In a recent conversation, I made the comment, “I really do think Tyler Durden had it right.” Of course, I looked back into the blank stares of the people around me trying to figure out the point I was working my way toward making. I am a firm believer that at some point we have to reach down and take ownership of our lives. We’re too worried about what people think, how they will react, how they feel, how they will judge us. It’s like we rent out space in our lives for the opinions of others to be the foundation for how we feel about ourselves.
Example: I read an article the other day about a woman who was an “Instagram celebrity” complaining about how her whole life was fake and she lost touch with who she was because she was worried about people liking her. I’m sorry, you created a life based on lies and opinions of complete strangers, and now we are supposed to feel sorry for you? Nope. Life is what you make of it, and by taking ownership of your existence you are basically taking the steering wheel on the journey of your life.
You’ll find that as you wrestle the control that we give to the people in our lives away from them, you’ll start to see changes in your life:
You’ll Take More Risks
I promise you that there are risks in your life that you don’t take because you are worried about what people think about you. Let’s say you obediently jump head first into the rat race every day to provide yourself with a stable, secure existence – yet in your heart, you just want to do something crazy like sell your possessions and buy a food truck to make the best cupcakes on the planet. Taking risks is the spice of life. If you’re holding yourself back from that flying leap because of things like a fear of explaining yourself to family or friends, you’re allowing their opinions to dictate how you live.
You’ll Be Fulfilled
When you’re doing what it is that you love to do, despite what anyone thinks about you, fulfillment is basically automatic. Sure, there may be people who doubt what you are doing. It’s just like walking against the flow of the crowds around you, but sometimes you just have to go against the grain to get where you want to be. If what you are doing makes you happy, who is anyone to doubt you?
You’ll Have Better Friends and Relationships
Look around your group of friends and think about how many of them would support you no matter what. Think about how many of them are friends with you just because you go along with the flow. At the first sign of independence, you’ll figure out who your real friends actually are. The friends that keep you around because you are a round peg in the round hole of the group of friends you run around with won’t tolerate a square peg. Your real friends won’t judge you or doubt you. They don’t care if you are a square peg.
They like you for who you are, not because you simply fit in.
You’ll Grow as a Person
A huge aspect of personal development is loving who you are as a person. There is one person that has to look in the mirror every day and appreciate what they see: YOU. When you quit worrying about other people think you free yourself up to become the person that you want to ultimately be. Example: I have a friend that wanted to get in shape and really wanted to try yoga.
She was so worried about what the other people in the class would think about her as a novice kept her from trying it. Finally, she quit worrying about that people would think about her, and went to her first yoga class. 4 years later she is teaching that class.
You’ll Ultimately Be Happier
In the end, when you walk away from the pitfalls of what everyone else thinks about you, and you really focus on what makes you happy as a person – you’ll be happier. Isn’t that end result we all look for? Quit worrying about what makes everyone else happy, take ownership of who you are, and love your life for YOU. People are entitled to their opinions and always will be. The difference is: you don’t have to wear those opinions like shackles. Ask yourself: “In 6 months will that opinion matter? In 6 minutes will that opinion matter?”
You’ll be amazed at how often the realistic answer is NO. You get one ride on the roller coaster of life, make it YOURS.