WARNING: If you are not the kind of person who likes to be challenged to BE, DO or HAVE better including your level of happiness and fulfilment in life then this article is not for you. However, if you are open-minded and willing to consider a different point of view then please read on.
There’s a maxim in life coaching that goes something like this…”If your life isn’t the way you want it, change something.”
That seems a simple enough formula for a happy life.
So, what is stopping us all from just changing what we don’t like about our lives and creating that happiness?
1. Not knowing what will truly make you happy.
Well, for a start some of us don’t even know what we want.
Oh, we might think if we only had X then they’d be happy and then they get it, and suddenly very quickly we’re unhappy again. And we’re on to coveting the next thing, and the next.
We get into a spiral of consumption hoping that will make us happy and then realise that it doesn’t ultimately help that much.
You end up selling your time to a job/career/business that exists only to feed your insatiable appetite for more and often makes you miserable
And there’s an even greater cost than just the money.
What have you given up to have these things?
- Time to be truly alive?
- Time with family?
- A social life?
- Your mental health?
Wouldn’t it be better to know what truly makes you happy and shape your life to get more of that?
Yes, some effort may still be required but at least you’ll know it leads to a more positive nd happier life in the long run.
That’s where the work of Positive Psychologist’s including the extensive research by Martin Seligman, Zellerbech Family Professor of Psychology at University of Pennsylvania and author of Authentic Happiness comes in.
He and his team have found that that there are various aspects to happiness, too numerous to go into in this article in any depth, but suffice to say infinite wealth isn’t one of them.
My job as your life coach is to make you aware of what these things are and help you decide where you want to make these changes.
So how do you get started on figuring this all out?
The Wheel of Life worksheet is a fabulous exercise to help you get started on seeing where you need to make changes to your life.
Download it, set aside time to do it and really evaluate where your life is and what needs to change.
2. Stinking Thinking
Many of us carry around limiting beliefs that negatively impact just how much change we can affect in our own lives.
These beliefs can be around your self-worth, ability, money (or lack of it), even whether we are destined to be happy., and many more.
And the worst of it is, we don’t even know we have these most of the time.
The good news is that as a life coach one of my jobs is to help you uncover these and find ways to replace them with more positive beliefs that can help you make the changes you need to make.
Let me give you an example from my own life...
For years I carried around the subconscious belief that money was the root of all evil. A misquote from “The love of money being the root of all evil.”
Then a fab coach helped me realise that not only did I have the quote wrong but that a lot of my prejudices against money and the people that have it came from my working-class influences and in particular my mother who saw only manipulation and coercion by her employers.
I’m not dismissing my mother's beliefs out of hand, but I know she viewed anyone with money suspiciously and that ultimately stopped her from ever hanging on to any, and that she had a poorer life experience for that reason.
She never got that money can be a tool for good and that sometimes people with money can do great things with it.
How do you uncover your limiting beliefs?
Ask yourself these questions to begin to get a handle on where limiting beliefs may be holding you back…
- Where in my life am I always stuck no matter what I seem to do?
- Where do I keep getting the same old results no matter how much effort I put in?
- What do I believe about this situation that stops me from getting what I want from it?
- Where did that belief come from?
- Did it serve them well?
- What would be a better belief to have here?
Obviously, this list is not exhaustive, and I have many more at my disposal to help my clients uncover their limiting beliefs but it’s a good start.
3. "Nose To The Grindstone Myopia"
One of the biggest things that stop us from getting what we want from life is relying on others to tell us what will make us happy (there’s a reason for those massive marketing budgets you know) and never taking the time to evaluate where our life is going, other than by looking at our monthly salary or earnings.
Once we’re through the initial training for our careers we’re off on that ladder climbing, eyes ever upward climb without even considering of we’re climbing the right ladder or if it’s leaning against the right building.
We’re all too often “too busy” firefighting and looking for the next big thing to take the time to see if we’re on the right path.
It’s up to you to make your life happiness and not just your earning potential a priority.
How to get started with your personal review
1. Set aside a day or so on a regular basis to look at where your life is going and see if you are truly happy with it? This must be sacrosanct and your primary priority. After all, if you don’t do this how do you know if anything else is even worth doing?
2. Get to know your indicators for happiness (not just advancement in career or earnings) and measure yourself against these at your regular reviews. You can download and complete my free Dream Life worksheet for this. It's a great fun way to see what you really want in any and all areas of your life.
3. Plan any changes you need to make.
4. Look at whether you’ve made the changes since your last review and if not consider getting some help if you haven’t
5. Get a life coach – “yeah yeah Brian we knew this would be a sales pitch”.
Let me put it like this…
If you could have done it on your own you’d have done it already!
I know I need regular sessions with my coach and mentors to ensure that I’m on the right path and to stop me from slipping into bad habits and bad thinking.
You can of course use the FREE Wheel of Life worksheet to help you in your review and you can even try a FREE 2 hour Breakthrough Clarity coaching session with me to let you see what coaching is all about and why the world's top performers all use one.
Of course, there are nuances and intricacies to all of this that I can't cover in a short article like this. You need to be willing to put in the effort and invest in yourself in time, and yes, sometimes money, to get to where you will be truly happy in life.
Whatever you do, please put yourself first, understand what really makes you happy and go for it. You really do only get one life (that we know of). So why not make the most of it?
Need to get a bit of clarity on how to get to your goal faster or breakdown some barriers you have to getting there?
You'll get a roadmap of what you need to do to make it happen, experience of coaching with me, and maybe decide to get some coaching to help you.
(No sales chat ever - this is your chance to experience coaching from me.)