Since some time last August, I’ve been on a quest for personal happiness. This is not a journey for the faint of heart. It involves a lot of failure, a lot of trial and error, and a whole lot of picking yourself up after you fall down.
The key is to be painfully honest with yourself about who you are and what you want out of life. Only then can you figure out what it is that’s going to make you happy. For me, this has been extremely difficult for a variety of reasons.
The first is that I am constantly sabotaging myself and letting my self-doubt eat me alive. It goes around my head all the time:
“You’re not good enough to follow your dreams. You’ll never be able to do whatever it is you really want to do. You’re not worthy of being loved.” These are just a few of the things I tell myself whenever I let the negativity get to me.
None of this is true, of course. I’m fantastic, and so are all the people out there thinking these exact same things. There is absolutely nothing to stop us from pursuing our dreams.
Second, I don’t actually know what I’m doing with my life. I put on a good show, but the truth is I’m just as lost as most of you are.
For example, I’ve just started graduate school in the field I thought I wanted to study and I’m beginning to realize that maybe I was wrong.
I’m really not sure I want to spend the rest of my life examining the worst atrocities human beings commit against one another. It’s really depressing. I’d much rather make people happy using my creativity energy.
All I really know is that I want to go live in Paris for awhile. What I’ll do there and when I’ll go is still is a mystery. Maybe it’s because every time I think about it, I let my self-doubt take over and invent a million reasons why it’s never going to happen.
Third, I’ve spent far too long letting other people hold some kind of influence over my life. Other people constantly place unrealistic expectations on me and I feel like I can’t be honest about who I really am or do exactly what I want to do.
Seriously though, who cares what other people think? Shouldn’t I have the freedom to express myself in whatever way feels right to me? Why don’t I just let it all go and just be myself? Isn’t that really the key to finding true happiness?
I know I’m not the only person who feels this way. I’m surrounded by this sentiment every single day. I look around and all I see are people who are faking it just as much as I am.
To those of you out there who have this whole “happiness” thing all figured out; please tell me what your secret is. I will happily use this column space to share it with everyone else going through this exact same thing.