We are free to go in any direction we choose, but for all the choices we have in life it’s amazing how many of us find ourselves in a situation we never would have chosen.
Despite our freedom to make our own decisions many of us fall under the weight of other people’s expectations and as a result live a life we don’t enjoy.
If you can relate to this feeling keep reading because there is hope.
Are you trying to live up to other people’s expectations?
You might think you fall outside this group, but really think about it. What did you study? What career did you choose? Where do you live? What type of car do you drive? How do you spend your money? If you really think about it I bet at least some of these decisions have been influenced by the expectations of those around you.
It might be your friends, family, co-workers or even society at large. Whoever it is, you’re likely listening to their opinions and trying to live up to their expectations more than your own.
The best intentions
Friends, family and other influential people in your life do usually have the best intentions in mind, but they bring their own set of values, beliefs and biases to the table. What they think is best for you isn’t necessarily what is actually best for you. The truth is that only you know what you need to do to be happy.
Stop asking permission
I believe the biggest step we can all take towards living our best life is to stop asking permission. It’s not necessarily easy to do though.
The behaviour of seeking permission from others is ingrained in us from an early age. In childhood we are taught that we need to ask permission from someone else to do certain things. As a child this is appropriate, but as we grow up many of us hold onto that behaviour and it does us more harm than good.
When we make big life changing decisions many of us are still asking someone else for permission. The truth is though the only person you need to ask permission from is yourself.
Listen to your own voice
If you have an idea that has been brewing within you, calling you to take action, then take it. Don’t look for validation from others or seek their approval. Just take your first step.
If you’ve been wanting to take up painting again, or write that book you’ve always dreamed of writing, then do it. Don’t look to others to see if it might be the right decision, know that you wanting it is enough.
If you’ve been thinking of a career change and looking over courses to take at your local community college then take the first step and enrol.
If you’ve been dreaming of travelling somewhere new, don’t seek validation from co-workers and naysaying friends – just book your trip.
The truth is that for all their good advice, other people don’t need to live your life every day.
Give yourself permission
The only person that truly needs to live with your life decisions every day is you. When you start listening to your own voice and take steps that make you happy your life starts to change. It’s not necessarily a rapid transformation but it’s a real one where every decision you make guided by your own feelings gets you closer to living your best life.
If you’re living a life bound by other people’s expectations I challenge you to start taking control by giving yourself permission to do great things that light you up. You might be surprised at where it takes you.
Are you struggling to follow your own path in life? Do you feel the pressure of other people’s opinions weighing down on you? Or perhaps you’ve already stopped asking for permission and have some insight to share? Join in the conversation below and share your thoughts.
If you are not feeling that great about yourself or want to grab some tips to boost your self confidence Dumb Little Man is here to help. Check out this article on 11 Simple Ways To Fall In Love With Yourself.
|Written on 9/6/2013 by Michaela Cristallo. Michaela Cristallo is a designer, writer and all round creative enthusiast who stopped asking for permission to live a life she loves. She inspires people to live their best creative life every day at For the Creators. Join her at For the Creators to embrace your creativity and get your free copy of The Creator’s Manifesto.|
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