Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.Judy Garland
You come first. This is your life.
You should spend it the way you want and not the way other people expect you to.
Don’t settle and don’t think you are limited only because you feel you have to be a certain way based on what your environment might expect from you or you’re scared of not being loved for who you truly are.
Even though it might be difficult at times, you need to decide to do what you know is best for you. Maybe other people won’t like it or understand it, but that’s okay. You are not a little cute puppy. Not everybody is going to like you or your actions. You do not have to be liked by everyone to be happy. What you do need to do to be happy is very simple:
Be yourself without being limited by expectations or fear of judgement.
What usually gets us isn’t just whether people like us or not. It is whether by their standards we are good or not. We fall into the trap of believing that morality and values are an objective compass and hence the same for everyone. We simply assume that someone else’s compass works the same way ours does. Even though we know that this cannot be true – we’re all different, with different values and a different sense of morality -, we still structure our lives around what other people think is best for us. But no matter how well they mean, they cannot possibly know.
Each of us is a beautifully unique individual. Someone else’s ‘right’ is not necessarily right for you. So give yourself the permission to be yourself, according to your own beliefs, values and based on how you view the world. Instead of living someone else’s life, always choose to live the truth that you know in your own heart. I also urge you not to reject or discard any kind of happiness you’ve found in life, simply because someone doesn’t approve. Seeing you happy has to be enough for anyone, who truly loves and supports you.
We often think that we ‘should’ do something or be a certain way – and again, unless you think you should, you really shouldn’t! Shoulds are closely related to guilt and societal expectations. Free yourself of those ‘shoulds’, because they will inevitably lead to unhappiness!
Research has shown that if we lower our own expectations we are more likely to be happy. We tend to judge and we also tend to hold the people in our environment and most of all ourselves to very high standards. When we, however, choose to let that go, life will be less bumpy, you will encounter less heartbreak along the way, but more freedom.
Also, very important to keep in mind – you become like the five people you spend the most time with in your life. Perhaps one of the dominant findings from happiness research is that social connections are key to happiness.
Always remember the good in people. But even though you see all the good, they still might not serve the vision that you have for your life. It is perfectly okay to let go of people like that! And when you leave the wrong people and expectations behind, the right things start happening.
Like your happiness.