In the past, I’ve been guilty of living my life to the expectations of others. Family members, friends, and casual acquaintances will tell you how to live your life to make them happy. Others will say that you need to go to a specific school, study a specific subject/major, work in a specific field, love a specific kind of person…the list goes on. If the things other want for you are things you don’t want for yourself, it can make you feel absolutely miserable. The more you focus on making others happy, the less likely that you are to be happy. It can lead to resentment towards others and an overall miserable existence and that’s simply no way to live.
Why are people so focused on living for others? The primary reason for this is because we’re programmed to please others. This is especially true when it comes to pleasing parents. I know this because for the longest time, I’ve been trying so hard to please my own family. Doing this was beyond exhausting, and it ruined my mental health significantly. Plain and simple, I hated it.
It took me a few years to realize that trying to make others happy only hurt my own happiness and self-esteem. I decided that I had to do what I wanted- even if others didn’t necessarily approve of it. As long as I wasn’t hurting anyone, it was alright to do what I wanted to make me happy. Living my authentic self (if you will) became incredibly important to me- and I’m all the better for it.
I understand the idea that living for others can be scary as hell. You never want to disappoint others, including those closest to you. But those people aren’t living your life; YOU ARE. I know the phrase “You only live once” is something of a cliché that brings about eyerolls. Yet it’s true; you only live once! We only have one life to live, so why the f*ck would you want to waste it living your life for others? Doing what you want is extremely important, so do it!
What do you think about the notion of living for yourself and not for others? Is it something you’ve had to deal with in the past? Let me know in the comments, or hit me up on social media!