life coach & mentor

TRISTA GUERTIN

The Pursuit of Growth, Not Happiness

June 6, 2021

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned from life coaching is that we are not supposed to be happy all of the time. Hearing this for the first time had such an profound impact on me because I think somewhere along the way growing up with all the movies and commercials I’ve watched, I bought into that myth and I began to think that maybe I was doing life wrong and not able to achieve that level of happiness I should have. Happiness was out there somewhere, why couldn’t I find it?

Merely hearing someone say we’re not supposed to be happy all the time, that that is not the reason we are here, was so freeing. I let go of the pursuit of happiness.

In fact, I’ve learned life is all about the contrast of emotions and we only know what it is to feel happy is because we also feel sadnes and pain. Our lives will be 50/50. Half the time we feel positive emotions and the other half we will feel negative emotions. Nothing has gone wrong, it’s all a part of the human experience.
I have learned to accept whatever emotion I am feeling and not resist it, judge myself for it or try to change it. I process it through. I allow it to be. I let it go. Happy, sad, frustrated, excited…… all part of my human experience. All good.

That leaves us with the question that if our lives are not about the pursuit of happiness, what is the purpose? Every woman has to decide that for herself. For me, it’s about growth. It’s about becoming more of myself and having a full human experience. It means learning to embrace discomfort, because there is no growth without discomfort. It means setting big goals, not because of what the end result will be, but because of who I become along the way.

Travelling and living abroad can bring a lot of discomfort, but it is one of the best ways to grow and to learn about yourself. Often times you will find yourself in situation that you never would have imagined and you learn how to deal with it. You have experiences that were once unthinkable, but get through it, sometimes you more than get through it, you enjoy it.

You learn what you are made of.

You learn that you can do way more than you thought you could.

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