Jane is not happy. She has been told what to do all her life. Her parents chose which university she would go, the kind of friends she would walk with, the kind of style and fashion she had to follow and even the dreams she should have. Jane had never complained once, she believed that her parents know best and they would show her the right path.
Over the years she had listened to people’s opinions about her, what they feel about her, the steps they feel she should take, and how she should live her life. Still, Jane doesn’t have a problem with people running her life until recently.
Jane had never been lucky with relationships because she had always followed others advice and preferences she had always attracted the wrong set of people.
When she finally met someone she really loved, it was business as usual, everyone had the advice to give, she had lots of people who want her to model her relationship after theirs, her parents were not left out either. Things seemed like they were going fine until Ben told her, he was getting tired of the relationship. He told her to stand on her own, follow her own standards and principles, or lose him forever. Jane sat down to think and she realized that she basically had no life. So, she made a decision, to start living on her own terms not what others want her to do.
When did you realize that you have been living someone else’s life like Jane? Some realize it very early, it was a bit late for others. A lot of people cannot make decisions independent of anybody. Even though there is nothing wrong with asking for advice and getting mentored by people, there is a point where the choices and decisions should be yours not others. You have to be able to make decisions, solve a problem, think, and build a life for yourself and no one else.
Quite a number of people are not happy with what they do, how they live their lives, or even the kind of relationship and career they are into. It is even funnier that some have the wrong set of friends, the ones that were handpicked for them. The sad story is that they have allowed people to run their lives. The big question is why. Why would people want others to run their lives?
The first reason is that it is safe. If you know people, you will realize that we all love to have a safe zone, that comfort zone where nothing can reach or touch us. It is safe from risks and personal development. It gives you a false sense of security. These people feel it’s safe when they are not burdened to make decisions, they prefer to follow so-called mentors or role models and do whatever they do or ask them to do.
These types of people rarely make decisions at work, they just go with the flow. Whatever will make them leave their safe zone is never allowed.
The second reason is that they are scared of what people would say. One day, a friend told me that I was unteachable, there was nothing she told me that I would do. Prior to this time, I feared people’s opinions a lot but at that point, I had promised myself to live on my own terms. When she told me, I laughed and waved it off because I knew it wasn’t true. A lot of people have a problem because they listen too much to what people say. Sometimes what people say might be false, it is important to know what to listen to and take action on and what you should discard.
So, what how do you stop following people’s opinions and start respecting your own decisions?
The first thing you should do is to filter the information and advice you get from others. It is not everything you hear that is beneficial to you, it is not every thing that work for others that will work for you. The same goes with goals, plans, routines, etc. , Do not be apologetic about discarding information that won’t work for you. You should be in charge of your life and whatever you want should be paramount.
The second thing you should do is to set boundaries. Boundaries are very important when dealing with people. There are things people can have access to in your life and the ones that are totally off-limits. If you have not been setting a line that people should not cross then it is important you do, it is the only way to keep people out.
Another important thing is to let some people go. The problem is that we keep holding on to people whose time has expired in our lives so they become toxic. There are people who shouldn’t stay more than a season in our lives. Sometimes we need to declutter and protect our space, this is the way you can get to think and do things on your own without a lot of outside party interference.
What should I do? How should I act? What can I say? Which way should I go? Look for the right people who can help you to answer these questions not the ones that would live their own lives through you because you can’t take a stand for yourself. Nobody can make decisions for you forever, this is the time to stand for yourself and grow personally.
Writer: Empress_Writes (Esther Ayoola)