Friends, family, co-workers, lovers and people who depend on you can all end up dictating how your life goes. Their demands, expectations, and needs can take over your life, and soon your life becomes more about them than about you. If that sounds even remotely like you, then reclaiming your life from other people is going to help you get back to living your life on your terms and in your own way. It’s going to help you be true to yourself and feel more fulfilled at the end of the day. It’s going to help you be happier, less stressed, and a better person when it comes to relationships and contributing to society. Sounds good, right? So, let’s talk about some steps to reclaiming your life and getting back on your own personal path that resonates with you at every step and turn in life.
Remind Yourself That Being Somewhat Selfish Is Alright
When you boil it down, other people don’t care about you. They care about themselves. They care about their needs and whether or not they are being fulfilled, and they often base your relationship with them around how good of a job you are doing with fulfilling their needs.
I’m not saying that everyone in your life is a cold-hearted monster who only thinks about themselves, but when it comes down to it, they are often acting selfishly. This is normal! This is a part of life! And, you need to embrace it if you want to reclaim your life from other people.
It’s alright to have some level of selfishness. You have to be concerned with yourself if you want to make choices that are good for you. It doesn’t mean you are going to shut other people out or stop being compassionate, but it does mean that the choices that really matter will not always be based on other people’s needs, but your needs as well.
Sometimes compromise is needed. When you are able to compromise during those times that you have to, you are more likely to feel good about your decisions and the people you are making them with.
There will be times that you simply can’t have your way at all, but those should be few and far between, not the normal way of living. It’s your life and your happiness, so choose to always keep your happiness and pleasure in consideration when making choices in life.
Don’t Focus On What Others Think
Reclaiming your life from other people requires you to let go of what other people think. When you are too focused on what other people think, other people’s beliefs can dictate how you live your life, which can cause you to ignore your own beliefs and values. Doing that is a HUGE disservice to yourself.
I have a friend who moved to a very small town on the East coast of Canada. There is a very common way of life there, and coming from a big city, she had a different way of living than most people in her small community. Her husband was from the community, and she was so worried that other people would judge her that she conformed to what they community wanted, even though it wasn’t who she wanted to be. She was living their path in life and ignoring her own, and within six months she was suffering from severe depression. She had completely lost herself and hated her life all because she was so worried about what other people thought.
There are 2 things to remember when it comes to what other people think.
1. People don’t really care about you as much you think they do. They may gossip about you and give you dirty looks and shake their head when they don’t agree with you, but in the long run, they are much more important to themselves than you are. They spend 99% of their brain power on themselves and only 1% on you, and if you put yourself into a deep depression for that 1%, you are making a huge mistake.
2. People are not going to be happy with you no matter what you do – unless it completely lines up with who they are (and even then, they are going to judge, gossip, and complain.) My friend who fell into the depression was often talked about in her community. Her ‘friends’ would tell her what people were saying about her and how people didn’t like her, and that made her feel even worse about herself. Then, the people who didn’t like her would tell her how her ‘friends’ really felt about her… and it wasn’t good! She was doing everything they wanted, just as they did it, and she still wasn’t liked by many people in the community. That was when she realized that if they weren’t going to like her, she might as well like herself!
Focus Less On Popularity
Popularity goes far beyond school. We all want to be liked and well-known and talked about in a positive way, but that isn’t always a reality. Sometimes being popular is just not in the cards, and valuing ourselves around how popular we are can cost us our happiness.
How can you drop the need to be popular? Following are 3 tips.
1. Get comfortable with yourself. When you like yourself a lot, then you won’t walk into a room looking at everyone wishing you were like them or that they would like you. Instead, you walk into a room feeling confident about yourself and who you are and what you have to offer, and that is all that matters to you.
2. Stop comparing yourself. When you compare yourself to others, you focus on your image in the eyes of other people. Reclaiming your life from other people requires that you clearly see your own unique value and what you bring to the table. Your uniqueness is who you are, and that’s what you want to pay attention to when it comes to your life and your happiness.
3. Get busy taking action on your life and the things you want to accomplish. When you do that, you don’t have a lot of time to focus on how popular you are or are not. You are too busy focusing on what you need to do today to accomplish your goals, and you feel amazing and confident because of it.
Focus More On Self-Fulfillment
Reclaiming your life from other people means you need to focus on you, and as we said, that’s not a bad thing. It helps you realize your passions and potential, and it helps you do what you were put here to do.
Don’t worry about becoming too self-absorbed when you focus on self-fulfillment. If you stay on track to your authentic needs and desires, then you will be helping other people out anyways. You will be doing things that make a difference for others as well as yourself because a lot of self-fulfillment comes from being useful and compassionate in life.
Moreover, you will be a more loving, patient, and compassionate person because you are more fulfilled and happy. This is why so many experts tell you to look after yourself first. When you do that, you gain the energy and desire to look after other people too.
What does focusing on self-fulfillment really mean?
– Doing things that make you feel accomplished at the end of the day.
– Paying attention to your needs and taking action on them.
– Understanding what your passions are in life and working towards them.
– Living up to your potential by putting yourself out there and challenging yourself.
– Doing things that make you feel cared for and valued.
– Doing things that make you feel happy.
– Removing things from your life that don’t serve you and help you on your path to becoming a better person.
Don’t Put High Expectations On Yourself
Yes, it’s good to have some goals in life, but you don’t have to be the best in order to be good enough. High expectations are one of the reasons people are so stressed out. They are trying to become something perfect, and that’s impossible to do, so they get stressed out as they work towards it, fail, work towards it again, and fail again.
Work to be the best that you can be. Doing your best is what matters, not reaching some expectation or level of awesomeness. Your best is all you can ever do, and if you always try to do it, you will stop feeling disappointed and, instead, you will amaze yourself at what you can accomplish in life.
Don’t Make Excuses
When it comes to reclaiming your life from other people, excuses are going to pop up all over the place. Things you’ve heard all your life that you probably believe on some level, such as, “You need to put other people first,” will pop into your head, and you will find an excuse to put yourself back in a place where you are living for others and not yourself.
Remember that those things you believe are just opinions you’ve heard from other people. They are not fact. You don’t have to put other people first in order to be a good person. There may be times where it is required, but for the most part, being a good person means putting yourself first and looking after yourself so that you can take care of other people. Remember the plane rule: put your oxygen mask on first so you are capable of doing so for others.
Don’t try to justify why you shouldn’t reclaim your life! Instead, justify why you SHOULD reclaim your life. Make a list of all the benefits reclaiming your life will have, and keep it somewhere you can look at it whenever you feel guilt, shame, or blame in your life for not making your life about other people.
Look Forward To The New And Improved You
As you focus on reclaiming your life and becoming a new you, you don’t want to revert back to the way you are now. The funny thing about life is that we can get really comfortable where we are, even if we are living our lives for other people, and that sense of being comfortable can suck us back into the way we were even if we know we are not going to be happy.
This is about reclaiming your life from other people, which means that you are going to be making some big changes in life. These changes require your commitment to a new and improved you, and that’s how you have to view it. You have to visualize yourself as a new person who is in charge of their own life. You have to see your potential and the rewards that living up to it will bring.
When you can look forward to who you are becoming, you will keep moving forward. But if you look back, you may start to take steps backward and slow down or stop your progress altogether.
Looking forward to the new you is the easiest way to make big changes. So, it’s important to understand the benefits of reclaiming your life from other people and focus on them consistently as you start to live your life based on your wants, needs, and beliefs.
Following are 4 things to always remember on this journey.
1. You will feel empowered and in charge of your life. You will feel like your own boss instead of an employee in your own life. That feeling will boost your confidence and self-worth, which will help you in every area of your life.
2. You will stop blaming other people for your life because you will realize that everything that happens is a result of your choices and no one else’s. That means your outlook towards other people will change and your relationships with them will change. No more feeling resentment or anger or jealousy because you will realize that they have nothing to do with how your life is playing out.
3. Your health will increase as you pay attention to yourself more. You will be looking after your needs, doing things that make you happy, and feeling great about life, which will lower your stress and encourage positive changes in your life. This is a result of being more empowered and fulfilled in life, and it is the best way to finally start paying attention to what your mind and body needs to work its best.
4. You will be doing things that matter to you. When it comes to work and your free time, you will be making choices based on your preferences, which means that you will be consistently doing things that matter to you. This may require a job change or going back to school or using your money for vacations to enjoy life rather than clothes to impress other people, but you will be making changes that help you live a purposeful and passionate life. That’s the ultimate gift you get from reclaiming your life from other people, and it will be something you celebrate often once you live it.