Follow your own path in life
One of the toughest things to do in life is to follow your own path particularly if it’s the road less travelled. It takes clarity, courage, conviction and determination to not let unproductive comparisons sway you from what matters the most to you. We all want a life that we love and live on our terms – a life that is uniquely our own. No matter which part of the world you were brought up in, though, we all sadly live in a world that encourages comparisons.
Being different has its price. From when we are young, we are taught to fit in to society’s norms. If we don’t we may just become the kid with no friends, or worse still, the one who gets picked on or bullied. This doesn’t really change as we get older as society places certain expectations on us all and again, if we don’t conform, we may become outcast.
Often in life, we are encouraged to role model other successful leaders and emulate what they do to accelerate our own path to success. And whilst role modelling of this sort has its benefits, it can have the effect of getting us in the habit of constantly comparing ourselves with others to identify and close gaps.
It is no surprise, then, that we lose ourselves in the midst of it all. Undoubtedly, a giant stumbling block to following your own path is the pressure of not living up to expectations. Each of us has created a picture in our minds of the life we think we should be living and the career path and job title we believe we should have achieved by now, and the accompanying lifestyle we think we should be living.
Interestingly, one of the greatest regrets in life is not living up to our own expectations. Bronnie Ware points out in her book, “The top 5 regrets of the dying” that the number 1 regret people have is that “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life truer to myself, not the life others expected of me”. Why does it sadly take someone on their last leg to appreciate the importance of following your own path and its importance to our growth and happiness in life?
The following 5 tips can help you on your journey to creating a better and more unique life that fulfils you, and not others...
Follow your intuition
Intuition is our innate inclination towards a certain behaviour. Basically, it is your instincts. Have you ever felt so strongly that you knew something was right, even if the answer was unclear? That’s your intuition telling you what it wants.
Generally, your intuition will guide you in the direction that you need to go. Follow your instincts on what you feel is right or wrong for you in your own life.
It can be hard to hear our intuition at times, especially if you are not in the habit of listening to it. But developing a deeper relationship with yourself will help you to hear more clearly your intuition and make more informed decisions, even if they don’t seem to be based on logic.
Following this intuition can lead you down a path beyond your craziest dreams. This is a practice that takes time to develop but if you keep looking for what your instincts are telling you, then you will be well on your way to creating your own life and living it your way.
Don’t follow everyone else
You don’t have to be like all of the other fish in the sea. Just because everyone is swimming one direction doesn’t mean that you have to follow. Give yourself permission to do something different. To take a chance and do what everyone else doesn’t want to do.
You never know where life will take you. And that can be a wonderful thing. But if you keep going with the flow like everyone else, chances are you are all going to end up in the same place. And it probably isn’t where you really want to be.
Don’t feel like you have to do things just because everyone else is doing them. It’s that old cliche you’ve probably heard a thousand times before, but just because your friends jump off a cliff doesn’t mean that you have to.
Do your own thing. And don’t care what other people think. Follow your own desires and create your own path. That’s the only way you will find out what you truly want out of life.
It’s okay to be scared
Fear is a natural human emotion. We all feel it once in a while. Some people may seem more fearless than others, but deep down they feel the fear too.
And it’s okay to be afraid of creating your own path. No one said you had to be the bravest person in the world in order to live your dream life. But you do have to be willing to face your fears and go for it anyway.
The reality is that fear will always be there. Even as you grow and adapt to new situations, there will always be something new or different that scares you.
You can’t let those fears hold you back from going after what you want. If you do, you are going to have a really hard time finding the life that you want.
So don’t let those fears stop you. Be scared for a moment and recognize the fear, and then take a risk and take some action. That’s the only way you will move forward.
Have a safety net
If you are just starting out on finding your own path in life, it is a good idea to have a safety net to fall back on in times of struggle. It’s going to be hard to create a life that is all your own. So you need a safety net in case things get really bad.
Before you start working on finding your own path, whatever that may look like, make sure that you have the support you need on your journey. This could be financial support, a place to live, friends and family to rely on, or just a plan of action so that you don’t get lost.
Preparing for these things in advance may take some time, and it can be hard if you want to just jump into your journey right away. But taking the time up front to develop your safety net will only be beneficial in the end. Having a plan to fall back on can make creating your own path in life a little less stressful.
Don’t give up
If you truly want to make your own way in this world, the one thing you need to remember is to never give up. Even when things get hard and seem too difficult to bear, don’t give up.
Pursuing anything that you want in life is a noble quest, but keep in mind that there will be struggles. There will be times where you fall and don’t want to keep going. But the rewards on the journey are far greater than any stumbling blocks you may come across.
So whatever you do, don’t give up. Keep working towards your dreams and keep creating a life that is uniquely yours. You will be so glad you did.
Conclusion: Life is Yours for the Making
Don’t let fears, insecurity or what others want hold you back from making life on your own terms.
Follow these simple tips and start implementing them into your daily life. Then decide what you want your life to look like and start slowly working towards creating that.
You can make your life into whatever you want it to be. You have the power to create your own path and be different. It won’t be easy, but hopefully, these tips will help you along the way.