The Happiness Connection  

Be yourself bravely

“Don’t air your dirty laundry in front of others.”

“Never argue in front of the children.”

“When a friend asks you how you are, say “great” no matter how bad your life is.”

I used to believe in these statements, but as time goes on, I agree with them less and less.

Rather than portraying the image of a person who has it altogether, I believe it is time we stood up and showed our authentic self to the world, rather than hiding our less desirable traits and pretending we have everything under control.

This is especially true if you haven’t got it all together. You are the most perfect version of you, at this moment.

Does that mean there is no room for improvement? Of course not. There are always lessons to learn and new insights to gain. Your life is a never-ending opportunity to learn more about yourself and the world around you.

With a little effort, you can be a stronger, more aware person today than you were yesterday.

Why do I feel so strongly about the importance of showing the world your authentic self? Because I think it can help make the world a happier place.

You are a work in progress.

You may nod in agreement with that statement, but do you really believe it is true?

Do you become frustrated when you can’t do something right away? Do you want to hide your mistakes from others, in case they think you are substandard?

If you blame others when things go wrong and are hesitant to show your authentic self in case people discover your flaws and shortcomings, you don’t really believe you are a work in progress.

I have seen many examples of this as a teacher. Some students become upset because they don’t know as much as others, or aren’t at the top of their class. They have lost sight of the fact they are there to learn, not to display that they already know it all.

If you already know it all, why spend your time in school?

If you are a life-long learner, you will constantly be getting more knowledgeable, skillful, and wise. Accept that you are a work in progress, not a finished masterpiece.

This way of viewing life will boost your happiness.

It is comforting to know you are not alone.

Studies show that regardless of how bad you are at something, you feel better if there is someone as bad, or even worse than you.

When I was young and watched shows like The Waltons, and The Partridge Family, I compared my family to their fictional ones and realized that mine was lacking. They didn’t seem to hate each other, dream of being an only child, or argue over the chores.

I might not have focused so much on my family’s shortcomings, if I had realized we were like many other families. We weren’t perfect, but we were fairly typical and sprinkled among the less than perfect traits, were many wonderful ones.

Spend your energy learning about yourself, not hiding the real you.

Pretending you are someone you aren’t can be exhausting. Remembering what you want to hide from the world and keeping all the deceptions straight can be incredibly difficult.

Take some weight off your shoulders and be proud of who you are, and be open about the lessons you are learning.

This will not only give you the opportunity to put your energy into positive growth and change, it will allow others to see that they aren’t the only ones who weren’t born perfect.

As long as you recognize your shortcomings and the areas that need some work, it is OK to fall short of where you want to be.

Awareness is the first step toward improvement, so start by becoming aware of the person you want to be, and work towards that.

Try taking time at the end of each day to think about what you’ve learned and how you’ve grown. Set an intention for what you want to work on the next day.

Learn to be comfortable with where you are now, but know that with effort you will be a better person tomorrow.

If we all commit to showing the world our authentic self, and continually work on personal development, we will not only boost our own happiness, we will boost the happiness of the world around us.

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About the Author

Reen Rose is an experienced, informative, and engaging speaker, author, and educator. She has worked for over three decades in the world of education, teaching children and adults in Canada and England.

Research shows that happy people are better leaders, more successful, and healthier than their unhappy counterparts, and yet so many people still believe that happiness is a result of their circumstances.

Happiness is a choice. Reen’s presentations and workshops are designed to help you become robustly happy. This is her term for happiness that can withstand challenge and change.

Reen blends research-based expertise, storytelling, humour, and practical strategies to both inform and inspire. She is a Myers Briggs certified practitioner, a Microsoft Office certified trainer and a qualified and experienced teacher.

Email Reen at [email protected]

Check out her websites at www.ReenRose.com, or www.ModellingHappiness.com

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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