If you’ve been living your life for others, then you’ll be able to relate to this post.
I’ve been living my life for others ever since I can remember. I don’t really know if there’s ever been too many moments where I’ve lived my life for me.
What does it mean to live your life for others? In short, you are spending your time trying to make everyone around you happy, while neglecting your own wants and needs. Others come first, and you put yourself last. While this may seem very selfless and noble, it has consequences that will eventually catch up to you.
If you already struggle with your mental health, such as dealing with anxiety or depression, living your life for everyone else can have an even bigger effect. It can cause your symptoms to worsen, and you can end up in a very bad place if you’re not careful.
Signs you’re living your life for others –
1. You’re always trying to please others. You run yourself into the ground both physically and emotionally trying to meet the requests of those you care about.
2. Doing things asked of you to avoid conflict. If you know that saying no, or being unable to do what has been asked of you will cause an upset or an argument, you feel like you have to get it done to avoid drama.
3. Always giving in. Sacrificing your own plans to make others happy. A lot of times, you feel bad or guilty if you don’t do what the other person wants. Even if it’s something you don’t want to do, you do it anyway, for them.
4. Having feelings like your life isn’t your own, or feeling overwhelmed. When you’re constantly living your life for others, it really is like your life isn’t yours. You don’t have time for you when everyone else is keeping you busy with their wants.
5. Ultimately, you lose yourself. You can often end up feeling empty, resentful, and even depressed. When you do have time for yourself, you may not even know what to do with it. You may even have trouble learning how to find yourself again.
Living your life for others isn’t healthy.
While it’s perfectly ok to do for others, when it starts to control and take over your life, it’s not healthy at all. You’ve got to find a balance that is right for you. It’s important to set boundaries with others, and if you don’t, they’ll walk all over you.
It’s not always an intentional thing. A lot of times people don’t realize they’re even doing this, they’re really just used to you being so agreeable. But what starts off as good intentions can quickly turn into an unhealthy habit.
Sometimes, even when you try to set boundaries, you find yourself unable to break the habit. This can happen especially in relationships or friendships where the other person has controlling behavior.
Break the habit
Breaking the habit of living your life for others is much easier said than done. Just like anything else, bad habits can be hard to break. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible. It can be done, and it starts with recognizing your own behavior and choices.
I’ve found several great posts that talk about creating new habits, tips for being happy, and ideas for breaking those old unhealthy habits. As you read them, a lot of what they talk about will most likely resonate with you. If it does, it’s definitely time to start making some positive changes!
- Living a Happier and Self-Kinder Life
- How to Stop Living Your Life for Others
- What Happens When You Stop Living for Other People
- 6 Steps To Stop People Pleasing and Start Doing You
- How to Break the People Pleasing Habit
I hope these will help you in learning how to live the life YOU want, instead of living for what everyone else wants. I’m still learning, but the more I understand it, the more I start to realize it’s effects.
I also recommend reading these two books, Braving The Wilderness and The Four Agreements. These books have changed my thinking and my life. They have allowed me to see things in a completely new perspective. I hope you’ll check them out, you won’t be disappointed.
“You can’t live your life for other people. You’ve got to do what’s right for you, even if it hurts some people you love.” – Nicholas Sparks