This has taken me years to learn, and even now I need to keep reminding myself of this truth:
It is my job, and mine alone, to make myself happy.
It is not my partner’s job to make me happy. It is not up to my friends to make me happy. It is not my family’s job to make me happy.
Of course, that’s not to say that these things can’t make me happy – they certainly do!
But ultimately, it is up to me to make myself happy – it is my job to fill myself up.
That means, when I’m feeling crappy, the first thing I need to do is check in with myself. I need to know what my core needs are, and I need to check that they are being filled – and here’s the hard part – by me.
Some of my core needs are:
How do I know my core needs? Because I’ve taken the time out to think about these things, to work out what really fills me up. If I’m not aware of the things I need in my life to be happy, then I can’t make sure I’m happy.
If I’m feeling crappy in my life, most of the time it’s because I’m not meeting my own core needs. It’s not fair for me to pass the expectation onto my partner or friends to make me feel better, when I’m not doing that for myself.
There’s something really empowering about being able to fill yourself up. It doesn’t mean you can’t accept help or anything from others, but it means you don’t need it. It totally changes the nature of a relationship when you come to it already satisfied with your life. You have a lot more to offer others.
What are your core needs? Start by making a list of all the things you like to do, the things that fill you up, big or small. Then, try to identify the core needs underneath. Usually it will be stated as an abstract noun.
In what ways do you rely on others to make you happy?
How can you do more to fill yourself up and meet your core needs?
Note: this post was originally part of a series of 30 life lessons and journal prompts for my 30th birthday. You can access the rest of the lessons and prompts here.