Nicole Comis - Executive Life Coach
If you ask people what they want most in life, many will say, "I just want to be happy!" Although people are quick to say they want happiness, very few spend time thinking about what that means to them or how to make it happen.
We often make the mistake of thinking that our happiness is based on external circumstances such as making money, achieving career success, or finding the perfect relationship. We chase after these "things," thinking that they are the answer to finding happiness.
But what happens if those "things" are taken away?!?
I felt on top of the world when I was successful in my mortgage career. I had a beautiful home. I was making a shit-ton of money, winning incentive trips, and the go-to girl in the office to answer questions on first-time buyer programs. Then the housing market crash happened, and all that happiness went away overnight.
The problem was that all of my happiness was based on my circumstances.
So, how do we create authentic happiness? Happiness that can't be taken away from you?
Here are some things I practice that has helped me create authentic happiness in my life:
Discover what happiness looks like in your life
Spend time getting clear on what happiness looks like to you. Create a list of the things that bring fun and joy into your life. This will allow you to stay present to the things that make you happy, and when you find you need a little pick me up, you can choose something from the list. The items on the list don't have to be time-consuming--they could be as simple as walking outside to feel the sun on your face, or listening to music while getting ready in the morning. This exercise is an excellent reminder that happiness is always available.
Gratitude is a way to focus your energy on appreciating what you have instead of searching for something or someone else to make you happy. It moves you from being focused on what's missing and wanting more in order to be satisfied, to being focused on the present and appreciating what you have now. And while you are practicing gratitude, I encourage you to practice forgiveness—the two go hand in hand. Learning to forgive and be grateful for the people in your life (even if they hurt you and are no longer in your life) contributes to your growth and happiness.
Celebrate your achievements
When was the last time you took the time to acknowledge, let alone celebrate, your accomplishments? So many of us lose sight of all the things we accomplish in a day, week, year because we're so focused on the future and the next goal. Taking the time to acknowledge your achievements from small successes like you got up early and went to the gym, to big achievements like you got that promotion, will give you a sense of accomplishment and will increase your overall feeling of fulfillment.
Focus on your wellbeing
I probably sound like a broken record when it comes to the importance of making your wellbeing a priority; but it is the foundation of everything we do, including creating happiness. It's so important to pay attention to how you are treating your mind, body, and spirit. Practice physical and emotional energy-boosting habits into your life, such as getting enough sleep and exercise, to making healthy food choices, and staying hydrated. Be sure to incorporate those things that make your heart smile, such as singing, dancing, art---whatever it is that adds a little fun into your day.
Create healthy and fulfilling relationships
I believe in order to create authentic happiness we need relationships that make us feel supported, valued, and loved. Authentic and fulfilling relationships can only be created when we let our real selves be seen which takes us being open and vulnerable— a willingness to have difficult conversations, telling people how we feel, giving and receiving support, and sharing what's happening in our lives. If you haven't checked out Brene Brown's Ted Talk on the Power of Vulnerability, I highly recommend you make time to do so…it was a game-changer in my life!
It's essential to make time for the meaningful relationships in our lives, creating experiences and memories instead of spending our time and money on material things.
Manage your physical environment
Becoming clutter-free will help you become more stress-free. When you eliminate your physical clutter, you also benefit emotionally and mentally. Being organized in your physical environment helps reduce stress. Start small with things like making your bed each morning. Adopt a "clean as you go" mentality—something I learned as a teen while working at McDonald's. Staying on top of the little things will leave you with less big, time-consuming projects.
Happiness does not eliminate our challenges and problems. But, it helps us have a positive impact on our own lives and the lives of those around us.
What makes you happy?
Nicole Comis, Certified Life & Executive Coach, helps business owners and other career-driven professionals achieve their BIG career goals while integrating more balance into their lives. She partners with her clients to gain clarity on what they want their future to look like, face their fears, identify obstacles holding them back, and create a plan to help them achieve BIG, stretchy goals that are outside of their comfort zone. Her coaching practice incorporates her client's whole life, not just their career, leading to a more balanced, productive, healthy, and happy life. Nicole is a graduate and certified coach from the Accomplishment Coaching Coaches Training Program and is accredited by the International Coach Federation (ICF) as a Professional Certified Coach (PCC). Nicole's high-energy, judgment-free, fun, no-BS approach helps men and women live a more balanced life with a career they love, fulfilling relationships, a healthy well-being, and killer confidence!