Four Ways to Embrace Freedom and Exceed Expectations

Living Independently - Embracing Freedom and Exceeding Expectations

If one slims down to please everyone, he or she will eventually become unnoticeable.

A. Raymond Hull

My thirties, as I often say, were all about the wedding. Since I’m 39 and still without a partner, this is an exaggeration. But I was married at 30, had my first divorce at 34, remarried at 36, and had my second at nearly 39.

These two gentlemen were both outstanding human beings. I always had good intentions. I always went into a relationship hoping it would go somewhere.

Some bad stuff has to occur.

For many, this data is of little importance. I didn’t think it was a big issue at the time. When people find out I’ve been divorced twice, I’m often shocked by the amount of judgment they express.

An acquaintance told me it was OK to be divorced twice, but three times was too many (to him, I assume), and a “friend” said she no longer wanted to be friends with me because I did not “respect” marriage. (I learned that she and her own spouse had a divorce not long after that via our common acquaintances.)

Some of the individuals that react negatively to me do so, I believe, because they are looking for validation from me and not receiving it. I don’t feel any remorse, embarrassment, or guilt; nor do I provide any explanations or lay any blame on the males. I am only articulating a reality, one that I fully accept and embrace.

My hypothesis is that those doing the judging are uneasy because my life and my emotions do not conform to their ideals.

How frequently do we unconsciously try to meet other people’s expectations of us?

Self-questioning and introspection may teach us a great deal about ourselves, including whether or not we base our choices subconsciously on the expectations of others and, if so, to what extent. Four methods are offered below:

1. I recommend starting with the question, “What are the reasons I want this goal or have made this decision?”

That’s how easy it is, right? It might be astonishing how little we understand the thought processes behind our own actions. Try to go further, show some curiosity, and ask some follow-up questions to your first inquiries.

2. While thinking about the objective, check to see whose thoughts you’re processing.

The speaker might be a parent, friend, or even an employer. Something that isn’t your own should be investigated.

Consider how much of an effect or influence your mother’s voice has on your choices if you happen to hear it. Once you know that, you can determine whether you’re OK with her having such sway.

3. Ask yourself how your loved ones will react when you announce (and achieve) your objective.

Find out whether “They’ll be thrilled!” is the correct response. They may just be pleased with you and your decisions, or they may see you as exerting undue effort in an attempt to win them over.

See also  Freedom: Embracing the Essence of Life

If you get “They’ll hate it!” as a response, you may do the same thing. If they’re going to be upset that you’re following your own desires rather than theirs, then that’s OK. If you are rebelling for no other reason, though, you should pay close attention.

To put it simply, not everyone here is a people-pleaser. Both of these actions are perfectly natural; the key is to recognize when we are engaging in them.

4: Dig into the activities that don’t make you “feel good.”

If you’ve been trying to achieve something but always finding the process frustrating, the payoff elusive, or the costs prohibitive, it may be time to step back and take a hard look at your motivations on their own terms.

Here are some examples of what I am not referring to:

We choose an objective, identify it in our field of vision, and then formulate a strategy to reach it. It’s possible that we won’t relish every single stage of the journey, and that’s probably not going to make us feel great.

Feeling “not good” in this way is normal and not always an indication that you are trying too hard to please other people. It’s an inevitable byproduct of making steady progress toward your objective.

There are few things that can get a massage therapist down, no matter how much she loves helping her clients: laundry. Laundry, in this context, is a necessary evil that does not need special consideration.

Obviously, If a massage therapist really doesn’t enjoy seeing customers, that’s a mystery worth solving.

A long-lost buddy and I caught up on the phone after five years. While catching up, she revealed that she had gone into business for herself, sweated blood for many years, and then chose to call it quits in favor of a “regular” job.

After a long period without a regular income, she felt relieved and satisfied with her choice.

The money and “wasted time” spent on her company were a constant topic of complaint from her mother. My mother’s disappointment with my friend’s choice was clear, and she made no bones about expressing it.

After hanging up with her, I sent the following in an email:

You took the roads you wanted to take when you wanted to take them, and you did what you wanted to do whenever you wanted to. You deserve to live as the whole human being that you are.

My buddy has my full backing, and I believe she should be able to make her own choices in life without having to answer to anybody except herself. I also apply this principle to myself.

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