We often spend much of our time looking for happiness from outward sources. We tell ourselves we'll be happy when we get that car, that career, that home, that lifestyle, that relationship or many other things. By the time we achieve one of those things, we have often added more requirements to our list of happiness factors and only find temporary joy in that which we just achieved. So long as we continue to think that happiness is something outside of ourselves and outside of now, we will likely continue in disappointment and frustration.
"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again
and expecting different results."
~ Albert Einstein
Outward things can accentuate our happiness, but should not be relied on as a primary source. Lasting happiness comes from within, from our attitudes towards ourself and self love and acceptance.
"You cannot be lonely if you like the person you're alone with."
~ Wayne W. Dyer
We are generally our own worst critic. Our fears sometimes are self fulfilling, created by our own downward spirals. What we see in others is often a mirror of what we do or don't like about ourselves. Forgiveness of self and others is key to moving past what we see as our deficiencies.
"Let us not look back in anger or forward in fear, but around in awareness."
~ James Thurber
Looking at ourselves from a 3rd party perspective can help us be more compassionate and loving towards ourself. The only real mistakes are where we fail to learn the lesson it presents. If you try something new and didn't like the outcome, realize it, and change the approach.
Self affirmations, visualizations and practice can be very empowering. Love and completely accept yourself the way that you are. Creating a script of self affirmations (written or memorized) to repeat daily will increase love of self, confidence and happiness. Your own opinion of yourself matters more than anyone else's.
"Everything that happens to you is self-created.
Whenever you're responding to any situation, whether it's a sip of coffee,
or a traffic jam, or a love note, or criticism from a boss, or rainy weather,
you're in fact responding to a signal that you generated within yourself."
~ Deepak Chopra
Take responsibility for your happiness. Don't wait for others to contribute or get you there. There is no right or wrong way to be your happiness. There is just your way.
"There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud
was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."
~ Anais Nin
When you see yourself heading toward a familiar downward spiral, look for the trigger, recognize it for what it is, be grateful for the lesson learned, and move on. Stop beating yourself up and saying no to yourself. Instead become your own greatest fan and cheerleader. Celebrate your successes with yourself. Be your own party. Enjoy yourself in all of your colors. Be grateful for each experience, good or bad, for what they teach and for how they let you know that you're alive, which is a miracle in itself.