Forget What Other People Say And Just Live Your Damn Life

Woman walks in the sand and throws her hands up into the sun
Unsplash / Brooke Cagle

If you’re like me, you’re probably easily influenced by other people’s opinions. I can’t help it — maybe I’m just insecure. I’ve never liked knowing people were judging me for my decisions; I don’t like thinking about what they say behind closed doors.

Maybe that’s why I’ve always been so careful about what I let people know about me. I curate my life in ways that make it look glossier than reality is, tidier and prettier — but then again, isn’t that what we all do? Maybe we’re all slaves to what society thinks about us. There are a lot of things we hide just to fit in.

Face it, we spend more time thinking up the perfect Instagram caption than we do actually enjoying what the picture commemorated.  We pass up our passions because they aren’t considered “cool” or “acceptable.” We want the world’s approval more than we want our own, so we mold ourselves to fit a certain standard, to get that big “thumbs-up” from everyone we know. We let other people’s opinions control our lives and all I have to ask is this: Why?

They say the things you regret the most are the ones you never do. At the end of the day, maybe we’ll all regret our picture-perfect lives and everything we did to try to be what the rest of the world wanted us to be.

Here’s my advice: fuck what people say. Fuck what they think. If you want to do something, just do it. If you want to be something, just be it. And seriously, fuck anyone who tries to make you feel bad about what you want to do. Unless you’re hurting someone else, no one is allowed to have an opinion about what you do with your own damn time.

We waste so much time caring about what people are going to say about us that we forget to just live our damn lives. Yes, we all want someone’s approval, but at the end of the day, they’re not living with your decisions — you are. And if you change your whole entire life to fit someone else’s standards, you’re going to miss out on all the things that could make you totally and overwhelmingly happy.

Because when you’re on your death bed and thinking about everything that’s happened in your life, you’re not going to remember what your classmates said or the time your mother criticized you — you’re going to remember what you did. More importantly, you’re going to remember what you didn’t do.

So take that theater class. Get a whole new degree. Quite your job. Travel to Italy. Fall in love with the person your friends said you shouldn’t date. Go after your dream job, even if it’s no one else’s dream. Wear that outfit everyone else called ridiculous. Sing karaoke even when they said you can’t carry a tune.

Don’t live life by convention. Do the things that make you sparkle, that make you shine, that make you bubble with happiness. Just live your damn life and don’t let yourself regret it. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Callie is a writer, editor, and publisher at Thought Catalog. Her debut book, ‘The Words We Left Behind,’ was released in January 2024.

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