Happiness is way more than rainbows and smooth sailing
I love seeing rainbows and the experience of sailing smoothly through my days, but happiness is so much more than this.
True happiness comes from internal peace, not from external platitudes.
True happiness comes from living in alignment with what you know in your heart is most important to you.
And the things that are most important to you are the things you value most.
SO if you've been scratching the surface to find happiness in external things, I'd say it's time to dig a bit deeper. At it's deepest core, happiness starts in your innermost being. In your heart. And when you look at the next layer up from your heart, you'll find your values. When you know your heart and you know your values, and you purpose to live your life in alignment with these, then happiness is sure to follow!
I have become aware that my true happiness comes when I am connecting to the Holy Spirit in me. When I've made time to check in with Jesus about everyday things, like whether I'm heading in the direction He has planned for me, and whether I'm living out my values in the best way I can, I receive an inner peace and happiness that I can't explain. So, if you were to ask me about my core values these days, I'd say that they are foundation to my happiness.
What are your core values?
When my coach first asked me this a few years ago, I wasn't sure.
I knew I had values, but they were kinda vague and in the background of my life.
Since then I've discovered it’s vital to know what they are if you're looking for true and sustained happiness.
It really is worth your while to make personal time to consider your own core values, the ones that you hold internally in your soul. Because when you try to make your values line up with the outside world, the things that other people value, or things you think you should value, … you’ll soon find yourself living out of a place of pleasing others rather than living from a place that's true to you. I want to live from the place that's true to me. For me that's the same as living from the values that align with the Holy Spirit who lives in me.
If you’re not sure what your own core values are - click here for 5 questions to ask yourself to find out.
Now it’s one thing to know what your core values are, yet research has shown that you’ll only find true contentment, satisfaction and happiness when you know that you know that you’re living true to them. So, how do you know that you're doing this? How do you get to agreeing with yourself that you are in fact living in alignment with your core values?
Let’s take the value of being healthy as an example. It’s a great thing to value being healthy.
If I were to stop and ask you if you value your health, I’m almost certain you’d answer “Yes!”
After all, we know that God’s plan is for us to be in health and to prosper, even as our soul prospers!
(3 John 1:2). Healthy is good!
But, what does ‘being healthy’ mean to you exactly?
How do you measure ‘healthy’?
How do you get to knowing that you're living up to your value of being healthy?
When do you get to say "Yes, I am truly healthy!"
It’s very likely that what 'healthy' means for you and what it means for me will look different.
‘Healthy’ may mean exercising frequently. (What is frequently? 4 times a week? 7 times a week?)
'Healthy' may mean eating well. (What defines eating well? No refined sugar? Everything in moderation?)
'Healthy' may mean brilliant thinking. (What defines that???)
We all have a general idea about what ‘healthy’ encompasses, but when it comes to being more specific we've not sat down to consider how we ourselves would measure this.
We are unclear.
When we have no clear measure or rule to use as a way of 'ticking the box' that says "Yes, I'm healthy for sure", we’re left looking to others (and to social media) to validate that we are in fact healthy.
And even when someone does suggest that we are healthy, we turn around and see someone else who's 'healthier', so we’re still left feeling that we're not healthy enough and that there's more room to improve.
The simple reality is that if you don’t have a clear way of acknowledging to yourself that you are truly living according to YOUR own values, you’ll constantly look to others for that tick of approval, and always find someone else who's doing it 'better'!
The same rings true for the 'I’m not enough-itis' we spoke about last month. Do you value knowing that you are enough? (I know I do…because feeling 'not-enough' is for the birds!!!)
So, how do you get to acknowledge to yourself that you truly are enough?
How do you get to tick your “I’m enough” box?
You can’t... unless you are certain of what ‘being enough’ clearly means for YOU.
So, let's see. What is enough? Who defines enough?
For most of us, when we stop to consider this, we realise we don’t know. All we know is that we don’t feel enough. We have no clue how to internally validate that we are enough. We hope we are enough, but we never know for sure. So we grasp onto whatever we can do to try to validate these hopes. We work harder. We make sure we’re super busy. We conform to societies norms by saying ‘yes’ when we really want to say ‘no’. We live by other peoples rules and expectations… the list is endless. And even while we do do do… we still wonder whether we’re enough. So, in the end all that's left is to seek the constant approval of others.
"I need to hear you say that I’m ok."
I have a client who became aware that she was regularly seeking out the approval of others at work. After exploring this further we found that her main issue lay in the fact that her working role was not clearly defined. She had no way to tell herself that she was working well because there were no clear set goals. Because she had no way to measure this for herself, she remained uncertain. When we are uncertain, we naturally seek certainty through the validation of others. But there is one MASSIVE problem with this: Relying on others to validate our ‘enough-ness’ leaves us at the mercy of their generosity of speech! What if you are working brilliantly, yet it hasn’t crossed your colleagues radar to praise your great work?!? Surely that doesn’t mean you’re not doing a great job!!!
Let's face it, hearing from others how wonderful we are does feel great. Believe me, I know! But if this is your ONLY way of measuring your ‘enoughness’, then I'm sorry to say; you're rarely going to feel enough.
So, the moral of todays story is this: Not only is it important to know what your core values are, but also how YOU get to telling yourself that you're living true to them. It’s time to discover for YOURSELF what ‘enough’ means for you. If you're not sure or have no clue how to know, then stop for a while and ask Jesus to show you. What does His Word say? When He tells me that I'm enough because of who He is in me, and He shows me who He is, and fills me with His revelation of this, then I become certain that who I am is also 'enough'. When I have a clear understanding for myself that I'm enough, then I don't need to rely on hearing it from you. (even though that may be wonderful too).
If you relate to this, yet are still uncertain about your own 'enough-ness' then I'd love to work with you. Click this link here to book a free 1 hour discovery session with me so we can soon have you knowing that you know that you're enough!