Relying on one person for happiness is a dangerous game. You will inevitably be crushed when that person leaves or falls out of your life. So how do you break free from the dependence on just one person for success? It’s simple: there are 13 steps of independence, which I’ve outlined below for you.
1) Create new connections with people who help with your happiness.
Let’s rip the bandaid off here and start finding new.people who can help you with your happiness.
It’s not “all or nothing”. If you can’t make new friends, go out and do something that everyone else in your area of town does. Join a book club. Go to a church meeting. Meet people at the grocery store. Look for events on Facebook where people celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and other “important” days. Email other people from your hometown who are currently living somewhere else in the world and ask them if you can visit their country, get a job there etc. You don’t even have to meet all of them, just find a few people who you want to be around and do something with.
2) Figure out your own purpose in life.
It’s hard to be happy when you don’t know what role you want to play in the world. People who become dependent on others for happiness often fall into the trap of being what I call “anyone but myself”. You might be keeping the job you hate because it’s “better than nothing” and you don’t want to try a different role in life.
The antidote for this is: choose yourself.
Figure out what role you want to play and do it. Change jobs, build your own company, become a volunteer, travel the world, whatever it takes to find your purpose in life. You need it for yourself anyway so figure out which way is up and make a plan.
3) Make yourself into a commodity.
As I like to say, you should treat yourself like a business and treat your happiness as your main product. If people want something you have, they will come to you. This is where your purpose in life comes in. Figure out what direction you want to go and then start going there.
4) Don’t settle for less than the perfect relationship for yourself.
People who are unhappy and looking for happiness in others usually settle for a lot less. Stay away from those people.
5) Always be growing.
The person who’s dependent on you can’t grow. They need you to stay the same so they can be secure in their position and are happy with what they have. Not having to change is why people stay in unhappy marriages or relationships until they become so dysfunctional that it’s impossible to fix them. They stay until they become completely dependent on others for their happiness.
6) Never stop working on your own happiness.
If you stop, you’ll get stuck in the same loop and never break free unless you’re resolute enough to break all of your old habits and start over again.
7) Value yourself.
This ties into all of the points above, but if people only value themselves perhaps a little bit, they’ll be crushed when their true power is discovered by the people around them.
It’s not a power struggle – it’s just common courtesy. If someone isn’t in your life anymore, they were never that important to you anyway. You didn’t need them, so don’t beat yourself up over the loss of them. It’s a lie that you need people in your life to be happy and once someone is gone from your life, you’ll be stronger than ever before.
8) Trust that things will work out for the best.
You cannot control events in your life. History is made by people who have survived their own actions. You cannot control what will happen to you. All you can do is prepare yourself for the worst and hope for the best.
The best thing you can do when you’re standing at the precipice of a decision that could make or break your life is go back to # 1 and make a new list of possible people to meet who can help with your happiness.
9) Let go of anger.
Anger is one of the biggest drivers of unhappiness in a relationship. Letting go of it will make you stronger for being happy and having better relationships with others.
10) Remember that failure is not a bad thing and will not define your future.
You’ve got to have positive imagery in your mind . . . especially when it comes to failed relationships or mistakes in general. If you feel like you’re doomed to failure, then you’ll think it will define your life and make happiness impossible. Keep a positive mental image of yourself if the relationship or mistake.
11) Abandon the martyr role.
You’ll be happier as an individual if you stop playing the role of someone else’s savior and start being your own person. You are not your parents, spouse or friends, so stop trying to please them and let them go. They’re not that important anyway.
12) Don’t be afraid to ask for help in getting what you want out of life.
You’ll be more efficient as a person if you ask for help and accept that you can get what you want through asking. Remember, people will respect you more if you ask them for help than if you demand it. You’ll also look like a powerful person when you make requests rather than demands.
13) Acknowledge the love in your life and let it go.
You can’t control what your parents or spouse do, so you may as well learn to take the love they give you and let it go. If they’re no longer in your life, you’ll find yourself with a lot more time and energy to do the things that matter most.
I know I said this wasn’t going to be an article about happiness. It’s about what you can do to become the happiest person in your life, but it’s also about how you can make your life interesting and fulfilling.
The more interesting your life is, the better chance you have at being happy . . . especially in relationships with others. Your biggest challenge as a human is figuring out what will make you happy and giving yourself permission to do that.
Yes, I want to give you more material and resources for searching for happiness in your relationships, but I also want to challenge you to figure out what’s going to make you happy and how you’re going to get there.
Leave a comment below and let me know what your biggest obstacle is in being happy with the people in your life. What one question do you have that would help? If it’s something that everyone would like answered, then I’ll write a new article on it.