“Define success on your own terms, achieve it by your own rules, and build a life you’re proud to live” – Anne Sweeney.
With my clients and in my classroom, we often examine the subject of thinking errors – thoughts that people have that contribute to their problems in life. Albert Ellis, a pioneer of cognitive behavioural therapy and rational emotive behaviour therapy spoke often about the “tyranny of the shoulds” and it is this “shouldism” that helps me illustrate what it means to live life on your own terms and NOT the way you believe or others tell you that life ‘should’ be lived. ‘Should’ implies that you do not really want to, it implies that you are sort of obliged to do things a certain way, but actually this is not very fulfilling, liberating and rarely leads to happiness.
“If I had observed all the rules, I’d never have gotten anywhere.” – Marilyn Monroe.
You are the director of your life. Isn’t it funny, then, that most of what we see, read, and watch tries to stifle that belief in us. Some of us feel forced to work in places, doing jobs or taking on roles that we don’t want to, we get degrees or other forms of education we might not need or really want, and fashion a life that we feel we ought to, rather than one we want or that fulfills us. We don’t always feel that sense of autonomy and that can make life a shadow of what it has the potential to be.
“The goal isn’t more money. The goal is living life on your own terms.” – Chris Brogan.
“Success is nothing more than living life according to your own truth and your own terms.” – Robin S. Sharma.
There are simple ways you can have life autonomy, and have more control of your life and really feel like it is YOUR life to live – no one else’s. Here are 8 ways to live life on your own terms.
If you like Celtic rock music, start blasting it in the mornings as you brush your teeth and dry your hair. Lace up your running shoes with funky neon strings if that fits your style. Slowly but surely, you’ll begin to see “yourself” in everything you do. Celebrate your quirks and idiosyncrasies and enjoy being yourself. Then express those aspects of yourself more readily.
Read these two articles for more on this and for some fine examples of really getting comfortable being the fullest possible expression of yourself:
a) 7 Reasons Why Being a Geek is Awesome.
b) How to Accept and Depend Upon Yourself – Because “No-One Is Coming!”
Don’t Worry About What Others Think:
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent” – Eleanor Roosevelt.
No truer words spoken. If someone tried to make you feel bad by saying “Your hair is green!” and you don’t have green hair, it wouldn’t bother you at all. Because you know it isn’t true. It’s the same thing when people say things that attack who you are or how you look. You get to decide what makes you feel ashamed or bad. If you don’t agree with people’s negative beliefs about you, then they aren’t true, and you get to skip on through the rest of your day with your cool shoelaces! Likewise, whilst it is good to take on effective criticism or constructive feedback, we do not have to agree to everyone else’s vision of what makes for a happy and effective life. Choose your own path on occasion without concern of going against the populist grain.
Find Out What You Really Want:
Living life on your own terms is only possible when you figure out what those terms are and what you really want out of life. Yes, it can be difficult to know which direction you want to go and what you really want to achieve, but start with questions like: ‘What makes my heart sing?’, ‘What lights me up?’ ‘What am I passionate about?’, ‘What matters most to me?’ Spend some time on these questions and really reflect on what it is that you truly want rather than what you think your family, friends, work, and society expect you to do. Determine your priorities in life, decide what matters most to you and recognise the people you care about. If you can find the answers, you are more likely to be able to live a deeply fulfilling life on your own terms.
Learn to live with purpose, this article will help you discover your purpose: What Is Your Life Purpose? 5 Ways To Discover It Today.
Stay Away from Toxic People:
We’ve all experienced this at some point or another. There are people who make it their mission to get into your business whenever they can and constantly point out how you should be living your life and what kind of flaws you have and what kind of mistakes you are currently making. Whether they do it consciously or not, these kind of people are trying to take over your life and control it as best they can. They will do their best so that you live your life on their terms rather than your own. Eliminate them from your life as soon as possible and make sure you surround yourself with people who support you on your quest to live your life on your own terms instead. You’ve heard the old adage “misery loves company” so also do not let others drag you into less than fulfilling frames of mind just because that is how they are.
Don’t Hold Yourself Back:
Unfortunately, a lot of us tend to hesitate when we are faced with a difficult decision or task. And while we agree that it is important to analyse a situation carefully before resorting to dramatic measures or changes, you don’t want to let fear run your life and paralyse you so you are unable to move forward. Eliminate all doubts about your talents, skills and abilities and be confident in your capability to take on any challenge that comes your way. You’ve come this far, don’t hold yourself back now and move even further.
These articles will help you to believe in yourself:
a) How To Believe In You – 9 and a bit Ways To Advance Self-Belief.
b) Believe in Yourself!
c) Creating Your Superhero Alter-Ego Using Self-Hypnosis To Boost Confidence.
d) 6 Ways to Overcome Self-doubt.
e) Using Self-Hypnosis To Love Yourself More.
Take Responsibility for Your Own Happiness:
Happiness comes from within so don’t make your happiness and self-worth dependent on other people or circumstances. A 75 year longitudinal Grant and Glueck (2010) studies demonstrated that happiness comes from choosing to be happy with whatever you do and taking care of yourself on a number of levels. If your own happiness is out of your own hands, you set yourself up for failure and misery. Make yourself the most important person in your life, take responsibility for your own happiness, love yourself and accept yourself. This way you can enjoy all your relationships, whether they are on a personal or a professional level and give value to other people rather than coming together to fill a gap.
Make Space for Collaborations:
Just because you decided to live life on your own terms doesn’t mean you have to do it all on your own. The people who love and support you will be upset if you don’t follow your way and will be happy to cooperate and collaborate with you. They will share your vision and values and want to align themselves with your way of living, thinking and doing.
Never Give Up:
Making the decision to live life on your own terms can be daunting because we have been programmed to conform with society. And while living according to the rules of society may make things easier at times, it also limits your personal freedom and interferes with your personal growth. Keep in mind, what society dictates may not be something you want or can do and you end up being loved by society, but not by yourself. Don’t let pressures from society deter you from your quest of living a happy and fulfilling life on your own terms. Yes it may be difficult at times, but never, ever give up.
When you start to live life on your own terms, your life will improve tremendously. You will be happier and more fulfilled, you have better relationships, you enjoy work more and you get where you want to be. Make a profound mark upon your own life, live it on your own terms.
“Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain.” – Jack Kerouac.
Have some of themes here resonated with you? Then have a read of these pages:
1. Do you need help or support in a particular area of your life?
Coaching with Adam Eason Or Hypnotherapy with Adam Eason
2. Would you like a satisfying and meaningful career as a hypnotherapist helping others? Are you a hypnotherapist looking for stimulating and career enhancing continued professional development and advanced studies?
Adam Eason’s Anglo European training college.
3. Are you a hypnotherapist looking to fulfil your ambitions or advance your career?
Hypnotherapist Mentoring with Adam Eason.
Likewise, if you’d like to learn more about self-hypnosis, understand the evidence based principles of it from a scientific perspective and learn how to apply it to many areas of your life while having fun and in a safe environment and have the opportunity to test everything you learn, then come and join me for my one day seminar which does all that and more, have a read here: The Science of Self-Hypnosis Seminar.
Another interesting and useful article – it’s good to see more lifestyle advice. It’s like organic gardening, feed the soil and growing stuff works. Feed the life with good habits and attitudes and life works better.
Out of interest, here is a link to Harvard’s own article about the study you cite (also contains a link to an associated ted talk)
Thanks for that Richard, I enjoyed that article and with the study, it has much more depth to it beyond the small snippet that I used for this article, makes for useful reading.
Best wishes to you, Adam.