What gives a person’s life meaning is as unique to that person as their fingerprint. In order to live our own life, we must begin to identify and prioritize the things in our life that are the most meaningful to us. It is essential that we ask ourselves if we are truly living the life we want to lead. Are we making our life choices based on our own wants, beliefs, and values? Or are we living our life based on the expectations of those around us and prescriptions we acquired in our past? In other words, whose life are we really living?
Finding our own unique path can take time and involve a lot of trial and error. The process of becoming our true self lasts throughout a lifetime. Our personalities, interests and abilities are not set in stone. Humans are adaptable creatures, and we are always capable of change. However, in order to change our lives, we have to better understand ourselves first.
For many of us, just knowing what we want in life can be a challenge. However, it is not possible to live our own life on our own terms, unless we define what our terms are. Being in touch with what we want and what matters to us helps us prioritize, develop goals and ultimately get where we want to go.
When you don’t know what you want, you’re like a ship without a radar. Once you know what you want, you have a destination, and you can set course in that direction.
Discover what you truly want by asking yourself the following questions: What really lights me up? What matters most to me? Allow yourself to think freely, as you answer these questions instead of getting caught up in what you think you should be doing or what others would like you to do.
We often make the mistake of thinking that we are selfish if we spend time contemplating what we want, however this is a fundamental aspect of getting to know ourselves. Asking ourselves what our principles are doesn’t mean that we will ignore everyone else’s. On the contrary, deciding what matters to you includes recognizing the people who matter to you and acknowledging that they are a priority in your life and that caring for them is a big part of what makes you happy and gives your life meaning.
Advice such as “follow your passion” may sound funny. However, people are not only happier when they follow their passions, they are also more likely to excel in their chosen careers and activities. The stronger the internal motivation for doing something, rather than the external rewards, the more likely people are to succeed. So, think about what is meaningful to you! The reward!
Once you are in touch with what you want and what your core values are, it is important to set some goals for yourself. What do you need to accomplish to live your own life? It is helpful to write down your goals. Start with just a few, rather than overwhelming yourself with a large list of things that you would like to change. Think about specific actions you can take to achieve your goals. Start small and set targets that you can accomplish along the way. These targets will make it easier for you to keep yourself accountable and track your progress.
Pursuing goals is an essential aspect of living our own lives. Many of us have a tendency to fantasize about achieving our goals rather than taking the actions to achieve them.If we want to live our own life, we must be proactive about creating it.
As you begin to take actions toward your goals, be aware of the roadblocks that will arise along the way. The first enemy you will encounter is your “critical inner voice.” The critical inner voice is like a nasty coach that lives inside our heads. It consists of negative thoughts, beliefs and attitudes that oppose our best interests. It is our own worst enemy.
This inner critic evaluates our every move, puts us down and undermines our desires with thoughts like: ”You don’t really want that, do you?”; “You’ll never succeed”; “There’s no point in even trying.” It warns us about going after the things we want. The inner critic attempts to keep you feeling “safe” by reinforcing the familiar old identity you grew up with and maintaining your defensive adaptations to life. This inner critic will come up with a long list of reasons why you cannot or should not live your own life. It is essential that you break free from your inner critic and stop listening to its bad advice.
If you really want to change your life for the better, you must adopt a zero-tolerance policy toward your inner critic. As soon as you notice that you are starting to attack yourself, interrupt that negative thinking immediately.
As you overcome your inner critic, you will develop more personal power . Harnessing your personal power is essential if you want to live your own life. Personal power is a healthy form of self-assertion that reflects a natural striving for success, satisfaction and meaning in one’s life. Personal power is an expression of the real-self , and it is characterized by movement toward self-realization and transcendent goals in life.
The bottom line:
There is no greater challenge and no greater reward than to live your own life. Do not fear death, but rather the unlived life. You don’t have to live forever. You just have to live. Above all, PRAY.