Home | Finding Happiness through Self-Acceptance: Three Simple Steps
Finding Happiness through Self-Acceptance: Three Simple Steps
Finding happiness and self-acceptance does not need to be a mysterious process. Finding happiness can be a conscious and deliberate undertaking.
To seek and find happiness on purpose, you need a process. This is what we are up to in this post.
Here, I have outlined three simple steps taken from a popular NLP method that you can use toward finding happiness, especially when you are dealing with aspects of yourself that you have a hard time accepting.
Three Steps to Finding Happiness through Self-Acceptance
Finding Happiness Step 1: Identify the part of you that is unhappy.
It helps to begin with an aspect of yourself that you do not like or that bothers you. For example, you may become angry easily. In this case, we say you have an “angry part.” Saying you have a “part” is just a practical way of talking about it.
You may tend to become anxious in certain situations. In this case, we say you have an anxious part. People can have all sorts of parts: Angry, anxious, jealous, addicted, bored, scattered, messy, lazy, rebellious and so on. You can have as many parts as you do behaviors and feelings.
Troublesome parts of your personality are keys to finding happiness. For one, they tend to get in the way of happiness and therefore need to be dealt with. Two, they can serve as the gateway to self-acceptance through the steps in this post.
So, identify the part of you that you want to work with. This is step one.
Finding Happiness Step 2: Ask the part of you, “What do you want?”
2a. Enter a curious and compassionate, accepting state of mind.
Admit that this part of you exists and resolve to stop resenting it. Be open to learning something new. Allow this part of you to exist in peace within you – even if just for the next few moments.
2b. Ask this part of you the question, “What do you want for me?”
It may seem odd to ask a part of yourself a question, but it is perfectly normal. Better yet, you will get an answer! Thoughts and feelings will happen in response to your questions. Listen!
Finding Happiness Step 3: Consider the answer and work with it.
Appreciate yourself for communicating so openly, then consider the answer. Is what this part wants acceptable? If not, ask what the part wants from you by wanting that – and so forth, until you get to an acceptable answer.
Finding happiness through self-acceptance is not more complicated than this! Here is how it might work out:
You (after identifying a part, say, an angry part): What do you want for me?
Angry Part: Self-respect.
Can you find happiness and acceptance in wanting self-respect? Absolutely. This is no longer an angry part, but a part that wants self-respect.
Imagine it being more complicated:
You: What do you want?
Angry Part: I want revenge.
You: Ok. You want revenge. What do you want for me by wanting revenge?
Angry Part: I want to rebel against expectations.
You: Ok, what do you want for me by wanting to rebel against expectations?
Angry Part: I just want to do whatever I want.
You: Ok, what do you want for me by wanting to do whatever you want?
Angry Part: I want to be my own person.
Is being your own person something you can find happiness in? You bet.
You just need to keep asking the question, appreciating and respecting the answers, until you get to an understanding of this part that you can accept. Sometimes it takes longer than others.
From here, you are free to accept this part of you. You may not like its behaviors, but now that you’ve come to a new understanding of its goal, you can begin to consider new behavioral choices. In fact, a whole new world of choices opens up when you consider the larger goal. How many ways can you think of to be your own person, to express your individuality?
Getting to the larger goal is the key.
What Can Go Wrong
The part may not want to answer you. In this case, the part may be sufficiently alienated that it doesn’t trust you. This part of you may have a history of being criticized and hated, so it does not feel obligated to participate.
The part may insist on remaining destructive for the same reasons mentioned above.
You also may have an unconscious attachment to the feelings generated by this part of your personality. In this case, you get some unconscious satisfaction from feeling the negative feelings, or you may be so used to them that you cannot imagine life without them.
Each of these things that can go wrong do not have to prevent you from finding happiness in this area of your life. However, you may need to talk to someone trained in facilitating this kind of work.
When unconscious attachments are in play, the AHA Solution program is the best way to tackle them. If you haven’t seen our free AHA Solution video, watch it here.
If you’d like help implementing the ideas in this article, inquire about life coaching with Mike Bundrant by filling out the form below. Only fill out the form if you want Mike Bundrant to call you.
Mike Bundrant is a retired psychotherapist, Master NLP trainer, and practicing life coach. He and his wife, Hope, founded iNLP Center in 2011. For information on coaching with Mike, please visit his coaching website AHA System.