I used to be the queen of “I’ll be happy when…” I’ll be happy when I get a promotion. I’ll be happy when I finish this degree. I’ll be happy when I lose 5 lbs. The list could go on forever, but guess what? I did all of those things, and I still wasn’t happy. I was confused, upset, and frustrated. I had to do a ton of soul-searching and get happy FIRST before any of those things could truly add any level of joy or feelings of success into my life.
I did a tremendous amount of work on my mindset in order to find my happiness on the inside, rather than on the outside. One of my favorite quotes of all time comes from James Allen when he says, “Circumstances do not make the man. They merely reveal him to himself.” That was exactly what was taking place in my life. My circumstances weren’t causing me to be unhappy, but my mindset was. My circumstances and unhappiness were simply revealing to me a mindset that was no longer serving me.
This is the trap that many entrepreneurs find themselves in as well. I’ll be happy when my business takes off. I’ll be happy when I build a brand new website. I’ll be happy when I hit my first five-figure month. Yet, thinking this way causes two things to happen. The first is that we are blocking those things from actually coming to us because of our negative mindset. The second is that even if those things did come to us we still wouldn’t be happy. We’d set the next goal, decide we couldn’t be happy until we reached it, and we’d be stuck in a never ending cycle of fear and unhappiness.
Once I worked through this it became crystal clear to me that “I’ll be happy when…” is literally the most dangerous thing we can say. It keeps us stuck in a hamster wheel of unhappiness. We can ride the wheel round and round for our whole lives and still never find that magic thing that will all of the sudden make us feel GOOD. “I’ll be happy when…” also encourages us to be in a constant state of fear for the future. “What if I don’t get XYZ? I won’t be happy!” We are always chasing the next thing, the next set of circumstances, but never finding the happiness we seek; and each time only causes our fear and anxiety about the future to increase.
One of the first things I tell my clients is that they have to focus on changing their mindset and getting happy NOW. They have to have a destination in mind (i.e. happiness, freedom, fulfillment), and that they have to let go of the roadmap (i.e. the promotion, the website, the six-figure month). That takes away SO much stress and anxiety and opens up a world of possibilities for them because they’re no longer looking for only one specific set of circumstances to make them happy. New opportunities can flow, unexpected clients can come, and happiness will remain regardless.
So next time you hear yourself saying, “I’ll be happy when…” STOP, and make a change. Decide you will be happy NOW. Even say out loud or journal “I am happy now because…” and list all of the reasons you have to be happy. Perhaps the reason that you’re happy is because you’ve finally made a decision to be. Now how powerful would that be?
What are your thoughts? What is your reason for being happy NOW? I’d love to hear them. Comment below or email me at email@example.com.