When was the last time you made a decision by yourself and for yourself? I can answer that honestly and say that I really can’t remember the last time I was able to fully do that. It’s been extremely difficult for me to live just for myself as I am constantly haunted by the thoughts of my decisions impacting others. Some would say that is selfless and it is empathetic to consider others when living out one’s own life.
But I say by doing that I am no longer living for myself. Instead, I am cautiously making decisions to please others and am sacrificing my own being.
A common example is of the student who graduates from high-school and is then pressured by their parents to obtain further education in a degree that they have no interest in. How can this student be successful in completing a degree in something they didn’t choose?
The reality is that we cannot please everyone and if we are going to spend time trying to please someone it should be ourselves. It’s easy to get lost in the shadows of others and seek acceptance when making decisions. This is an essential psychological need as outlined by Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (belongingness and love needs).
Abraham Maslow, a famous American Psychologist said that humans cannot reach self-actualization (achieve one’s potential) unless all their basic needs as outlined above are met. So basically, humans naturally seek acceptance and belongingness in order to advance to feelings of prestige and accomplishment to eventually reach self-actualization.
How Can I Start Living for Myself?
It’s about time you asked!
Who am I?
- First, you must figure out who you are and what you want. This tends to be the most difficult step.
- Do you want to be an artist, a musician, an athlete, an engineer? Do you want to graduate university, write a book, run a marathon?
- Or, maybe you just want to start taking more time to yourself and not feel guilty for doing so.
- Taking care of yourself is the absolute best thing you can do!
- Fulfilling your own needs in order to satisfy your happiness can be the most difficult step to take but I assure you that it’s worth it.
- Next, you must brainstorm the steps needed to pursue your goals without worrying how it will impact those around you.
- Remove and detatch yourself from others.
- Focus on your own goals that are separate from others and how you can achieve them without seeking their approval.
- What kind of standards must you set so that you can look back and think that you lived a life with few/no regrets.
- Accept the change that comes with this new journey you are embarking on.
- Since you will now be focusing mainly on yourself focus on adapting to a new mindset.
- Be yourself! Choose what it is that you want to do and make sure you are doing it for yourself.
- If you feel the need to seek acceptance or approval then you’re probably doing it wrong and need to start over.
By following this process your happiness will flourish two-fold and you will begin to live for yourself. Although this post is about living for yourself, you will see that once you do, those who love you will be happy for you and their approval (although not necessary) will come naturally, as your success becomes the success of your family and closest friends too.
Be proud of the life you are living and begin to live for yourself & not others! Happy Friday!
Comment down below any thoughts or feedback! Make sure to share this post with your friends and family.