It’s only my 2 cents. You will always need to know in every life decision why you are good enough and deserve to be happy. Always. So figure that out now. And then do what makes you happy every single day. Here’s a little bit of my most recent journey to happiness and what I think works.
I don’t make a million dollars…I mean my car doesn’t even have power windows… and it’s a stick! I can say without a doubt that I am the happiest version of myself that I have ever been. I cannot believe that I get paid to do what I love and teach people how to find what they love. I can’t believe that I am marrying the sweetest man in the world. And I get to live in a cute tiny home half a block from the beach with my little Murph monster kitty. This. How did I deserve all of this?
So I have been thinking about how blessed I am and how I got here. I wanted to share my advice with you for anyone who feels stuck or close to giving up on being really really happy. I was there more than once.
First of all, you probably already know what you would rather be doing for your job. (Perhaps you love your job. That’s great! But this blog will most likely not interest you.) I hear from people all the time about how they have been getting all of these affirmations that they are really good at something. They are super interested in it, spend their spare time reading about it or thinking about it, taking classes on it. In other words- really very drawn to it. This could be a hobby. Hobbies are good. You don’t need to turn all hobbies into a job. The feeling you get when it is more than a hobby is a NEED TO ACT. A strong desire to get involved in some way. That desire will most likely be ignored by you. In my own experience, it was ignored because I didn’t believe I was smart enough, creative enough, loud enough (I speak very softly until I teach…or get mad at people driving), I didn’t think I could make enough money to survive doing what I loved.
So that leads me to the second thing ya gotta do…. WHATEVER IT TAKES TO CONVINCE YOURSELF!!!! I’ll tell ya what worked for me. And this is what I always do when I feel scared…I absolutely do it anyway. Fear will freeze you for a minute. The excitement of doing it anyway will melt that fear right off. I started teaching even though I was afraid of it and what people would think of my heart/classes. What has always seemed to work for me is to hurl myself into the fire so I have no time to tell myself I’m not good enough. Others have told me they have a mantra for whatever fear pops up the most in their head. Meditation. Journaling. Telling someone else your concern helps too. Don’t hold onto that negative voice that holds you back from going for the thing you want. That’s not real, it’s fear and you’re stronger than it. You really gotta love it (and yourself) more than you are afraid of it. You need to convince yourself that you deserve it and you’re good at it.
After you get over the first big challenge of showing up, you may be disappointed that the cash does not flow through like an ice cream machine. You may have to do a lot of work for free for the first few months….hopefully the first few months is all. I taught around a tree for free for a few months while serving tables. I slowly transitioned into a donation class in Hawaii because I still wasn’t sure if I deserved to accept money for something I loved doing. You do deserve it. You’ve probably put a ton of money and time into learning your craft. You deserve it. People don’t typically expect free things except in corporate restaurants. When I moved to San Diego from Hawaii, it was like starting all over again except I didn’t know a single soul. So I taught for fruits and veggies in a park. I worked at a couple different cafes, I worked as a telephone customer service angry person until I hung up on someone for yelling at me about their flowers and never went back, I worked for a catering company, and I was teaching yoga to county employees after their work day. At one point I had 5 jobs and zero days off ever. I was surviving in the most minimal definition of that word. I had about 5 million voices in my head telling me to quit dreaming and start looking for a serious job. When this happens, and it will, go back to WHATEVER IT TAKES TO CONVINCE YOURSELF!!!!! This will become a daily practice. You will always need to know in every life decision why you are good enough and deserve to be happy. Always. So figure that out now.
The next thing, the most genius thing you just gotta do in order to make it to your dream world is NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVERRRRRR give up. Never. Not an option. Even if you have to work a job that makes you miserable while making this dream happen- do at least one thing every single day to work towards your goal. I worked those 5 jobs, I didn’t have a car and rode the bus an hour and a half both ways because San Diego really needs to get it together with public transit. It was strangely gratifying to be hustling so hard. I knew I was earning whatever success came to me. I started cleaning a yoga studio to get free yoga to keep me from going off track and peaceful. I cried a lot. My “then boyfriend- now fiance” just hugged me and never let me throw in the towel. He celebrated every win with me even if it was a $10 class. I wanted to give up but I kept finding myself in my journal writing about the gratitude I felt for everything I did have and why I deserved to keep trying. It hadn’t even been a full year in San Diego yet. Giving up after a year is barely trying. I was all in, man. If I failed it was going to be because someone looked me in the eye and told me that I was a failure and didn’t deserve it. Honestly, I’m not sure I would have quit then either. I had fire and was tired of being so unhappy with my work life.
The key to getting over the 6 month mark of going after something with no real validation that it will ever happen to you is to surround yourself with positive people, people living their dream, supporting your dream, listening to you cry, celebrating your wins, letting you vent, introducing you to people, your tribe. After 6 months especially. Your first instinct will be to isolate. You may have thoughts like “I don’t have any good news to bring” “I will make other people sad or worse pity me” “Happy people piss me off right now”. That means you need happy people more than ever. Networking is part of the job and if your an introvert like me- it might not be your favorite. In 6 months time when your new tribe has helped you reach your first HUGE win and encouraged you the whole way you will be so happy you pulled yourself up by the bootstraps and went to the party or dinner or meetup group. One man armies don’t exist.
Starting now, whether you are at the beginning of your dream life or in the middle- CELEBRATE ALL THE THINGS!!!! Every single interview, new friend, new job, promotion, other people’s happiness, a chance to do what you love even if it’s for free (think of all the new tribe members you could meet ;-)) Celebrate everything. That is the whole point of living the dream life, isn’t it? To be happy and free?
When something hits you that you are good at, passionate about, happy doing- get out there and find every single way there is to DO IT! Think way way outside the box. Make a whole other shape. Take this small piece of advice with you every morning, don’t be afraid to be you. I just love the ones that stand out! They are the most fun and inspiring and magnetic. Best human ingredients ever!
Next month is my 2 year anniversary with San Diego and I am now full time self employed yoga teacher, building my love business and brand everyday (for 4 years now) You can absolutely live your dream if you’re willing to work very very very hard for it and never give up on yourself. If I could ever help, just let me know how! Ask me or tell me anything!