Pressure comes from the feeling that you “should” be doing or thinking something that you’re not. It can weigh us down and lead us to make all sorts of decisions that really aren’t supportive of where we are trying to get to. Sometimes those things feel really logical, for example, “If I want to make money and be secure, I should focus on a secure job and income.” We start to make decisions in our life to ensure that we are meeting these unarticulated expectations.
But where do these expectations come from?
When I ask clients to break this down they are quite often from outside sources. Maybe what our parents had hoped we’d do or our partners believe we should do, or sometimes our peers or wider society. However, very rarely are they what we want. Many of us create a big and believable story about how important it is to do or act or make choices in certain ways. That story repeats over and over in our minds becomes part of our being. Before we know it we are following a path that we don’t recognise as us.
So, what matters most?
It seems obvious when we break it down, but, when we’re in the haze of our own thoughts it can be really hard to see. It is fundamental to our own happiness, and therefore, ability to support others well, that we figure out what our real desires are. What is it that WE want to do and believe in? What work fills us with joy and inspires us every day? What does life look like when we design it to align with the values we hold?
If we can get clear on these basics, we can create a way of living that truly supports us. We thrive. There are a few hurdles of fear to overcome to get to this point, but they are small compared to what we would face if we continue down a path that is not ours, but made up of the opinions of others.
When making choices about our life, it is important to first identify and understand our values, then build out choices that support those values. Write them down, re-read them over and over every day and then align your decisions to those values. Review them, reflect on them. If you believe these are the things to be most important to you then it is only your opinion that matters.
If you can design a life around your truest self, you will radiate energy and be able to support those around you from a place of true positivity. So, stop for a moment and think about whose opinions you are listening to, what you are taking on board and making yours, and choose wisely who you place in order of importance.