I received a lot of feedback about last week’s blog post on overcoming criticism.  I’ve come to the conclusion that the haters in my life are uncomfortable because I do not meet their expectations of how I should live my life and how I should feel about my life experiences.
"Don’t worry about the haters, ever.  Don’t let them get to you.  They’re just upset because the truth you know contradicts the lies they live.  Period!"

This got me to thinking about how often we are attempting to live up to the expectations of others without even realizing it.

We are born into living up to others’ expectations. It starts with fitting into our parents’ expectations and then goes through our educational years to living up to our teachers’ expectations.  No where in life are we taught how to live up to our own expectations.

Way too many people live a life that is not theirs to live. They live their lives according to what others think is best for them, according to what their parents, to what their friends, their enemies and their teachers, their government and the media thinks it`s best for them. When we spend most of our time trying to be whatever everyone else wants us to be, wearing all kind of masks based on the role you are expected to be playing, you begin to lose yourself.  We begin to ignore our inner voice, that inner calling. We forget what makes us happy, what we want, what we need….and eventually we forget about ourselves.  
“He who trims himself to suit everyone will soon whittle himself away.” 
~Raymond Hull
A study by Dr Mark Snyder from the University of Minnesota found that we quickly sense how others view us and play to these expectations.  We are influencing each other continuously, trying to live up, or down to each other’s expectations. Of course we only have direct control over our own expectations of others, so one implication of this study is that by changing our expectations of others we can actually change another’s behavior for the better or worse.  

The effect may be subtle, but it’s a powerful realization that other people’s behavior is partly derived from how we view them, just as our behavior is partly derived from how others view us. Think of any of the standard stereotypes about class, race and nationality. Each of these create expectations in other people’s minds.  Being aware of this we can consciously choose for ourselves how we will react and consciously choose what expectations we hold for ourselves.

If you have been pretending for far too long, chances are that you’re not even aware anymore of the fact that you are playing a role and that the life you are living is not really the life you once intended to be living.  This is why there are so many unhappy people in this world and this is why we feel so lost, so disconnected and so confused by everything and everyone. We live in fear, hiding ourselves, not wanting to be fully seen and not wanting to be hurt. But the irony is that we are already hurting. Our hearts and our souls are bleeding and because they have been bleeding for so long, we’ve gotten used to it. We’ve gotten used to the pain and we are drowning in our self created misery.
Become aware of your unawareness and decide to remove all the masks and all the costumes you have been wearing for all this time. Let the world see, love and appreciate the real you!
“The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.” 
~ Carl Gustav Jung
In this crazy world that’s trying to make you like everyone else, find the courage to keep being your remarkable self.  You have one life – this one right now – you must live it, own it, and especially don’t let other people’s opinions distract you from your path. Dare to give up living your life to other people’s expectations and start living it Your Way instead.

A life spent ceaselessly trying to please people who are perhaps incapable of ever being pleased, or trying too hard to always be seen as doing “what’s expected of you,” is a sure road to a regretful existence.  

Do more than just exist.  We all exist.  The question is: Do you live?

Existing without ever truly living was not what we want for ourselves. It takes a lot of courage to stand alone, but it’s worth it.  Being unapologetically YOU is worth it!

First and Foremost - You are good enough!

Don’t ever forget your worth.  Don’t you even dare, not even for a second, to think that who you are is not good enough and that you have to go around pretending to be something that you’re not just to be loved and validated. You are good enough!  Know that in this moment you are enough, you are good enough and you don’t need anyone or anything to feel this way. Never get your sense of worth from outside yourself. Don’t let other people tell you how much you’re worth, decide for yourself. After all it’s called Self worth not others worth.

The worst form of betrayal is self betrayal

You are not obligated to anyone more so than you are to yourself.  Your relationship with yourself is the closest and most important relationship you will ever have.  So don’t forget about YOU, and don’t be too hard on yourself either.  There are plenty of others willing to do both for you.  And remember, if you don’t take good care of yourself, then you can’t take good care of others either; which is why taking care of yourself is the best selfish thing you can do.

Life is all about expressing who we are fully and learning to accept, embrace, honor and treasure our authenticity, our uniqueness and our Divinity.  You didn’t come here on this planet to blend in, to lose yourself in the crowd and to pretend to be something you are not. You came here to honor yourself and to share your authenticity, your perfection, your unique and beautiful presence with the whole world. You came here to shine, to share your unique gifts and talents with all of us and to make the world a better place with your presence.

Don’t betray yourself just because so many people are already doing it. Stay true to who you are and in time you will be able to discover the power, the beauty and love that comes from doing just that. Don’t be like everyone else, be like YOU!

For when you start pretending to be something you are not, you automatically start rejecting your authenticity, your beauty and perfection. And as a result, you die on the inside, little by little.

Returning to your Self

Give up living your life to other people’s expectations and live it Your Way instead. Don’t get to the end of your life and say, “I did it all wrong. The life I have been living was never the life I intended to be living.”

No matter how old or young you are and no matter for long you have been living a life that was not yours to live, it’s never too late to return to your Self. Free yourself from all the things that are not aligned with who you are deep down inside. Be like a sculptor. Carve away the rough walls that imprison your beautiful and loving Soul and reveal yourself to the world. Throw away all the masks and let the whole world see what you are truly made of.

You are not obligated to live up to everyone’s expectations.  Life is under no obligation to give us what we expect.  And you are under no obligation to give others what they expect.  Never let someone’s opinion define your reality. Period.  Do things because you care.  Do things because you know it’s right.  Don’t just do things because everyone else expects you to.  You don’t need permission to grow.  
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.  Don’t be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people’s thinking.  Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your inner voice.  And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”  ~ Steve Jobs
Only YOU can define what’s possible for you and your life.  Remember that real success in life isn’t what others see, but how you feel.  It’s living your truth and doing what makes you feel alive.  In the end, happiness is simply living your life your own way.  Start making progress on what’s truly important to YOU.  That’s when you begin to live life according to your own morals and values.  That’s when you can finally be at your happiest.

Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and pursue it at all costs.  That’s what this world needs – people like YOU who come alive. 

Allow yourself the freedom to speak your truth.  Yes, speak your truth, even when it’s uncomfortable, uneasy, and your voice shakes.  Be cordial and reasonable, of course, but don’t tread carefully on every word you say.  Push your concerns of what others might think aside.  Let the consequences of doing so unravel naturally.  What you’ll find is that most of the time no one will be offended or irritated at all.  And if they do get upset, it’s likely only because you’ve started behaving in a way that makes them feel they have less power over you. 

This life is yours and yours only and no one should take charge of it. Let go of living up to others’ expectations by listening to your gut feelings and by aligning your beliefs, values and rules to match them. Use your feelings as a guide. 

So while you’re out there making decisions instead of excuses, learning new things, and getting closer and closer to your goals, know that there are others out there, like me, who admire your efforts and are striving for greatness too.  

Why do you think so many people are willing to betray their own Souls just so that they can please those around them? I really want to know what are your thoughts on this. You can share your insights by joining the conversation in the comment section below.
“I do my thing and you do your thing. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, And you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you, and I am I, and if by chance we find each other, it’s beautiful. If not, it can’t be helped.”
 ~Fritz Perls
 


Comments

08/23/2016 8:15pm

There is a thin line that separated constructive and destructive criticism. Most of the time, the destructive is covered with false phrases. It is easy to notice this if it was another person giving it. What if you are the one trying to criticize yourself? We all have to be careful. Lets protect ourselves from our own foolish wrongdoings.

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10/09/2017 1:28am

If we will allow the expectations of others to dictate us what to do with our lives, we will definitely not enjoy living. I believe that one of the secrets of success and being happy is to love and accept what we are. We have been made different from the other people so we should not let them tell us what we are. We are all special. There are things that only you can do so don't let them tell you that you are not good enough.

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    I embrace life with passion and gratitude. I love connecting with others in meaningful ways and I share my journey with you in hopes that it will in some way inspire, encourage and as a way to grow with you!  I am truly a work in progress that has not arrived in any form of perfection and am continually learning and growing.  I hope you will share the journey with me.

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