Can you remember who you were, before the world told you who you should be?
I promise you, there will never be a perfect time to do anything in your life. Nothing will ever feel 100% certain or make perfect sense to you and everyone else. There will never be a perfect time to fall in love, or to travel the world. You will never have enough training, enough preparation, or enough money. And despite this, even when you feel ready to take a bold step into the unknown, others will likely try to talk you out of it. Because they won’t feel ready themselves, and your ambition and bravery will challenge their levels of comfort. But you don’t owe them an explanation, or any other personal sacrifice you don’t want to make. This is rather difficult to grasp at first.
Waiting to feel 100% ready or validated is the easiest way in which we cheat ourselves out of wonderful life experiences. I challenge you to consciously free yourself from this self-limiting mentality. Book that plane ticket, even if you feel lots of uncertainty. Sign up for that educational course, even if you have no idea how it will go. Trust me when I tell you it will all come together for the better.
When you meet your dreams with intention, when you meet them with mental and physical dedication, irrespective of how prepared or supported you feel, you invest your trust in the act of LIVING. You make your dreams a priority instead of line items on a list. And that’s good because your dreams are not inkblots, they are meant to be experiences. You have to test them out in the real world to know if they’re possible and worthwhile ventures in the long run.
Take a stand. Fight for what makes sense to you, and you will see how your life gradually turns into a living, breathing manifestation of everything you could have imagined.
As you progress on this new journey of living, remember that some people around you will naturally be taken aback. But as long you aren’t hurting them, you don’t owe them anything that takes away your power to move forward with your life.
Be kind, and keep these 12 points in mind…
1. You don’t owe anyone the right to regulate your dreams.
Don’t let other people sell you their dream and tell you it’s yours.
Find YOUR path and YOUR purpose! Listen to your own intuition. If you have a dream, don’t just sit around. Gather the courage to believe that you can succeed, and leave no stone unturned to make it a reality.
2. You don’t owe anyone the right to clutter your mental and physical space.
Clutter is the mental and physical manifestation of unmade decisions, often fueled by fear and drama.
Don’t let the wrong ideas and people clutter and confuse you. Be steady and well-ordered in your life so you can be fierce and original in your passions and work. As you unclutter your life, you will slowly free yourself to effectively answer the callings ringing deep within your core.
3. You don’t owe anyone else a rationalization for investing in yourself.
Investing in yourself is the smartest investment you will ever make. It will not only improve your life, it will improve the lives of all those around you.
Prioritize your own needs into your daily to-do’s. Invest in your education, health and happiness every single day. Create a life that feels good on the inside, not one that just looks good on the outside to everyone else.
4. You don’t owe anyone another excuse (but you owe yourself another chance).
If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse. You know this is true.
Even a tiny effort is infinitely more productive than a big, impressive excuse. So stop seeing every obstacle as an excuse and start seeing those obstacles as forming a pathway to what you want to achieve. (The Miracle Morning.)
5. You don’t owe anyone the authority to validate you.
Some people will never “appreciate you” or “get you.” Do not waste an eternity asking why. You don’t need them to validate you. You are already valuable!
Everyone will see you differently, and that’s perfectly OK. Cherish those who lift you higher, and move on to doing what you know must be done.
6. You don’t owe anyone the love you need to be giving yourself.
Yes, love others, but don’t forget about yourself in the process. Learn to value yourself, which means: fight for your love, happiness and peace of mind.
Say it: “I am too intelligent, too unique and too resourceful for anyone to be able to take charge of me entirely. No one can know me or love me completely, at the same depth I can know and love myself.”
7. You don’t owe anyone the respect you deserve to be showing yourself.
Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, grows you, or makes you happy. Respect yourself enough to stand strong beside your morals and values. Respect yourself enough to be YOU.
When you are content to be yourself, wholeheartedly, without comparing, competing or conforming, anyone worth respecting will respect you.
8. You don’t owe anyone else a “yes” when you need to say “no.”
There are often too many things we feel we should do that, in reality, we don’t really have to do. Getting to the point where we can easily tell the difference is a major milestone for living a positive life.
Give yourself permission to say “no” without feeling guilty. Anyone who gets upset or expects you to say “yes” all of the time clearly doesn’t have your best interests at heart.
9. You don’t owe anyone else your quiet “me time.”
Give yourself some quiet “me time” every day. Make it a priority.
When you connect to the silence within you, that’s when you can make sense of the chaos going on around you. (Read A New Earth.)
10. You don’t owe anyone a change in your fashion, style or appearance.
As Franz Kafka so eloquently said, “Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion (trends).”
Truly, the most beautiful makeup of a woman is passion. But cosmetics and fancy clothes are easier to buy. The same principle applies to men.
Forget what “they” want you to look like. Style yourself the way you like. Style is knowing who you are, what you want to do, and not giving a darn about being judged for it.
11. You don’t owe anyone else an explanation about your important relationships.
Relationships don’t always make sense, especially from the outside. So don’t let outsiders decide what’s best for your relationships. Their opinion doesn’t matter. If you’re having an issue with someone important to you, work it out with THEM and no one else.
You have to live your own life your own way – that’s all there is to it. Each of us has a unique fire in our heart for certain people. It’s our duty, and ours alone, to decide if a relationship (intimate or platonic) is right for us. If you and the other person both agree that it is, IT IS, and it’s worth working on, together.
12. You don’t owe anyone the power to repeatedly break your heart (but you owe yourself a chance to heal once and for all).
It’s always difficult to let go of someone you care about (or cared about) without getting hurt in the process. Even if this person has hurt you a hundred times, you start thinking of all these what ifs – these maybes about the future. But that’s just the thing: there’s nothing concrete and reliable about these feelings and fantasies. The reality of their actions has disproven them.
When someone shows you their true colors time and time again, it’s best to believe them and carry on. You have far more important things to focus on. (Angel and I discuss this in more detail in the “Relationships” and “Adversity” chapters of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)
All details aside, you don’t owe anyone power over your life. In most cases, you don’t owe them anything at all. Be kind, but be firm in your resolve. Your life is a sum of your choices, so choose not to let anyone else choose for you.
Say it with me: “I alone am enough. I have nothing to prove beyond waking up every morning and doing my best, honestly and authentically.”
(And if someone is blocking you from doing your best, it might be time to block them for a while.)
Which point above resonated the most with you? What have you given up in the past simply to satisfy others? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts and insights.
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Photo by: Cameron Bushong