Happiness and Self-EsteemAre you completely happy with your life? Are you at peace about who you are right now? Since you’re reading this, I’m guessing your answers to those questions are “no.”

I believe that the secret to find happiness is understanding that it’s an “inside job.” You can have a lousy job, you may live in a less-than-desirable neighborhood, you might even suffer from chronic health problems. But you can still be truly happy.

Finding true happiness is all about realizing that life isn’t something that happens to you. It’s something that happens for you. Despite all of the issues that are out of your control, it’s totally up to you to choose happiness instead of self-pity.

I know first-hand that finding true happiness is something that you can only do for yourself. It can’t be bought and it can’t be acquired physically. Nobody else is able to pull you into it. You have to work for it,

After I did that work for myself and for my own self-esteem, I’ve come to realize that knowing I’m worthy to be is the key to achieving true happiness and to lead a joyful and fulfilling life. Likewise, you are also worthy to be happy and to live a joyful and fulfilling life. We all are.

It was my sense of self-esteem that needed work so I could truly feel worthy of happiness. That’s where this list of tips comes in. Below are seven steps that helped me increase my own level of self-esteem so I could find the inner happiness that I deserve. My hope is that they work for you, too! All you will need is a new journal and a pen or pencil. Here goes!

  1. Know yourself better.

Happiness and Self-EsteemWhat brings you happiness? What are your most important values? What are your passions? What is it that makes you tick? Spend some time really getting to know yourself better, and discovering who you are as a person. Exercises like this are a great way to learn new things about yourself. To start this process, write out the answering to the following questions.

  • How do other people describe you?
  • How do you describe yourself?
  • What activities help you relax?
  • What are your most important goals right now, and how do you plan to achieve them?
  • What are some new hobbies or activities you want to try out?
  • Where are some places you want to explore or visit?
  • What are some new skills you want to learn?
  • Five or 10 years from now, what are some of the things you’ll miss from your current season of life?
  • If you were granted three wishes, what would they be?
  1. Rid your life of negativity.

Being surrounded by negative energy will wrap your thoughts about yourself in negativity. Negative energy can come from negative people or even from bad habits. If someone or something is inhibiting your capacity to feel happiness and peace, you need to remove the negative energy from your life.

Your own negative thoughts are probably the main source of the negativity you experience in your life. Don’t focus on those negative thoughts, and don’t let them overcome you.

Record in your journal when and where you typically experience the most negativity. (Don’t waste time writing out those negative thoughts, though.) Writing it out will help you to gain awareness of the issue so you can face problems head-on!

  1. Learn and use positive mantras and affirmations.

Positive mantras and affirmations can help crystallize positive thoughts in your mind. Positive thoughts are helpful in getting through difficult times. Repeating phrases to yourself throughout the day may feel silly at first, but don’t give up. When you’re having a rough time, affirmations serve to uplift and to empower you.

Here are some common examples of simple positive mantras and affirmations:

  • I’m worthy.
  • I’m good enough just as I am.
  • How I see myself is what matters most.
  • My life is great.
  • I can do difficult things.
  • I’m developing into a more ideal version of me.

Write out your own favorite positive mantras and affirmations in your journal. Include the ones you think may help you when you need encouragement.

  1. Don’t do this alone.

Ask family or friends to help you achieve your goals. Feel free to see a therapist if you have  tougher issues to work through. Everyone needs help. Nobody can do life alone! Surrounding yourself with positive, encouraging people who unconditionally support you is the best gift you can give yourself. Even if you haven’t found your supporting “tribe” yet, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and look for them. Trust me, it will be worth the effort.

Take some notes about who you have in your life right now that you can get support from, or write out your plan about how you’re going to meet new friends and find that support for yourself.

  1. Forgive yourself.

Don’t expect perfection from yourself. Allow yourself the same grace and forgiveness that you give others. Everyone is on a journey of self-improvement. We’re consistently making progress. Nobody can always be perfect, including you! Don’t berate yourself when you make mistakes. Find grace to forgive yourself. Then you’ll be able to move on, and to grow from what you experienced.

Write out some of the things about which you can allow yourself more forgiveness and grace. Then use that list to move onwards and upwards, and start clearing the mental hurdles.

  1. Listen to your heart about what it wants.

Sometimes your heart tell you things you don’t really want to hear. It may be a “gut feeling” regarding a difficult decision, or it may relate to something that would require more strength  than you feel you have. Listen to your heart and make the choices and decisions that line up with with what you really want, not what you feel you should want.

Does your heart want things right now that you haven’t been listening to? Think about this for a while, and jot your thoughts in your journal.

  1. Be grateful.

Something good can be found in each day, if you’re looking for it. This is true even on days when it seems like there’s not a single thing worth smiling about, or when you feel like everything the whole entire day is awful. There is always something in your life that you can feel grateful for. Gratitude is a funny thing: the more you look for it, the more of it you’ll find and experience. It doesn’t always have to be something major. It can be a simple thing, like: “I’m grateful I can walk in the rain” or “I’m grateful I can take a calming breath.”

Make it a habit to end your day by writing about three things you are grateful for. This will remind you that there’s good in every day, if you just look for it.

What are the challenges you face related to your self-esteem and your quest for inner happiness? Will following these seven simple steps will help you, or are there things you would do? Of course, feel free to do whatever you find helpful. And be sure to add your own tips to the comments section!

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Journaling Towards Happiness and Self-Esteem

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