Life is short but it seems like we spend most of our precious lives worrying about what other people think. This robs us of the opportunity to live life to the fullest and experiencing the joy of just being ourselves. We don’t get to do the things that we really and truly want to do because we are scared of how other people will react. “I want to do this, I want to experience that. Oh I wonder what it feels like to be this or that or I really wish I could pursue that dream but people might frown upon it, so I am not even going to try”. What a miserable position we have put ourselves in.
I met a gorgeous young lady the other day and we got talking about image and beauty. On this sunny, blazing hot Jozi day she was wearing a beautiful long sleeve jersey. Beautiful it was but the weather was just too hot to be wearing a jersey. She started explaining why she was wearing a long sleeve jersey on such a hot day. She told me how she has always worn long-sleeved clothes to hide her arms. She simply cannot bear the thought of people judging her for the way her arms look. Our conversation went on for a long time and my objective was to convince her that she was beautiful just the way she was and that people should not have that kind of impact on her life and self esteem. She didn’t buy into it so I challenged her to wear something short-sleeved just for one day and see if people would really judge her. If she still felt that they were judging her, she should consider whether that was the worst thing that could happen to her and if she would die, because of what other people thought of her.
Fear is a low-down dirty thing, it cripples us. Most of the time, we don’t even know what exactly it is that we are fearful of. This concept of “what will they think” fascinates me. Who are THEY? Can someone quantify this for me? Give me a list of names and once you have given me that list, tell me why it is my duty to deprive myself of the things that makes me happy in order to please those people.
Why are “they” more important that me? Do “they” also stop to worry about me when they have to make decisions for their lives? Why should their opinions shape my life? Why should “they” have so much power over my life? Are “they” the masters of my destiny? The point I am trying to drive here is that we give away a lot of our power and we worry too much about other people’s opinions about our lives.
I recently cut my hair. I have known for a long time that this is something I could pull off but I never did it because I was worried about what people would think. Will they think I am ugly? Come on! that sounds so ridiculous. So one day I woke up and made the decision to cut my hair. This is my life and I will do with my life what I want and anyone who has an issue with this will just have to deal with it!
After I cut my hair, I spoke to Nomndeni and she encouraged me to go for the things I want to do. I felt even more empowered.
I am going to live my life the way I want to and I will do all the things I have always wanted to do. I proceeded to make a list and I will share with you the top 5 things on my bucket list for this year:
- Cut my hair.
- Be a waitress for a day.
- Learn to ride a motor bike
- Party in Japan
- Learn pole dancing
There are so many things that could have convinced me not to do this. Fear of failure is a crippling thing. So what if I fail, isn’t failure an opportunity to learn and grow? I could have worried about what people will think of me. You are this person; why would you do such a job? I am doing it because I want to and that is reason enough.
What are some of the things that you have always wanted to do but you have never tried to do them because fear held you back? I would love to challenge you today to write those things down and pursue them. If you are in doubt, write down the things you want to do and for each of them, write down the reasons you think you cannot do them. Be specific and then question each and every excuse you came up with. What is more important to you, fear or doing this exercise? Are the things you are scared of really that scary?
Live your best life and do not allow people or fear to stop you from pursuing your happiness. You only live once, live for yourself. Stop prioritising other people and focus on yourself. Make yourself the number one priority. You matter. You can and you should.
God gave you this life and trusted you to live it to the fullest. If not for yourself, do it for God, just not for other people.
Share your bucket list with us …