Order makes the world go round. We have schedules and routines to keep us on track.
These are fine for day-to-day. But what about for life in general? There’s a commonly-accepted pattern of living, but you don’t have to follow it to be happy.
Consider the alternatives
You should always define your own happiness.
For example, the notion that we should go to college, get a job in our field, get married, buy a house and have kids is widely-shared as a sort of happiness “blueprint”.
For many, we’re exposed to this at an early age by parents, teachers or other children around us. We had no way to validate if this was the only way or one of many.
Disclaimer: I haven’t studied psychology, but I’m assuming that this has an impact on the way we view ourselves and the roles we take on in life.
Then, we face making our own decisions in adulthood. At the same time, the expectations we currently live by weren’t derived from within ourselves…how do we reconcile the two?
It’s easier to compromise our own comfort and just go with the status quo instead–foregoing the risk of living according to our own standards.
However, it’s perfectly acceptable to do something different, skip a few “steps” and live uniquely to you.
If you’re feeling pressure to start a job or attend a school that has been a long-standing tradition in the family, take time to consider what you want.
Sounds easier said than done, but interestingly enough, it can be. Our body usually lets us know our true thoughts before we’re even conscious of it.
Go with your gut
It’s probably one of the best indicators regarding your unfiltered emotions. Has your stomach ever suddenly dropped at the idea of accepting an invitation or sharing your honest, and potentially disagreeable, thoughts on a topic?
We’ve all been there. The feeling of dread can be paralyzing.
In alternative medicine the stomach is the area most associated with a sense of self and personal power.
When we’re living authentically, this area feels better, more relaxed. When we’re not, the tension is usually obvious, oftentimes manifesting physically.
Fight the fear of rejection
Dare to take that first leap and express yourself, openly and freely. Make that choice that you’ve held back on for so long. It’s extremely liberating.
Remind yourself that it’s your life. Equally important, it doesn’t have to strictly be black and white. Try mixing pieces of the “standard” with your own preferences. You’ll feel better in the long run.
As time goes on, the fear of what others think will fade and you’ll find your dreams closer than you realized.
“Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.”-George Addair
Learn to say no
Don’t worry about creating an excuse or someone’s potential response to you. That’s mostly a story we tell ourselves, which keeps us stuck in the pattern of saying yes.
If you can break this cycle, you can start applying it to bigger areas that make up your life.
No to that toxic relationship, that stressful job, that nagging expectation to have it all on social media. These, among other things, have a big impact on your overall well being.
The references to others, the way we’ve generally defined success or the “perfect” life holds no weight in this conversation. It really is about being authentic and cutting yourself a little slack along the way.