This post is part of a 14 ways to help rebuild self-confidence series. We are working our way through the letters of SELF CONFIDENCE with this week’s focus being on the F in self. Previously covered are Self Compassion & Self Care, 10 Ways to Enjoy your Life and Learning, Love & Laughter.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my 51 years on this earth, it is that life is too short to be spending your days doing stuff that makes you miserable, and many of us do, either to please other people or because we have to do what we have to do in order to earn a living. Most of us though, are searching for what it is that makes us happy and ideally would love to spend our days doing that! If we can do what we love to do as an occupation, and if we knew where or what our happy place or activity is, and we spent a good deal of time there or doing that, well then that would be a good basis for a happy, fulfilling life don’t you think?
It has always been preached to us that to find happiness and success we must find our passion in life, follow it, work hard, stick to it, become an expert at it, and happiness and success will come. Based on this information, I’ve spent the last few years trying to find my passion. Instead, I’ve discovered several things that I enjoy doing, photography probably pipping most at the post, but it’s not my one and only interest. I also enjoy writing, art, walking, nature, music and singing, travelling and more! This has always caused me to feel like a bit of a failure because I ‘dabble’ in more than one thing and get distracted from one thing for another quite often. I quite often say “I’m a Jill of all trades but master of none”.
Then along comes Elizabeth Gilbert who has helped me to understand myself better. She has always had a passion for writing since she was a child and so she has ‘followed her passion’ all her life and believed that was the key to success and happiness because that is exactly where doing that led her. Finding and following your passion is what Elizabeth passionately preached at all her speeches and talks because this is what she truly believed was the key to success, happiness and fulfilling your life’s purpose UNTIL … she received a letter on her Facebook page from an Australian women who had just attended a talk Elizabeth had done and after listening to Elizabeth’s talk she was feeling like a loser – because she does not have a passion! It was the moment that Elizabeth questioned her ‘certainty and central truth’. She needed to reassess her thoughts around passion, and that is exactly what she did.
She says that some people are born with a passion (like her) and have a straight ‘head down, bum up’ passion led direction in life (she calls these people ‘jack hammers’). Others are not born with a passion so instead try this, try that, cross pollinating the wisdoms learnt at each location and taking it to the next. These people she calls ‘hummingbirds’. I am a hummingbird. Both types of people are needed in our world. Elizabeth does not preach to find and follow your passion anymore, instead she says to FOLLOW YOUR CURIOSITIES. They are like breadcrumbs, clues, and they just may eventually lead you to your passion and/or your ultimate purpose in this life.
I am a big fan of Elizabeth’s and of course Oprah and this Super Soul Session where Elizabeth spoke on The Flight of the Hummingbird – The Curiosity Driven Life is a must watch. It goes for just over 28 minutes. Grab a cuppa and have a watch. You won’t regret it.
Have you identified the place or places that you can go to OR things that you can do that make you happy? It’s a place or activity where you feel all the weight on your shoulders lift and dissipate, where your heart and soul feel happy and free, where you feel light, where a smile is on your face without thought, where your mind is clear and focussed, where your light is switched on! It could be at the beach, up in the mountains, in the wilderness, a favourite park, your own backyard, the rainforest OR activities such as bushwalking, photography, painting, drawing, dancing, or singing!
I have lots of happy places. Some are more accessible than others. Some of my happy places are: when I’m taking photographs, when I’m floating in my pool, when I’m doing art, when I’m singing or listening to amazing music, when I’m completely absorbed in writing something and the words are flowing, when I’m swept away to another world in a good book, when I’m walking out in nature, when I’m in the country, visiting art galleries, perusing antique shops, being in a beautiful garden, when I’m having a glass of wine or champagne looking out over a magnificent view, lunch or dinner with great conversation and laughs with friends.
One word of warning, learnt from past experience. While other people (friends, lovers, spouses, family etc) can enhance our feeling of happiness, we should not ever be reliant solely on one person or other people for our happiness. Ever heard of the saying “happiness is an inside job”? It is very true. Our happiness is up to us and not other people! If you do use another person as your happy place, you will not only drive them crazy with your neediness, but should that relationship end, you will be left with one big painful gaping hole of misery to deal with. However, if you already have your happy places and activities identified – they will be your salvation, your tools to help yourself heal from the ending of that relationship, should you need to heal! So, I strongly advise that you don’t have another person or people as your happy place!
Once you allow yourself the gift of following your curiosities, and have identified your happy place/s and activity/s – then be sure to make them a regular part of your life! Everyone should do what makes their soul happy! Happiness is one of the most important foundations of self-confidence and vice versa. They compliment each other!
Have you had a burning passion since childhood or do like to dabble in a bit of this and that? Are you a jackhammer or a hummingbird?
Ciao for now,
p.s. The photograph used for this post is of a cottage at Possum Creek in the Byron Bay Hinterland in NSW Australia. This is one of my most favourite of happy places. It’s a little old quirky and rustic cottage with gorgeous features inside, a wood-burning fireplace, a hammock on the verandah and more – all set amongst beautiful nature. I love it up there in the hinterland and it is only a short drive to Byron Bay beach, the best of both worlds. It’s the perfect place for me to get away to and indulge my love of nature, the country, peace & quiet, reading, and of course my photography.
Linking up with Essentially Jess for #IBOT