It’s hard trying to do what you really want to do without feeling like you’re letting people down and not doing what is expected of you. A lot of the time I find that people are expected to go to university, get a nice office job, work, get married, retire. That’s it. There’s nothing wrong with living your life like that but it’s not for everyone and sometimes it’s hard to admit that. Here are some ways that I try to get over the fear of not doing what others expect from me:
Remember how short life is
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about leaving my 9-5 office job to work as a waitress and save up for a masters course. It’s scary mostly because I think about what others think about me and what I should be doing with my life at this stage. However, if I think about how short life is to be stuck in an office job doing a job that isn’t for me I find that I stop caring so much about what others think.
On a related note…
Think about what would truly make me happy
If I take other people out of the equation and things like ‘prestige’ and ‘respect’ and think about what truly makes me happy I have found that it is easier to focus on my own goals. One person might be happy being a top lawyer working for top corporations. Another might be happy working on a farm. Another might be happy to be a stay at home parent. Each person is different so I don’t think that we should compare ourselves to others when we all get happiness from completely different activities.
Consider why I want to achieve my own personal goals
Every person has different motivators and there is nothing wrong with that.
Some people are motivated by money. I saw that in my sales job where people were so motivated by money and incentives that they would regularly work extra long hours for the chance at hitting a bonus. I have found that that’s not me
There are so many different motivators out there and I think that it’s important to find your own personal motivators in life and be stick to what you believe. You could be motivated by helping others, contributing to research, creating businesses etc. Just be true to what your underlying goals are.
Ultimately, I think that being selfish helps. Just because everyone expects you to be at a certain stage of your life doesn’t mean you need to follow that plan.
There are so many options out there so don’t let the fear of what other people might think get you down! 🙂