Bronnie Ware worked in palliative care for years and discovered that those who are slowly dying have many regrets. She codified them into a list of five regrets (which you can read on Bronnie’s website by clicking here).
However, what I want to discuss is just the number one regret of the dying on the list.
The number 1 regret of the dying is this: “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”
A life true to myself… This is what I call a custom-tailored life. It is not easy to live in a way that fits you perfectly.
It is difficult to push beyond the expectations of others. To change careers, for instance, is oftentimes to change identities. Not only are you stepping away from something, you are stepping into something. You find yourself asking, “If THAT is not who I am, then who am I?”
At times it is difficult to know what you want because you have been told what you should want for so long. This is what I call the “Shackles of the Shoulds.” You feel bound to a certain way of life before you have given it any thought.
At times you do not make the move you want because you fear making a mistake in front of everyone, in front of all the naysayers and people who were concerned that you will fail, or who would not change to THAT career and who do not believe that anyone else should either.
So What Do You Do?
Here are 4 steps to the life you want
Step 1 – Ask yourself “What Would I Like My Life to Look Like?”
Step 2 – Record the answers (there may be several)
Step 3 – Look for ongoing support for your idea in your social circle, in your online circle (Facebook can be good for this), with a therapist, and/or with a career consultant.
Step 4 – Practice continued kindness… with yourself and others.
The steps are simple, the practice is difficult. These facts render a strong support system necessary.
Are you living a life that works for you?
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