You do you

By Emily Williams, Assistant Features Editor 

Maybe I’m the only one, but I have a hard time when it comes to caring too much about what other people think of me.

I mean, sure, to some extent it’s a good thing to care about how others perceive you and to present yourself in a respectable, decent way. However, when you care so much about how so-and-so perceives you that you make decisions based solely off of their opinion, you’re going down the wrong road.

People-pleasing robs you of the power to call the shots in your own life, and it directs your focus to all of the wrong things. Instead of making healthy choices for yourself, you’re worried about what people will think when you dare tell them “No” once in a blue moon. Instead of concentrating on making a decision that will make you happy and benefit you in the long run, you’re more concerned about what others will think of that decision.

Rather than focusing on the morally correct thing to do, you’re worried about doing exactly what everyone else is doing or what feels right at the time. Speaking from experience, that is no way to live. Sure, in the moment, the people around you will be applauding and cheering you on (either figuratively or literally, depending on the situation), but is it really worth it? My mother always tells me, “At the end of the day, when you lay your head down on your pillow, you are the only one who has to deal with and live with the decisions you have made that day. No one else but you.” The longer I live, the more I realize how right she is. No one else is there when you are left to review the choices you made that day. It’s just you and the silence of the night.

So make the right decision for yourself and don’t worry about much else. Keep in mind that we should always consider the feelings of others and factor that into our choices, but we should never give someone’s mere opinion the power to decide what happens within the context of our own lives.

As the old saying goes, “You can’t please everybody,” and that couldn’t be more true. When you’re focused on doing you, doing what’s right, doing what’s healthy and not allowing the opinions of others to run your life, that’s when you’re going to reach your full, life-giving potential.