Your Own Beat: Likes and Dislikes
This may seem the easiest part of marching to your own beat – simply focusing on your own likes and dislikes. Here is the thing though, it is one of the bravest things you can do. Why? Because all to often we don’t do something we love because of what someone else thinks. That or we do things we hate because someone else expects us to. We give too much power to others or to our perceptions of what others think of us.
Marching to your own beat means that the voice that should be loudest in your head is your own – not your mother’s, not your best friend’s and not the mean girl from junior high. How many people still have a few of those voices bouncing around telling you how to wear your hair, that you can’t wear stripes, or taunting you for trying something new?
I still do. To some degree it is normal and even helpful to remember the advice other people have given us. It becomes unhealthy when we allow others’ voices to beat us up. I am not saying that our family and friends are to blame – they may have said something hurtful unintentionally and unknowingly at one point – it is up to us to stop repeating it to ourselves. It is also up to us to start living our lives for ourselves and not for others.
Giving other people too much power over our decisions can impact more that what we wear or how we cut our hair though. Regrets aren’t typically birthed from something we have done – they usually from the things we didn’t do and opportunities not seized. These missed opportunities all bear the similar story of allowing someone else the power to decide for us.
I included likes and dislikes after personality and core values for a reason. It makes it easier to tell others “I am a minimalist” from a place of authority when we have the foundation of knowing who we are and what we value.
“No” become easier when we know our hearts aren’t into stuffing envelopes for an organization that isn’t on our passionate cause list.
It is the difference between “I like black” while not wearing it because we were taunted for doing so in junior high and “I only wear black” because we love it for its simplicity, uniformity and ease.
Give yourself permission to embrace the things you love and discard the rest.by