Warning: Are You In Danger Of The “I’ll Be Happy When…” Rut?

Today we’re going to explore one of the biggest illusions of modern life.
Do you ever catch yourself saying “when I’ve lost weight I’ll be a happy little camper”?

Hmmmm.

Was that nervous laughter from some of you?

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Dear reader … you need to listen up.

You don’t have to look very far to see people who are searching for something. Standing in front of a mirror would do it for most of us.

Let’s face it. No matter who we are or where we are from, we’re all looking for s.o.m.e.t.h.i.n.g.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people (yes, my good-self-included) say, “I’ll be happy when I’ve lost my tum” or “I’ll be over the moon when I have more money or “I’ll be chuffed when I have more time”.

The formula is: I’ll be happy when ____________ (fill in the blank).

Sound familiar? It’s OK, we all do it to some extent.

When we run the “I’ll be happy when X,Y & Z” scenario we are searching for an internal feeling (of love, success, peace, joy, security, happiness) from an external factor (weight loss, money, time).

It is exactly this kind of thinking which makes us a marketer’s dream. We’re so busy looking for happiness outside of ourselves we purchase a whole bunch of stuff, all in the pursuit of happiness.

Want proof?

We’ve become a Starbuck-drinking, iPod-listening, SUV-driving, credit card-buying generation and we’re still not happy.

We buy lotto tickets, hope for our 15 minutes of fame and when that doesn’t pan out, we continue to wait, wish and hope because we’ve convinced ourselves that if only we were uber-rich and world famous, then we’d be happy.

And yet, if money, fame and being size zero was the ticket for guaranteed happiness then why isn’t everyone in Hollywood deliriously happy?

Hmmm.

It is an illusion.

It is a big fat lie.

Here’s why.

The truth is sustainable happiness cannot be found from an external source.

I’ll say that again… we never ‘find happiness’ anywhere.

It is within you now.

Here’s three steps to Being Happy Now.

1) Identify a goal / change / fix you’ve been believing will make you feel a certain way. It’ll probably be along the lines of I’ll feel X when Y happens.”

– I’ll feel happy when I have lost Y amount of weight.
– I’ll feel secure when I’ve got Y amount of money in the bank.
– I’ll feel successful once I’ve accomplished Y.

The fact that you can even say “I’ll feel X when Y happens” means that you have an internal representation of the feeling (X). As in, you already know what X feels like.

It also means that you’ve been conditioned into thinking that you actually need to have the external experience (Y) before you can allow yourself to feel it.

Spot the second lie.

You are already emotionally complete. You don’t require anything external in order to feel your feelings. They’re inside you already.

2) Ask yourself “What would happen if I allowed myself to feel it (X) now?”

People sometimes think that if they allowed themselves to feel their feelings now, they would lose the willpower to change, grow and achieve. But that’s not how it works.

The opposite is true.

It is at least a gazillion times easier to achieve your weight loss goals when you come from a place of acceptance.

When you say, “I’ll be happy when I’ve lost 15kgs” all you are doing is deferring happiness.

When you defer happiness you get used to deferring happiness. The better you get at deferring happiness, the better you get at not being happy.

Who wants to get better at being unhappy?

It’s unanimous… no one.

So cut it out!

In a nutshell ladies, if you don’t love and accept yourself now, right now, for who you are, you will never love and accept you….. no matter what you weigh.

3) Change your criteria for feeling the feelings you want and give yourself permission to be happy now.

Here are some examples:

– I can feel successful now, since I’m alive. And being alive is the evolutionary gold star :)
– I can feel peaceful now, as I’m learning to accept myself as I am. Even the wobbly bits.
– I can feel good about myself now, because I am taking steps to getting healthy.

Believing that you need anything in order to feel happy is the epitome of neediness. And the structure of addiction.

Ick.

Knowing that you are already 100% whole and complete, and everything you need is within you now, is the epitome of abundance.

Yay.

Just so we’re absolutely clear, ladies. I don’t frown on all addictions. I might even have a few of my own. The question you need to ask yourself is “does this addiction move me closer to my goal? Or not?”

There’s no fence-sitting here. It’s a “yes” or “no” scenario, folks.

For example, I whole-heartedly admit I am addicted to running. The great news is, it moves me closer to my goal of being fit, healthy and happy. I get that pounding the pavement isn’t for everyone, and that’s cool. For me, it rocks. Whereas my (former) addiction to Diet Coke had me filling my body with chemicals and starring at the rafters all night. Not good.

So, gorgeous one, quit delaying your happiness until you’ve reached some imagined perfection on the scale.

Give yourself permission to be happy.

Now.

As the very wise Abraham Lincoln said, “Most people are about as happy as they make their minds up to be.”

How happy have you made up your mind to be?

Love etc, Avril

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