You look like you’ve got it all together. You’re always smiling in your selfies. Your Instagram and Facebook photos look like you’re having the time of your life, but inside your head there’s another movie going on.

You know you’re a decent person (your mother tells you all the time) but you keep hearing voices that bring you down. Voices of doubt making you wonder if you’re good enough, cool enough, hot enough, or you’re up for the challenge in front of you. Guess what? You are!

You just have to learn how to dig through the garbage bin of your mind and see how great you really are, so you can start living a happier life.

CHANGE THE WAY YOU THINK ABOUT YOUR THOUGHTS

If you want to change your life, the first thing to change is the relationship you have with your thoughts. Regardless of how successful, confident, and self-assured someone looks; you can be sure that inside every person is a little voice full of doubt. What matters most is how you relate to those thoughts. Just because you hear thoughts of doubt, insecurity, or regret – doesn’t mean you have to listen to them.

Give your negative voice a voice.

Listen to your thoughts. Be aware of what you say to yourself. Do you sound like your best friend (You’re doing a great job, hang in there, things will get better soon, believe in miracles, pray) or do you sound like the high school bully (You’re such a jerk, loser, stop being a baby, grow up already)?

Say your thoughts out loud. Whether it’s to yourself or a trusted friend, releasing those thoughts will free you from the prison of your mind. That’s when positive change will happen.

Face your flaws.

As odd as that seems, denial is a nasty self-esteem destroyer. Admitting your truths frees you. It’s the first step to happiness.

There is no such thing as perfect. Everybody is imperfect. It’s what makes us human. It’s a common bond we share. What matters is how you manage your imperfections. Do they haunt you and stick with you for days? Or do you try to forget about them and make them go away? Successful people admit their flaws, improve them, and move beyond them.

Flaws that are not admitted can hold you down and interfere with your happiness. If you want to be truly happy, you have to be brave enough to know what you need to improve. Maybe you need to stop procrastinating, less selfish, or control your temper; once you admit it, you can change it. If you remain in denial, your harmful habits will continue to harm you.

Forgive yourself.

It’s going to happen; you’ll mess up, make a mistake, or say the wrong thing, it’s ok. You’re imperfect and human, just like the rest of us. It’s not the mistake that hurts, but whether you take it in and let it rot inside your head or learn from it and let it go. Mess-ups are part of everybody’s day. Look at Bill Clinton, Steve Jobs, and John Travolta. How do you think he felt when he mispronounced Idina Menzel‘s name in front of 43 million people? Ouch! People forget and get over it. You can too.

“Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.” 
Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs had to forgive himself when he made the first Apple III computer. It was so poorly designed that the computer was known as an unreliable machine that continuously crashed due to poor ventilation.

Think about who you want to be.

Whether your dream is to act on Broadway or become the next Stephen King, visualize the person you want to become. Jim Carrey did it, and it worked for him. In 1983 when Jim was broke and down and out, he wrote himself a post-dated check for $10 million. He carried it in his pocket for ten years. What do you see in your future? Make that your daily visualization. Write it down and keep it with you every day.

List your strengths.

Affirmations are corny, but they work. Remind yourself how you tackled that tough project, or made peace with a friend after they hurt you. Take a few minutes to realize how your accomplishments.

When things happen that knock you down, get back up. Remember those life-size inflatable punching bags when you were a kid? That’s you. Keep bouncing back up.

Spirituality helps.

When times are tough (and even in the good times) a spiritual foundation can get you through. Knowing that there is something in the Universe that is steering your life path, guiding your journey, testing you, and helping you to become a better person can be a great source of inspiration, hope, and strength.

Start something new.

You might want to start a blog, journal, or books- whatever you choose- search for something that speaks to your soul. Explore new options, take a course, or make your childhood dreams come true.

Be ready to change.

Complaining about how bad things are doesn’t make things better. Talking about change and making a change are not the same. It’s so easy to say “I don’t like my life the way it is, everything’s a mess.” But if you want your life to be better, you have to be willing to make a change, and then take action to make it happen.

Achieving happiness is a paradox of life. First you have to see your flaws before you can see your goodness.

It’s a choice you have to make. It’s not just saying you want it, and then you receive it. There are no special effect, no magic wands. It’s up to you.

The only way out is through. Go for it- you’re worth it.

Loving yourself is about feeling comfortable in your own skin, even if it’s itchy, bumpy, or burned. That’s true happiness.

You can be that person you want to be. Go ahead, write that $10 million check right now.

 

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