“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, “Gestalt Therapy Verbatim
Ever since I was a little kid I used to think that in order to be liked and approved of by those around me, I had to behave, dress and live my life in a certain way. I had to be whatever the world wanted me to be. And because I was just ONE and they were so many, so many to please, at a certain point I got really confused about my own identity. I got really confused about who I was.
Living Your Life According to Other People’s Expectations
You see, when you spend most of your time trying to be whatever everyone wants you to be, wearing all kind of masks and costumes based on the role you are expected to be playing, you begin to lose yourself. Because you become so obsessed with this idea of being loved and approved of by everyone you come in contact with, you run around like a mad person, putting mask after mask and costume after costume and after a while, you begin to identify yourself with all of these masks and costumes. You begin to think that you are one with them. And in the end, you get lost in the crowd, becoming one of the millions, if not billions, of people who have no idea who they are and what they stand for.
“The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.” ~ Carl Gustav Jung
I have been living my life in a very unauthentic way for a very long time, holding on to my past, getting my sense of worth from all the wrong places, living in fear, clinging on to all kind of excuses and limitations and living my life according to other people’s expectations and because of that I was very unhappy. I felt lost, drained and very disconnected, not only from my own Self but from the world around me also.
Way too many people are living a life that is not theirs to live. They live their lives according to what others think is best for them, they live their lives according to what their parents think it`s best for them, to what their friends, their enemies and their teachers, their government and the media thinks it`s best for them.
They ignore their inner voice, that inner calling. They are so busy with pleasing everybody, with living up to other people’s expectations, that they lose control over their lives. They forget what makes them happy, what they want, what they need….and eventually, they forget about themselves.
How to Give up Living Your Life According to Other People’s Expectations
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.
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 so that you can get some love and validation from those around you. You are good enough!
Don’t go around begging for love. Don’t put yourself in that position. Just 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. It’s called Self-worth not others worth.
You know what I think? That 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!
“God has given you one face and you make yourselves another.” ~ Shakespeare
“We know that the wildest and most moving dramas are played not in the theater but in the hearts of ordinary men and women who pass by without exciting attention, and who betray to the world nothing of the conflicts that rage within them except possibly by a nervous breakdown. What is so difficult for the layman to grasp is the fact that in most cases the patients themselves have no suspicion whatever of the internecine war raging in their unconscious. If we remember that there are many people who understand nothing at all about themselves, we shall be less surprised at the realization that there are also people who are utterly unaware of their actual conflicts.” ~ Carl Gustav Jung, New Paths in Psychology
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. It happens…
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!
4. No man is an island
Embracing who you are and living life your own way is something that you do, not only for yourself to be happy and at peace, but also for those you love. You do it for your partner, your born and unborn children; you do it for your family, friends, and co-workers and you do it for the world around you. Because just like John Donne said it, “No man is an island, entire of itself, every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.”
Any man’s death diminishes you and diminishes me and we’re not talking about physical death here, but a spiritual one. 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… and because you die, your loved ones die. I die and the whole world dies with us.
Always remember, we are all ONE. No man is an island, entire of itself… every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. And if you yourself are lost, unhappy and disconnected from the world around you because of all the masks you have been wearing, so would your loved ones be… so would the whole world be.
5. Return to your Self
I don’t know how many of you are familiar with that song from Enigma called Return to Innocence, but I remember listening to it when I was a little child and pondering on the lyrics for hours and hours. I was fascinated by both the lyrics and the video and this was, and still is, my favorite part: “Don’t be afraid to be weak.
Don’t be too proud to be strong. Just look into your heart, my friend. That will be the return to yourself, the return to innocence. If you want, then start to laugh, if you must, then start to cry. Be yourself don’t hide, just believe in destiny Don’t care what people say, just follow your own way. Don’t give up and use the chance to return to innocence.” ~ Enigma, Return to Innocence
Give up living your life to other people’s expectations and live it Your Way instead. Don’t betray your own Soul just because so many people are already doing it. 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. My whole life has been wrong.”
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 go back to your Self, it’s never too late to return to innocence, your innocence. 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 all the costumes and let the whole world see what you are truly made of. Because trust me, you are made of something really precious and quite valuable. You are made of stardust!
“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of stardust.” ~ Carl Sagan, Cosmos
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 🙂
*** f you want to know more about HOW to get back to your Self, here is an article I wrote a while back called Change Your Life Through the Art of Self Mastery. The things I share in there helped me a to get back to my Self and I trust that it can do the same for you.