Their Mistake, Not My Failing
You know what exhausts me more than most things in life? Caring, worrying, and wondering what other people think about me or about my life. If you think back really hard, how many times has someone really upset you or made you feel less than because they had a very strong opinion about you or your life that you indeed did not ask for? When I think back, I can count numerous times this has happened to me; I literally ran out of fingers. Therefore, not that long ago I made a decision to take steps forward to truly expel all of that negativity from my mind. I say that I started taking steps, because for me it’s not a one and done type of deal. It’s hard to not wonder about what people are going to say, or how they’re going to react when you tell them a recent life decision. I had no choice but to address this within myself, because it can be so destructive when someone criticizes everything you do. Social media in general also aids in this, but that’s a whole different topic. Also, to clarify, I’m not referring to those who have encouraged me to make positive changes in life, or those who have given me their thoughts once I asked for them. I have amazing people in my life who give me a loving push, sometimes even when I don't realize how much I need it.
There are a few things I have done to help eliminate the worry of unwanted opinions from others, such as being more firm in how I present news about my life, or how I receive the unsolicited advice given to me. I also make it a point to surround myself with positive, supportive people. Mainly, I just had to make a firm decision to tighten my standards on what I allow to effect me.
The bottom line is that you have to make your own decisions. Sure, it’s great to listen to advice from others, especially when they have been through similar things that you are facing, and may have more experience that can help guide you. However, it is never okay for someone to push their ideas and opinions on you. If you consistently listen to these people, and follow everything they require of you then you are living the life they want for you, not the life you want for yourself.
“You have no responsibility to live up to what other people think you ought to accomplish. I have no responsibility to be like they expect me to be. It’s their mistake, not my failing.” -Richard P. Feynman-