How To Stop Living For Others And Start Living For Yourself
Take a minute and answer these questions: Why are you in your current job? How did you choose your major in college? Why don’t you spend all your time on your favorite hobbies? To the first question, you probably said, “The job pays enough money.” The second: “My parents told me to get a career.” And the third, “Hobbies all the time? That would be selfish.”
These answers highlight what’s wrong with many of our choices in life: we do what others tell us, or what we think we are “supposed” to do. What you really want deep down rarely enters the equation. This has to change. You need to start living for yourself and start doing what you love doing!
Your negative beliefs are the biggest obstacle between you and your dreams.
If you feel that you’re an undiscovered genius lost in the daily grind of a dead-end job, you need to ask yourself – what’s holding you back? Most likely it’s you, or more specifically, your negative beliefs.
What we believe is largely based on the messages with which we’ve been bombarded since we were very young. Your parents, for instance, might have told you that nobody in the family has ever been any good at making money. The more you hear this message, the more likely your brain and subconscious will believe it’s true.
The result? You’ll shy away from pursuits that could lead to financial success, from learning about investment strategies to pursuing an MBA – all because you’ve convinced yourself that trying to make money is pointless.
Such negative beliefs are known as the Big Snooze. It’s this part of your personality that keeps you from chasing your dreams. Fortunately, you’re more than capable of freeing yourself from the crippling power of the Big Snooze. How? By adopting positive beliefs that allow you to have faith in yourself.
Start by reflecting on who you are as if you were another person entirely. Admire your strengths, and think honestly about all the good things you could say about yourself.
Use these reflections as the basis for some positive beliefs. When you believe that you’re talented, that your ideas are worthwhile and that you have something to offer the world, the negative attitudes that you’ve carried with you for so long will cease to hold you back. It’s at this point that your journey begins.
Discover the person you want to be and don’t let anyone tell you to quit.
When we’re young, we have an intuitive understanding of who we are and how we do things. But as we grow older, we stop listening to this inner knowledge and do what others tell us to do.
If you want to make your ambitions reality, you need to embrace your inner badass. Once you stop caring about what other people think, you can find your own path!
Do you dream of becoming an author? To do this, you’ll have to write a lot! This, in turn, likely requires you to carve out free time while you hold down a job that helps you pay the rent.
Colleagues may snicker about your “hobby.” Friends may drift away as you spend less time with them and more time on your novel. These changes can be bitter, but you have to push on if you want to get published.
Appreciate that you’re doing your own thing, and you’ll find the strength to ignore the disapproval of others. Granted, it’s not always easy to discover your “thing.” The demands or pressures of friends and family hem many of us in. But if you decide to become a doctor or a store manager just because it’s family tradition, you’ll wind up hating your job and your choices.
So listen to your intuition and take a step back to observe how you live, what you do and what really interests you. Reflecting in this way will help you discern what you truly want from life. If you’re yearning to become a blacksmith, for example, then accept this fact and go for it!
Express a desire to learn, cultivate gratitude, and learn how to forgive for a happier, richer life.
Your time on this earth is limited – so make the best of it! Every day offers a chance to enjoy and celebrate life’s journey, though it’s all too easy to forget this in the rush and bustle of modern life. There are three things you can do to value each day a little more:
- First, change your attitude to challenging tasks. Rather than approaching a problem like an expert, consider yourself an avid learner. People with a passion to learn don’t feel pressure to prove their abilities, which means they don’t grapple with the fear of failure, either. Mistakes are no longer frightening but a welcome part of the learning journey. Let’s say you’re a professional ice skater. If you see yourself as a champion, every fall can feel like failure and a blow to your self-esteem. But if you’re instead a lifelong learner, you’ll approach new challenges with a playful attitude, with more courage to take risks that in turn help you learn more.
- Second, make an effort to express and experience gratitude daily. Gratitude isn’t about showing appreciation for the sake of being polite – it’s a positive state of being. By being grateful, you keep all the good things in life in the foreground of your thoughts. And by practicing and sharing gratitude, you can help others stay positive, too. Say, for example, you work in a tight-knit team. You can practice gratitude by focusing on what your team does well. Perhaps you’re able to keep communication transparent, open and kind. Or your team strives to keep egos in check. Whatever it is, be thankful for it! And thank every member for the things they do well.
- Finally, you can improve each day by learning to forgive others and yourself, too. If someone hurts you or betrays you, the incident will trouble you until you forgive them. Why? Because forgiveness allows you to move forward in life. The same goes for something you might have done that you now regret. If you’ve done your best to make amends, it’s time to forgive yourself. By accepting yourself and your mistakes, you’ll be able to free yourself from negative thoughts and sleepless nights.
Your thoughts are powerful, so make them work for you!
In our modern world, we’re hyper-focused on action. Thinking things over and taking time to develop ideas, on the other hand, are habits that we don’t often practice. But we should.
Perhaps you want to become a writer, but the road to becoming a published author is unclear. To uncover the how of this process, you might look to literary role models and examine how they achieved their dreams to find inspiration for your own path.
As you feel your way and progress, you’ll begin to feel comfortable calling yourself a writer. Thinking of yourself as the person you want to be is another powerful way to make your thoughts work for you.
By acting as if the thing you want is already a reality, negative thoughts won’t be able to hold you back. In other words, fake it ‘til you make it!
If you dream of becoming a great speaker but are afraid of addressing a crowd, don’t focus on your trembling hands or timid voice. Instead, visualize yourself delivering fantastic speeches, and you’ll soon be presenting more confidently. The more speeches you give, the more your confidence will grow, and the more your public speaking will improve – this is called a virtuous circle.
Tackle procrastination, excuses and hesitation
Thought is a powerful tool when it comes to achieving your goals, but it must be combined with real action. To act positively, you need to first overcome the drag of procrastination and hesitation.
When we procrastinate, we let the fear of failure stop us from following through on decisions. If you think that you’re not qualified to perform a certain task, you’ll look for any reason not to try it. Thoughts like “My writing isn’t good enough” or “It’ll never pay the way” will only hold you back.
To overcome these excuses, you need to convince yourself of your purpose. If your resolve is weak, this may be a sign that you need to redefine your goals.
Taking action also requires you to overcome hesitation. This isn’t easy! Often, we hesitate when we’re scared to become someone we might not like. Let’s say that your dream is to become a stage actor, holding the attention of appreciative audiences and commanding a powerful presence.
But you hesitate when you seriously consider this goal. After all, you’ve never liked extroverts, and it seems to you that most people judge such people negatively, too. Will becoming an actor turn you into the very person you dislike? Short answer – no. You simply need to learn to overcome your hesitation.
To do this, you need to stop judging others. Then spend time asking yourself tough questions, like “Do I really want to become an actor?” or “Will it make me happy?”
If you answer yes to these questions, then it’s time to recognize your hesitation and procrastination for what they really are. No more excuses!
Focus all aspects of your life toward your goal.
So you’ve decided to change your life path to work toward your dream goal. But how far will you go? Too often talented people don’t live their dreams because they give up too soon.
Remember that failure is a fact of life, and we all experience rejection. Basketball legend Michael Jordan didn’t make the cut for his high school basketball team; renowned movie director Steven Spielberg was rejected from film school three times!
While rejection is a part of anyone’s journey, quitting is something you should never do. Instead, learn from your mistakes and keep pushing until you create the life you’ve always wanted.
To overcome the temptation to give up, you need to remain responsible in all aspects of your life. If your habits, surroundings or circle of friends make it harder for you to achieve your goals, it’s time to make some thoughtful changes.
In fact, creating a new environment and lifestyle centered around your life purpose is one of the best ways to stay on track.
If you’re an aspiring writer, surround yourself with people who have similar passions. Start and end your day in ways that will help you reconnect with your goals. Explore new groups, places and communities that can provide you with more support as you push forward.
It’s also worth reflecting on how you think about money. While it’s good to be conscientious about saving and spending, choosing to spend big from time to time is justified if doing so will improve your life. Use your money to live the life you want in accordance with your life goals!
Ultimately, your new life will emerge through clear intentions, powerful desires and action. Don’t care about what others think, and crucially, give yourself permission to live your dreams!
To stop living for others and live for yourself., learn to pinpoint the things in your life that are holding you back and make changes to how you live and think to address these blocks. Importantly, don’t let anyone distract you from doing what you love! Soon enough, you’ll find yourself living a life of which you’ve always dreamed.