No one else is responsible for your own happiness.
It becomes all too evident as we age that our own happiness is less dependent on how others make us feel and more about what we are doing to take care of our own positive feelings.
It feels strange that as we grow in age, emotionally and physically, so too does our confidence and realisation that we do indeed build our own destiny.
We build up our own resilience and bring to it hope.
I often find myself thinking if only I had the confidence I have now at 38 back when I was 18, then I’m sure I might have taken a different path in life.
But as we age we also realise how much our confidence and belief in ourselves comes from our life experiences, that it isn’t instant and instead grows alongside us as we strive to find out who we are and how we fit into the world we live in.
These life experiences or decisions can be good and bad, happy and hard, ones that sometimes challenge or break us and teach us something important.
I like to people watch. I like to smile at strangers and wonder what makes them tick. I worry endlessly about other people and if their lives are making them happy.
It took me many years to realise that only I can make myself feel happy and emotionally supported. By surrounding myself with like-minded people, friends and family who live to build each other up, challenge each other when we need to and realise that we are not responsible for another person’s happiness and how they might feel about themselves.
We need to balance work and life. Not just working to live and living to work. Finding passion and direction in ones chosen area of work can be difficult to find, let alone manage to ensure it doesn’t take over who you are as a person.
For years I struggled with wondering who I was if I wasn’t a dance teacher? Only with age and the next stages of life, have I managed to self believe I am more than that, more than who I thought I was.
It’s about finding people who get you. Who can call you out if and when needed and expect you to do the same in return.
It’s about challenging yourself to a life of learning, in whatever area or direction or state of mind you find yourself focused on. Being kind and good isn’t enough. Showing kindness and understanding to others is far more important. True growth, acceptance and learning only comes from falling, failing and beginning over and over again.
I used to rely on how others felt about me, thought about me or talked to me to get me through my day unscathed and believing I was happy and supported. I hate conflict, it makes me uncomfortable but from conflict comes growth and this should never ever stop. Growth should be a continual state of being until the day we take our final breath.
I make mistakes. My boys see that. I pick myself up and begin again. No matter how I am feeling, exercise, good food, sleep, water and sunshine seem to be my life’s recipe to being completely myself.
Talking and sharing helps. Explaining how you feel and how things affect or annoy you. Communication still remains one of life’s biggest challenges between people in relationships, friendships, work environments and schools.
I challenge you. If you are still looking to the people around you to determine your own self-worth and happiness, look inwards. We need others to support us without relying on them to be the reason we are happy. If we react to how they make us feel, think, behave or act then surely our emphasis for our own happiness is in the wrong place.
Other people can contribute to your happiness. But once you realise that someone else can’t and shouldn’t be expected to make you happy nor place such expectations on them to be responsible for your own feelings and emotions, then this is truly freeing.
You determine your worth, your choices, your behaviour and your thoughts. You get to decide on what makes you feel happy, not who.
I guarantee once you make that realisation, your confidence will grow, your mindset will expand and you will not only feel happier inside, you will be better equipped to help others feel happier. You are not responsible for how someone else feels about themselves but you can contribute kindly and in a supportive way.
Break down your own self and the beliefs you have about who you are. Relinquish how others make you feel as important to how you view yourself but continue to work from the inside to promote the things, thoughts and important ideals you feel passionate about and how you can share them with others.
We are all unique and we can all contribute to this world, starting with the belief and confidence in ourselves.
You have to be strong for yourself first.