Take back control and live by your own rules

From the time we are born until we become adults – and theoretically able to make our own decisions – we are taught to fit in. If you’re assigned female at birth, there’s another layer of “others” thinking that they can make decisions FOR you instead of listening to what YOU want for yourself and your life.

Throwing another curve ball into the equation, if you happen to have lived past the age of 50, you may be discriminated against because of your age – including incorrect assumptions about your abilities, level of intelligence, level of physical strength, and cognitive abilities.

Adding in other factors like race and culture can make you feel as if the entire world has decided you don’t have a working brain, let alone the capacity or chutzpah to direct your own path. Many women realize these challenges and may even fight against them, but it’s not easy. Our obedience toward doing what others (common society, our friends, family, etc.) expect of us is anticipated. Break society’s “rules of obedience,” and you can be labeled a troublemaker or worse.

We’re trained to be responsible (whatever that means) and to stop taking chances – particularly those that aren’t considered “suitable” for women. After a while, this can turn our perfectly imperfect (but still kinda fun) lives into something that’s unrecognizable and that lulls the wilder side of us into a stupor due to boredom – far too safe and not much fun at all. Worse, we start to wonder who we are while we’re losing who we yearned to be.

It’s time to take back control of your life and express your hunger for the life that’s ahead of you instead of wistfully looking back at the life you’ve already lived. It’s time to live by your own rules, throw off the chains society would place around your shoulders, and live your next chapter YOUR WAY. Reject the sheep’s life – you don’t have to do what you’re told all the time – and instead, adapt and adopt one or more of these 7 rules for living the life YOU deserve.

You’ll Like YOU Better

It’s hard to have a lot of self-respect when you’re always compromising who you are. When you stick to your belief system and act in ways that are authentic to yourself, you’ll find you like yourself a whole lot more.

Others Will Like You Better

You’re not the only one who’s going to notice the change. When you stop wearing masks and trust others with who you are, people appreciate your authenticity. This kind of honesty also gives them the space to be vulnerable, something which is hard to find. It’s no wonder they’ll respect you more when you’re yourself.

You Bounce Back

If you fail, that’s on you. Accept whatever lessons the experience teaches you and move on. When you lose by your own rules, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.

More Intimate Relationships

How can anyone possibly fall in love with a fake person? When you’re always showing the other person your best self, they never get to know the true you. Relationships grow and develop where there’s intimacy. Intimacy comes from being honest.

You’ll Rediscover Passion

When you’re always doing what everyone else wants, it’s hard to feel fulfilled in your work. When you set your own goals and aspire to reach your dreams, you’ll find life much more rewarding. You can never be delighted unless you are excited about but what you’re doing. Here’s where passion lies.

You Don’t Miss Out

Don’t you hate regrets? When you look back on your life, what would you most like to see? Do you want to be able to say, “I did what everyone expected” or “I realized my dreams”?

You Discover Optimism

In the end, it’s easier to look forward to a day where you know you are pursuing the things you are passionate about. Here is happiness, and a whole lot of optimism toward what comes next.

You’re going to find there are still times when you need to live by someone else’s rules. It would help if you drove the speed limit. You can’t just take what isn’t yours. But on the other hand, in those times where you do have control, you’re going to find you’re much happier when you call the shots. Be yourself. Do your own thing. Embrace life.

And only follow the rules when you have to.

About the Author Dianne Daniels

Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, and currently residing in Norwich, Connecticut, Dianne M. Daniels' mission is to empower women 35+ to Express their most Dynamic, Intriguing, Vivacious, and Authentic selves with the Power of Journaling and Affirmations.

You can learn how to use these time-tested proven practices to create and manifest the life you want (and deserve) to live.

Dianne is an ordained Unitarian Universalist Minister and holds a Master of Divinity degree from Starr King School for the Ministry. She's an avid reader, a lover of old houses (she renovated an 1850s vintage Greek Revival home with her family) and has been journaling since the age of 9.

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