moments when you buy them but they don’t create an overall feeling of happiness. And if you count on making lots of money to be happy, it puts pressure on you to perform well at work and if you lose your job, bye, bye happiness! Many people attribute their happiness to their romantic partner. But that makes someone else responsible for you being happy, which can also cause stress if a problem arises between you. And if you break up, there goes your happiness!

It’s so much better to find or create reasons to be happy that YOU control. These are things that don’t depend on outside factors or other people. My own main answers to “I know I’m happy because______.” are:

* I love me! Being content with who you are is a big source of joy. Loving me motivates me to be kind to me, which I enjoy. Self-love keeps the negative self-talk—beating yourself up for not being perfect, finding fault with your looks, anger if you make a mistake, etc.—at bay, since that’s unloving and also diminishes happiness.

* I have strong faith. Knowing that I can count on spiritual support helps me to relax with life’s road bumps. Being able to turn to God, or whatever higher being you believe in, helps life to flow in happier ways. It allows you to take more risks that can improve your life. Plus, when you use the Law of Attraction to your advantage, you’ll attract a  lot more things that add  to your already happy life.

* I have so much to be grateful or—good health, a wonderful living space, good friends, a career I love, an optimistic nature, and many more blessings. Being conscious of all the things you have that you can feel grateful for nourishes happiness.

* I like the person I’ve evolved into after hating myself for years and it’s such a joy to really like me now. This is different than self-love. Even though I’m older, I’m happy with how I look and am thrilled with the woman I’ve become. It’s taken many years to go from DoorMatville to a happy place and I truly appreciate it. When you make an effort to improve yourself, the results reinforce happiness.

Appreciation is key for happiness. When you’re trying to come up with how you know you’re happy, think about what you appreciate in your life that you created or that doesn’t depend on other people or things you can buy. The more you appreciate you and your life, the happier you’ll become.

So, fill in the blank: “I know I’m happy because______.” Please share some of your answers in the comments below!

Join the Self-Love Movement™! Take the 31 Days of Self-Love Commitment and get my book, How Do I Love Me? Let Me Count the Ways for free at Read my 2013 31 Days of Self-Love Posts HERE. Join the Self-Love Movement™! on Facebook.

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