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How to Live Your Own Life, Despite the Opinion of Others

Updated on June 19, 2013
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"I don't know what I want!" We've likely all said this at one point or another. There's a simple reason why this is so. Rarely do we ever stop, quiet ourselves and listen to what we really like, enjoy, and want. When it comes to making choices, sometimes we just refer to the jumbled up inventory of ideas that is in our minds, most of which are things that we have seen and heard from other people.

There are dreams and ideas that we create on our own, from inspiration through our inner being. There are also ideas and opinions that our minds are flooded with, which have originated from other people. Most of these are well-meaning people around us- family, friends, and anyone else who had any influence over us since childhood. Which thoughts are stronger in your mind?

Let's look into the psychology of guilt, which truly plays a huge part in our choices. I am not a psychologist, but I think most of this is simple and clear to most people. Well-meaning people in our lives want the best for us. They want us to be financially secure. They want us to be respected by others and to have a comfortable life. What happens when our passions and dreams are ones that are not typically associated with that type of lifestyle?

A huge percentage of people are creative-minded. They are drawn to careers that some parents wouldn't choose for their own children. Once in a while, you'll see parents who support and encourage their child's talents and dreams in something associated with the arts. Yet, how often have you heard "hungry actor" or "starving artist"? Nobody wants those associations to their own child. So, many parents encourage their children to be doctors and lawyers. There's money in that, isn't there? There's prestige.

Have you or anyone you know been encouraged through childhood to be something they have no desire to be? Sure. I see it all around me. Unfortunately, the majority of people I know who were called by their inner beings to be something extraordinary chose the path of common success. That's using the term "success" loosely. Sure, they may have a good paycheck every two weeks or so, but are they happy? Are they really successful? I believe that those who follow their dreams and do things that seem completely illogical to other people ultimately achieve tremendous success and personal fulfillment. Also, they don't work a day in their life. They do what they want, and that is true success. We are all inspired to do certain things and too often we suppress this calling in order to abide by society's invisible rule of conformity.

The first step is to accept that you are the only person who knows what is best for you. What is meant by "best" is that it is what will truly satisfy you. The second step is to understand that this leap of faith is only as risky as your belief in it. If you are unsure and are too conditioned to believe that you will be left hungry and dependent on others, then you are setting yourself up for that. Take this step fully and completely knowing that not only is this the path to ultimate success, but it will keep your belly and your pockets full. Stop looking around you and accepting stereotypes. Your purpose is always parallel to the path that brings you the most joy and satisfaction. Period. Don't listen to anyone. If you are not seriously hurting yourself or anyone else in the fulfillment of your goals, then always listen to your own guidance system over those of people around you who do not see and understand your vision.

Your loved ones might be upset. In fact, they will think you have completely lost it. You've become a rebel. It's okay. Listen to your heart, meditate if you want to, pray if you prefer to. Learn to understand the voice within yourself and trust it. At first, everything might seem upside down with no clear direction. Make one decision at a time. Your intuition regarding your career path will become sharper and sharper as you trust it. Here's what Wayne Dyer has to say about all this: http://www.drwaynedyer.com/blog/whose-opinion-matters.

This can be easier to do when you're younger and have not yet chosen a career path. Clearly, if you're already in a job you don't like in order to support a family, this will take more guts and it will involve your family in a very direct way. Be considerate of others. If they understand your goals, they may very well support you and that will be worth more than gold. I will warn you that if you are already not happy in your marriage and family life, this will create more discord before any positive results show up. Decide what is best for you and your family. Do you ultimately have to make the choice between your family and your true happiness and self fulfillment? If it comes to that, then you will know what to do. Once you start listening to your inner being and understanding intuition, there is no turning back.

Surround yourself with people who believe in you and encourage you. Have friends who see out your strengths and do not ever point out or focus on your weaknesses. Do not hang around anybody who makes you feel worthless, untalented or belittled. Do not let anyone tell you what you should be doing instead of what you are doing. When you have successful friends who are happy with their own choices, they will never, ever be focusing on your choices. They will only be happy that you are on your path and doing what you enjoy doing. When your financial bounty appears, they will not be surprised at all. Don't bother defending yourself and your choices to those who do not understand. It will only hold you back and throw you off alignment with your focus. Let them think what they like, because their negative thoughts can only affect them, as soon as you understand that you can control your own thoughts and through that, control your own path and success in the fulfillment of your true life purpose.

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Would you make a major life change that you felt truly good about, even if the closest people around you said it was a huge mistake?

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    • local connection profile image
      Author

      local connection 4 years ago from USA

      Thank you all for your comments. I like bringing attention to topics such as these because there are so many times we can be judged for our choices. It's essential to our sanity and happiness that we listen to our true selves first and not automatically take the opinions of others as more valuable than our own. Thanks for sharing!

    • CriticalMessage profile image

      Murphy 4 years ago from Chicagoland, Illinois

      Being honest with oneself, and living that honesty honestly, can be quite alienating indeed... We all have to suppress who we truly are. to some extent... Conformity to gain a bearable level of acceptance is required or you will be that troll scaring people from under that lonely bridge.

    • Darknlovely3436 profile image

      Annie 4 years ago from NewYork

      I enjoy reading your hub, only yester in my communication class

      your hub was one of our topic..

      good share.

    • torrilynn profile image

      torrilynn 4 years ago

      That is very true.

      thanks for the hub overall

      Sharing this with others.

    • Anamika S profile image

      Anamika S 4 years ago from Mumbai - Maharashtra, India

      One thing I have learned in life is that you can please everyone. Our happiness do not depend on others but from within ourselves so why bother?

    • sharingknowledge profile image

      SHAR NOR 4 years ago from Miami, FL

      Great Hub. Thank you for sharing.

    • local connection profile image
      Author

      local connection 4 years ago from USA

      I agree, which is also why trying to defend ourselves is usually counter-productive to what we're trying to accomplish.

    • torrilynn profile image

      torrilynn 4 years ago

      local connection,

      i guess the best thing to do is to avoid negative people and those

      who aren't doing anything with their lives such as going to school

      or even having a job. you should realize that their negativity is just them

      voicing their own opinions on how they feel about themselves and has absolutely

      nothing to do with you. having that mindset shall help you to live your own life.

      thanks and voted up