I set up a Happiness Club almost a year ago, we have all committed to each of the GREAT DREAM messages over the months. Together we've shared a journey discovering what really makes us happy.
For the past month, we’ve been practicing accepting ourselves – unconditionally. Personally, I found this hard to do. Too often I was drawn into the high pressure, high stress reality of trying to do everything perfectly, so that I could feel good about myself. Frequently, maybe not frequently enough, I recognised this and offered myself kindness and compassion and fought against the urge of perfectionism. I accepted myself with lower standards and it felt liberating. I will be focusing on this unconditional acceptance going forward, I have only just scratched the surface, and need to commit to this each day in the future. I can almost touch the freedom that unconditional acceptance brings! I’m thankful that my happiness club friend has really inspired me. I have some great ideas of how I can take this forward into my life from her. We also talked about the month of meaning and how to be part of something bigger in the next month
What a revelation. An evening discussing goal setting and I should have been in my element. After all, I'd only been helping to formulate goals earlier in the day with my clients. Each day, it seems, if I'm not reading about the importance of goal setting I'm either ensuring goals are created appropriately or I'm working toward one.
When I read Psychologies magazines recent happiness club article on acceptance it was a big lightbulb moment. I hadn’t considered ‘conditional’ or ‘unconditional’ acceptance of myself until this point but knew instantly I only accepted myself conditionally depending upon my own internal standards and successes. I talked about this with friends outside of the happiness club and, lo and behold, they did the same thing. It wasn’t that surprising on Monday evening to discover friends in the happiness club did too. We would accept our own children unconditionally, so why is it so hard to accept ourselves unconditionally?