An Exercise In Joy & Success
Written by Megan Bayles Bartley, MAMFT, LMFT
“…the measure of success is absolutely the amount of joy you feel.”
Take a minute and think about a time when you felt pure joy. Oftentimes we think of moments that were life-defining. When we proposed to our sweetheart and heard “YES!” Or maybe our wedding day, or the day our first child was born, or when we got that new job, that raise or promotion. Unfortunately for many of us our emotions fluctuate fairly rapidly and it’s rare that we can maintain that feeling of pure joy. But what if it didn’t have to be this way? What if we could live joyful, or joy-filled, lives and experience this joy a majority of the time? Well, we can!
“Yeah, right!” I hear you saying.
Give me a minute to explain… What we’re talking about is viewing your life from a bit of a different perspective. Instead of a perspective of LACK – “I’ll feel joy when I get that raise, meet the right person, lose 20 lbs, etc.” – and shift into a thinking of ABUNDANCE – “Everything is exactly as it needs to be. All I need to be is myself. Everything I need to know is already within me.”
See the difference?
Here’s what I want you to try: Write down the above messages of Abundance on sticky notes and stick them on places you look often – on the microwave, on your dashboard, at the bathroom mirror, on your computer screen. Make an effort to look at the messages and remember that feeling of Joy. Soon you’ll start to associate the two together – the feeling of Joy with the message “Everything is exactly as it needs to be.”
Stick with it for 21-30 days and see what happens. This is how long it takes to make a shift in belief, perspective or behavior change. You are actually building new neural pathways in your brain. The more attention you give the new perspective, and don’t give attention to the former perspective, the stronger the new perspective of Abundance becomes and the perspective of Lack begins to die off. Remember, what we feed, grows. Give it a try! What do you have to lose?!
When we focus on Joy FIRST, our lives will begin to shift so we experience success in multiple areas.
If there is an area that seems like a problem area now – your relationship, your job, your living situation – they will work themselves out as you are focusing on joy. This might mean they will begin to bring you joy in new ways because you are seeing them differently OR because you see clearly now that there is no way they will bring you joy and you will make confident decisions to move beyond them.
Wouldn’t it be AWESOME to feel Joy AND Confidence?! Oh yeah, it can happen. You can do it. Stay focused and give it 21-30 days. Be gentle with yourself. You will mess up but chalk it up to a learning experience and keep moving forward. Growth comes with growing pangs.