Life is really hard sometimes. There's no escaping that reality. It’s impossible to live well without encountering a certain level of struggle, and there are some seasons in our lives that are especially heartbreaking.
For Marc and me, one such season occurred over the course of 15 months when we were in our late-20's. It was a period of profound loss, beginning when we lost our jobs and our house in the downturn of the economy. It started out as a financially scary and uncertain time for our family. Worry seeped into everyday life. “Unhappiness” is the simplest word to describe it.
Then, as we were learning to navigate our new reality, we were hit with a devastating loss: the death of a mutual best friend from sudden cardiac arrest. The loss of such a key figure in our lives was intense! We were absolutely devastated and knocked down to what seemed like the lowest of lows for weeks on end. And just as we were beginning to get back on our feet, my older brother died by suicide.
With so much loss in quick succession, there were days when getting out of bed was our biggest accomplishment. This is the nature of struggle, but as the days turned into weeks, months, and then years, we learned to press forward. We learned that we are resilient. And we now hold a greater appreciation for what we have and the people who are dear to us.
Sitting here now, years later, I can honestly say that Marc and I have learned great lessons from that agonizing time in our lives. We’ve learned how to cope with the hard times, the pain and disappointment, and above all, we’ve learned the vital importance of self-love and self-care―the magic that makes smiling again (and again) possible.
The truth is, everyone experiences unhappy circumstances on occasion, but there is a big difference between experiencing these bouts of unhappiness and living a habitually unhappy life. That’s what chronically unhappy people do. And although many of these people are afraid to admit it, a vast majority of their unhappiness stems from their own perpetual self-neglect.
Over the past decade, Marc and I have helped hundreds of unhappy people rediscover their smiles, and, in the process, we’ve learned a lot about the negative behaviors that typically hold them back. Self-neglect stands at the very top of this list. Even if you are generally a happy person, self-neglect is something that can easily creep up on you.
The key is to give yourself the extra attention you need and deserve.
Resisting and ignoring your own feelings and emotions does not serve you. It leads to stress, illness, confusion, broken relationships, fits of anger and bouts of deep, dark depression. Anyone who has experienced any of the above knows that these states of mind are horrifically unhealthy… and when you’re in the habit of self-neglect, it’s near impossible to escape.
As I recently mentioned on the blog, you have to admit, to a certain extent, you have spent too much of your life trying to shrink yourself. Trying to become smaller. Quieter. Less sensitive. Less opinionated. Less needy. Less YOU. Because you felt broken, and you didn’t want to be too much or push people away. You wanted to fit in. You wanted people to like you. You wanted to make a good impression. You wanted to be wanted. So you could feel healed.
So for years, you sacrificed yourself for the sake of making other people happy. And for years, you suffered.
But you’re tired of suffering, and you’re done shrinking. Right? Good!
It’s not your job to change who you are in order to become someone else’s idea of a worthwhile human being. You are worthwhile. Not because other people think you are, but because you are breathing your own air, and therefore you matter. Your thoughts matter. Your feelings matter. Your voice matters. And with or without anyone’s approval or permission, you must be who you are and live your truth. Even if it makes people turn their heads. Even if it makes them uncomfortable. Even if they choose to leave.
You may have been broken down by adversity, but YOU are not broken. So don’t let others (or your own mind) convince you otherwise.
In the Getting Back to Happy Course, we show you how to heal yourself by refusing to shrink.
We show you how to take up a lot of space in your own life... How to give yourself permission to meet your own needs. How to honor your feelings and emotions. And how to make self-care a top priority.
If you're struggling with any of this, you are not alone! Many of us are right there with you, working hard to think more clearly, respond to life more effectively, and get ourselves back on track. This is precisely why Marc and I built the “Getting Back to Happy Course.” The course is filled with time-tested steps on how to do just that. And I'm thrilled to let you know that the full Getting Back to Happy Course is now OPEN again to early access members.
But we’re closing the doors TODAY, June 13, and sometimes we need a little nudge to invest in ourselves.
This is not some ebook that you read and forget about. It's a revolutionary, self-paced online course and community with 60 HD video lessons, and hundreds of time-tested strategies and techniques that will teach you scientifically proven methods for Conquering Pain, Eliminating Insecurity, Beating Procrastination, Healing Toxic Relationships, Taming Life’s Complications, and Building Consistent Growth into Your Life and Career -- the exact proven strategies and techniques Marc and I have used in our coaching practice to help tens of thousands of people over the past decade.
It took 17 iterations, and thousands of dollars, to get it right.
These techniques work no matter where you stand in your current situation or what you’re up against going forward. Even if you have limited experience with self-improvement and personal development tactics. And even if you don't know what you really want for yourself…yet.