My name is Antonella and I am often told that my presence commands attention as soon as I enter any room. Friends, family members, and even colleagues describe me as “the life of the party”. I am currently living out a lifelong dream smack in the hustle and bustle of New York City, with career growth and opportunities, all the fun the big city offers, and the chance to truly create myself. From the outside looking in, most people assume that my life is picture perfect.
But here’s a little secret that most people do not know about me:
I am desperately afraid of “disappointing” people.
Yes, I am confident, firm, and unapologetic in making my life’s choices… but then I find myself still seeking approval after the fact.
Even though I brush things off, I have an intense need to please people. For some reason, the opinions of others still matter to me.
Specifically in my personal life, I tend to keep my own needs, wants, and desires at bay just to please the people I love.
But in the end, I become the one disappointed.
Then the frustration and anxiety appear because I feel like my most authentic self is being stifled just to make others feel comfortable and safe.
Recently, something just clicked. I realized that I am the only person responsible for my happiness. Only I can make the decisions regarding what is best for my path in life, and what will bring my soul content. I am the one who gets to call the shots.
The thing is I was not born for routine. I do not want to follow the same predictable path as everyone else. I am not afraid of change. My soul yearns for adventure, a thrill, the unknown. I have a passion for travel and experiencing other cultures, trying new things (literally, I am down for anything!), and creating friendships around the globe. I beam with happiness every time I get the chance to talk about my travel experiences. Sometimes I am met with eye rolls and comments like “Another trip?” and “How many vacations do you take a year?” Yet, this is MY journey. Who is anyone else to judge?
I am positive that I am not alone in the fear of disappointing others, or the need to seek approval. Maybe your experience isn’t exactly the same as mine, but you find yourself relating to this feeling.
This message is for you:
You do not need permission to shine.
You do not need the approval of others (even those you love the most) to live your life exactly as you wish to live it.
It’s OK to take ownership of your decisions and life choices.
It’s OK to say “This is what I am choosing for myself”.
It’s OK if others do not understand or do not approve of how you are living your life- it’s not their journey!
You are the one that has to live with the consequences of your decisions daily.
You are the one that has to look yourself in the mirror.
Your approval is the only one that should count.
Go live and be happy!
If something excites your soul, and you cannot stop thinking about it, then you owe it to yourself to pursue it 100% whole-heartedly. Without the fear of disappointing others.
Without the approval stamp of someone else allowing you to be happy.
Remember, we only get one shot at this.
In the end, make sure you can look back and say that it was exactly the life you wanted to live.
My wish for you is the courage to live your life unapologetically, chasing down your heart’s every desire.
With that, I leave you with my favorite quote, and current life mantra: “Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.”