Let me start by saying there is no universally correct way to live life. Everyone has different goals, values, and visions for how they want their life to be. Think about when you were a child. I know for me, I believed I could be anything I wanted to be. Yes, on Monday I wanted to be an astronaut and on Friday I wanted to be a doctor. I never once questioned or cared about how others would perceive me.
As we grow older, the world tries to change us. Society tries to program you into believing that one path is right for everyone. For example, getting a good job, getting married, buying a house, having kids, etc all before the age of 30. We are faced with all of these expectations. And for what? We may know deep down that we don’t want to live that lifestyle, but it’s what we are told over and over again. None of that is real and I am here to share that there is much more to life than doing what you think will make everyone else happy.
You must live life in your own direction at your own pace, doing what you love. If you follow this path altered by other people’s opinions and perceptions of you, you will end up living someone else’s life. You only get one life, one chance to be who you want to be. Your life is yours, and you have the responsibility to create the life that you want.
What Does It Mean To Live Life On Your Own Terms?
Living a life on your own terms may look different for everyone. However, for our purposes, we will define it as living a life that is meaningful and fulfilling to you. This could include a purposeful career, traveling, volunteering, getting involved in different activities. A life on your own terms means to be inspired to do more and be more regardless of societal values and standards. It means to live a life that is aligned with your authentic self.
Why Living A Life On Your Own Term Matters
Many people go through life on auto-pilot. We act without thinking about the consequences of what we are doing. This leaves us feeling stuck in life, unhappy and unfulfilled. Some people work jobs they hate because they think it is the only way to pay their bills, while others are so overwhelmed with life’s problems they don’t stop to think about how their life could be. When you live life on your own terms, you will undoubtedly become more fulfilled and happy with the person you are. You may be thinking that this all sounds great, but wondering where to start…..here are 6 simple steps to start living a life on your own terms.
How To Live Life On Your Own Terms
1. Rid Yourself Of Any Limiting Beliefs
Think about this for a second. Do you think 20 years ago someone would have believed you if you told them you would own a device that can fit in your pocket- where you can send instant messages, call people, and post videos/ pictures for everyone to see? If you were to say this to someone else, they would have thought you were crazy.
All of us have heard the phrase “nothing is impossible,” again and again. And it is probably the most truthful statement you have ever heard. You must change your mindset and realize that you are truly capable of doing anything you set your mind to.
2. Never Stop Dreaming
As mentioned earlier, as a child we had visions for ourselves. Who we wanted to be and what we wanted our lives to look like. As we get older, society starts to crush these dreams and we begin to follow in the same footsteps as those around us.
As an adult, you must have a vision for yourself. Let’s try this. Close your eyes for 5 minutes and think about your dream life. Consider the following:
- What job do you have?
- How do you feel when you wake up every morning?
- What do you look like?
- What kind of house do you live in?
- Where do you live?
- Do you have any children?
- Are you traveling?
- What would you do if money wasn’t an object?
- Do you strive to impact the lives of others?
I am sure that when you closed your eyes and envisioned your dream life, it is completely different than the life you are currently living.
3. Analyze How Your Life Is Now
Think about where you are currently at in life. Analyze every aspect of your life. How much longer do you want to live like this? What is it going to take for you to start living the life you desire?
4. Consider Your Options
Now, consider your options. Think about what you can change to get you closer to where you want to be. Do you need a career change? Do you need to find a way to earn extra income? Maybe you have to give up something in your current situation as it is no longer suitable for you. Write down everything that comes to mind. Either way, something in your life is going to have to change to get you to where you want to be. You must be willing to make sacrifices as they will lead you to your end goal- living a life on your terms.
4. Talk To Those Around You
Next, talk to someone around you that is living a life on their own terms. It could be someone who is already in the field of something you are interested in or someone you look up to. It will help to get their outlook on life and what it took to get them to where they are today.
5. Make A Plan
Once you have visualized the life you want to live and talked to others, it is time to make a plan. Depending on what you need to change, this plan may be 6 months, or could be 3 years. This plan is crucial. If you do not make a plan, you will not have a sense of direction and will fail. Once you have created a plan, break it down into monthly objectives. This will make your plan less overwhelming and will allow you to accomplish each goal.
6. Take Action And Don’t Look Back
Finally, you must take action! If you don’t start, you will never live the life that you dream of. You are not going to achieve the life you want overnight, however, if you don’t just start you will never get there. Try new things and go outside of your comfort zone. If you discover that something is not working out, try again or try something new. It is okay to fail as failure only brings us closer to our goals.
You are the only person that is in control of how your life goes. Make decisions and stand by them. If you live a life based on what someone else wants, you will often be left thinking about what could have happened if you pursued your own interests. Don’t be that person who stays up late at night wondering what your life could have been.
It is never too late to start living the life you want. It is never too late to make these changes that you have been thinking about and brushed off. People often ignore their dreams because it wasn’t a part of the path that everyone had set out for them. You need to recognize that you have the power to do anything that you want in this life. The best thing that you can do for yourself is start living your life on your own terms while ignoring the opinions of those around you.