Owning Your Life – Joy’s Story

Unhappy woman looking across room

Recently my friend, Joy, told me this story. Joy was working sixty plus hours a week doing work that she loved, but not getting paid what she deserved and certainly not getting the respect that she deserved. She asked for a raise numerous times. She was denied. She asked for an assistant. She was denied. She asked for some respect. And again, she was denied. During this time she realized how unhappy she was but she felt stuck. Joy didn’t know how to get out of her situation because she wanted to make a good living and she wanted to do work that mattered to her.

In the middle of this madness, Joy’s mom became very sick and ultimately died. Joy regretted not getting to spend more time with her mother at the end of her life. She also regretted feeling exhausted and unhappy so frequently. And then one day, Joy woke up and quit her job. It was a big scary move in that she didn’t have another job waiting for her, but she did it anyway. Her husband and children supported her.

Joy ended up taking a job that she felt a bit ashamed of. It wasn’t a big name company or a fancy title and she realized that she wasn’t telling friends about her new job. However, Joy loved the job! She liked the laid back atmosphere, the kind people who worked there, and the customers who she got to know. Joy felt stuck again in that she didn’t feel like she was owning her life or her truth.

Joy’s Path to Happiness

She called me one day to get together to talk about her story and her mixed feelings through all of it. What ultimately came out in our breakfast together is that Joy felt happier and more in control when she owned her life and her decisions. When she decided to not be tied down by a flashy but unfulfilling job and instead took on work that was more inline with her values and family life, she felt better. Also, talking to me and a few others about her work and about what she liked about it brought her more contentment and felt more authentic to who she really was.

Her story is similar to one I hear so often from other women. “I found happiness when I was true to myself and what mattered most to me.” There is not one sure way to happiness, but there seems to be a shortcut. It is found through really getting to know ourselves, our values, and our voice and to put those all in place. When we live out of fear of the judgments of others, we cannot take true ownership of ourselves.

When we live out of fear of the judgments of others, we cannot take true ownership of ourselves. #happiness Click To Tweet

Joy was scared to leave her fancy job. She was scared that she would disappoint her customers and look foolish in front of her friends. Yet that fear was keeping her from living a life that was more aligned with her own happiness and satisfaction in life. When she finally let go of all of that, the path was clear. So what was the moment that let Joy move forward? Some of it was thinking about her mother and how short and precious life is. Some of it was thinking about her daughters and what she wanted to model to them. And some of it was just wanting to feel better about life.

What can we learn from Joy? We can learn to wake up, ask ourselves what we really want out of life, and take full ownership of it. We will have to step into our fears, face our demons, and maybe even face our worries about what other’s think of us. It won’t be easy, but trust me and Joy. It will be worth it!


Lisa Kaplin Psy. D. CPC

Lisa Kaplin Psy. D. PCC

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Smart Women, Inspired Lives: How to Be Happy & Confident

by Dr. Lisa Kaplin
Do you long for more energy? Do you wish you could walk into any room and feel happy and confident? Do you simply want to enjoy your life more – personally and professionally? You can. Too many women today are doing more, but feeling less satisfied. Life doesn’t have to be that way. With small tweaks and simple strategies, you can enjoy a great life with soaring self-confidence, a good sense of well-being, and plenty of laughter. This easy-to-read yet profoundly impactful book will be all you need to join the tribe of smart women living inspired lives. Your life gets better right now.

About Lisa Kaplin, Psy. D, PCC

headshot of Lisa KaplinCertified Life Coach and Psychologist at Smart Women Inspired Lives.

I’m the proud owner of Smart Women Inspired Lives, where I help overwhelmed and exhausted women move from the feeling of being “stuck” into a life filled with calm, confidence, and joy. In addition to the posts and articles I write, I offer individual and group life coaching sessions, classes and speaking engagement opportunities.


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Gain the Confidence You’ve Always Wanted

Are you stuck in a place where you don’t feel good about yourself, feel stuck, and don’t feel happy or fulfilled?  Whatever it is that keeps you from happiness can be solved.  It’s true! And it can usually be solved within a short amount of time.

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