We all do this even though we know it gets us nowhere and dampens our spirit each time we attempt it… The only person we need to answer to is yourself. It always has been and always will be. The urge to explain our decisions to others weakens our belief in our own judgment. We have to stop doing this. I’m going to share a few reasons why convincing others that your life choices are significant is a waste of time.
OTHER OPINIONS DON’T MATTER
This is true for family, friends, and all loved ones. We share this innate need to please, find home and acceptance with others, but we mostly need it with ourselves. We want to relate to others and reassurance from them that we are doing the right thing or the sensible thing. No matter how prestigious the person we converse with may seem, they do not hold the rule book, nor have they created the rules in said book. Each person’s rules are different and the only master of that literature is the individual. It’s like asking someone else to explain why you love the color blue. How the hell would they know? It’s in your heart, your reality, your life. They have nothing to do with it! Their perspective of the true you will always be at arm’s length. As if they are looking through a window of a party and can see the people inside and guess what their conversation is about based off of their perspective, but will never know what exchange really transpired on the other side of the glass. All they can do is question, guess and ASSUME. Since assuming is one thing I learned not to do, when others do it, I know its a sure thing the results will be unsavory. People are afraid of what they don’t understand. And when we are afraid we question and avoid.
Everything seems like a bad idea until someone proves its a good one. We must be able to identify when we are placing more significance on others’ thoughts about our life then our own. If we take advice or direction from people who are not going the same way as we want to and have no interest in our interests then, where do you expect we will end up? The difficult part is that some of these people we shouldn’t listen to end up being people that we care deeply about. That’s hard. It’s hard to go against what someone you love tells you, or when someone you love does not approve of something you are doing. This is where the detachment has to happen and the self assurance comes in. We cannot function as distinguished adults until we can make our own decisions. Sure, we can use others for a sounding board, but we must be cautious in doing so because human beings are very impressionable. For me, it took years to recognize that 99% of my decisions were influenced by other people. We tend to do this because the weight of responsibility for our own actions is so heavy and intimidating we rather delegate that stress out to others than deal with it ourselves. The conundrum is that NO ONE KNOWS WHAT THEY ARE DOING. We are all searching for answers from others just as clueless and the person we end up listening to is the one that seeks approval from no one. The goal is to be that person. We have the ability to be strong within our uncertainty. I’ve found that the only way for me to know if I am on the right path is to take the path and adjust along the way. That’s the best strategy moving forward. If it scares you, it’s probably what you need to be doing and chances are, it will terrify the people that love you too. Just accept it. We must prove that our decisions are the right ones not by words, but by action. Talk is cheap. People can grow blue in the face by talking, but until someone takes action, all will remain ignorant. We have to believe that our own gut is enough affirmation to move forward because it is all we have.
IF YOU’RE NOT FOCUSED ON LIVING- YOU’RE WASTING TIME
This pretty much sums it up, doesn’t it? When we worry about what others think we deprive ourselves of the happiness we could find in that moment. The dreaded epidemic of humans living in their head instead of in the world. Just saying it sounds binding and restrictive. We admire the people that do not need to clarify with others, that couldn’t care less if someone understands their life choices. Why do we idolize these people, yet disregard the same abilities in ourselves? We are as smart as we need to be for the moment we are in right now. We know enough and have as much control as we will ever have. All we should worry about is each moment. All of them, each one. Life takes care of itself. We are not the first to have lived and we will not be the last. Life is not one long, dramatic movie, but an array of colorful vignettes. Once we recognize that, we immediately divorce from the past because it does not feed the future. We can learn lessons, sure, and grow, of course, but life is not behind us, it is ahead. This never ending quest to figure life out is so amusing to me. No one has done it yet, did you ever notice that? I don’t think we are supposed to. I think the purpose of our life is to learn how to embrace what serves us and leave the rest. When we try to justify our life choices to others we subconsciously spend more time analyzing then living. We grow insecure and paranoid about or next step because now we have a fictitious score keeper in our mind. Well, that doesn’t make sense to do if your end goal is this. What are you doing? You know you are horrible at that! The inner critic’s fantasy is to keep you locked in a room alone starved of experience. It is beneficial to use your common sense when making decisions, but there are times when our choices make no sense- and that is OK. Those are the best ones. Those are the life changing ones. For such a long period of my life I have avoided looking naive or stupid, yet when I tried my best to avoid these perceptions, they were the way I was perceived. You really can’t please everyone and the more you attempt to the less you will want to. It’s a thankless job. It’s much more freeing when you act first and think later. Make choices and let life handle the rest. Enjoy the chaos and confusion from others. The alternative is boring and will certainly leave you feeling unfulfilled. It is a trick of the mind. Our mind wants to protect us, but can err on the side of restriction and others enforce that negative habit. Don’t let that happen. Be the one that no one understands. You are inspiring others in secret and you must not succumb to peer pressure. Misery loves company and it will make you miss your life if you are not careful. You can’t live an exciting life and make dull choices.
YOUR STORY IS YOURS TO WRITE
You were born alone, you will die alone. Pretty stark and intense, yet accurate. We fool ourselves into thinking that our parents’ or friends’ word is golden and the only way to move forward. Or we think since something has been done a certain way for years that that is the way we were meant to do it too. Says who? You really do hold the key and really can actualize the visions that dance in your head. Your interests don’t appear without purpose. God puts them there so you will challenge your faith and leap forward. It’s all a test. Can you push forward despite others holding you back? Are you strong enough to look stupid while following your heart? If not, then you don’t deserve the bliss that you have visions of because nothing will happen for you if you aren’ t willing to sacrifice for it. Why do we think that society should support us in everything we do, let alone accept us? There would be no character building if adversity did not exist. We must be grateful for those that do not understand us or our passions. They are the ones we have been put on earth to teach. How would we know that we are unique if everyone was the same? Our job is to write our own story and share each and every draft until we are satisfied with the final copy on our death beds. Our life is our own story to write so we cannot give the responsibility of author to someone else. If we do, its not ours anymore. I used to always check in with my mom on every single decision I was going to make. It got so bad that I didn’t realize I was doing it anymore and got to a point that I was apprehensive of signing off on things without her approval. At first, it was innocent and necessary because she knew more then me because I was a child and she was not. But as I grew older my eyes became open to the fact that I am separate from her, from everyone. I am my own person with my own mind. This was difficult because we did not and still do not always see eye to eye. At times I felt like I was betraying her when I wanted to pursue something on my heart. I would feel guilt that I was disappointing her in some way. I know better now. The lesson I learned is that I can still love and respect the people in my life without agreeing with them. I do not have to be like them to love them. That is a huge life lesson.
Please understand that I think that it is important to learn from others, but we cannot let others dictate over us. We must be open to others opinions and ideas while remaining loyal to our own. No one is owed anything in this life, things are put on offer. The moment you feel that you are obligated to do something, question why.