This Is Your Life. Live It Your Way.
It’s time to define and embrace your own personal values, and use them to create the life you’ve always wanted to live.
We crave to be loved by others, but the truth is that we need to offer more love to ourselves.
In one way or another, we all seek to fit in and ultimately be loved, but somewhere on our journey, we can slowly lose touch with our own identity. We invest in the ideas of others and forget that we may have our own ideas, our own plans, goals and desires.
How does this happen so quickly? Over time, we are conditioned to understand that acceptance is positive. Praise is good. Flaws are bad. Uniqueness is misunderstood. So we begin to say “yes” more, when we truly want to say “no.” We lose touch with our perceived flaws and we do as others do. We follow the masses.
It may be that we’ve become so far removed from our own personal values, beliefs and desires that we forget our own self-worth. It’s time to forget our need to “fit in” and instead work to reconnect within. We must find ourselves.
Even now, repeating those words “find ourselves” may feel strange. You may be asking, “Where have I gone?” Well, the truth is, that it’s really hard to find our own identity underneath the superficial layers we often create. In fact, some of us may spend our whole life appeasing others.
But I want you to remember one thing: Your life is YOURS to live. Get out there and do your own damn thing!
When we stop following others, we begin to feel and experience what life is truly like. We experience real love, without wondering, “When will the ball drop?” We experience happiness. Real, true happiness. We are not happy when others tell us to be happy, but we are happy whenever we want to be.
I may have convinced you to start living life your own way, but here are a few tips to help you start caring less about others and more about yourself.
Stop The Need To Critique
Each one of us has a set of standards that we live by (usually set by society) and if we notice that anyone is not adhering to them, we often feel the need to critique that person. Immediately stop this need. Give people permission to be “flawed.” Eventually, your need to critique others will be replaced with love and acceptance. Slowly, you will begin to notice that your own inner critic will be more supportive and loving.
Embrace Your Real Beauty
In order to embrace your natural beauty in its purest form, you’ll need to catch your negative thoughts before they turn into self-doubt. During these moments, I recommend practicing “the pause.” Fill the space with a deep breath in and a deep breath out. After a few times, return to your thoughts. Eventually, this change in behavior will lead to less negative thoughts and will pave the way to loving all of you…“imperfections” and all. Remember, your imperfections are not flaws; they are the unique pieces that make you beautiful.
Be Honest About Your Personal Values
Ask yourself whether you’re living a life that is specifically aligned with your own personal values. Seek inward, and create a list of your own core values and keep this list close to you. Uncover the barriers that are preventing you from living the life you want, whether it be your family and friends, need for external validation or something deeper. Allow your values – not the need to please others – to guide you in your life.
Speak Your Truth
Speaking your truth is all about being honest about who you are and not feeling the need to change yourself in order to meet the needs – or expectations – of others. Speaking your truth takes the power away from the world and puts it back into your own hands. Why? Because you are no longer hiding behind a façade; you are honest and true.
And when you are fully able to live your life freely, you’ll begin to notice that you feel more comfortable speaking your truth. You’ll be open and receptive to new ideas. You’ll feel less judgment and more compassion. You’ll find yourself surrounded by a like-minded community who shares your values. You’ll feel empowered to say no, rather than yes, and – in the end – YOUR LIFE will be YOURS to live.
Melissa L. Fino is a defiant high school dropout who went on to receive her master’s of social work from the University of Southern California. Melissa applies her life experience with unexpected challenges and numerous insecurities to empower women to let go of the negative in their lives and embrace the positive. Currently, she is the CEO of LoveYourLife Community, a worthiness coach for women, writer, blogger and speaker. Melissa resides in San Diego, but frequents the East Coast to return to her childhood hometown and Portugal, to spend quality time with her mother. Follow Melissa on Facebook and Instagram.