One of the cruelest things you can do to yourself is to turn your back on the things that are most important to you. When you do that, you are saying to yourself, “I don’t count!” You are saying that your life doesn’t matter to YOU. Such self-sabotage amounts to being a traitor to yourself — and when you desert yourself you feel anxious, unworthy, and full of guilt.
There’s a reason why you feel this way. Your emotions are tied to your ability to live a healthy, fulfilling, fully human life. You are the only one who can live your life and it is up to you to discover what is important to you and to strive for it. When you turn your back on your opportunity to live your life well, you lose respect for yourself.
Here’s where the conflict comes in. We are brought up to believe that a good person is supposed to forget himself and “live for others.” This makes us feel torn between striving for what’s important for us and trying to “please others.” But being a slave to other people’s wants prevents you from being true to yourself and what you want for your life. By the same token, expecting others to take care of your wants prevents them from being true to themselves and what they want for their individual lives.
The solution is to recognize that each of us has an equal right to direct our own lives and to pursue our own happiness…so long as we respect that same right for others. This is the only way you can be be true to yourself and at the same time to honor your fellow human beings with that same right for themselves.
There is nothing wrong with helping others strive for what is important to them – but there is everything wrong with turning your back on your own values to do so. Helping others should always be a win-win situation. Businessmen enjoy helping other people get the products and services they need for their lives, and – in return — they also enjoy getting paid for doing so! Likewise, in win-win relationships friends and romantic partners mutually enhance each other’s lives. All healthy adult relationships are mutually beneficial, enabling each person in the relationship to be true to himself by furthering his progress toward the things that are important to him.
How can you learn to be true to yourself?
HERE’S HOW TO GET STARTED:
Step 1: Choose To Value Your Own Life. Your first and greatest value must be YOUR LIFE. Without your life, it’s not possible to value or strive for anything else. You must vow to discover and do what’s required to maintain and improve your ALIVENESS. You must recognize your nature as a reasoning human being. You cannot live a fully human life as a mindless emotionalizer, a mindless brute or a mindless slave. You must choose to treasure your life — and then you will relish the opportunity of living it!
Step 2: Don’t Pit Yourself Against Others. Respect the fact that EVERYONE COUNTS and there is plenty of room for both you and others to each live freely and strive for your own individual fulfillment and happiness. Being self-responsible for directing your own life is part of self-respect and respect for others. And it doesn’t mean having to live without the benefit of interacting with others: enjoying other people in mutually responsible, respectful, voluntary exchanges and relationships can enhance your wellbeing a thousand-fold.
Step 2: Discover What’s Important to You. Identify what is MOST IMPORTANT to you and keep those things in mind with every decision you make. Once you decide to value your life, then you can determine all the wonderful things that will make your life the most worthwhile for you. These become the things that are important to you – the values that you strive to achieve for your life.
Step 3: Strive For Your Values Every Day. Taking even the TINIEST STEP every day expresses and reinforces that you value your life and the things that make it worthwhile. Slacking off means taking your life for granted. It makes you feel like a traitor to yourself – and it’s no fun to live with yourself when you are your own worst enemy!
Step 5: Live Your Life and Let Others Live Their Lives.Never take anyone else’s word for what you “should” want for your life. Never give up the things you want for your life in order to “show your love” for someone else. And never try to “live for” your loved ones. Each person must do his or her own “living.” If you sacrifice your own dreams to “prove” your love, you will end up feeling emptiness within yourself and resentment toward your loved one – which quickly dissolves any feelings of affection, fulfillment and happiness. When you try to live for someone else, you lose your freedom, your friendships, and yourself.
Step 6: Chose Your Own Way. Choose HOW you want to live, WHERE you want to live, WHAT you want to do, and WHO you want to associate with. Write your own story and make it exciting for yourself. Always remember that this is your life to live – no one else’s — and there is no apology needed for living it to the fullest! Besides being true to yourself, you will inspire others to be true to themselves and their own dreams.. And they will in turn inspire you!