It’s nice to be in a healthy relationship, but it shouldn’t define you as a person or be the only cause of your happiness. It’s nice to climb the corporate ladder and achieve a promotion, but it shouldn’t be the only source of happiness. We often make the mistake of looking outside ourselves to find contentment, but contentment comes from within.

A lot of people go into relationships or chase goals thinking that they will find immediate fulfillment. When you fall into this type of trap you start to look for happiness and contentment in all the wrong places. External contentment does not exist. While you can find happiness from external sources, it’s worth remembering that happiness is a temporary state, and contentment is a long-term state of being.

There is another risk that comes with expecting contentment from external sources, especially if it’s a person or a position. It often results in resentment, whether it’s hidden or open. Frustration builds when you still don’t find contentment and, it can make you feel helpless. So, let’s look at how you can build contentment within yourself instead of looking in all the wrong places.

  1. Are you emotionally dependent on someone or something? Are you looking for things as a means to make yourself content? Are you upset when things don’t go your way, or your partner doesn’t behave a certain way? Are you often complaining about others or the thing you got after wanting it for so long? Is it the center of your universe? Does it feel as though your world is falling apart if you have to spend time away from it?
  2. If you said yes in response to more than one of these questions, then it’s a sign you are placing all of your contentment eggs in the one basket. It doesn’t mean that you’re a terrible person. In fact, it’s a trap that many people fall into. It is an indication of is that you need change.
  3. It begins by looking within yourself to find contentment, rather than outside of yourself. It’s human nature to search for happiness outside of yourself. It’s the reality of living in a capitalist society that crams commercials down your throat telling you that you need this car, this phone, or these clothes to fit in. None of it is true. The answer to true contentment is within you, and it begins with an acceptance of where you are in life.
  4. Get comfortable spending time on your own, getting to know yourself. There is a lot of power in self-reflection because it’s a part of the acceptance journey.
  5. We often hide behind things, whether it’s a job or a relationship. We do this because we are afraid of being seen. You can break the cycle by exploring who you are outside of a relationship and job. You aren’t just what you do or who you’re with. So, go learn more about what you enjoy.
  6. This one might sting a little but stop complaining. Rather than constantly focusing on the negative, try to shift your mind away from it and towards all the positives in your life. Instead of complaining about how much you hate the guy next door, celebrate the fact you don’t live with him! It’s an easy way to practice, and the more you do, the easier it becomes to think positively and feel content.

Finally, you are ready for total acceptance. You have the power to accept your life as it is and feel happy and content no matter what else is going on. Revel in the amazing aspects of your life, and if there are bits you don’t love, you can still work on improving them. Being content doesn’t mean you settle for things the way they are. You can still work towards your goals and better life…just be content in the present moment as well.

Grab my Contentment Assessment to discover more.

All the best,
Patti

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