Friday, 21 November 2014

Give Yourself Permission to be Happy!

I love this question. I often ask my clients this. Usually they tell me they aren't very happy and it always makes me sit up straight. Why are they unhappy? What could be making them unhappy? From my perspective they have thriving businesses, healthy families, and lots of things going well for them. I know this because we start our coaching sessions with celebrations and accomplishments. So for them to later say that they aren't very happy always takes me by surprise.
It turns out they didn't get a client they thought there were going to get, their day didn't go as planned, they got a bill they forgot about, something was more money than they expected. At home, their kids aren't behaving, their husband isn't cooperating or something is going on that they don't like. Some have sickness in their families or in themselves. Whatever it is, it's bringing them down from feeling like they can be happy.
I try to teach them that their happiness is directly related to how they feel about themselves and the world around them. It's how they see all the things that are in their life (or not) and how they feel about them. And this goes for you too.
Say you are trying to lose weight, and are taking steps to do so, but are not seeing much progress. Yet your gym buddy is shedding the pounds faster than you can say "hey". In this scenario you might feel bad about yourself, which in turn will make you feel like you are not happy. But wait a minute... what if you were to congratulate your gym buddy, be happy for her and be happy with what you have accomplished so far? Do you think that might shift you away from feeling bad? You bet! What happens is you now take the focus off of her and the judging of yourself off of you, and put your attention on yourself and what you have done.
Happiness really comes from our feelings, which comes sometimes from our perceptions, thoughts, beliefs, patters, behaviors and experiences.
Stop for a moment and ask yourself, "In this moment, what am I feeling?" One of the things that I have been practicing, as well as sharing with my clients -- and pretty much everyone because I think it's so impactful -- is a line in Eckhart Tolle's book the Power of Now. He says "Focus your attention on the Now and tell me what problem you have at this moment." It's insightful because if you truly focus on the Now, you can't have a problem. A problem usually is born when we are in the future and thinking about what might happen to us or others.

In order to be happy more of the time, be in your present moment because that is all you have. If you have a moment that isn't to your liking, then do something about it. Make a change, take an action, do something. Simply by changing how we think and feel, we can change the experience we have.
Let me give you an example. I had a relative that was sick for a long time -- I'm talking months in and out of the hospital. Things needed to be done, meetings held with the medical staff, organization of personal bills, and care for the house and such. There were a lot of drop-everything-and-race-to-the-hospital moments. It was stressful and, no, I was not happy for many reasons. My relative whom I love was sick and in pain, I had to put my own life and business on hold for days sometimes, and I had to say no to a lot of opportunities both in my personal life and business because we needed to care for our relative. So when I asked myself if I was happy, the answer was no.
Then I realized I was not living in my Now! Instead I was living in the land of the "what ifs" -- and not the what-if-something-great-happens. I recognized that I never have a problem in my Now. My problems arise when I set foot outside of Now and go into Future. I realized I could be happy when I went the hospital and that absolutely helped my sick relative as I wasn't bringing all my doom and gloom in when I visited. Of course, it helped me feel better and all of a sudden, things around me started to look better.
We only have one life to live. It's important for us to remember that we are the driver of our life and we have a right to be as happy as the next person. So pay attention to your feelings, your thoughts, your actions... and take note. "Am I happy? What do I need to let go of in order to be happy? Is it a feeling? Is it a thought? Is it an action?"
Today, give yourself permission to be happy -- as happy as you want -- because it's the greatest gift you give to yourself, those around you and the world.
Kim Ravida, ACC, ELI-MP is the owner and founder of Kim Ravida Coaching. Kim is a Certified Profit First Professional and Small Business Secret Weapon Business Coach who works with women in business to take a customized approach to create a business that fits their lifestyle, has them seeing a monthly profit and operating from a position of confidence so that they experience more success and less stress.Find free resources at
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