10 Ways to Believe Yourself Happy

The Power of Belief

Belief is a powerful thing. It establishes parameters of possibility. If I don’t believe I can write a book, I won’t write it. If I believe I just might be able to, I just might write one.

What you believe, then, matters tremendously. We act out of our beliefs. Our convictions and values are based on what we believe to be right or good or true.

And what we believe also impacts how we feel as well. Our beliefs about life and about ourselves, even about our relationships and God and happiness itself can hugely influence the amount of happiness we will experience while we harbor those beliefs.

So, one way to change how we experience life is to change what we believe about it.

10 Ways to Believe Yourself Happy is an introduction to those beliefs that will have the greatest significance to your long-term happiness. It is the second in a series of 4 that present overviews of those principles most responsible for creating a happy life. The series is as follows:

1. 10 Ways to Think Yourself Happy
2. 10 Ways to Believe Yourself Happy
3. 10 Ways to Act Yourself Happy
4. 10 Ways to Live Yourself Happy

Believing Happy

Following, then, are some of those beliefs that, if sincerely allowed to wedge themselves deep down inside of you, can transform your life from one of some happiness, or periodic moderate happiness to a life of deep abiding joy with a richness and endurance that extends through and beyond life’s many large and small challenges.

1. Believe you Matter

First and foremost, believe you matter. Believe that you have inherent value and worth. Believe you are important.

Believing that you have something important to offer life creates a significant degree of self-confidence (I matter, after all) and reduces the role insecurity plays in our lives. Even if what you have to offer is as yet undiscovered, believing it is there, waiting to be discovered (or uncovered) is important to our happiness.

But perhaps most importantly, matter to yourself. Care deeply what happens to you. Care deeply about the kind of person you are and can become. Care deeply about the kind of life you can live. It all begins there.

2. Believe Life has Meaning and Purpose

Everything you do leaves a large or small ripple that slowly or quickly moves across the waters of life. It ripples out into other people’s lives in large and little ways. Your ripple meets up with, adds current to, or collides and diffuses and counteracts other people’s ripples as well.

When we send those little ripples out into others’ lives in a way that blends with theirs or adds something positive to their experience, our lives become filled with more meaning and purpose and significance.

Believe you can add more meaning to life by doing more meaningful things, sending more ripples into others’ lives, sending ripples out beyond the distant horizon, touching lives you will never even know.

3. Believe in Human Decency

I know people who have been so hurt by others that they have lost the will to trust. This is sad to me. It is an understandable defense mechanism, but it is also self-limiting.

A life of suspicion, of doubting others “real” intentions, of assuming the worst in others’ motives, in believing life is out to get them, is not a happy way to live.

You see, most people are decent. Most people stay out of gangs, out of prison, out of trouble. Most people try to live noble lives. Be smart, of course, but let down your guard a little. Be vulnerable. Let people have the benefit of the doubt once in a while.

Please note that I’m not asking anyone to be naïve, just don’t be so cynical that you rob yourself unnecessarily of an important degree of available joy.

4. Believe you can be Forgiven

The belief that you are unforgivable is a tremendous burden to carry. I believe in a God who I’m convinced is at least as eager to forgive us as we are to forgive our own children when they fall down and scrape their moral knees as they climb the difficult terrain of morality.

So lighten up! Make needed changes. Make restitution where possible. Commit to a higher path. Apologize to those you’ve hurt. Ask forgiveness from those who should be asked. And then forgive yourself and move on.

5. Believe you are Strong

Believe there is strength deep inside you.

There may be times when we feel at our rope’s end. But often, it is at those very moments that a little more rope is almost miraculously extended. It is also when we have nothing left to give that we find a hidden strength deep inside that lifts us to the occasion allowing us to endure a little longer.

The human spirit is amazing. It is resilient. Believe that yours is too!

Believe you have inner strength enough to overcome whatever confronts you, to do what life requires of you, to rise to the best that’s inside you, to move forward, in kindness and decency and self-respect, to construct a life worthy of the title.

6. Believe Change is Possible

Have you ever felt trapped, stuck and unable to get off the hamster wheel of life? Have you ever felt like nothing is ever going to change, that life is just going to keep spinning in a circle, going round and round and round and round?

Those are not feelings consistent with a happy life. Change is the great constant in life, after all. It happens everywhere at all times. Life itself is change.

And you can change too! You can change how you live, what motivates you, the habits that plague you and the limits that bind you. You can become something more than you feel you are today. You can change how you see and interpret life and your role within it. You can evolve and transform and become a new creature.

You are not stuck in the still-life of your pain or dissatisfactions. You can become happier than you are right now. Change is not only possible, it is inevitable. You decide the nature of that change. But it starts with believing change is possible.

7. Believe in a Loving God

There are several reasons an active belief in God can aid you on your path of happiness. See if a few of the following don’t ring true:

  • An inherent purpose to life (implied by a belief in God) is added to the meaning we make of it, strengthening the sense that it all matters. This life becomes a preparation for the next one. That, itself, has eternal significance and meaning.
  • The belief that no matter the sorrow, no matter the pain, there will be an end, all the tears will be swallowed and wrapped into an eternal tomorrow, is a great source of emotional strength and happiness. It is hopelessness, after all, that is sorrow at its most bitter.
  • There is great solace in knowing a Heavenly Father cares and loves and hears and places his hand on ours in our darkest hours. Even when we are utterly alone, we’re not. That can be wonderfully comforting.
  • The terror of extinction evaporates. Death becomes no more terrifying than a move to a foreign city.
  • Human misery is more easily reconciled with personal happiness. The belief in Ultimate Justice, that there’s a just and all-knowing God, allows a troubled heart, filled with unrest for all the suffering in the world, to be less troubled, more at peace, happier, knowing that justice will be meted out in the end.
  • When everything else is crumbling down around you, there is comfort in knowing there is one’s faith, as the only branch left, to hang onto.

8. Believe in Yourself

Believe in hidden stores of greatness within you. Believe there is a giant lurking within, wanting out, waiting for the opportunity that only you can provide. You hold the key. Believe you can unlock the door to the richness that waits to be released.

Society can damage us. Our parents can damage us. Our culture can damage us. You may have been called names, put down, neglected, told you were no good. But don’t believe it. You are not the opinions of your parents. You are not the product of your culture. You are so much more.

You are also your own potential. Believe that your potential is without limits, that you can be the man or woman you aspire to be. Believe in who you are. Believe in the best part of you and in who you can become. Don’t define yourself by your weakest parts. Every seed has a potential forest in it. Believe there’s a forest in you too!

9. Believe Happiness Comes from Within

Happiness is created, not granted. It is the result of internal forces, not external circumstance. Happiness is not the result of good fortune or a perfect family, great wealth and fame or as the byproduct of luck or looks.

Happiness can’t be bought at the store or won in a bet. It is not transferable or refundable and never goes on sale. It is the natural outflow of the correct application of principles of thought and action, of character and belief. One of the biggest obstacles to happiness is in believing it consists of something it doesn’t, then chasing it down wrong paths.

So believe happiness comes from you. It is something developed. It is something realized. It is something chosen. In other words, believe that happiness is in your own hands. It turns out that only you can make you happy.

10. Believe You Can Choose Your Response to Life

This is what Victor Frankl, the Austrian Psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor, called the last freedom. Every last dignity can be horrifically stripped from the death camp prisoner. But this freedom can only be given away. It is the ability to choose how we will respond to the particulars of life.

We choose how to interpret our experiences and attach meaning to the events and circumstance of life. We choose to lie down and get run over, a victim to life’s vicissitudes. Or we choose to stand up even though we’ve been run over by circumstances. We choose to suffer nobly or ignobly. We choose to stand or hide. We choose to fight or surrender. How we respond to difficulties defines the degree to which those difficulties affect our happiness.

Afterthoughts

“Within you right now is the power to do things you never dreamed possible. This power becomes available to you just as you can change your beliefs.” ~ Maxwell Maltz

Beliefs may not be perfectly malleable things, but most of them are also not frozen solid.

Most beliefs (and most of the kinds that affect happiness) are the kinds that are largely assumptions we have adopted by default and haven’t questioned or challenged … until now: I challenge you to begin challenging your beliefs and assumptions and adopt some of those that will provide you the happiness you have always wanted.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said it simply: “Nothing can bring you happiness but yourself.” That was, to some measure, the underlying theme of this post (and will be of the other posts in this series). Believe happiness is within your reach and you can live a fabulously amazing life of joy … with a bit of work under the hood, of course.

What do you Think?

  • Do you agree?
  • Have I left anything out?
  • How have the beliefs I mentioned in this post helped you?
  • What additional beliefs do you think would add joy to life and living?

Click on the following links (once they are in place) to see other characteristics of happy living:

1. 10 Ways to Think Yourself Happy (the power of thought)
2. 10 Ways to Believe Yourself Happy (the power of belief)
3. 10 Ways to Act Yourself Happy (the power of doing)
4. 10 Ways to Live Yourself Happy (the power of character)