As you start putting yourself first, you’ll likely run into people who unfortunately don’t fully understand why you’re pursuing certain goals. Maybe you’ve decided to pursue a different career than what your parents expected from you, or you’re choosing to prioritize other areas of your life rather than “settling down” and having a family. It’s tough to hear opposing opinions or judgments from others when you’re making decisions for yourselves that are not what others want from you. However, there are ways that will help you stay focused, and confident, and not allow these opposing opinions to break you down as you forge your own path:
Remember Your Why
Have you pinpointed the reason WHY you’re pursuing the goal you’ve chosen to put yourself first? If you haven’t thought about your “why” behind the goals you’re chasing, or haven’t written it down, I highly recommend putting down your “why” on paper. Referring to this “why” statement when people are questioning your decisions or trying to make you doubt yourself will help remind you why you’re pursuing these goals in the first place. Plus, having your “why” written down will also be helpful for the days that you feel a bit lost and unmotivated, giving you an extra push to veer back on track.
Take Deep Breaths
If you’re feeling extremely self-conscious or worried when someone is judging you, remember to breathe so you can create some space between what they said and how you respond. Breathing is such a powerful tool for easing anxiety, worry, and regulating your emotions. Simply giving yourself a few moments to close your eyes and breathe deeply for a few breaths can make a big impact on how you feel. Bonus points if you follow up your deep breathing with a few affirmations, or reciting your “why” to yourself to remind yourself what a badass you are for being brave and pursuing goals that help you put yourself first.
Have a Go-To Transition or End the Conversation
For the moments where someone will NOT stop talking about what they think about your life decisions, it’ll be helpful to have a reliable transition that you can use so you can reframe the conversation to something else. Doing this helps you uphold your boundaries for your goals because the last thing you need is someone hounding you about why they don’t think you’re doing the right thing when you deep down know that you’re making the best choices for yourself. To create this conversational transition, you can simply express gratitude for their concern (or not!) but remind them that what you’re doing is what you currently want for yourself, and then change the topic. Additionally, you can simply end the conversation and walk away to create space and find something else to do while the other person cools off and gets distracted with something else.
Recite Positive Affirmations
If you’re not used to utilizing positive affirmations, they’re an incredibly powerful tool to help you rewire your thought patterns when you’re stuck in a loop of someone else’s criticism or unwanted opinions. Whenever you’re stressed or anxious, it’s easy for negative thoughts to take over, and oftentimes this negativity comes from someone in your life. The more your brain thinks about this negative thought you’re telling yourself, the more your brain is etching a pattern that repeats over and over again. Positive affirmations will help break this established pattern, encouraging your brain to reframe its current path and focus on how you want to feel instead.
Find People That DO Support You
When you’re in need of extra love and support, sometimes the people in your life that you want to turn to won’t completely understand the decisions you’ve made for yourself. It’s important to find people in your life who DO understand, or at the very least don’t judge you for your goals.
If you don’t have anyone in your life geographically close to you to reach out to, you are more than welcome to join my exclusive membership community the Self-Discovery Society, and reach out to fellow members and me! The membership is all about putting yourself first, and my goal is to make sure you feel supported as you start making aligned choices for yourself. <3