Happiness has eluded me for a very, very long time. I used to think that happiness sets in once I had made that step in my career that would make my Dad incredibly proud. I also thought that life would be happier once I had lost the extra weight I was carrying around with me. And I thought that it was much better to stay away from people so not to get hurt, as I had been so much in the past. Little did I know that happiness neither depended on outside circumstances nor on anything that I could own. As I learned about myself later, it turns out that people are exactly what makes me happy. I only had to learn that in dealing with people I simply had the wrong attitude.
Being brought up I always felt that there were very high expectations on me. Things came to me quite easily, I didn’t have to sit down as much as some others to achieve good grades. So it was simply expected of me to do great in school and in university. And I also felt that this pertained to my life both privately and professionally. There was the expectation to be flawless, to be perfect. So it became my goal in life to fill my father’s shoes and make him proud thinking that when I had achieved just that, being a perfect daughter, happiness would finally catch up to me. So naturally, I was a little perfectionist and tried to live up to high standards that I set for myself. What I didn’t realize though was that I set those standards as expectations for the people in my life as well. Of course this would mean that I’d get disappointed on a regular basis. Not only were my standards way to high, but they were also black and white. As most perfectionists, I thought that there was only right and wrong in this world. This left little room to allow people to live up to the occasion or make mistakes for that matter. As I has never learned to forgive myself for mistakes or learn to deal with them, how would I be able to do that with others based on my idealistic view of the world?
Over the last couple of years I went through a number of lessons, learnings and a huge amount of growth, that I feel immensely grateful for. That privilege came in the form of blogs, books, studies in new areas, beautiful souls that came into my life and honest truths. As there are also people behind every blog, every book and every course in this world you can see that everything I learned was brought to me by a number of very special people that have changed my life in so many beautiful ways.
I now find happiness within me. Not all the time and every day. But I always know it is there.
Now I adore the various shades of grey that this world is made of and understand that while there are certain circumstances where the world does exist in blacks and whites, there is always an underlying shade of grey to be explored.
Forgiving myself for past mistakes and understanding that it is absolutely okay to make mistakes has been a big lesson for me. Understanding that with every mistake a big learning curve happens, but also accepting, that mistakes just happen sometimes has allowed me to make that first step in letting go of my perfectionism. Mind me, I still have a long way to go today, but I am very conscious of the fact that my happiness depends on me learning to completely let go of my perfectionism. I also like to call this letting go of fear. Fear of failure.
I choose to let go of expectations that don’t serve me and I choose not to put any pressure on me to be the person that someone else wants me to be. The people that truly love me will accept this and support me in anything that I do want to achieve in my life. And for those that hold me back and make me feel bad about what I want, I have learned to lovingly let go of to make more room for the things and people in my life that I want to say Yes to.
I find inspiration, motivation, a huge amount of love and gratitude in the people that I get to spend my life with. I love spending time with them and I truly love helping people find their own unique and beautiful happiness and with that helping them become the person they want to be in leading a life that lights them up.
Now only one day shy of being 33, I have to say that I feel so full of gratitude and joy to be where I am right now. The past couple of years have been two of the most difficult and most gratifying years of my life yet. The development that I experienced in the past months has been incredible. It has let me to question everything in my life and has brought me to a point where I learned something new about me and my happiness. Most of all it has taught me that we are a constant work in progress and that, as we change, what makes us happy will change as well.
My first year of marriage has been a wild storm of change; moving countries, changing jobs, building a life and learning to seek happiness as a couple but also as an individual human beings with my own unique dreams. I don’t think that without my beautiful husband I would have learned as much about myself as I did over the past couple of months. I won’t say that this was and is always easy. But it has made me a better person. It allows me to truly be the person I want to be, learning and developing every day to stay true to my course. And it has brought the long sought after clarity around the heart-centred business I want to build into my life.
We did struggled to make our personal happiness a priority during those hectic times as I’m sure happens to everyone once in a while! However, I think it is so important to be able to make that choice, to make your personal happiness a priority, which is why I am going to dedicate my life to making this world a happier place. I want to do this through compassionate leadership, empowering coaching as well as mentoring people to help them find what happiness and success looks like to them. With now more than 7 years researching this topic, I am also working on my first online course that I hope will help people step into the life they truly want.
My journey so far has allowed me to learn turn expectations into appreciation. I’ve learned to love and appreciate the people in my life, both friends and family, for who they are, instead of having the expectation for them to be a certain way. And I have learned that spending time with the people close to my heart is what makes my life worthwhile. Period. I don’t think I would have ever had that learning and clarity in terms of how truly important this is to me if not for the time I spent abroad, away from family and friends in the past months.
Life is not a straight line. It cannot me planned, it cannot be controlled. There will be good and there will be bad times. For me, the bad times always offer a learning opportunity. Now that I know that happiness comes from the inside and a lot of my happiness has to do with the inspirational exchanges and deep connections I get to make with the people that are a part of my life, the people I get to coach and work with on my journey as well as the creative process of building my first online course, I always have a way back to my happiness and joy.
I hope that you will choose to make your happiness a priority. Always.