I’d describe myself as a very conscientious person. I tend to take others’ needs into account, to be considerate, understanding and aware of what my actions mean to other people. I believe this is a great personality trait, but it also means that I might not always do what I feel like doing.
I sometimes hold back, afraid to hurt others or take up too much space. I maybe change my plans or respect other people’s needs to the point where I’m actually not being true to myself. One of my biggest fears is to be seen as selfish and so I consider my actions carefully. And this actually hasn’t allowed to explore my own boundaries as much as I’d have liked.
I believe that it’s a good thing to sometimes stop caring about what others think, or might think, and just do what you feel like doing. No matter the consequences. This might result in disappointing your friends, not living up to other people’s expectations or being seen as a bad person. But at least you’re following your own path.
You are important too
And in order to live your life to the fullest you sometimes just need to ignore the rules and go crazy. And be selfish sometimes. In the end it’s your life and what you want and care about matters too. It probably has to do a lot with that, with believing that you are important too.
A great way to find out how much you’re doing what you think you should do instead of what you want to do, is to make a list of your personal rules. Things like I should always be on time, I should always ask my friends how they’re doing or I always need to be kind and patient, are examples of such rules. These rules aren’t necessarily wrong, it’s just that when we live according to them a bit too rigidly, they become limiting. Sometimes you’re just late, you need to talk about yourself for a while or you get angry and impatient. And that’s fine.
So, try to write down all the things you should do according to yourself and see if you can change the word ‘should’ with ‘could’. This opens up a bit of space and gives you a choice. You don’t have to do those things, you could do them. What effect does this have? Try it out with a rule you live by before you read on.
The next step would be to replace ‘could’ with ‘want to’. There you bring yet another feeling to your rule and find out if you actually really want to do these things, or that they’re simply self-imposed duties. And when you do things because you want to do them, you live according to your values. You are being true to yourself and therefore more sincere, authentic and more at ease with your choices. And that will definitely turn you into a nicer person to be around with – so it all adds up in the end!