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Sometimes, it may feel as though you are only living to fulfill other’s expectations of you. Once you begin this sort of thinking, it is easy to become trapped by such thoughts, however, there is a way to escape this trap and live your own life.

Life is filled to the brim with what we ‘should’ do, or what we ‘need’ to do. Throughout our childhood, we are told that we need to graduate high school. And during this journey, all we can do is imagine our adulthood after we have completed this rite of passage. For many of us, this accomplishment is associated with a sort of freedom that can only be granted after we have finished school.

Unfortunately, these ‘shoulds’ and ‘need tos’ follow us on into college, into a career, into a spouse and eventually into a mortgage, complete with a picket fence and two children. However, as these thoughts haunt us our entire life, there is another way. Of course, when you are young it can be so very hard to see that. In your mind, this is what you ‘should’ do. It’s what your parents, friends, and family have explained you ‘need’ to be happy.

All the while, we begin to start drowning in a pool of expectations and never completely inspect our own desires. But once again, there is a way out of this. I promise. 

In order to do this, a chain of events must take place.

1. Notice when you are basing a life goal on what ‘should’ be, rather than what you want.

2. Change this thought. As an example, say that you work somewhere that you enjoy that is currently taking you on the path you want for yourself. But, another job comes up, and everyone says you ‘should’ take it, or you tell yourself that, because of the money. Instead of thinking ‘I should have taken that job.’ Tell yourself, ‘It’s okay that I didn’t take that job because it wasn’t right for me at this point in my life.’

3. When you continue catching yourself saying what you ‘should’ do, stop.

4. Ask yourself, ‘Why should I do this?’, more often than not you may realize that you feel obligated to certain accomplishments due to other people’s wishes. Work towards making yourself happy, not others.

5. Remember that you don’t enjoy being plagued with other people’s ‘shoulds’ and ‘need to’s’ and don’t push your expectations on others.

Be happy with who you are, and don’t hold yourself accountable for other individual’s wishes. If you are doing the right thing for you, and what you want out of life, don’t ever let anyone dull your sparkle. Instead, keep pushing forward, and ignore the ‘shoulds’ and ‘need tos.’ Be the creator of your own needs and you will become unstoppable.