Sounds silly needing to be ‘dared’ but think about it… if you could choose to have more fun, you would, wouldn’t you? What about being kinder to yourself – you know, a bit of the old self-compassion. You’d do that too, right? Same goes with happiness – in fact it’s all connected… these lovely, yummy feelings that we all desire and crave, yet somehow, they seem so hard to come by for very long, if at all.
So, why is that?
It all comes down to the voice in your head – there isn’t one person who doesn’t know what I mean when I say that, yet few of us acknowledge it fully to one another, or really know how to handle it ourselves.
Some call it the inner bully, to some it’s the monkey mind and to others, it’s the imposter voice. I have a rather coarse and crude name for it but we’ll leave that out of this guest piece. Anyway, if you’re not careful, it can be the one that runs the show. It causes us to be depressed, anxious, and full of self-doubt – never really going for our dreams and feeling truly happy. Its job is to keep you safe.
Safe? Stick with me on this one
Back when we were cavemen and women, we needed to survive; it had a very good purpose back then. “Don’t go in there, there’s a big scary bear that will eat you.”
Or “Don’t upset the tribe, if you do something they disapprove of, you’ll be cast out, exiled, left to fend for yourself… maybe that bear will get you.”
Back then, survival was in numbers, so you daren’t be the ‘odd one out’ – standing out and forging your own path was not the way to stay alive so people generally did what they could to be liked and accepted by the tribe.
Ignoring the voice triggers the ‘it’s not safe’ process in your body and puts you in a state of fight or flight. Now there are fewer bears out to get us these days and if we are a bit different, it’s OK, we’ll find other people who agree with us – especially since the age of the internet where we can find “meet up” groups with like minded people.
So really, we don’t need to listen to it anywhere near as much as we used to… yet no one teaches us this. For years, most of us believe that it is our thoughts but I’m here to tell you it’s not you and it’s safe to ignore it. Go on, I dare you to!
The best way to over come this starts with awareness – knowing it’s not you takes away its power, then once you’re armed with that insider knowledge, it’s all about the baby steps to get to where you want to go.
Here’s a few tips to help move you toward feeling good:
- Learn gratitude. You notice more of what you focus on. Searching for good things in life will help you find more good things to be grateful for. Do that instead of convincing yourself how unfair life is or searching for what’s not going your way.
- Adopt a belief that life is working in your favour, not against. Look at life as successes and lessons – that way you can’t lose.
- Focus on your strengths instead of your weaknesses. Knowing what you are good at and accepting that you are good at things is an act of rebellion. Own your awesomeness.
- Keep your awareness open for the word ‘should’… that’s the voice talking again. Should is other people’s expectations, not yours.
- And finally, remember, changing thought habits like these takes time, so make sure to be patient with yourself. The voice loves it when you beat yourself up and judge yourself. Talk to yourself like you would your child, with love and encouragement.
Throughout ‘Women’s Month’ this March, we have brought you advice, hot topics, therapies and blogs all dedicated to celebrating and raising awareness of the issues that affect the women in our lives. So, we would like to say thank you to Marie Claire Ashcroft, our guest blogger for her contribution, which also ties in with International Happiness Day and we feel a great way to start Monday!
If you would like to find out more about Marie Claire from Happiness Ninja OR any of our therapists here at the Beehive, please drop us an email!
Happy International Happiness Day from the Beehive!