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  • Written by Eric North aka “The Happiness Warrior”

If I’ve learned anything in life is that no matter how hard we try to be vigilant and in control, the circumstances of our lives are often beyond our influence and ability to intervene. Some of us are ready for anything and always prepared for the next obstacle or disaster. Others shrink and hide in a false sense of safety and security. It’s our mindset in the end that helps us figure out how to create a better life. The value of self-awareness always coming to light.

The truth is inescapable, no matter how hard we try to avoid it. No matter who we are what type of human mindset, we all have emotional blind spots that can leave us feeling exposed and vulnerable. Past hurts, grievances, and misunderstandings that begin our path to forgives and loving ourselves for who we are.

They might remain and hidden and unresolved for years, but eventually our emotional blind spots can leave us filled with anxiety, hopelessness, and depression. They can create conflict where we never thought it existed. They can lead us on path that will take us nowhere. They are emotions that we’re unprepared for and fear the outcome. They can cause us great emotional harm, or they can be a a time for reinvention and renewal. They provide messages that cause us to begin to process change and adapt a new mindset of intention and strength. They can make us stronger when as we become more self-aware and knowing.

Emotional blind spots are there to remind us that all we can do is roll with what life gives us and accept our fate. Invaluable lessons as we create more inner peace, empathy, and wisdom. The building blocks for creating happier and more resilient lives. Seeing ourselves with a new perspective as a whole being. A feeling of peace that comes when we know ourselves inside and out.

A lot of us are conditioned to act, speak, and live in a certain way. A sort of blind obedience to the outdated societal structures and conditions that we’ve come to accept as normal and essential for everyday life. Try as we might to be ourselves and live authentically, there’s always someone or something trying to hold us back and prevent us from living in our truth and intention. Theres always a chance that if we’re honest and weird, we might be shunned. Just the fact of being different is something that causes others to take actions that only reveal their self-loathing and shame. Why do we care if someone we don’t even respect thinks we’re weird?

I like to think of all of us as a tangled web of emotions with a complicated relationship with empathy and self-esteem. We’re too hard on ourselves most of the time, forgiveness can feel too difficult to comprehend. Critical of our actions without any thought to our We spend most of our lives unaware of our blind spots and reality. All of the things that we don’t want to think about or bring to our attention. A great fear of the inconvenient truths and crystal-clear logic that we shy away from and avoid at all costs. An avoidance of becoming whole and understanding ourselves better because we’ve been taught to be ashamed and afraid.

The fact that the truth is always there isn’t always enough. In order to be our happiest and most self-aware we need to get to the root of the problems hold us back from life of our dreams.

1.       Intellectualizing emotions is how we avoid our true emotions and mask them with feelings or inauthentic statements. An example is being stood up by a friend and instead of being honest we cover up our true emotion of sadness with words that cover our truth. Most of us want to avoid uncomfortable feelings but eventually it leads us to a very unhappy place. This blind spot can keep us trapped in a never-ending cycle.

2.       Controlling emotions is trap that only creates unhappiness, loss of truth and authenticity, and loss of empathy. It’s being mad at ourselves when we should be forgiving. It tells us that getting rid of our emotions is noble by telling ourselves that we don’t deserve to feel. This can cause us to feel anxious about feeling sad or ashamed of feeling angry. Acceptance of our feelings is that way out of this painful emotional trap. Once we learn to process our more difficult emotions fully we can begin to see what we do have control over with more clarity:

-- How we behave and act in public.

-- The situations that keep recurring.

-- Where we focus our attention and the choices we are able to make.

-- The people that we allow into our lives and their purpose.

-- The habits that we develop which are life affirming and those that are not worthy of our time and attention.

3.       Judging emotions by becoming angry with ourselves and feeling guilty about it. It’s important to remember that judging ourselves is how we lose happiness and momentum in our lives. Judging ourselves and harshly and “being our own worst enemy” has no purpose or benefit. Let’s try to give ourselves a break more often and see how much impact that has on the rest of our life. Compassion for ourselves is how we move forward with a greater chance of happiness.

4.       Avoiding or running away from our motions is the avoidance of our truth. It creates a permanent barrier to connecting with our authentic being and spirt. A lowering of vibration and a constant sense of movement and disconnection. A loss of empathy and dignity for ourselves. A waste of time I lives that are too short. Dishonesty and hiding from the truth are blind spots that can destroy our live and those around us.

5.       Choosing emotions over values and truth. Every human has had a moment when they’ve reacted in a negative matter. We feel a rush of emotions and endorphins only to feel the emptiness behind our words and actions. Regretful behavior that causes us more pain and suffering. There are times when we feel that these actions are expected of us by some illogical code of honor. There are times when following feelings is appropriate. We create blind spots that can be conquered when aligned with our core values and truth.

As The Happiness Warrior, I believe if we give ourselves time, increase self-awareness, and forgive ourselves more readily we can become the better human that we all want to be. On all levels both physically and mentally. The key to living with happiness is grace is to live in a state of self-awareness. Always expanding with more self-esteem and gratitude. Finally able to live the life of our dreams!

Ten ways to stop being so hard on ourselves

  • Written by Eric North aka “The Happiness Warrior”

All too often most of the pain and suffering we feel is self-created. It’s all too common and easily overlooked in our fast paced and ever-changing environment. Everything we see is a mirror into how we view ourselves. Limited by a lack of focus and perspective.

The self-created negative emotions that harm our spirit and needlessly define our life experience.

As humans we want to be liked and we want to be loved. Why do we spend so much time in our heads battling our right to be happy? So many words and thoughts that we use against ourselves much to our great harm. When are we going to figure out that our best lives lay ahead of us as soon as we learn to love ourselves?

We sometimes tell ourselves that we’re our worst enemies and seek more pain than pleasure. Negative loops of victimhood and false martyrdom. A mistaken belief that the harder and more unforgiving to ourselves the stronger we’ll become. A lack of self-awareness that keeps us from discovering our potential. A misguided attempt to conform and fit in. This is the state that those who benefit the most from our confusion to live our lives. A cycle of self-created guilt and misguided ideas of greatness. A willingness to please others at all times without a thought about our inner-most needs and desires. Sitting targets for unhappiness and troubles. Waiting for life to change and never taking action. A waste a time in life that’s too short for all.

I used to tell myself that I was my own biggest adversary before I even began my mission. It was s self-defeating attempt to find honor and Intention. It was only a moment of great clarity that changed my mindset through self-perspective and a newfound clarity. I had made so many things much harder in the past, it was a time to develop renewed core values to guide my opportunities and decisions.

As The Happiness Warrior, I’ve learned to quiet my mind, react with care, and forgive myself for my actions. It’s place that I’ve longed to reach in my life and a place where I find magic and inspiration. It’s a new me that’s also my real self. For the first time in my life, my authentic being is my guide in the journey of life. It’s a feeling where my past regrets and misdeeds provide wisdom and peace. It’s where we all want to join and renew our lives with greater happiness and inner peace.

1.       Self-awareness is the first place we need to start when we’re learning to be more forgiving to ourselves and work on self-improvement. It’s dark and forbidding place for so many of us, but it’s how we can begin to realize the scope of our self-defeating word and negative emotions. It’s our reflection in the mirror and the window to our true identification. When we learn to accept the truth in our emotions we can begin to clear our minds of shame and accumulated guilt. It’s how we understand our strengths and weaknesses. It’s a powerful tool for living a more authentic and intentional life. A focus on self-acceptance and self-improvement. A place where our thoughts become more positive, and lives become more fulfilling.

2.       Know when to ask for help and remove the illogical feeling of shame that comes from it. In a world where we’re increasingly alone and isolated asking for help can make us feel more connected. Knowing there are others out there who want to help us overcome life’s challenges helps us feel more empathy and compassion. Help can be life-changing for both the giver and the benefactor. We learn and grow together.

3.       Stomp out negative self-talk and stop being our “own worst enemy”. Criticizing ourselves has a negative impact on future success and greater happiness. It only makes things worse and has no beneficial purpose. We can combat this by challenging each negative thought and basing it on reality. Is it true, fair, or helpful to our present life. Does it matter to anyone else other than hurting ourselves? Challenging negative self-talk is critical to nurturing self-esteem and helps regain control of self-perception. It helps us learn to be positive and boosts self-confidence. Positive self-talk is the building block of a better life.

4.       Focus on strengths and achievements and use these to create momentum. Life is always changing, and new challenges are on every horizon. When we know our strengths we can use them in every endeavor. Never wasting time or energy on what we can’t change and always striving to do better. Self-doubt is an unnecessary spiral and waste of human potential. Nothing is more life-changing than allowing ourselves to believe in our potential.

5.       Remember that our imperfections and disabilities are what make us special and beautiful. When we see ourselves for who we truly are we live more authentic lives and connect with others on a deeper level. Imperfections and disabilities are an incredible opportunity for personal growth and increase in perception. The idea that anyone is perfect or better than anyone else is illogical beyond reason.

6.       In our rapidly changing world is common to feel that we’re being left out. Everything is fast, knowledge is at our fingertips, and technology is speeding up rapidly. We begin to think that our happiness depends on instant results. We’ve forgot the value of patience much to our regret and unhappiness. In order to get back in touch with ourselves we must realize that our self-worth is not based on our speed of progress but rather our commitment to ourselves. Mental resilience is the key to this process. Personal development is a life-changing process with time as a constant variable.

7.       Self-care is simply the act of being kind to ourselves and learning to love who we are. Without apology, excuses, or negative self-created emotions. It’s the belief that all humans deserve to be happy regardless of their station in life. It’s treating ourselves with empathy and kindness. Showing others, the same support and listening that we also want for ourselves. In today’s world of normalized lies and misinformation it the internal environment that we create the helps us flourish.

8.       Learn from mistakes and more readily forgive ourselves and others. Know that challenges and obstacles are there to help us grow and refine our lives. They might be messages on our need to realign our spirit and find more value in our present lives. This is how we gain wisdom and grace.

9.       Nurture mental, emotional, and physical well-being. Make the mind/body connection and realize that our bodies feel good when we take better care of ourselves. Everything we eat, how we sleep, socialize, love, and exercise our bodies is connected. Breathe deep every day and exhale slowly with gratitude and knowing. Our magnificent bodies are only ours to keep.

10.   Set boundaries and know when to exit. Go out in the world with an attitude of love and acceptance. Perception is different for everyone, and our needs must be made clear. Learn to be honest and open with others when our privacy and autonomy is under threat.

As The Happiness Warrior, I believe that each of us has the capacity to change for the better. It may seem like an impossible journey, but one small step leads to another.

Becoming stronger and gathering in power and intention. We have one life to live and one body to cherish.

We can all become better at life when we stop being so hard on ourselves!

Eric North

IG  @TheHappinessWarrior1

Eric North The Happiness Warrior

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