I am a huge people-pleaser. I like to make people happy and hate fighting with loved ones. I am always willing to convenience others, no matter how it makes me feel. Even though I still want to please, I am working on doing what I want, no matter what others think. It’s definitely a work-in-progress.
For entirely too long, I stopped doing things out of fear of how others would react. I held myself back from doing certain things out of fear of how they would impact others. When I started making my own decisions, despite what others such as my family thought, I felt a shift. For instance, one of the first major changes I made was becoming vegetarian. I knew my family was bound to say something because they are all meat-eaters. I was right: Instead of seeing the benefit of my new lifestyle, they were quick to question my motives and convince me that it wasn’t a good idea.
I recently saw how much progress I made in not caring what others think when I celebrated five years of working out every day. To mark this special occasion, I wanted to dye my hair blue. I’ve been wanting to dye my hair a bright color for years now, but I held back because I was worried what my loved ones would say. My dad and my friends persuaded me to dye my hair anyways. I dyed my hair blue, just like I wanted, and I couldn’t be happier. Even though I relied on others’ opinions about my hair, by disregarding my mom’s reaction, I still took baby steps towards not caring what others think.
When I stop caring what other people think, I become closer to my true self. Of course, from time to time, I do care about what others think because I’m not perfect, but I’ve learned to keep company that supports and encourages me to find what I believe in and hold true to it.
If you prioritize others’ opinions over your own, you are not living for yourself; you are living for others. Gift yourself the freedom of releasing others’ expectations of you. Start accepting everything you need to give yourself a fulfilling life. Listening to yourself above everyone else is a process, but every step forward is worth your time.