As children we looked to our parents, teaches and others we respected for approval and agreement. Throughout our lifetime we get to know whether someone is going to like what we’re doing or not. When I was a child it was my Dad who ruled the roost. And while I may not have always sought his approval I did make sure that whatever I was doing wouldn’t make him mad.
If you defer decisions to your partner or other significant person in your life… you’re missing out on realizing your own happiness. I’m not talking about letting someone else decide where to go to dinner. I for one usually don’t care and am happy to go wherever Jack wants to go. He does care.
What I’m talking about is being unwilling to make a decision about your life without the approval of someone else. If you’re reading this you’re probably over 18. (OK… Simple Steps friends are generally over 35 ) You’re not a kid… and this is your life.
I don’t want you to wake up one day (as I did) and realize your life has been created and sustained through the expectations of someone else. For me it was my Dad… who told me to get an education, get married, find a job, do what they told me to do and be loyal to the company that was paying my salary. I did all those things… and then woke up at 52 without the job that I was loyal to for 25 years and trying to figure out who Cheryl was and what I wanted to do with my life. Because now… everything I knew was gone. (Except of course I am still married to Jack… but he was and is my choice!)
Are you living the expectations of someone else or do you know what you want your life to be? Since no one can “make” you happy except you then it’s time to do what makes you happy. If you’re not sure where to begin try these Simple Steps to see the light:
• How do you “define” yourself when some asks “who” you are. For example you way say that you are a mom, a lawyer, a jack-of-all-trades, an athlete, ect. Write everything that you think of down on a list.
• Review your list and cross out anything that you love being. My list looks like this: wife, mom to my pets, caring person, insurance professional, hammer, connector, out of shape, introvert. What you’ve done here is focused your attention on the parts of you that don’t resonate with you.
• Look at them together, if they are all similar or individually if they aren’t. Ask yourself if you could change this part of you that you don’t like what would you do differently? I changed insurance professional to writer, hammer to inspirational motivator, out of shape to fit and introvert to a networker.
• Now pick one of your changes and take your own Simple Step in the direction of what for yourself.
Taking a Simple Step in your life may not be easy… but it will be fulfilling when you decide it is what you want for yourself. And isn’t right now a great time to become you?