This morning I had a rough start. It took me much longer than usual to get out of bed and even after I got the ball rolling, I couldn’t stay on task. Nothing in particular was wrong but anxiety doesn’t always need a concrete reason to flare up. It made me think really hard about happiness; What it looks like to me and what I need to do in order to consistently feel it. We’ve all heard that one saying before. Happiness is a choice. Unfortunately, knowing that bit of information isn’t always enough. You have to be aware of the negative behavior or thoughts that are holding you back from happiness. So without further ado, here’s three things I’m letting go to make room for more happiness.
Give up control
I’m a bit of a control freak. Making smart decisions and reasonable plans is one thing, but trying to control how everything will turn out in the end is something else. I used to plan my day based on solutions for every possible scenario just in case they happen and honestly that in itself is exhausting. There’s no way I can control every single thing that happens around me and I’ve found a new peace in letting go. I control what I can, like my emotions and how I react to things. I am present in the moment. I’m uninhibited and I’m not fighting the natural flow of things. Allowing life to unfold and not fretting over the future (as much) makes me wonder why I let myself worry so much.
Give up trying to please everyone
The people pleaser in me (or maybe it’s the libra tendencies) made me pick up this bad habit of putting everyone else’s needs before mine. I’ve said yes to things I’d rather of said no to because I didn’t want to hurt anyone. That often left me feeling overextended and unhappy. Saying no is allowed. Asking for time to think about an answer before committing to something is allowed. I used to think that if I didn’t say yes all the time, then I would look selfish or worse, uncaring. Spending time worrying what others think and putting your own needs aside to make someone else like you, is a waste of energy. The ones who matter will understand you and the ones who don’t isn’t worth worrying over.
Give up the limitations I place on myself
When I was in high school, army recruiters came to speak with the senior class and I ended up entering their push up contest. There were plenty of strong fellas to go up against, but that didn’t deter me and I ended up being the last man standing (who knew I could do 100 pushups in one sitting?) There wasn’t anything I thought I couldn’t do. I’m not sure what happened between then and now. Maybe a couple of negative experiences and a bit of criticism has something to do with it but either way, I began questioning myself and my abilities. That questioning lead to me being afraid to pursue new things. You never know what you’re capable of doing until you try so I’m making an effort to push past that fear. The funny thing is that once you do, you’ll look back and wonder why you ever thought that thing that seemed impossible was difficult to begin with.
Happiness isn’t something that someone gives us, nor is it something that we have to ask permission for. We have to do the real work to cultivate and maintain it. What are some things you can give up in order to make room for happiness?