5 Ways To Find Happiness In A Post-Girlboss World
Hustle culture is on its way out, or at least it should be. The idea of the quintessential girlboss – uber ambitious and striving for more, more, more to the point of burnout – is taking a turn as more women experience dissatisfaction in their work and life. Jamie Varon, author of Radically Content, has a fresh approach.
“The happiest, most content, most peaceful people are the ones who are like, ‘I'm on my path. I listen within. I have discernment. I take in information and I filter it through my own knowing. I've got my compass,” she says.
Find yourself reaching for achievement at the sacrifice of your own wellbeing? You're not alone. According to Deloitte, 84 percent of Millennials say they have experienced workplace burnout. Here are five approachable ways to live a satisfied life that is healthy, balanced, and looks beyond what’s trending.
Find Validation Within
Many of us look for validation from external sources – from work, from relationships, from the way we look, from Likes. But remembering to look within and focus on what matters most to us brings us closer to living in the present and feeling a greater sense of contentment.
“With social media, we got to a place where it is more about how our life looks than how it feels. And that's a real soul-sucking place to be. I know that place and I've been there,” says Varon. Instead, she says ask yourself, “What's your version of being content? What does your beautiful life look like?”
Listening to your own needs and taking a pause to understand what brings you joy can lead to more trust and love in yourself.
“The secret to self-love is cultivating self-trust,” says Varon. “If we can keep our promises to ourselves, if we can show up for ourselves, if we can be intentional and figure out what it is that really matters to us and we can show up for those things and really honor and listen to ourselves, the love [for self] just happens."
Do A Life Inventory
Focusing on what matters most means living with intention every day and that starts with doing a life inventory.
"We’re often saddled with obligations that when we look at it, we're like, 'How is this benefiting me?'," says Varon. Write down what takes up your time in your daily life and figure out what is important to you and what isn’t. “Especially as women, we stray away from asking ourselves, ‘How is this serving me?’ Because it feels selfish, but it's your life. It should be serving you,” adds Varon.
And if the guilt from saying “no” gets in the way, let it go. "I'll deal with the temporary feeling of that guilt pain because I'm getting something like freedom and liberation from this thing that's weighing me down,” adds Varon.
Don’t Delay Being Happy
Ever get stuck saying: "Once I get to XYZ, I can relax and be happy”? Varon says that if we don’t cultivate contentment and happiness now, we won't all of a sudden get permission to feel them later.
“That's exactly why I wroteRadically Content, because I noticed a lot of people having that feeling of, ‘I don't deserve to be happy yet. I have to keep my joy from myself because I'm not where I expected to be.’ Or, ‘I'm not there.’ To me, it's completely counterproductive to what we really want, which is to feel joy, feel happiness, and be present.”
Create Your Own Value System
Women have been conditioned to think that we aren’t good enough since the beginning of time. It’s time to change the script in our minds that came from external messages we subconsciously opted into at a very young age.
“It's not like we all woke up one day and we're like, ‘You know what? Let's all believe we're not good enough’,” quips Varon. “But once that block is removed, once you can see, ‘Oh, I see how this system is working. I see what they've been teaching us to think about ourselves,’ then it opens up a whole new way of being with yourself and being in the world.”
Start to create your own value system outside what you see in the world – what is worthy to you? “We’re all different. We're not supposed to all conform to the same things, even though we sometimes get that message that we should all want the exact same thing,” says Varon. “If we start to do the things that really align with us, it's just going to open up more and more of what lights us up and makes us happy.”
Choose One Ritual
Find a way to pause in your day to connect back to yourself. “It's pretty loud in the world right now, and if we don't tune that out, it's really hard to know ourselves,” adds Varon. She suggests going on a walk, journaling, reading, meditating, or even sending yourself a voice note, just talking out loud and saying what you need to say.
“We are more capable and more aware and more knowledgeable about ourselves than anyone else. It's just sometimes easy to forget,” says Varon.
Finally, content doesn’t have to mean complacent. You can still be ambitious and successful, but on your own terms. “I'm super ambitious. I'm a business owner. I'm a boss. I'm all the things, but I also need to have a foundation of feeling that I am enough regardless of my achievements, that I am enough regardless of what my body looks like, that I'm worthy because I exist,” says Varon. And by listening to yourself and putting your wellbeing ahead of whatever you accomplish, you might find that success is more rewarding in the end.
Theresa Gonzalez is a content creator based in San Francisco and the author of Sunday Sews. She's a lover of all things design and spends most of her days momming her little one Matilda.