One of the greatest freedoms is simply not caring what everyone else thinks of you. Sometimes you need to step outside, get some air, and remind yourself of who you are and what you want to be. The best thing you can do is follow your heart. Take risks. Don’t just accept the safe and easy choices because you’re afraid of what others will think, or afraid of what might happen. If you do, nothing will ever happen. Don’t let small minds convince you that your dreams are too big. They aren’t.
Starting today, stop waiting for approval. Here’s why:
- You only get one life to pursue the dreams that make you come alive. – It is better to be failing (and learning) at doing something you love, rather than succeeding at doing something you hate. So take chances on behalf of what you believe in. Fail until you succeed. Make sacrifices and step out beyond the safety of your comfort zone over and over again. Face your fears with courage and passion. Keep your word and hold true to your vision until it comes to life. Read Quitter.
- Someone else’s approval is just another opinion. – Never let someone’s opinion become your reality. Never sacrifice who you are, or who you aspire to be, because someone else has a problem with it. Love who you are inside and out, and keep pushing forward. No one else has the power to make you feel small unless you give them that power. You are the only one who can create your dreams and happiness.
- The only opinion of you that really matters is your own. – In life, the thing that is really hard and really amazing is giving up on the desire to be perfect in the eyes of others, and beginning the journey of becoming your true self. So let your love flow freely. Because what you love determines your dreams, your dreams determine your actions, and your actions determine your destiny.
- Some people will never give you their approval anyway. – Do not let the negative opinions of others destroy your inner peace. There are two kinds of people – those who are a drain on your energy and creative force, and those who give you energy and support your creativity, even with the simplest gesture, like a smile. Avoid the first kind. Be happy. Be who you want to be. If others don’t like it, let them be. Happiness is a choice – YOUR choice. Life isn’t about pleasing everyone. Read The How of Happiness.
- Everyone’s journey and perspective on life is totally different. – Who you are is what makes you extraordinary. Do not change your unique foundation for anyone. What lies ahead will always be a bit of a mystery. Do not be afraid to explore, learn and grow. Why some things happen will never be certain. Take it in stride and move forward. When life pushes you over, stand up and push back even harder. Where there is a fork in the road and choices to make, make the one your future self will thank you for.
- Firsthand experience is often necessary for personal growth. – Some life lessons can only be understood by going through them on your own. Doing so allows you to form your own conclusions based on firsthand experience, rather than someone else’s subjective opinion. This experience gives you the ability to think more logically and take educated steps in a positive direction. Read As a Man Thinketh.
- Your intuition requires no approval. – When it comes to exercising your inner genius, you must try what you want to try, go where you want to go, and follow your own intuition. Don’t accept false choices. Don’t let others put a cage around your ideas. If it feels right, take a chance. Because you never know how absolutely perfect it could turn out to be. As Steve Jobs once said, “Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice, heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
- Life is too short to wait any longer. – If you knew for certain you had a terminal illness – if you had a very limited time left to live – you wouldn’t waste a minute of it. Well wake up! You do have a terminal illness; it’s called ‘life.’ In the grand scheme of things, you don’t have much time left – no one does. So look around at this gift you’ve been given, as its miracles unfold before your eyes. And choose to be happy, without approval – or you will never be at all.
And I will leave you with a quote to think about. It comes from our article 10 Enemies of Personal Greatness: “As long as you are worried about what others think of you, you are owned by them. Only when you require no approval from outside yourself can you truly own yourself.”