The most important relationship in your life is the relationship you have with yourself. Because no matter what happens, you will always be with yourself. - Diane Von Furstenberg
Ever since our childhood, we’ve felt the weight of expectations crushing our shoulders and telling us to be a different version of ourselves. We are so used to others dictating our lives that it almost seems as if we are no longer in charge of our own fate. The feeling of being someone else has made its home within our mortal bodies and transient minds. Amidst the numbing chaos, it becomes difficult to listen to our heart and to think about what we actually need from our lives. Change is always gradual and can’t be brought about in the blink of an eye and keeping a few things in mind will always help us in some way or the other to progress. We might not have everything or everyone at our disposal but, what we do have with ourselves is our own strength and courage. Don’t let anyone take away what’s indistinguishably yours.
1. Remove toxic people from your life
By removing toxic people from your life, I don’t mean anyone to portray their rude or ruthless self. Pay attention to who is not willing to stay and won’t mind if you’re gone from their lives. Know the difference between people who genuinely stick by your side and the ones who stay for a motive. The latter may even be the ones you thought were genuinely there for you. Let me tell you I’ve seen people from my own class and sometimes even their ‘loving’ best friends go to other people and talk about them in a regressive manner. Remove these unsupportive and judgemental people from your life. Progressive criticisms should be accepted but not regressive and negative opinions. This toxicity can have multiple existence points, your relationship, your friendship circle or your working space. Know who’s worth your time and who’s not.
2. Be in charge of your happiness.
More than often, we’ve been dependent on others as the source of our own happiness. At times things become so delusional, that we rarely feel true happiness anymore. We forget what made us feel joy and fulfilment. Being alone and being lonely are two very different things. When other people take charge of your decisions, they snatch your reasons to discover happiness on your own. That’s when happiness starts looking like a hopeless illusion rather than being something that can actually be felt. Be in charge of your decisions and construct your own path towards your own happiness.
3. Give up on hopeless optimism and embrace your vulnerability
Hopeless optimism leads to unscalable expectations, not being able to fulfil them will lead to a perception of failure. It is important to address our shortcomings and try to work on them instead of feeling defeated and useless. Instead of hopeless optimism, try cultivating limited rational pessimism, try thinking of how things could go wrong and start working on them in advance.
4. Give more time to your heart and be honest
It is often said that our heart is the window to our soul and its needs. Don’t throw your mindful thinking for a toss, however, sit back, pause and reflect for a moment. Ask yourself what you really want to do in your life if money were no object. Ask yourself if you are actually at peace with the steps that you’re taking, your mind may tell you to not to bother and face forward, but even taking out 5-10 minutes will start to make sense in the long run. You may, at times, regret the decisions taken rationally after a while, but genuine decisions driven by your heart will never make you regret.
5. Stop pleasing others and learn to let go
Stop extending blank praises and or being available all the time for everyone when people won’t stand to give a second for you. Yes, I know it feels good to help others, but do you feel that empty and sinking heartache deep in your chest after helping someone out? That's when your heart tells you to stop and help yourself first. Yes, you’ll lose out on people, but sometimes, people are just like phases in your life. Each person that you meet in this journey called ‘life’ fulfils their role and proceeds towards their own path. Learn from their experiences and build an empire from what you’ve gained. Change is inevitable and that can only happen when you know that you’re a thousand times enough and fulfilled to move on with your life and be at peace.
- Shruti Agrawal