We spend our entire lives trying to be the person we think we should be, or the person we have been told to be by our family, friends, or mass media. We spend our time swaying to and fro between the well-meaning voices in our lives, like a small tin boat in a squall; trying to please and live up to the expectations placed upon us. There is nothing wrong with people placing expectations upon us, expectations can be a great motivator and encourage us to achieve, as well as live up to our full potential, nevertheless, these expectations should not be the sole driving force of your life. Create A Life You Love is about creating an authentic life that is passionate and true to ourselves, it is not about submitting to the expectations of others.
This ultimate life tension boils down to living an authentic life that’s full of passion and is true to myself, versus, living the life everyone else expects of me. We live in a society that is controlled by the expectations of others, not loved ones but total strangers, people whom we have never met. We spend our time reading tabloid style magazines, where Celebrities are critiqued according to their fashion choices by members of the Fashion Magazines in mass media, who are total strangers and have never met them; as a result high expectations are placed on these celebrities to always be up with the trends, or risk being heavily criticised; this is considered, normal. These behaviours filter down from mass media into all areas of the lives of consumers. This critical evaluation is not healthy we are not supposed to be clones, but individuals with a unique set of talents to contribute.
It’s easy to get bogged down when we feel like we are living up to someone else’s expectations. We spend our time getting burned out, by bowing to the pressure of having it all. The perfect relationship, the ideal physique, a well-educated and deep thinker, the ultimate party animal or a social butterfly, the ultimate mother, a charismatic personality, fashionista, entrepreneur, guru, retire early; when will it ever end?
If you feel this way, there’s good news you are not alone. I too have felt this pressure, and I have given into the expectations of others. I was like a small boat caught in a squall; I allowed others to dictate to me the standards and values that I should hold as well as the life I should live. I spent much of my time carefully considering the well-meaning voices of others, trying to please everyone. I was afraid I would hurt these people if I did not listen and obey their advice. I found myself in my late twenties feeling extremely insecure and very unhappy. I realised that I was not living authentically and I was never going to please or live up to the expectations of others. Once I decided to live a life that was authentic and true to myself, I saw a dramatic change in my life. I was happier and more confident. I spent my time focusing upon filling my life with the things I love and not bowing to the pressures of others. My decision to live an authentic life was not easy and it was not welcomed with open arms. After five years, the decisions I made were not accepted or taken seriously by the people I loved, and I was often subject to guilt trips. I decided to not take on board the insecurities of others and to not expect the people I love to abide by a set of rules but I do encourage and wish for them, to live an authentic life.
Life is short, it is full of fleeting moments that rush by, there is no dress rehearsal and we only get one shot; make every moment count.
There’s one crucial question we need to ask ourselves: Whose expectations are we living up to? We have the power to choose the life we live. We decide on the boundaries we set for our lives and we choose to live up to the expectations of others. Isn’t it about time, we take back the reigns of our lives, take control and create a life we love? A life that’s authentic and passionate, a life that values experience, not the endless pursuit of collecting stuff.
Photo Credit: GlobalStock, iStock ID # 21966715