Years ago I use to look at so many women and think they were so happy.
I’d wonder what their secret was to having that much joy.
As I grew to find and experience my own joy, I took another look at those women I had admired and was surprised at what I saw. From a different vantage point, there was a hollowness in their life and an emptiness in their words. I suddenly saw the harshness of their jokes or comments (about themselves or other women) and the lack of peace that I found comes with real joy.
Then as I began coaching, I spent a lot of time helping women DIG IN beneath the surface to find that ability to thrive.
And as I watched them rock things out in their lives I found a few things to repeat themselves, patterns of happiness and consciousness and confidence and the ability to truly thrive.
If you were to ask me what real happiness, serious joy, true thiving looks like, this is what I’ve seen.
6 Signs of a Seriously Thriving, Happy Woman
- She has space in her life for her own sadness, anger, frustration, sorrow: Women who seem “up” all the time are the ones I’ve come to worry about the most. Some of those women are battling with a belief that no one wants to hear from them unless they’re happy, and so they put on a mask in an attempt to gain approval. Others need to stay “up” all the time to prevent their world from crumbling. But truly happy women embrace their experiences of sadness, anger, frustration, sorrow or pain with authenticity and gentleness. They don’t hide how they feel, although they don’t project it onto others either. She doesn’t blame her emotions on others, or expect others to fix it for her. She simply sits with what stirs within her, examining it when necessary, trusting the ebb and flow of it without worry that it will overtake her. She knows that to experience deep joy she must learn from deep pain without drowning herself in it, without attaching to either, but simply trusting the process of life.
- She celebrates the beauty of others: You won’t find a truly joyful women with a critical eye towards others. No snarky remarks about other women; no judgment. Honesty about her experience of others, yes; but only in how she is experiencing it and what it is meaning to her. Criticism and negativity toward others is a poison that kills joy in mere moments. A truly joyful woman shares concern and compassion and naturally notices and celebrates the beauty, not the mistakes (or what she perceives as mistakes).
- She automatically assumes the best in others: A really happy woman doesn’t spend time taking shit personally. She knows it’s not always about her; in fact, it’s rarely about her. When someone says something or does something, she doesn’t take offense. She takes a stance of curiosity, assuming good intent and quieting any negative thoughts her mind sputters out. She asks genuine questions and continues to offer compassion and a desire for connection. She doesn’t spend a lot of time stewing over the incident, but simply addresses what she senses needs her attention and releasing all else.
- She only sees comparisons in terms of inspiration: No jealousy. No sense of competition. No criticism. And no self-judgment either. This goes back to #2, seeing and celebrating the beauty in others. But when that beauty stands out, she also tends to use it to inspire herself to her own greatness. She turns it into a reason to celebrate what she CAN do, instead of feeling guilty or less-than over what she’s yet to do.
- She dwells on what is and sees the beauty of the moment: Shit happens and she knows it. She doesn’t go into denial (see #1), but she does amplify the good wherever she can see it. She knows her energy is fullest when she is ready to turn her intention and attention to gratitude.
- She speaks her mind and with honor towards others: She doesn’t hold back her convictions or her heart and soul. She speaks what’s on her heart, and listens to the deeper experiences of others; she’s willing to have her mind changed, but only if it’s Truth that is resonating with her. And she doesn’t take it personally when someone disagrees, or even gets upset. She just keeps shining in her Truth with kindness and compassion, unapologetically. She doesn’t argue because she has nothing to prove and she knows when to walk away and when to stand her ground.
The more conscious I became of these patterns, and my own painful patterns, the more I began to practice them.
Because that’s the other thing I’ve found: These signs were not symptoms of already being happy.
Ask Yourself: Which of these resonate with me?