There is simply no denying that in today’s world, you are so encouraged to seek happiness in external sources that you often overlook the power that lies in finding happiness within yourself.
I’m certainly guilty of this. For the longest time I have always treated happiness like it’s a destination that I have to reach. I used to believe that once I’ll achieve my goals, buy the things that I wanted, or get a better job that I love then I will finally be there. I will finally reach a place of lasting happiness.
But of course, I was wrong to think that. While yes there’s no denying that those things can make me happy, it was wrong for me to believe that that type of happiness will last. Because yes, they may bring me happiness in that moment, but like so many other times, that type of happiness fades over time and then I’m back into chasing it again.
When I hit the lowest point of my life, probably one of the greatest lessons that I have learned from it is the importance of finding happiness within yourself. Because the thing is when we constantly pin our happiness solely on external sources, sooner or later those things will change, circumstances may shift and our happiness could easily melt away.
Finding happiness within yourself is like discovering an eternal source of contentment, joy, and unwavering strength. Now this doesn’t mean that you’ll constantly feel happy.
But instead of treating it as something that you constantly have to obtain, you will finally be able to really embrace every moment of your life and find joy, contentment, and hope even in the most difficult times and bad days.
It allows you to better handle and navigate life’s constant ups and downs. When you find happiness within, despite your circumstances changing, you’re still able to maintain a positive perspective, and find hope and strength even on your lowest days.
In this post, I will be sharing with you the steps I took that have tremendously helped me find happiness within. I’m hoping that these steps will help you on your journey too!
How To Start Finding Happiness Within Yourself
1. Focus On What You Can Control
How many times have you spent so much time and energy trying to control every little detail of your life? I know how this feel.
I have always been guilty of having this bad habit of trying to control every aspect of my life. I used to believe that as long as I was doing this, I was preventing things from going wrong and I was making sure that everything will go according to my plan.
I can’t even begin to tell you the amount of effort I’ve spent creating a plan B, C and sometimes even a plan D. Just to make sure that things won’t fall apart. But the reality is, regardless of how hard we try to control everything, it’s just not possible.
There will always be things that are beyond our control and no matter how much effort, energy, and time we spend trying to control it, we just can’t. Doing this will only lead to so much stress and frustration and not to mention disappointment, if things don’t go our way.
Living this kind of life is just exhausting and it’s only keeping us unhappy. Instead of fixating on things that are out of our control, the best thing that we can do is to accept them and focus our attention on the things that we can control instead.
Like our thoughts, actions, responses and choices. By doing this we are empowering ourselves to take charge and instead of being stuck in frustration over the things that we can’t change, we are channeling our energy into making positive changes that’ll help lift our spirits and improve our mood.
Please know that you don’t have to try to control everything. Life is all about finding the balance in taking charge of the things that you can control and learning to let go of the rest.
2. Let Go Of Perfectionism
Another crucial aspect of finding happiness within yourself is by learning to let go of perfectionism and embracing your whole imperfect self. Growing up, I was made to believe that mistakes and failures were a bad thing.
I was told that my mistakes determine my value and worth. So naturally, I tried my very best to avoid them in any way. For years, I continued to push myself to exhaustion and burnout constantly trying to chase perfection.
I was always setting myself to unrealistic standards and constantly striving for flawless outcomes in every little thing that I do. And let me tell you, doing that was just emotionally and mentally draining.
It wasn’t only adding more stress and worry into my life but it was also keeping me so unhappy and constantly feeling that I was never good enough. It was just making me so miserable and life is by far too short to just spend it that way.
Perfection is nothing but an illusion. Regardless of how hard we try to achieve it, it’s just not attainable and you know what? That is perfectly okay. Because your worth and value are never tied to your achievements. Your mistakes don’t define you. You are enough just as you are now.
Remember that aiming for excellence and aiming for perfection are two different things. It’s perfectly okay to strive for excellence but allowing yourself to continually chase perfection will only keep you stuck and rob you of the chance to grow and unlock your fullest potential.
Embrace your imperfections and finally give yourself a safe space to learn, grow and experience life without the constant pressure to be perfect.
3. Learn To Forgive
Finding happiness within yourself is not only about creating new habits, it’s also about letting go of grudges and learning to forgive others and yourself. Forgiveness is certainly not an easy thing to do.
At least that’s what it felt for me. I was deeply hurt by the people that I love. For years I was made to believe that I was nothing. I took that anger with me and I held on to it for the longest time.
I thought that this was the best thing to do but after hitting rock bottom, I’ve realized that by holding on to that anger, I was constantly giving them permission to hurt me over and over again. I was keeping myself stuck and unable to heal and move forward.
It’s important to remember that forgiveness is not about minimizing the wrong thing that they have done or invalidating the pain that they have caused. It is about choosing to finally set yourself free and allowing yourself to heal, move forward and find inner peace.
Forgiveness is about choosing to free yourself from the weight of resentment and anger. Remember that it’s perfectly okay to forgive someone without inviting them back into your life.
Also, please don’t forget that you as much as anybody else also deserve your own forgiveness. I know sometimes it’s much more difficult to forgive ourselves than others.
Please know that human as we are, we are all bound to make mistakes and have moments of regrets and you are no exemption to that. Refusing to forgive yourself can only hinder your growth.
By forgiving yourself, you are allowing yourself the chance to heal, learn and grow from your experiences. Remember that forgiving yourself is not about excusing your actions. It is about acknowledging them, taking responsibility, and allowing yourself to move forward and find peace.
4. Have An Attitude Of Gratitude
It’s easy to be grateful when everything in our life is going according to plan but when things fall apart and when we go through seasons of tough times, finding something to be grateful for can almost seem impossible.
This was certainly what it felt like for me. When I was struggling in life, being grateful just felt like something I couldn’t do. I mean, when basically everything around you is falling apart, finding something to be grateful for during that moment is just not possible.
So, I chose to focus on everything that was going wrong in my life. All my problems and worries thinking that doing this was making me more accountable but the truth was, it wasn’t helping me in any way. It was just making things worse for me.
It made me bitter and easily irritated. It made me angry at the world and every day, it just made me feel more hopeless. It’s important to remember that being grateful is not about invalidating what you’re currently going through.
It’s not about pretending that everything is okay and ignoring your struggles. It is about acknowledging the good things that are still happening in your life. It is about recognizing the fact that while life is hard right now, there is hope and you are certainly strong enough to rise above any adversity.
Being grateful is about finding the balance between recognizing your difficulties while still appreciating the small joys, the little wins and the everyday blessings that would normally go unnoticed.
5. Embrace Self Compassion
Self compassion is a vital key in finding happiness within yourself. Most of us are guilty of constantly beating ourselves up. Always being our worst critic and continually putting ourselves down for every little flaw, every little mistakes.
Yes, tough love can sometimes be helpful but the problem really starts if we start to do this every single day and to the point that we are already criticizing every little aspect of our lives.
I’ve definitely walked this path before. I was always my worst critic. I found it so easy to continually beat myself up thinking that doing this was making me more responsible and less likely to make mistakes. But what it was actually doing was the complete opposite.
By constantly beating myself up, I didn’t realize that it was slowly diminishing my confidence and self esteem. It reached a point where I was constantly doubting myself and refusing every opportunity that came my way thinking that I wasn’t good enough.
If you’re doing the same thing, please know that you as much as anybody else in this world, also deserve the same amount of love, kindness, and understanding that you so freely give to others.
I want you to know that you deserve to feel understood, supported, and loved by yourself. You are worth it.
If you want to learn how to start your journey towards loving yourself more, take this 30 day self love challenge.
- 10 Powerful Ways To Let Go Of What No Longer Serves You
- 15 Powerful Tips To Start A New Chapter In Life
- 12 Actionable Ways To Stop Abandoning Yourself
6. Establish Healthy Boundaries
How many times have you overextended yourself to other people? How many times have you said yes when you really meant no because you didn’t want to disappoint other people? How many times have you consistently chosen to put yourself on the back burner?
I am no stranger to this feeling. I wouldn’t be able to count on two hands the number of times I have done this. I was a people pleaser and if I’m being honest, sometimes I still am. Especially to the people closest to me.
My time was always flexible for them. It didn’t matter what I was doing or how exhausted I was feeling. I always said yes regardless of how burnout and drained I already felt. I thought that doing this was proving my love and care for them.
Also, quite frankly, I thought that by doing this, I was making myself worthy. I thought that gaining their approval and validation meant that I was finally enough. But of course, that was not the case. By choosing not to have any boundaries, I’ve allowed myself to be pulled into different directions and a million different responsibilities that were not mine to begin with.
It was not only draining but also so overwhelming and just mentally and emotionally exhausting. Doing that did not only caused me feelings of resentment towards other people but it also made me lose sight of who I was.
By constantly putting the needs of other people first, I lose sight of my own wants, needs, and values.
It’s important to remember that setting healthy boundaries is not selfish. It is an act of self care and self respect. It’s not about shutting people down or being unkind. It’s about defining your limits, communicating your needs, and protecting your well-being.
7. Don’t Be Afraid To Be Vulnerable
Feeling my feelings and vulnerability was never my strong suit. I have always chosen to run away from what I was truly feeling. I would always pretend to be okay. I would constantly put on this facade that nothing really gets to me, thinking that doing this was making it easier for me to process things.
I thought that if I just continued to run away from what I was feeling, if I just continued to bottle all my emotions up, sooner or later they will all just go away. But that is not really how it works.
Eventually all those suppressed emotions will build up and come pouring out all at once, making it even more difficult for you to face them. If you want to start finding happiness within yourself, one of the things that you have to do is to stop running away from what you’re feeling.
Stop bottling your emotions and allow yourself to be vulnerable. Allow yourself to feel. Cry, vent out, scream if you must. Know that being vulnerable doesn’t make you weak. For what it’s worth, now I truly believe that vulnerability takes a great deal of courage and strength.
Remember that the only way for us to truly heal and come out of the other side is by allowing ourselves the space to feel our emotions and process our feelings.
8. Embrace Change
Change can often be terrifying and overwhelming that’s why for the longest time, I have always feared change. I can’t even begin to tell you the number of times, I’ve chosen to hold on to certain things just because they felt safe and comfortable.
And the number of times I’ve chosen to stay stuck instead of going after what I want because I was afraid of things drastically changing. But the thing is, change is inevitable and it will always be a part of life.
I’ve learned that if I continued to fear change, not only am I keeping myself from growing but I’m also keeping myself from truly living. Yes, change can be overwhelming and scary but change can also bring growth, new opportunities, and experiences.
It can help us know more about ourselves. Explore our interest and passion. It can help us break free from autopilot and discover new perspectives and outlooks in life.
The thing that really helped me be slowly comfortable with change is by reminding myself that it’s perfectly okay to take small steps. You don’t have to take huge leaps and make drastic changes. It’s okay to take small and manageable steps every day.
9. Practice Being Present In The Moment
It’s easy to spend so much of our time and attention worrying about the future or ruminating about the past without realizing that by doing that we are missing out on the opportunity to really live and experience every moment of our lives.
I know how easy it is to constantly be consumed by the uncertainties of tomorrow and the worries of yesterday. We spend so much of our time living in the past or worrying about the future that we fail to realize that life is already passing us by.
Time is fleeting and life is by far too precious to just waste it ruminating about the past and the future, instead of actually living the present moment of our lives.
Finding happiness within yourself involves learning to live in the present moment. When you live in the present moment, you are no longer weighed down by the regrets of the past or even the worries of the future. You are finally allowing yourself to savor the small pleasures, fleeting moments and be fully engaged in the connections around you.
Here’s a great post from Happier Human that’ll help you learn how to live in the present moment.
10. Find Purpose In Helping Others
In a world that’s often filled with selfishness, negativity, and hate, let’s start making a positive difference and find purpose in helping other people. Helping others and being kind is an essential step in helping us find happiness and inner peace within ourselves.
When you choose to sincerely help others, you are not only touching their lives, you are also filling your life with meaning and significance. When you offer kindness and support to other people, you are not only uplifting them but you are also igniting a sense of joy and contentment within you.
Remember that helping others doesn’t always have to be grand gestures. Even the smallest genuine acts of kindness can make such a significant impact. What’s remarkable about helping other people is that it can be tailored to your own capabilities and circumstances.
Regardless of how small they may seem to you, your actions can make a lasting impression and can have a huge impact on other people’s life. So please, don’t hesitate to make the world a better place, with one act of kindness at a time.
It’s important to remember that the journey toward finding happiness within yourself is certainly not a straight path. It is a lifelong journey consisting of ups and downs, moments of self doubts and periods of powerful discoveries and self-realization. The important thing is to consistently offer yourself patience and kindness.
Ultimately this journey is uniquely yours, so don’t hesitate to only take the steps that work for you. Just always remember that happiness is not just a fleeting emotion. The key to finding lasting happiness lies within you and you have the power and strength to unlock it.
Please know that I’m always rooting for you!