No Deathbed Regrets: Living True To Yourself

This is the first of a five-part series on Living A Life With No Regrets.
The beginning article is here if you want to review!

 

Image courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

You have to know yourself before you can be true to yourself . Do you know yourself? Do you know what you stand for? Do you know where you draw the line in the sand? Do you know what makes you happy? What makes you mad? What pushes your buttons? What makes you sad?

If you don’t know the answers to those things, it’s hard to be true to yourself. The good thing: a lot of these answers come with age. Yes, the older we get, the more we know about ourselves. Which doesn’t mean that younger people can’t learn these answers earlier. It just takes some work.

When we are children, we live the lives our parents want for us. That’s because they are raising us, making decisions for us, and teaching us to be adults. At some point, however, we leave our parents’ home and go out on our own. (Today “leaving” the home might be more figurative as economics mean more 20-somethings still continue living with their parents while learning to be independent. That doesn’t mean they can’t mature!)

At first, we hear our parents’ voices in all our decisions. In adolescence we go through a phase when we do the opposite of our parents–our rebellious phase. It’s time to start separating and sometimes we do it with a bang! By the time we get into our twenties we’re back into a more moderate place, somewhere in between.

We start to pick and choose what we keep from our families of origin. What moral values we’ll embrace, what standards of living we’ll adopt, what traits we’ll look for in our partners, and, just as important, which things we will discard.

You can try on your choices for the rest of your life. Nothing is carved in stone. It’s healthy to experiment! Visit different churches. Date different people. Explore different hobbies. Never stagnate!

As we do these things, our families and friends will become uneasy, start to comment, and try to change us back. This is where we need to start Living A Life That’s True To Us. The clearer you are on who you are, the easier this will be.

If you aren’t really sure who you are, if you aren’t committed to yourself, you will let yourself become what others want you to be. Then you won’t be happy with the life you are living. You will regret letting them make life choices for you. You will watch as others live their lives as they wish, maybe even making choices you wish you had, feeling envious, sad, and discontented.

That’s no way to live any part of your life!

Things to try when you’re ready to explore yourself:

  1. If you’re not sure where you stand on an issue, research.
  2. If something makes you uncomfortable, start questioning why.
  3. If you want to try something new, do it.
  4. Journal.
  5. Google.
  6. Research.
  7. Experiment.
  8. Talk to people who are already doing it.
  9. Don’t be afraid to fail.
  10. Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself.

Taking the time to learn about yourself is worth it! It’s your life. Life it to its fullest potential!

If you have questions or need suggestions, please don’t hesitate to ask! If you try something new, let me know!

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