Photo Credit: iStock
By Kelly Rudolph
If you feel like you’re on a constant quest for inner bliss, you might be asking yourself: if there was one secret on how to be happy in your relationship or marriage, workplace, home life and family, wouldn’t you have learned it by now?
Are you constantly searching, asking people who seem happy, reading articles and watching videos on how to be happy? If so, you’re certainly not alone. Online search engines get millions of people asking this question, and the Internet is full of promises that this strategy or that formula will deliver you to a place of lasting happiness. Yet, many miss the main point: they never even touch on the fact that the real key to happiness with others is happiness with yourself.
If you haven’t noticed or been here yourself (most of us have), an insecure person’s need for constant approval is exhausting. Those who are happy with themselves don’t hang around with that kind of negative energy. Since we can’t change other people, lead by example and others will follow in your footsteps, becoming good role models themselves. Read on to learn the five tips that will help you become happier with yourself.
1. Forgive Yourself
Forgive yourself for anything and everything you think you caused that was bad in your or someone else’s life. You can’t go back for a do-over, so learn the lesson and move forward, promising to better handle any similar situation that may arise. Now you’re freed up to relax more and have greater peace of mind without beating yourself up over guilt and resentment.
2. Understand That You Are Complete
And understand that “You complete me” was just a cheesy line in a Tom Cruise movie. (I loved that line at first too … for a few seconds, until I realized how inaccurate it was. Keep reading to learn why!) The reason most of us don’t feel complete, and latched onto that line like it was the end-all be-all relationship concept is because we’re waiting for someone else to be or do something that makes us feel whole.
First of all, as mentioned, we are already complete. But even if we weren’t, no one else would be able to complete us anyway — it’s impossible. When we put our happiness in someone else’s hands, we set them up for failure. Why would we do that to someone we care about? Because we don’t realize we are the only ones who control our happiness.
Does this mean if you’re unhappy, it’s your fault? Yes. Does this also put you in a position of power in your life? Absolutely. You want your relationships to be the joining of two complete individuals to create a third, larger entity so that you’re a part of something, not just half of something. The whole “my other half” thing just breeds insecurity, which leads to the most painful relationship challenges like jealousy, abuse and infidelity. Why on earth would you want your happiness to be determined by someone or something outside of yourself.
3. Get To Know Yourself
When do you feel you’re at your best when you’re alone? Are you reading your favorite book overlooking a beautiful view? Enjoying your favorite tea, watching a movie? Shopping outside at the farmer’s market? Listening to your favorite music? How does your body feel? Healthy? Need some work? No one will be happier than you when your body looks good and functions well. This is a good confidence builder, and when you have more confidence, you look better and healthier, and carry yourself in a completely different way that attracts confident people to you.
Here’s a personal example: I had a spider vein on my lower leg and didn’t feel comfortable in shorts for years. I finally had it removed and couldn’t believe how much better I felt. My posture and confidence in shorts was much improved. Some things are easily fixable, and for the others we may need to adjust our perspective a bit.
What are your favorite parts of yourself — your appearance, your character traits, your values or your personality? Do you get a kick out of your great sense of humor? I get a kick out of mine. I laugh to myself quite often! Are you really excited that you value honesty, which has attracted honest, genuine people to you? Are your eyes or hands or knees your favorite part of your body? Get to know your favorite parts and love them all.
4. Take A Good Look At Yourself
Take a look and notice how amazing you are. Keep your self-talk positive. There are things supermodels hate about themselves, so don’t go thinking you’re the only one who has dislikes. You can be happy with yourself even if there are things you’d like to change. I’ve always been taller than most other people and would have given anything to be “normal” height. It took me 27 years of hating my height when many other people always wanted to be taller and would have traded me in an instant. Look how many years I experienced self-induced suffering. (This describes all suffering by the way. Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional.)
What are you good at, best at and want to improve at? What are your talents and what skills have you developed? What would you like to do in your life that you haven’t done yet? What is the best thing you’ve ever done? Are you noticing that you might ask some of these questions on a date to get to know someone and determine if you like them or not? We get to know people by asking questions although we rarely ask them of ourselves. And when someone else asks, we sometimes answer differently than when we’re asking ourselves.
5. Ask Yourself Questions
To find out more about yourself, ask yourself the questions you would ask on a date. The quality of your relationships is determined by the quality of the questions you ask. Ask good questions and lots of them (more than you would ask on a date; it’s OK to be a chatterbox with yourself) to build that strong, healthy relationship with yourself.
Take time away from other people and be happily alone. At first, it might feel weird choosing to be alone, but being alone and being lonely are two very different things. Dr. Wayne Dyer says, “You cannot be lonely if you like the person you’re alone with.” I went from being scared to sit alone in Starbucks for fear some stranger would think I didn’t have any friends to loving going places alone. I have attracted wonderful friends by learning how to like myself and since like attracts like (energy), they happily do things on their own, too. Yes, we do enjoy each other’s company as well; we don’t just talk about all the things we did by ourselves (although that would be funny).
Welcome to your inner power. You are qualified, capable and worthy of being happy with yourself regardless of anyone else on the planet. So, lead by example and show others how it’s done. You will see that you can have much more fulfilling relationships without putting the responsibility of your happiness on someone else. Congratulations!
Kelly Rudolph is a Certified Life Coach, Hypnotherapist and Founder of PositiveWomenRock. Are you tired of stress, lack of confidence and fear about your future? Kelly can help. Begin getting her free Life Strategies now.
More from YourTango:
10 Ways To LOVE The Heck Out Of Being Single
Kate Somerville exfoliant rarely gets marked down, so grab it ASAP.
The "Havana" singer has previously opened up about struggling with anxiety and other mental health issues.
This supersize set will give you a sun-kissed look without the UV damage.
Don't miss your chance to save a bundle on this all-in-one cleaner.
Get amazing hidden deals from bathroom storage solutions to kitchen-saving gadgets.
Take your photography to another level, literally—but hurry, these deals fly away tonight!
Compact, lightweight and a steal right now….grab one while you can.
In an interview with Yahoo Life, Brian Austin Green opens up about being a father of five, 'amazing mother' Sharna Burgess and the stigma behind men's health screenings.
The thick outsoles 'minimize stress on the Achilles tendon,' says Dr. Nelya Lobkova, DPM at Step Up Surgical Podiatry in New York City.
It's time to refresh that underwear drawer.
Say goodbye to frozen peas!
The AquaSonic Duo has a UV sanitizing system to kill 99.99% of germs that can build up on brushes.
The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model opens up about facing self doubt.
Over 61,000 Amazon shoppers say you're in for a treat with this No. 1 bestselling 'essential kitchen item.'
Dish out perfectly cooked meat with a digital thermometer that's raked in over 50,000 sizzling reviews.
Wendy Osefo is opening up like never before. Gibson Johns interviews the "Real Housewives of Potomac" star all about sharing her life story in her new book, "Tears of My Mother," including how her mother has reacted to the book, her distant relationship with her father, how the way she was raised impacted the way she's approached raising her own children and how certain relationships in her life prepared her for life on "Real Housewives." They also discuss the upcoming seventh season of "RHOP," including that incredible trailer, Wendy having an unexpected "partner in crime," a tease of what leads up to Mia throwing water on her, where she stands with Gizelle Bryant and much more.
You never knew you needed these gadgets — but you absolutely do.
Don't you think it's time you finally experienced America's fastest-growing sport? Here's your chance.
Getting into "mom mode" is the singer's top priority.
Just add to your moisturizer for an instant self-tanner you can customize to go as light or dark as you’d like.