For those of you just tuning in, I am spending the month of March focusing on creating more mindfulness in my every day life. You can learn more about my 30-day mindfulness challenge by reading my recent post on self-sabotage.
Last week, I discussed the topic of vulnerability and how becoming more present has unleashed a fury of emotions that I had not reflected on for a long time. I noted how my first week of mindfulness was both challenging and overwhelming. Going into my second week, there were a lot of present day thoughts and feelings that I needed to address… and so I did.
It started Sunday afternoon after publishing my piece. I was anxious about putting my truth out there for everyone to see; anxious wondering how people would perceive them and whether they would judge me for putting all of my feelings out in the form of a blog post. I cried when I wrote it and when I posted it.
And then something very interesting happened. My fiancé, AJ, asked me why.
I tried to explain to him how nervous and anxious I was awaiting the feedback from my friends and family; scared to have people know that I once again had left my job and moved onto something else in life. I was feeling overwhelmed by my admission that I still did not know my path and had so much I needed to figure out as a 28-year old “adult”. And then so matter-of-factly he asked, “okay… but why does all of that matter?”
I think I was so caught off guard by the question that I immediately went into defense mode. These are important people in my life that I love… I don’t want to disappoint them or embarrass them. I want them all to be proud of me and not feel as if they have to worry about me because I am fine. He listened patiently to my defense and then asked, “does what you are doing make you happy?” to which I immediately responded, “yes”.
“So then why do their opinions bother you? Why do you chose to waste your energy worrying about what they think or believe when all that matters is that YOU are doing what is right for you?“
I was unable to get this question out of my head for the rest of the week. All I could think about was why – why is it that I am always spending my time worrying about what other people want from me? Why do I allow myself to get so self-conscious about my life decisions and why do I let this keep me from allowing myself to be happy?
This week, I spent time focusing on a few main “whys” in my life. What I achieved was the ability to begin understanding and letting go of some of the factors in my life that are holding me back from truly discovering my version of happiness. In doing so, I took one step closer to defining what I value in my life.
My advice: start spending more time asking yourself whether the choices you are making in life are for you, or somebody else. You will never find your own true happiness if you allow other people to determine your values for you. Breaking away to honor the truest form of yourself is NOT easy but once you decide to fully commit to the journey, the rewards are endless.
Stay true to yourself. Create your own path. Never look back.