How to Stop Saying, “I’ll Be Happy When ________________”
Maybe you have said those words yourself. We’ve all been there. But do you know what you’re doing when you say that? You are giving away your happiness to some future event. This was true of my client, Shannon. Read her story and see if you might be doing the same thing.
Shannon‘s fill in the blank was, “I’ll be happy when I get married.” And it wasn’t some pie in the sky dream. She really was planning her wedding to the love of her life.
She was so happy in preparing for “the big day”. Her time was busy with organizing all the details and how to make it so special for her and her partner. And she accomplished that. It was a beautiful wedding and everything she wanted it to be. She was so certain she would be happy when she got married!
And then the wedding day was over and so were her feelings of happiness.
She couldn’t understand why she was unhappy and started getting so snippy and irritated with her partner. Little things were getting under her skin and she was feeling depleted and out of sorts.
She thought “What is wrong? I have something I have wanted for so long!” .
So what was it?
What Shannon discovered during our coaching together was that she had for years often tended to measure her happiness by what big event she had to look forward to in the future. Whether it was a vacation, future job, move to a new city or even a weekend night out, Shannon was always placing her bet on the future which left her no space to enjoy the present moment. She was always looking forward to her be happy moment.
Why wait to be happy?
Have you ever done that? Told yourself that when X happens, then I’ll be happy. What’s that for you? Is it looking forward to spring during the winter, a vacation, new job, better guy, or when you’ve lost that 10 pounds?
And what has happened after that fabulous vacation or when winter is over? Are you able to find joy each day in your daily life? And what happens when that future event never materializes? What do you do then? What will you need next to be happy?
The truth is there are millions more of those “present” moments than the so called future ones we plan for. So why not figure out how to enjoy those! Why not be happy now?
So how do you flip the switch? How can you stop waiting for your be happy moment?
Here are two key strategies that worked for Shannon that can also work for you:
- Truly understanding that your thoughts ultimately control your feelings and if you can shift your thoughts, you can shift your mood instantly.
Shannon’s shift in be happy thinking…
Shannon was very reluctant to believe this but I gave her this exercise. For two weeks she wasn’t allowed to say or think anything negative about her partner. Instead, she had to say and think of only the positive things she liked about her partner. So, no complaining to friends about what didn’t get done in the house or the nasty habits that annoyed her. She stuck with it and couldn’t believe the results. Not only did she feel better about the relationship but she was seeing more tenderness and kindness coming back to her too. She brought positive energy to the home and it affected everyone in the home.
- Replacing waiting for perfection with showing up now. Do you have lots of great ideas but don’t act on them because you think you need all the ducks lined up in a perfect row before you start?
Shannon did the same thing. She had many creative projects ruminating in her head but if she couldn’t see a path to the perfect outcome right away, she didn’t even start. This was especially true with self-care. She was great at looking out for other’s needs but not her own. To test a new way, she agreed for two weeks to text me each day with whatever little thing she did for self-care. Didn’t matter if it was just a nice walk with her dog or sleeping in late one day. The result? Taking better care of herself was now a habit instead of an occasional act of indulgence.
So what about you? Want to stop planning for the future and show up now in your life?
Try My Be Happy Now Exercises
Give yourself two weeks to try one of these strategies and see how it works for you.
Don’t waste one more day planning for future happiness, remember…..
For more tips on being happy now, see Lorane’s post Be Happy Now
Listen to Lorane interview Kathleen on her radio show here – Honest- No Kidding Happiness!
Find out more about Kathleen
Kathleen Murray, CLC
Life Coach, Speaker, Blogger & Fear Fighter