Are you happy? ♥ Is it okay to be happy? ♥ What does it mean to be happy? ♥ What would it take for you to be happy?
When I was a kid in elementary school I was happy when I wasn’t in trouble.
In junior high I was happy if I did’t have any D’s or F’s on my report card… even though C’s meant I was probably in trouble.
As a teenager I was happy when I was included in fun times with my friends… even though it definitely got me in trouble!
Happiness is something we all desire but for one reason or another we don’t believe we deserve it. Or perhaps it’s the other extreme, we believe we deserve to be happy even to the detriment of other people’s happiness.
As a kid my happiness was dependent upon other people around me. My teachers, my parents, my friends all had a huge influence on my happiness. If I had their approval I was happy and if I didn’t have their approval I was unhappy.
When I was a young adult I read a statement that rocked my world:
“You Don’t Need Everyone’s Love and Approval to be Happy”
That statement stopped me in my tracks, “Wait, What?!” “What do you mean I don’t need everyone’s love and approval in order to be happy?” I thought, “Of Course I do!” I had a huge argument to support my case, not to mention the years of my life I spent so much time being unhappy because I dealt with feelings of being unwanted and rejected. Also, as a full time college student my happiness was definitely tied into my grades, which equaled approval or disapproval a.k.a happiness or unhappiness.
I wrestled with the concept – was it true? Could I be happy if I didn’t have other people’s love and approval?
Part of me wanted to say yes right away and just be happy! The other part of me struggled with the idea since depending upon other people for my approval and happiness was a warped way for me show loyalty. Loyalty was important to me so I had to work through issues of feeling disloyal if I didn’t look for their approval. I didn’t realize how automatic my approval seeking behavior had become and how ingrained the concepts were in my mind.
I probably when through a journal or two working through the issues!
I finally came to embrace the conclusion that my happiness did not need to depend upon other people’s love and approval!
I hadn’t realized how burdened and complicated my life had become trying to constantly find clues about whether or not people liked me. There was such a simple freedom when I stopped looking for clues. I could simply relax and be myself rather than trying to subconsciously conform to the standards of the people around me.
I accepted the simple fact that sometimes people are going to like and approve of me and other times they are not. The unexpected result was that my relationships became simpler and actually improved!! When I stopped looking for everyone’s approval I ended up being a more effective person, employee, student, daughter, and friend. I was happier and it showed.
If your approval seeking has complicated your life – consider the simple tip that you don’t need everyone’s love and approval in order to be happy.
Remember to Keep it Simple, Sweetie!
All the best,