Pam Thomas loves encouraging others to bring their own flavor to the recipes called Life and Business. She has over a decade of experience in helping others stand up and out in positive ways personally and professionally.
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I'd been on a quest for the longest time….a quest for a life void of fear, smallness, struggle, and feelings of "not good enough"(a.k.a shit). A quest that was driven by perception and fueled by comparison. In essence, I'd been on a quest for a happy life.
So I read the books. Listened to the TED talks. Attended webinars. I sought out various gurus who I perceived had the answers or the keys to true happiness.
I believed in those gurus who, with their stories, made me feel that what I was seeking was absolutely possible. To the outside world they seemed to have found that road to a happy life; one void of fear, smallness, struggle, and feelings of "not good enough" (or shit).
Please don't get me wrong, I'm not implying that those gurus were tricksters or even inauthentic. I've learned a lot from them, but what I've come to realize is this…
We all experience struggles, fear, insecurity, and playing small. And that does not mean that we can't experience happiness or that we aren't deserving of it.
It's the pressure we place on ourselves to find the road that leads to no more fear, no more struggles, etc. that impacts our happiness.
Here are a few other things I've come to realize as a result of my quest…
While happiness is a wonderful thing, it ebbs and flows because bad days happen. It's not the fact that we can’t maintain the happiness consistently that's the issue. It's falling prey to the lie that if we can't, we must be doing something wrong.
Happiness is a personal thing and how we find/create it is as individual and unique as a thumb print…so there is no "doing it wrong".
We are never going to be void of fear. Anyone who tells us they are is either lying to themselves or a freak of nature. Fear is a part of our DNA. It serves a purpose.
Here's the truth about fear as I've come to know it… (if what I'm about to share doesn't jive with you, DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT try and make it jive. )
Fear can be used to signal importance. For example, any time I launch a new program fear rears its head. Fear that people won't like it or benefit from it. Fear that it's not good enough. It's that kind of fear that lets me know that my work is important to me. Now I look forward to having that fear, because if something's not important to me I know it won't work.
And fear shrinks in size and magnitude when we take a good look at it. While it's something we will never be void of, we can learn from it, leverage it, and we can manage it.
We can feel confident in some circumstances and feel small in others. For me, when I'm uncomfortable that is when I shrink like a wilting violet. I stop being myself and become a rambling fool. It's during those times that I remind myself to take a deep breath and bring my authentic side out regardless of how uncomfortable I might be.
The bottom line; just because we may shrink in some situations that does not mean we are not confident! Like happiness, confidence ebbs and flows.
And the Big Kahuna, Mack Daddy realization of them all….
The road to happiness is truly paved in shit, because shit happens. It's that shit that creates learning, character, strength, humility, heart, connection, and beauty. It's that shit that reminds of us of the good that's always present… because without shit we've got nothing to compare the good stuff to.
CALL TO ACTION
I invite you to define happiness for yourself so that you know what it looks like and what it feels like. A definition that fits you; one that is yours and only yours. That way you can always identify it and come back to it after fear, smallness, or struggle has left the building.
Please try and remember what Abraham Lincoln once said, “Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.” Which to me means, we're in control of our own happiness and when we experience it. Not fear, feelings of "not good enough", or struggle…while they may distract us momentarily and try to shit all over our happiness, they're not in control of it.
Until next time, my friends I'm sending you much love and light from my open heart to yours.