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September 25, 2023
How to Start Living the Life You Want, Not the Life Others Want for You

Melissa Coutts

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3 Ways to Start Living the Life You Want

From the moment we enter this world, we are spoon-fed various narratives. Most of which we are expected to happily swallow with no retort. At 18, we are told we need to go to university to be successful and happy. At 22, we should have a well-paying job. By 25, we should have a happy relationship and expect an engagement any day. And by 30, you should be married, have a house, 2 children with another on the way, a dog, and a white picket fence.

But what happens when we don’t accomplish these things? What if our life path looks different? What if we don’t even want these things? Then what? Social pariah? Life of misery? I know I’m not alone in the feeling that if we haven’t accomplished these milestones, then we somehow are unsuccessful, unaccomplished, and less than. More and more clients are facing the struggle of not meeting these milestones.

These are people who have created successful careers and have amazing friends, families, and social circles. People who have travelled and seen the world and yet they feel lost; they feel like they are missing out on essential parts of life and, therefore, couldn’t possibly be happy. The big kicker here is when asked, do you want a house? Do you want kids? Do you want to be married? The answers come back as “I don’t know,” or “I don’t think I do,” or “It’s just been something I’ve been told I should have.” Why do we continually measure our success and happiness against an outdated blueprint of what life should be?

If you find yourself nodding to this, here are some suggestions to get you unstuck from the burden of other people’s expectations.

Get Honest with Yourself

I get it; it’s easy to find yourself comfortable with going through the motions and sticking to the status quo. However, if you question if that path is for you and feel chained by the pressure of meeting those expectations, it’s time to get honest with yourself. It’s time to sit down and get clarity about how you want your life to look. Ask yourself the tough questions! Becoming clear on the path you want to take will make it much easier to measure your own levels of happiness and success based on what is truly valuable to you.

Stop the Comparison

You know that quote… comparison is the thief of joy… remember that one, put it in your back pocket, sticky note it to your bathroom wall because it’s true. If we constantly compare our story and our timeline to someone else’s, we will always come up short, we will always end up unhappy in the comparison game.

Trust Yourself

Trust that what you’ve decided for yourself is what is best for you and your happiness. Also, know you never have to stick to one decision; give it the space to change, grow, and evolve into each season of your life. Trust that just because it isn’t happening right now doesn’t mean it won’t ever happen. Trust that everything you want will come with time.


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