How can you live a happy life if you think you don’t deserve one?

Short answer “you can’t”.

If you want to live a happy life, you have to change the way you think about yourself, your circumstances, and your outlook on life.

In the counseling field, we have something called “changing your narrative”. It’s basically you changing your story. Not into something that is fake or a lie, but from a different perspective that better serves you.

If you think you do not deserve a better life, you will see life through the eyes of a person who doesn’t believe they deserve to be happy, who perceives all their circumstances as negative, and who focuses on all the negative aspects of their life.

Of course, there are negative events like death, divorce, trauma, illness, addiction and so on that can influence our stories in a negative way. Sometimes people become depressed and anxious and have difficulty managing their emotions related to present and past issues.

And the most terrifying thing is we being to believe that things somehow define who we are and what we should expect for our lives in the future.

Our lives are shaped by the stories we tell ourselves about experiences. We are not our past, our problems, and our circumstances. Yes, the experiences are a part of us, but it is up to us to tell a story that uplifts us instead of bringing us down.

Focus on the positive things in your life. It might seem like there are not any when you are focusing on all the negative things, but if you make it a habit, it will be easier to the positive.

Work on increasing your self-esteem and self-confidence.

Here is a few ways to improve:

1.       Give yourself compliments– What are your strengths? What are some of your good characteristics? What are your talents? Now give yourself some credit for having these good qualities.

2.       Stop assuming you know what people are thinking– They are not as interested in your every move as you think. Most people are caught up into their own lives and problems. You believing others are constantly thinking negatively about you is part of your social anxiousness due to low self-esteem. And hey, if they are talking about you, they are not happy and are probably feeling very miserable.

3.       Positive Self-Talk– Some might feel this doesn’t work, but let me share with you a little trick I learned. Find a positive thought you mind will accept that’s not the complete opposite of what you believe. For example, if you believe “I am a failure”, you can’t just turn around and say “I am accomplishing my goals” and believe it. You got to come up with something your mind will accept. Let say, “One step at a time, I am working towards my goals”. You might not feel you are accomplishing anything, but if you can believe you are working towards them at least that is more positive than to believe you are not progressing at all.

4.       Take Care of Yourself– Take care of your personal hygiene, physical health, and nutritional health. Learn to take better care of your body and improve upon the aspects you are concerned about.

5.       Set those boundaries– Learn how to say “NO”, or better yet learn how to express yourself no matter what. Set your limits with yourself and other people. Learn how to stick to your standards. You have to teach people how to treat you and what better way than to display how you treat yourself.

6.       Try something new– Get out there. Try new things. Don’t be afraid. You never know what you can accomplish if you do not at least try. And don’t just try one time, try a couple of times. Learn more about what you like and don’t like. Achieving new things helps to increase self-esteem and self-confidence.

7.       Run your own race– Please stop comparing yourself to others. Someone once told me “if you were focused on your own life, you wouldn’t have time to look and see what others are doing”. They were so right!

8.   Do not lets others assign your self-worth– You get to create your story, so don’t let other people tell you who you are and what you deserve.

10.   Create a purpose– Don’t just wait for that thing to fall in your lap. You don’t find you purpose, you create it! Take part in activities that allow you to build your self-worth.

So the take away is, if you want a happy life, you have to create one. And the first step is believing you deserve one!

When did you start believing you deserved a happy life and what did you do to work towards it. Comment Below!

Published by Asha Griffin, MA, LPC, NCC, BC-TMH

I am Asha Griffin, a licensed professional counselor in South Carolina. I am dedicated to improving the mental health of others and helping them to "tend to their gardens". My goal is to inspire people in finding better balance in their lives.

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