3 mistakes keeping you from living a life of joy
I’m gonna cut the shit and let this cat out of the bag right off the bat: I’m no Marie Kondo, and not everyone who reads this post will find joy. #sorrynotsorry [watch her show-read her book]
This post isn’t a magic joy pill. (In fact, there is no pill, even if you wanted one.)
You see, YOU already are the change you wish to be. You are awesome and limitless. You are your own guide, your chooser, the leader of your journey. Yep, I called you a leader even if you don’t buy it. I’m here to show you how to unveil all of this, believe it, and run with it so you can live a life of epic joy. But you need to be willing to do the work and make the change.
What you will learn from this post is knowing the silver lining in your life already exists and how to find it. Achieving pure JOY in your life? Well, it can take a while for the general ‘Joe human’ to get there, but I’m here to help and this guide is the starting point.
The first step towards any change is awareness. This guide will bring you to a place of awareness that you are NOT mediocre and that awesome, limitless joy is within you.
Change isn’t a one-and-done event. Instead, it is a rinse and repeat thing. The more you do it and the more you smack yourself on the ass and tell yourself to get it together, the more magical and joyous life becomes. You’ll be surprised to know that some of the greatest changes you will ever experience will come from the simplest choices you make.
I wrote this post for you because I truly wanted to create something for people that would give you the opportunity to change the course of your life. Whether or not we ever meet again, I hope you choose yourself today and choose the work of finding and living a life of joy.
Now, grab yourself a beverage, and let’s dive into the 3 big mistakes that block joy, so you can start to find the true, long-lasting joy you’ve been craving.
1. Not living in the NOW.
Most people live each day only seeing, thinking, OBSESSING over what needs to be done or happen for them to feel better. Worse yet, lots of people feel they are quitting or settling if they DON’T focus their thoughts on these things.
Here’s a secret that changed the course of my life: accepting where you are is ok and brings you further in life and closer to joy.
Accepting where you are and who you are right now means that you are in love with the broke, divorced, single, cute but psycho, slightly OCD self. The wrinkles, the pudge, the not so fancy car, the tiny house…all of it.
When you can look at your bank account that’s missing a couple of zeros and still, without hesitation, breathe out in the knowing it’s all going to be ok, you are one giant step closer to living a life of joy.
In the very moment you are facing doubt or self-criticism about where you are, choose to send out into the Universe that “I am happy, I am whole, I create my reactions, and I CHOOSE how to respond.”
Being in the now also includes gratitude for what you have and where you are right now. “I choose to find gratitude in life.” “My bank account is low…BUT there is food to eat, gas to fuel the car and hey, I even have the ability to view my bank account because of this awesome electronic device I’m holding.”
2. Looking at everyone else’s life.
Man, this one right here? It’s a DOOZY of a mistake. Yet it’s the most common form of sabotaging yourself from joy. Where do I even begin? I feel you rolling your eyes at me, about to point your finger and say “yeah, but…”
Look Linda, everyone does this. It’s human nature to observe what we perceive others having and wish we had it too. But believing the grass is always greener is basing your joy on a total sham. The extent to which you compare yourself to others holds you back from appreciating your amazing journey.
The only life you get to live is yours. Not your mom’s, cousin Kim’s, or Amanda’s down at Sephora with the on-point brows. Their lives may be incredibly awesome, but none of them have anything to do with your life. So why does it matter?
We all come from different upbringings, have different personalities, shapes, sizes, and capacities of willpower. I urge you to source ideas and inspiration from your environment and external factors, but don’t define and compare your life by what it “lacks” as you compare it to another. Don’t let it strip you down to feeling you didn’t do things right, or don’t have enough of whatever it is “they” have.
Society paints a pretty narrow picture of what success looks like. Ask yourself the questions below and free write what really comes up for you. There is no wrong answer, so don’t overthink it. Be really honest with yourself and you may be surprised what comes up.
Side note of inspiration:
What does (insert your name) want?
What do I like?
What choices have led me to where I am today?
What can I do now to appreciate where I am?
What does where I am now, help me to get in the future?
Use the things that you see as “lack” to inspire appreciation of what’s to come. We all start somewhere, and when you take the time to appreciate what it is that you do have right now, energetic doors start to open for more of your desires to manifest.
Still, scraping the bottom of your brain for something to appreciate? Start with the most basic thing: You have life. You have the ability to breathe in this very moment and to make choices to EMPOWER your life that can change your destiny to the greatness you want it to be.
3. Lack of love & forgiveness.
At this point, I would assume you get what we are doing here. Yes, ladies, we are adding a sprinkle of Mary Poppins onto your life. Everyone can add these sprinkles to their life – including you.
So even though shit happened, you slept with people that should have never breathed the same air as you, quit things when you felt you should have kept going, married the wrong person, spent too much money, gained too much weight…it doesn’t matter.
Even if you checked every single box above YOU ARE FUCKING phenomenal. Why do I know this? Because after all that shit, here you are still trying to love yourself a bit more and appreciate your life with a bit more grace. That takes so much courage, tenacity, and vulnerability. High five and hugs to you my lady friend. High five and hugs.
Know this: You have been doing the best you can with what you have had or could handle at the time.
Case and Point: Me, 7 years ago. I was a complete TRAIN WRECK. And you better believe I still have my “Cute but psycho” moments to this day. But my God, do I love my life now. And am so fulfilled.
Even with the toddler snacks crushed behind the car seat and the couch that’s turned into an unfolded laundry depository. I’m still full of joy because I have learned the most important element to achieve it; loads of self-love and self-forgiveness. I’m still human y’all, living a life of joy, is consciously choosing to live in that place. I have to CHOOSE, and I don’t always – I have bad days too.
There are countless ways to learn to forgive your past transgressions and light yourself up. Here are some easy ways to get yourself started.
- Mantra to cut out (or tattoo on your forehead):
I AM RIGHT WHERE I NEED TO BE.
Repeat this everyday as much as you can. Repeat it until you are sick of it and then repeat it some more. Repeat it until you BELIEVE it. And then for sure repeat it some more.
- Right now, in this very moment, write down 5 things that you need so badly to change in your life. The 5 things that royally suck and make you want to start throwing punches at someone.
Now, take those 5 horrid, asshole things and write a brief letter to each one. Tell each thing why it’s been a blessing to have them in your life. Why you are grateful for them. This includes things like what have you been taught, what do you now realize about yourself, what did it inspire you to want to have/be?