When it comes to relationships one of the most common themes that gets explored is happiness. Not just “What is Happiness?” but also questions like “Am I really Happy? Is my partner really Happy? Will I Ever Find Happiness?” These are all very valid questions to ask and ones worth exploring. One of the questions I see people battle with the most, however, is “Do I deserve to be Happy?”
Interestingly when you break this question down you are often left with two main streams of thought: I don’t deserve true Happiness and I am scared of being truly Happy.
I Don’t Deserve To Be Truly Happy:
It is always such a sad thing to hear someone say they don’t deserve to be Happy. It is also a key indicator that they are struggling with their self-concept and self-esteem. The truth is, everyone deserves to be happy. Even if you have made mistakes or hurt people in your past, it doesn’t take away from the fact that being happy in your life today is what will allow you to spread happiness to others. Happiness creates Happiness. If you are someone who struggles to believe that you deserve to be happy the first step to overcoming this is to work on improving how you feel about yourself. Below are some things you can do that may help to improve your self-esteem.
- Abandon Perfection For Realistic Expectations: Let’s face it, nobody is or can be perfect. Instead, set realistic and healthy expectations of yourself. Setting expectations that you can actually meet will allow you to feel successful and not like a disappointment. The more positive experiences you have when it comes to yourself, the easier it will be to see the many wonderful things about you. For example, if being healthy and fit is important to you, set a realistic goal for eating healthy meals and working out. Don’t aim to live off of chicken breasts and broccoli while running for an hour every day if you hate running and broccoli makes you want to be sick. Instead, aim to eat a colorful fruit or vegetable with every meal and to take part in an activity you enjoy 3 times a week. The more realistic your goal, the more likely you will meet it and the better you will feel about yourself.
- Forgive Yourself for Your Mistakes: More often than not when you ask people why they struggle with their self-esteem it is because they have a hard time letting go of the mistakes they have made in the past. They feel that making these mistakes must mean that they aren’t a very good person or are lacking in some way. The truth is, we all make mistakes. If it seems really hard to forgive yourself for your wrongdoings or your imperfections ask yourself this: If your best friend made that same mistake, should she punish herself for it forever? If you answer no, then why is it okay that you do that very thing? If you can’t come up with a healthy, justifiable answer outside of “Just because” then maybe it is time to forgive yourself. Remember, even the kindest, most exceptional human beings make mistakes and even the biggest mistakes deserve to be forgiven.
- Spend Some Time Being Kind To Yourself: Self-care is incredibly important and yet a lot of people struggle to take the time to do it. Take some time each day to be kind to yourself. Some examples of self-care would be: complementing yourself for how you look, taking part in your favorite activity, or treating yourself to something special. While this may feel uncomfortable to begin with it gets easier the more you do it. In the end the kinder we are to ourselves the better we feel about ourselves. And the better we feel about ourselves the more we believe we deserve to be Happy.
I am Afraid to be Happy:
While the idea of someone being afraid to be Happy in a relationship can seem odd or confusing, the truth is sometimes it makes a lot of sense. To allow yourself to be really be happy in a relationship means you have to make yourself vulnerable to the possibility of being hurt. The reason for this is because it is hard to feel truly connected to your partner if you put a wall up between you. In other words, deep connection leads to authentic happiness but it also makes us vulnerable to their judgments.
It can be really hard to be hurt by someone we love and at times it can even have an impact on our self-esteem. If, however, we go our whole lives keeping people at a distance we will be left facing that same hurt because we let our fear get in the way of us having some beautiful connections. Being alone when we want to be in a relationship is often more sad and more painful than the risk of being hurt. So take a chance. Allow the possibility of happiness to outweigh the possibility of hurt. After all, it truly is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.