Have you ever wished your family were a fairy tale?

Do you find yourself wishing for a picture-perfect family – the loving, caring, kind family that sees you and celebrates you? The people who don’t judge you and are always grateful for you, exactly the way you are?

Has that wish ever been fulfilled? Or does it feel more like the fairytale you wish for that can never be, no matter how hard you try!

But, what if what can be is actually far greater than the fairytale?

What if you could begin creating something that truly works for you – no matter what others are choosing around you?

Let’s go beyond the fairytale and see what else is possible…

You are not your family!

You are not your family, you are you!

When we grow up with the people we grow up with, it is easy to confuse us with them. We think we are the same and like them. Having the same people around you is like swimming in the same soup every day. If you swim in carrot soup it does not mean that you are a carrot yourself. Know who you are! Ask yourself, “How different am I? How different am I willing to be and choose to be?”

Go above your raising

Are you allowing yourself to be happier, greater, kinder, richer, wealthier, more successful than your family? Or are you trying to make them feel good and stay connected by being just like they are? Often we are not even aware that we are doing this. Once we see that we have been creating our lives just as theirs and trying not to be greater than them, we can make a different choice. What if you inspire others when you choose to be great?

Stop waiting and start living

You can wait for your family to love you and see you or you can start living and creating. What if you are your family and treated you the way you wished your family did? What if you are the one who trusts you and nurtures you into greater possibilities every day? When you have your own back, you can receive others having your back. Start with yourself. Trust you, be in allowance of you, honor you, be vulnerable with you, be grateful for you! Once you be that with you, you can find others you can be close to.

Do what is expected, or choose what works

Family is a fixed structure for many. Your family might wish for you to do X, Y or Z, to be a good family member from their perspective and live your life according to their standards. But what if that is their perspective and totally okay for them to have that, and it is just as okay for you to think differently and have different wishes for your future?

What if you could choose to be with and interact with your family in a way that makes you happy no matter if it matches anybody’s standards or not – including the standards of your own family members? What if the creation of your family and your life looks nothing like the way others believe to be right? What do you know? What works for you?

Would you be willing to commit to your life? Today? Yes, people might get upset, but not being happy just to have people be okay with you is a great price to pay. What is your choice?

“I don’t want to be like my mother!”

Here comes a tool for you. You might not like it, but it works! Be willing to be like the person who like the least. What!? Yes! As soon as you stop resisting the attributes of the person you like the least, you get free. Your mother’s dominance might come in handy someday. One day you may be in a situation where submission is not the tool that works. When you don’t have a judgment of any attribute, it becomes merely a tool to use rather than something you have to be or become (or avoid becoming).

Who are you dealing with?

Family is often the realm where we turn off our awareness. We are so used to our family members, we know what their habits are, how they talk, think, feel, react. We react and create from the past as an ongoing pattern. With that we forget to look closely. We stop seeing what is in favor of what has been.

Have you ever looked closely who the people you call family are? Have you asked how they became who they became? Finding out about their history can give you a lot of information and a different perspective. Then say to yourself every time you meet them, “If I know not them, what would I be aware of?” That question allows you to see things that you have not seen before while you were busy with your past reference points. As long as we are looking at people through our past reference points, our expectations, judgments and rejections of them, we cannot see anything else. Start looking closely! Ask, “Who am I dealing with here, right now?”

“You never visit!”

Who invented the rule that you have to spend time with your family? Others often have needs of us. That’s no problem, as long as you include you! Including you and being of service of others can be a fun thing to do. Contributing to others when it comes from choice rather than obligation can be creative and rewarding. Having to help and do for others because they claim that they need you, is different. What if you choose to visit when you know it creates more for everybody rather than just the people who say they need you?

Gratitude and admiration

Yes, good old gratitude! It can seem impossible with family but it is possible every time you choose it. Gratitude is when you are grateful for people exactly as they are. You can even be grateful for mean people. How? Start admiring them for their meanness. “Wow, you are so good at being mean. I admire you for your ability to be so mean, it’s truly incredible how you do this!” Do not say this to them out loud, just think it for yourself. Admiration gets you out of judgment and resistance of them. When you judge and resist you are making yourself the victim of them. The moment you admire and are grateful, you are in charge!


Taking yourself or others seriously makes everything significant and overwhelming. Turn on your humor! If your family were cartoon characters, what characters would each of them be? Looking at family with humor lets you step back and see the funny side of what others are choosing, and not take any of it personally! What if you could be amused by what people in your family say and choose, without getting involved in it?

When you start to have a different choice with family beyond the fairytale pictures, you may discover greater courage and capacity for happiness than you thought you had, so why not go for it and choose what works for you? Know what you know!

Here is the link to the new book Fairytalefamily.

Susanna Mittermaier, born in Vienna, Austria, is a psychologist educated at the University of Lund, Sweden, where she worked at the university hospital in the psychiatry department with psychotherapy and neuropsychological testing. She is the founder of Pragmatic Psychology and author of the #1 international bestselling book, “Practical Tools for Being Crazy Happy.” Her new book is called “Family Fairytale”.

As a highly sort after public speaker and keynote speaker, Susanna has been featured in magazines such as Forbes, TV soap, Psychology Today, Women’s Weekly, Ooom, Wienerin, Empowerment Channel Voice America, Om Times, Motherpedia, Newstalk New Zealand, Holistic Bliss and many more. Susanna offers a new paradigm of therapy called Pragmatic Psychology and is known for her ability to transform people’s problems and difficulties into possibilities and powerful choices.

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