According to Bronnie Ware, author of The Top Five Regrets of the Dying: A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departed, the most common regret of all is not having the courage to live a life true to yourself.
People tend to follow social norms like their lives depend on it. Sure, some do consider ‘’normal’’ to be good, and that’s truly alright if you feel content with what you have.
But if you let the need for acceptance overshadow every ounce of your being, the things left undone will one way or another haunt you later in life.
So how do you break away from the expected and live the life of your dreams? Here’s 10 things you can do to stop living life like everyone else:
1. Be honest with yourself
Is a 9-5 job really what you want? Are you considering tying the knot or buying a house just because everyone else is doing it? If the answer yes, stop now. Instead, take some time to reflect and make a list of all the things you have always wanted to do. Don’t lie to yourself just to fit in.
2. Find your passion and embrace your uniqueness
What are you good at or tend to spend hours doing, even if it’s not perfect? Allow what makes you special to shine. Discover your small talents and believe that being different is not a crime, it’s a blessing!
3. Start somewhere, anywhere and take it one step at a time
Send that email. Book the trip. Whatever it is that you have been putting on hold, do it now. One tiny step can go a long way and make you feel alive. All you have to do is start and the universe will conspire to help you achieve your desires.
4. Get out of your comfort zone
This is probably the most difficult step, but you can’t keep doing the same things if you want different results. Sometimes you have to leave your habits behind or go through a few hurdles. Going after a dream may have its price, but it will be worth it.
5. Let go of the unnecessary
You have to declutter in order to move towards bigger and better things. Whether it’s a dead-end job or comparing yourself to others, use all the strength you have to leave it all behind. You can’t start a new life if you’re stuck in the present.
6. Ignore the naysayers
People will discourage you because they can’t understand your beliefs or simple because they think they know what’s best for you. Don’t waste your time trying to explain yourself or change their perception. People only hear what they want to hear.
7. Think positive and have courage
Imagine the life you’ve always wanted and start working towards your goals. Believe in yourself and your confidence will eventually grow. You will discover a sense of empowerment and freedom so beautiful it will make you wish you had started sooner.
8. Don’t be afraid of change
Not knowing where your chosen path will lead can be nerve-racking, but you can always alter your plans down the road. You have to stop doubting yourself and have a little faith if you want to move forward. Always remember that it’s better to make mistakes than not try at all.
9. Take the plunge
Playing it safe can stop you from making your dreams come true. Sometimes you have to take risks. Don’t make decisions based on financial gain either. If you love what you do, your efforts will pay off.
10. Put in as much effort as you can and don’t give up
Instead of spending hours watching your favorite TV shows or worrying about the future, do something about it. If you hit a roadblock, try again. When one door closes, another will open. There is opportunity everywhere, if you look hard enough.
You don’t have to live like everyone else or let the pressure of having the “perfect life” consume you. It’s never too late to make the rest of your life the best of your life.
“One day you will wake up and there won’t be any more time to do the things you’ve always wanted. Do it now” – Paulo Coelho, The Witch of Portobello