This post is contributed by Diana Reyers
Spoiler Alert: Tips Without Tools are Simply Annoying
Most of us have been programmed to be strong and to take that strength to new depths every day in order to create the perfect and ultimate “happy” life. We are continuously bombarded with a social surge of optimism through social media, television, and the written word with an excess of top happiness tips that I see on a regular basis; be true, be positive, accept yourself, trust your intuition, protect yourself, do what is right for you, know yourself, find balance, be accepting and find your purpose.
The message is that if you “do” all of these things and consistently, you will be strong and happy. Sub-consciously, combined and through repetition, they create an expectation that they will provide you with ultimate joy.
I would agree that essentially, that is true. And yet, there is something missing because a lot of people are telling themselves all of these things and yet, they are not reaching their ultimate happy place.
Reading a great quote triggers inspiration, but it is a very itty bitty piece of getting to know how you want to get where you want to be; it takes mindfulness to translate each affirmation into being your ‘positive’, ‘true’, ‘real’, and ‘authentic’ self; it’s time to move past just reading the quote and into personal and accountable action – Diana Reyers
The missing piece is the set of tools necessary to be able to do all of those self-affirming things. Here is the thing; “Tips are useless without tools”. And, when we don’t have the tools to achieve all of these wondrous and fulfilling achievements, our pretty little happiness picture shatters and we move into repair mode in order to dig even deeper to find more strength in order to achieve joy. What we create is an endless spiral of sadness.
Worse yet, is that we still don’t have the tools and so, we eventually reach a point when that capacity to be strong runs dry, and we become confused and frustrated. Out of fear, we move into justification, defence and, ultimately, blame, control and resentment. We believe that it can’t be our fault because we did what everyone told us to do; we were strong and we stood in front of the mirror and recited our affirmations every day. So, then why are we feeling like we are still missing something?
Because we agreed with the masses when they said that strength is equated with following all of those positive things on the list above and strength is why we are worthy. “Strength is why we are worthy” – oh dear, we were strong but, we’re not any happier; so, are we not worthy then? And did we fail on the quest to be happy?
Well, of course, we are still worthy but, we did kind of fail on that happiness goal because no one gave us those required tools to achieve what we set out to accomplish. Simply believing positive affirmations is not enough; we must actually believe what those affirmations are dictating and then find a way to put them into practice. My conclusion is that tips are simply annoying without tools.
So, unlike the type of strength that we have been programmed to believe in, (the kind that comes with the quote by Friedrich Nietzsche, “That which does not kill us makes us stronger”, – excuse me while I gag with the thought that I might have to be close to death in order to experience strength or happiness), we really don’t have to go to hell and back in order to find our own unique perspective of joy. With the proper tools, we can discover what all of those tips mean to us as individuals, and then move towards them with a process and plan in place to achieve our bit of bliss. And here is the big shocker for you,
It has way less to do with what you think, and an incredible amount to do with how you feel.
So, I now offer you the follow up tools to the tips that seem annoying standing on their own. Here are the tools that will provide the clarity you need in order to show up with confidence in your own unique way as you strive for happiness:
10 tips and tools towards being Daringly Mindful™ and finding your Authentic Happiness:
1. Tip/Affirmation: “Be true to yourself”
Tool: Take the time to discover what your values are and how you feel when you are leading inline with them, or when you are not. When you have clarity about what you believe in, you will have the ability to feel when you are not responding in line with your belief system. You will become more aware and be able to shift and make decisions based on your values. This offers the feeling of self-clarity
2. Tip/Affirmation: “Be positive”
Tool: Discover who you are as your best self, and move towards that person most of the time. This requires being aware of who you are at your worst as well, so that you will be able to feel yourself going there, and shift before you become engulfed in it and it becomes difficult to climb out of. This offers the feeling of self-compassion
3. Tip/Affirmation: “Accept yourself”
Tool: Befriend your Inner Critic. When that loud voice creeps up in the back of your head and starts sending you messages that confuse you, feel it, be curious about it, and give yourself the space to slow down to ask yourself if it is telling you something that is true or not. If not, you will have established what is not right for you; then choose to agree with the opposite. This offers the feeling of self-empowerment
4. Tip/Affirmation: “Trust your intuition”
Tool: Listen to your physical and emotional messages; feel them, interpret them and determine what they are telling you; they are always right; then bring your brain into play. This offers the feeling of self-trust
5. Tip/Affirmation: “Protect yourself”
Tool: Create compassionate boundaries around situations and people who don’t share your values; without judgement, have the courage to understand how they feel while keeping your distance or walking away from them. This offers the feeling of self-respect
6. Tip/Affirmation: “Do what is right for you”
Tool: Like some past on old traditions that don’t feel good for you, discard patterns that don’t serve you well, and create new ones that do. This offers the feeling of self-love
7. Tip/Affirmation: “Know yourself”
Tool: Find clarity about what your Inner Purpose Feeling™ is; “if you could feel one thing every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?” Once you are clear about how you would optimally like to feel most of the time, you will have the ability to choose what you do, say or be in any given moment, day or year as you move towards that feeling. This offers the feeling of self-deserving
8. Tip/Affirmation: “Find a balanced way of being”
Tool: Integrate all areas of your life when moving towards a balanced state of being. Discover what balance feels like for you by incorporating your values into the choices you make, consistently in all areas of your life. This will ultimately move you towards your Inner Purpose Feeling ™ and what happiness feels like for you as an individual. This offers the feeling of self-care
9. Tip/Affirmation: “Be accepting”
Tool: Life is filled with transitions that come with pleasant experiences, as well as, adversities. If you shift from trying to fulfill other people’s expectations to managing in the moment and accepting that doing the best you can at any time is enough, you will be providing yourself with the gift of feeling ease and peace. This offers the feeling of self-worth
10. Tip/Affirmation: “Find your purpose”
Tool: Combine all the above tools and practice them with all the mindfulness you can muster and with daily consistency. Don’t panic if you forget or loose awareness now and then; you are human and impermeable strength does not define your worth; allowing yourself to feel and be whatever comes up in the moment will lead you to what you are meant to do and how you are meant to show up in this world. That is what defines you…..and that can change in any moment. This offers the feeling of self-purpose
All of these tips and tools may seem quite over-whelming as you get to the end of reading this post, and I totally get that because I understand the work that it takes to commit to them. Over time, they becomes more natural as you create patterns that serve you better, and are more inline with your best self. Only those who muster up the courage to move past the tips in order to be open to practicing the tools will move forward by showing up as they are meant to be, rather than staying stuck in that spot of looking in the mirror repeating their affirmations over and over again with no evolution of any kind.
Do you have the courage to take the leap to daring to go past ‘talking the talk’ and into the realm of ‘walking the walk’? When you do, let me know and together, we can make it happen.
(image credit to Caleb Roenigk)
Diana Reyers is an Authenticity Coach and CEO of Daringly Mindful™ Coaching, a writer and motivational speaker living in Kelowna, BC. She is also an Associate with Authentic Leadership Global™ and is looking forward to supporting others within her role as Facilitator Trainer and Community Builder. For coaching and inspirations, find her programs and blog at www.daringlymindful.wordpress.com.