Why It’s a Mistake to Look For Happiness Outside Yourself

The desire to “be happy” or find happiness is about as deeply rooted in our collective psyche as the search for eternal youth. In fact, it can be argued that everything from the struggle for power to the struggle for wealth to the struggle for love all come down to achieving the same goal — happiness.

However, what all these struggles have in common, and indeed the mistake that many unhappy people make, is that they define happiness externally rather than as a function of the self. In fact, the key to your happiness is loving and accepting yourself first. It is only then that you can find someone else to love you.

Don’t Let the World Outside Control Your Happiness

Despite the many efforts to the contrary, true happiness is a function of self-esteem alone. Money can’t buy happiness, or so the saying goes. Neither can love. Happiness is rather all about connecting to yourself, which means understanding and accepting who you truly are and loving that. While many people tout “true love” as doing the same thing, that acceptance from another person is impossible if you fail to first achieve it on a personal level.

Woman happy with selfBut what does this mean in practical terms?

Loving yourself and finding happiness within starts with a change in attitude and approach to the outside world. This includes:

  • No longer seeking “acceptance” or “approval” of your actions from other people, especially if you are doing what you know in your heart to be right.
  • Waiting for things to happen to you, rather than taking action and making choices that make those things happen for you.
  • Being comfortable with who you are, regardless of the situation. This means not apologizing for your thoughts or beliefs in order to appease others and being comfortable on your own.

When you love yourself and accept your authentic personality, then you are free to be happy because that acceptance brings peace and attracts others who also enjoy it. This is why happiness as a function of the self is the first step to success in love.

Why Happiness Is Essential for Relationship Success

If you are unhappy with yourself, if you cannot be comfortable alone and edit yourself in a crowd, then you are not ever portraying the real you to the world. As such, anyone you date will get an inauthentic picture, a half truth, of who you really are.

Even if you open up over time, this lack of self-actualization and comfort can and will take a toll on the relationship as little “surprises” about your personality or beliefs change the dynamics of your relationship.

On the flip side, you may always feel compelled to be someone you are not to preserve your love and “happiness” as a couple, which takes a toll on you.

That is why you should never look for someone else to love you more than you love yourself.

Furthermore, finding happiness alone means that braving the unknown territory of a new relationship, risking yourself and your heart, is a little less scary and actually less of a risk.

When you are happy alone, another person enhances rather than defines your happiness. This breakups and other disappointments are easier to handle because the true source of your happiness – you – is still right where you left it.

Finally, happy people are more attractive and make better partners, therefore making them more likely to find love in the first place. When you are happy with who you are, you are confident, and confidence is attractive.

Healthy relationships are based on two happy people finding greater happiness together. Unhealthy relationships are based on one partner using or abusing the other, either physically or as an emotional crutch.

**By Jessica Raymond


One Reply to “Why It’s a Mistake to Look For Happiness Outside Yourself”

  1. John Robbins

    Becoming dazzled by your own inner happiness that pretty much nothing else matters. That would be Nice, in my view.