Because Happiness Matters
“The world breaks everyone,
then some become strong
at the broken places.”
Whether it's a relationship breakdown, professional stale-mate, spiritual disconnect, traumatic event, or something else; life gets hard. It can get so hard sometimes we feel broke, trapped, hopeless. We all get this feeling of brokenness at some point. It’s unavoidable. What IS avoidable, is staying that way.
When we're sitting around in the pieces of our brokenness, we don't always know how to do what's best for ourselves. And if we don't understand what will work for us, then we get stuck there. It can start to feel like the whole world's against us and that it's a hopeless situation - even desperate. But it isn't hopeless.
Some of us just can't stop looking at the mess. We poke at it and prod it - inspecting it. We become super aware of every little detail. But we aren't actually taking any action to help the situation.
Some of us try to pretend like the mess isn't there. We somehow think that if we walk away from it, change the subject, ignore it, then it'll just get weaker and weaker and eventually maybe it'll just go away. Poof! We stuck in this mess because we all know that no amount of ignoring ever swept up anyone's floor.
Some of us find ways to cover it over. We try to make it look better than it really is, or we put a bunch of stuff around it, like excuses and reasons. We're worried about that other people will disapprove of our broken bits and maybe they'll leave us, or hurt us, or stop caring about us. We hope that if we can turn it into something it isn't, then we don't have to admit we're broken, and then maybe we'll still be worthy.
Some of us try to fix it up, but we don't spend enough time and effor for it to be effective; or we don't have the right tools; or we get frustrated when things don't work out right the first time, so we give up instead of trying again or using a different plan. We get stuck in a place of frustration and disbelief that things could be any different because we think we've tried everything and we feel exhausted.
"We either make ourselves miserable
or we make ourseleves strong.
The amount of work is the same"
There are three useful things to remember when you've decided to make a change:
1) You must believe that you can succeed;
2) Your goal needs to be meaningful and important to you, because you're the one that matters; and
3) Above all, don't give up. You can rest, you can fail, you can go slow like a snail; but never give up.
Decide to commit to yourself: your ideas, your goals, your life. The real answers to most of life's difficulties are almost never on the outside of us. Of course we sometimes need to get help with serious illnesses, but the physician's job is just part of the process of getting better. For example, when a person is severely depressed, they might take anti-depressant tablets, but they also need to build social connections and get wellbeing education. For heart patients, maybe they're taking blood-thinning medication and had a stint put in, but they also need to pay attention to the way they eat and how much they exercise. Even a person with a broken leg needs a plaster cast and painkillers, but they also have to learn to use crutches and might have to do physiotherapy exercises after the cast comes off. In just about every situation, there is work to be done to complete and fulfill the healing process.
In other parts of our lives, it's just the same. We might need money to buy more advertising, but we also need to learn how get creative with our adverts and improve our networking skills. Or, we might need the bus to get to a job interview, but the buses don't travel there at the right time of day, so instead of giving up, we need to get creative in how we travel - learn to be more resourceful when it comes to alternatives. We might want to get in to a convention that will help propel us forward, closer to reaching our goals, but we also need to learn to find qualities in ourselves, and possibilities in our situations, to make that participation worthwhile. If we are willing to do what it takes, we can get what we need to achieve.
The WAY we think about things has a direct impact on how possible our goals are for us. Do we think of obstacles as barriers or walls, or do we believe that we can figure out how to work around them, or get over them, so that we can carry on moving forward? If we're going to change, we need to stop giving up and start considering the possibilities of a different kind of answer.
The limits to our potential are built from the negative thinking that gives all the power away to something outside ourselves; like the bank account, or the pain tablets, or the public transport schedules. We need to learn to believe in our ability to find alternatives and answers where it seems like there may be none.
If you want what you want, then don't give up at the first hurdle; even if you trip over it. Even if you trip over every single hurdle for 500 yards. Don't lose hope. Get up. Try again. Dream big. Be willing to do what's necessary. Find solutions and workarounds, and keep trying.
"If you do the things you've always done,
you'll get the things you've always got."
Changing our minds and our patterns to achieve our goals isn't easy; but it doesn't have to be done all at once. It can be scary; but it can also be thrilling - if you want it, you can find enough bravery to take one small step.
It can be inconvenient, but you can learn to find places in your schedule to fit things in here and there.
It can sometimes take a long time to get there. But someday is better than never.
It involves the failures of trial and error, but everyone was a beginner at one time, even the experts!
It takes commitment, compassion for yourself and your life. Despite the difficulties, it can be so worth it.
If you aren't open to trying new things, you'll be an expert at excuses and reasons. A lot of us find it easier to stay in a situation that we recognise and understand, no matter how hard it might actually be. And we become addicted to the predictability of it all. If this is the case, then we don't have to do anything strange, or new, or confusing, but we miss out on opportunities. Often times, having no idea that something better was possible the whole time - because the reasons and excuses we made up were so convincingly good.
So many of us, so much of the time, don't realise that we're a lot more in control of things than we think. We're more trapped by our thoughts and bad habits than we are by anything in the outside world.
The way we're eating; thinking; speaking; what we do for work; how we spend our free time; and so many other little things all combine to make us who we are, and contribute to how we feel. We all, deep down, know this, but a lot of us just can't be bothered with the responsibility of it. We're just too exhausted or beaten down to feel anything other than hopelessness.
"Create a life that feels good on the inside,
not one that just looks good from outside."
This is why meaning is so important. If you're going after something that other people want for you - or something you feel obligated to want; or something that makes good money, but doesn't make you happy - then you might as well not bother. You won't find the time in your schedule. You will find reasons not to be brave. You will easily find excuses for why you won't, or didn't, or can't, do the thing you need to do next.
It isn't because you're a bad person. It's because you're trying to impress someone other than yourself.
Consider the possibility that you're only ever one decision away
from a better life.
It's helpful to know that your beliefs are powerful things. Your decisions have a real-life effect on how well or how poorly you do anything. Most of us have heard of placebos before. When people believe that a placebo medicine is the "real" medicine, it can affect a person's physiology - so much so that there have been times when the placebo worked as well, or nearly as well, as a medical intervention did. In fact, sometimes, even when people KNOW that the placebo is not the real thing, it STILL has an effect. (Info on that from Harvard Medical School here).
Also, the opposite applies. If you're convinced that nothing will work - guess what? It won't. Consider how thinking something, over a long period of time, can cause a physical illness to worsen, or cause new symptoms to appear. Most people are pretty familiar with the term psychosomatic illness, and that's because it's an actual "thing." (Some information here. And a bit More information here.)
If we think about what this implies, just for a minute, we can begin to realise the potential of our beliefs. By making positive changes to our minds, we can make positive changes to our lives. The most powerful tool that we have is our minds. Improve your thoughts, to improve your life.
"Anything worth doing
is worth doing poorly
until you learn to do it well."
Start considering the long game. Don't worry if it takes a long time. If you've been wanting to better yourself or some part of your life for quite a while, then it's worth taking quite a while to get it right. The more you feel you've suffered, the more reason you have to want to get it right.
Once you've decided to believe in yourself, and your ability to overcome whatever brokenness you're feeling, there's another sneaky thing that might crop up: Quick fixes. Thre are a lot of articles, websites, workshops, and blogs out there that are offering a quick fix for us. They sound mighty good when you're a stressed and busy person who has decided to make some changes for the better. They're so tempting to those of us who are fed up and exhausted. They say things like, “Be Happier by Next Week,” and, “Here's the Top 10 Tips to Get the Life you Love Today!” They seem really appealing and wonderful at the time, but they can actually make our situation worse.
We think they can save us money. They seem less time-consuming, easier; and they don't get in the way of the rest of our lives too much. But, most of the time, these quick fixes don't actually work the way they say they do - or they don't last - and you end up in the same place you were when you started; sometimes worse off with less money and feeling totally defeated.
This cycle wears you down and it burns you out; and then that plays into the frustrated feelings of being trapped, which make you look for easy answers all over again. Then it happens again and you're stressed, you're discouraged, and you start thinking things like, "I just don't have the energy anymore!," or, "Nothing's working!," or, "Everything's just a waste of time!" But another quick fix isn't gonna solve that problem, is it? And that's when things can start to feel pretty desperate.
Don't let fear make your choices for you.
Allow yourself to daydream about who you are at your most powerful moment; in your perfect moment in time. Imagine what your life is like once you've achieved your goal. Spend time with it and get down to the details. Really think about your new situation, and then save it as a memory to remind you what it's all for in the difficult times. And then dare to commit to that dream. Believe that you can, and that you will, live that dream. Dedicate yourself to your happiness and success, whatever that means for you, personally. Dedicate yourself to this cause. That is your job.
There are several ways I can help; and it really depends on what works best for you. Some things I can do to help are:
Reset negative or obstructive thinking patterns, and show you where you might be sabotaging yourself unintentionally.
Brainstorm solutions to obstacles that may seem impossible right now.
Teach you how to use mindfulness practice to help you with focus, relieving stress, and/or improving other issues like anxiety symptoms and pain management.
Help you find the places where you might want to consider different ways of going about things.
Build small-scale life experiments to help you grow in the way that you want, but starting with smaller risks and moving upward to the place you want to be.
Improve your confidence by practicing with setting and reaching goals that you set for yourself.
Use arts, crafts, walks, and other activities to help get you thinnking and feeling about what is meaningful to you - sometimes playing/relaxing can be the best way to find solutions!
Discuss other options and possibilities that might suit your personality better, or that are more specific to your situation.
Practical help with understanding forms and documents; letter-writing; form-filling; resolving problems/difficulties.
Please have look around the rest of the website and explore a bit more to get to know me and my work.
If you want to book an appointment, or want to send me a message for another reason, please feel free to use the contact page.
Personal assistance, resources, information, and inspiration for your personal development. Increase your happiness; learn and practice mindfulness; get support through counselling; get life coaching to help you achieve your goals. Find your best possible self and do everything you can to be that person.