How to Own Your Choices

How many times have you thought, "Everyone is looking at me" or "So and so will be unhappy if I make this choice?"

Hi, my name is Michelle, and up until recently, I was a notorious people-pleaser and a comparison junkie. Don't get me wrong, I still have moments where I wonder if I made the right outfit choice, or if someone close to me will be displeased with my life decisions. However, those moments have become few and far between. Here's how I made that happen.

Not long ago, I made the decision that I was going to live my life the way I wanted to live it, to pursue my passions, or at least give a full-throttle effort in doing so. Up until then, the majority of my life was formed around hopes and expectations others had from me. While their intentions were out of love, eventually I recognized that I was not taking full ownership when making decisions with my life.

The most important thing to remember when you feel stuck, and your dreams are on hold, is that the people you were trying to please are not to blame. More often than not, it is within your power to make decisions that are best for you. While the outcome of these decisions is typically uncertain, you owe it to yourself to act on your dreams and to live a life full of passion, and in retrospect, nothing is ever certain.

Not long ago, I took a leap of faith, left the corporate world, took on some freelance work and some side gigs so I could make room for my passions to act and to work with non-profits. In my effort to be honest with myself about who I am, I found the strength to be honest with others. At first, this was challenging, especially when I broke the news to people who had different expectations from me or when I found myself among a group of successful people. In response, I got some confused looks and some insincere remarks. However, I did find that the more I took confidence in my decisions and let that confidence shine through in conversations, I found more people to be empathetic, kind, and sometimes eager to help. One of my favorite quotes echoes this phenomenon:

If you do not respect your own wishes, no one else will. - Vironika Tugaleva

Owning my choices and being honest about my goals gave me confidence in other areas of my life, something I hope for you. Get there by acting on the talents and the dreams instilled within you. Remember, others will have their own opinion about you and your choices, but the only opinion that matters when it comes to your life is your own.