MY #1 KEY TO HAPPINESS
When I was growing up ( elementary school, middle school + high school ), I was severely bullied. I would wake up each morning with so much anxiety, and was that kid that was always “sick.”
I’m not even kidding when I say that my mom would get the nurse holiday gifts in addition to the teachers.
As much as I joke around about it now, it really wasn’t a joke at all during that time.
I was always laughed at in school so I was afraid to participate.
I was called fat, ugly and gross.
I had pens and food thrown at me.
When I would get called on in class people would whisper to each other and then make comments.
Someone once came up to me and told me that I grossed them out and they didn’t like my nose, my teeth and my face. How specific!
…and then talk about mean girls. I was always uninvited or left out.
I struggled in school.
Not only to show up, but to do well.
I suffered from an eating disorder.
I even had to switch schools in high school!
I would come home crying almost everyday. Depressed. Miserable. Just hating life.
Something that I’m always trying to figure out is why me? Why was I the one that was picked on?
As I got older - let’s say high school, I began to “fire back” you could say. I spoke up. That only made things worse.
What I find interesting today looking back is that I never really had that victim mentality.
Yes, I was bullied, but during that time I had these dreams. When I was in class I never paid attention. I probably wasn’t interested, but I was actually day dreaming. I was thinking about the future. I was thinking about what I wanted. I was thinking about moving to Florida one day. I was thinking about helping others.
Kind of weird, right? Here is this kid who is bullied, constantly put down, yet dreaming.
Let’s fast forward to today.
I definitely have my fair share of anger, a bit of a temper, I tend to lack self-confidence, although I take risks, I am constantly terrified of what others think, I am very quick to blame myself for anything that goes wrong and I am afraid of loss.
It’s almost as if I never really faced these issues as a kid and they are still with me today.
LET’S TALK ABOUT MY #1 KEY TO HAPPINESS
There are a couple reasons why people aren’t happy.
Comparison and happiness cannot coexist.
They just can’t, you know? We are constantly comparing our lives to others. We care MORE about what other people are doing than focusing on our own goals.
It’s like if we aren’t where others are at, it isn’t good enough right?
Well that mentality is going to lead you down an unhappy road!
We compare our financial success, our relationship success, our social media success, our lifestyle success to others.
It’s not the success of people you know or see that makes you unhappy.
It’s the fact that you are comparing what YOU are doing to what THEY are doing! Because you might not be doing what THEY are doing, you are unhappy, ok?
It’s not the fact that they are on a private jet.
It’s not the fact that they are on a yacht.
It’s not the fact that they just got that promotion.
It’s not the fact that they are in sick shape.
It IS the fact that you’re comparing your personal situation to the success that THEY are having.
It only leaves us feeling pretty bad.
…and the truth is that at the end of the day, we have to live life for ourselves because we have to live with ourselves. Comparing ourselves will not only waste time, but push us further away from our goals because we are focusing our energy on the wrong thing, got it?
Now, what if you are unhappy because someone in your family passed away.
What if you are unhappy because you just got dumped.
What if someone is sick in your family and you are extremely worried?
You might think, “come on Sydney, that’s not a comparison.” Well, yeah it is.
There’s another happiness crusher and I call that the past.
Let’s go back to my example about death or sickness. It’s horrible. Trust me. I know. I’ve lost 3 people in the last year. I get it. I’m not discrediting death or sickness by any means.
But, in order to move forward and find happiness, I have to stop comparing what my past was like and accept my reality now.
Wishing that they were here. Wishing that someone wasn’t sick. That is a comparison.
I say all the time, “if I could just have one more day with my Papa or one more day with my dog, Cooper.” That’s comparison!
It’s stopping me from being happy again! I’m comparing my life before this all went down! I’m comparing my life now to when I actually had that moment with them.
So, you heard my story just now. About being bullied. These are things that happened in my childhood. Those events that took place STILL affect me today. Without even realizing it.
The past is a thief of happiness.
Leading me down a very UNhappy path, right?
Your past is not your present and your past is not your future.
But we live like it is.
Maybe you are comparing your past to your present because you used to be in incredible shape, got into a relationship and gained a few pounds.
Hi, that’s also me!
Maybe you are comparing your past to your present because you aren’t financially where you used to be.
This comparison game is preventing you from being happy. It’s unrealistic.
Stopping this game is my #1 key to happiness!
I want to teach you a couple practical steps to STOP this comparison trap and start using it to take you to the next level in life. This is how you will find true happiness.
STEP NUMBER ONE
If you are reading this right now, then you are probably looking to feel more fulfilled in life. Am I right? If you are reading this right now, you are already on the right path because you WANT to be aware.
This is called being mindful.
We need to be aware of what’s holding us back. So, be mindful of the fact that you are unhappy and from there, you can then take steps to improve your life.
One thing that I notice is that many of us focus on making external changes when we are unhappy.
“If I could only change this one thing, then I will be happy.”
That’s an external factor. You are doing this because you are comparing your external circumstances to someone else!
“If I just move, then I will be happy.”
“If I just listen to podcasts, then I will be happy.”
Temporarily, yes. But internally, no. It doesn’t work that way! Because you aren’t being mindful and aware of your EMOTIONS.
You are focusing on the situation and not your internal EMOTIONS.
It’s like someone saying that when they get this new car they are going to be so happy. They are so excited and motivated and stoked to get this new car. Then, they get this new car and they are happy for a week.
…but then what?
That’s just an external factor. A temporary spark of happiness.
Because when you get out of your car and go back into your home, you’re still the same person, in the same situation, just with a new car. You haven’t fixed anything internally.
Going back to mindfulness, we need to be aware and ACCEPT that the external conditions within our life are NOT what makes us happy.
It’s not what brings us joy. We need to realize that we are NOT…
The “things” we own.
We are NOT the car.
We are NOT our “title” at work.
We are not our number of followers.
We are who we are.
If you want to be happy, you need to be mindful, aware and accept yourself as your currently are.
That is when you find true happiness.
But, comparing yourself to a time when you were maybe in a better place financially or to a time where you were more fit is damaging your happiness.
Something that really helps me to be mindful is to journal.
…wait, want more free tips?
I journal 3 pages every morning and 3 pages every night. You can write about whatever it is that you want. But what I suggest is to focus on a feeling and just talk about that feeling.
You’ll notice that new ideas come to your mind.
Being mindful and accepting you as you are is not just self love. It’s not just self care. It’s not just about sitting around and not doing anything.
I believe that if we are unhappy, it’s the internal factors that are causing this such as comparison.
This is something you need to work on.
Success and happiness are not the same thing.
So, just because you buy that new car and you feel like that’s a success, that doesn’t equal happiness.
Until you work on the interior, accept and love yourself for who you are now, you will always be changing out that car for a new one! Or looking for a new one.
You are focusing on the external conditions because you are comparing your life to someone else’s or your past.
Now, you are aware of the self harm you are engaging with, right?
STEP NUMBER TWO
Use comparison as your fuel
You now know my #1 key to happiness. That is to stop comparing yourself. Get yourself out of that game. Out of that mindset.
We have a solution now that we are aware of what we are doing, right? The solution is that we know that there is an area in our life that we have to change.
This is how we use comparison to our advantage.
I’m always aware and mindful when I’m unhappy. I focus on the emotion. That’s how I know that there is an area that I must change.
When I need to make a change, I actually use comparison to gain leverage. A lot of people are trying to avoid pain. I dive right in. That’s how I work through these mind games of comparison and use it to find internal happiness.
Let me explain.
I’m not in the best shape physically that I want to be in. So, I’m aware of how it makes me feel. It sucks. I’m flooding myself with discomfort, unhappiness and disgusted feelings. I’m feeling bad because I am COMPARING myself to how I previously looked a few years ago.
But, this is how you use comparison to find that internal happiness.
HOW I DO IT: I use the FEELING and VISION of what I WANT as my fuel. I focus my energy on what I WANT. I STOP comparing myself to what I no longer have.
I use that comparison to give me that drive.
I use those bad feelings to make better choices. To make choices that get me closer to what I want. To eat cleaner for example if we are talking about fitness.
I use that comparison to help me work on myself internally and push myself to get there. That’s leverage! I use that leverage to get me to do things.
I’ll even look at old photos of me when I was in better shape to push me. It’s like a wake up call. Instead of comparing myself and focusing on the bad feelings, I accept them and SHIFT MY ENERGY. I shift my energy and use that comparison to become a better version of myself.
I use the pain. I want to get in better shape. I want my business to grow. I use the pain of feeling uncomfortable to get out of it. I know that I hate the pain and the only way to find internal happiness is to accept it and use it to grow!
Focusing on that pain, pushes me to make a change!
When I want to change, I leverage comparison to push me.
Be mindful of comparison and remove that comparison to find happiness or use it to fuel change.
When you remove comparison from your life, you begin to feel happier and more fulfilled.
We are constantly comparing our lives to others. Achievements, financial success, relationships. It’s literally taking away our happiness.
Comparison and unhappiness DO coexist together.
Happiness DOES NOT coexist with comparison.
Comparing yourself steals your joy. There might be a day where I have meetings for work, and I get dressed. feel amazing, but when I get outside, I see someone dressed better. Someone who is thinner than me. Then I begin to doubt myself and feel bad because I am comparing myself to someone else!
BUT, before I saw that other person, I felt great!
If you want to create more happiness in your life, remove comparison UNELSS you are working on making a CHANGE in your life.
This is the path to self improvement and my #1 key to happiness.
Are you constantly comparing yourself?