We all do things every day not out of wanting, but because these are the things that we “should” do. The dictionary defines the word, should, as a verb used to indicate obligation, duty, or correctness, typically when criticizing someone’s actions. We spend so much time doing what we “should” do and neglect the things that ensure us a fuller, happier, more meaningful life.
We must first, remove the word “should” from our vocabulary. Doing things because we “should “prevents us from living our lives. The things we should do has no boundaries. Instead we allow others perceptions of what is correct define our actions. We must build and define those boundaries to the actions that will add value to our lives.
When people start giving their opinions of what we should do they create, in us, a need to explain ourselves. Elbert Hubbard was once quoted as saying; “Never explain- your friends do not need it and your enemies will not believe you anyway.” Explaining our actions is a cry for support, but we should have enough confidence in ourselves that another person’s opinion on the situation does not matter.
Judging is a natural instinct that even when we try hard not to; we do it anyway. Watching people, forming opinions and formulating assumptions based off of our observations in turn causes us to feel that people are doing the same to us. Its with this presumptuous knowledge that we feel the need to constantly explain ourselves so that we are seen in other people’s eyes as we want to be seen.
At some point in our lives we have heard the phrase, “fake it till you make it”. Why fake it? Even Superman has his kryptonite and is weak. If you don’t feel fine, you don’t feel fine. You are human. It is ok to admit to not being fine and more so, you never have to apologize or explain why you are not fine.
Our best decisions usually come when we listen to our feelings and trust our gut instincts. Those sources are usually lost in translation when being explained and are ill received. This causes us to create an explanation that is reliable to all, and thus creates a transition of power from ourselves and gives it to another.
Explaining when we know we shouldn’t is an unfortunate event that serves no other purpose but to waste time and energy. When we explain we are simply waiting for someone else’s approval. Waiting causes us to waste a lot of energy. During this waiting period we begin to experience doubt, become depressed, and ultimately it leads to a life of unhappiness. This waiting is wasted time that could be better served finding our happiness.
Explaining takes away from one of our greatest natural resources of wisdom, our inner guide. When we explain we start placing importance on the other person and lose sight of just how incredible our decision making is.
Awareness is the key to overcome the natural tendency to explain. With focus and intention you can do it, no matter how hard the journey may seem.
To help on your road to recovery, here are 20 points of interest to help you become more aware.
1. You do not owe anyone an explanation for your values and priorities
2. You do not owe anyone a yes; say no when you feel that is the right thing to say
3. You do not owe anyone an explanation of your relationships
4. You do not owe anyone your happiness just so that you can assist them with their own journey to happiness
5. You do not owe anyone a political debate; especially if that person’s mind is made up.
6. You do not owe anyone an apology when you do not regret a decision that you would make again.
7. You do not owe anyone an apology nor is there any reason to rationalize the importance of self-investment
8. You do not owe anyone the reasons behind your beliefs.
9. You do not owe anyone the power to change your appearance just to make them happy.
10. You do not owe anyone the gift of your friendship; especially if you don’t share the same values
11. You do not owe anyone negativity just so that you can commiserate together.
12. You do not owe anyone personal information that could make you uncomfortable or vulnerable
13. You do not owe anyone information about others that could be used to spread gossip just to be accepted into a clique or group
14. You do not owe anyone your time to help them with projects that matter only to them.
15. You do not owe anyone a promise to try new things just because they asked you to do it.
16. You do not owe anyone the opportunity to make you their venting post when they complain constantly or sulk in their bad decisions
17. You do not owe anyone anything but the truth no matter how uncomfortable that truth may be.
18. You do not owe anyone your time to be their crisis counselor
19. You do not owe anyone false flattery just to appease their ego
20. You do not owe anyone anything that makes you feel guilty or goes against your natural instincts
We cannot control what others think of us. We can only control how we feel and think. Wayne Dyer said “What other people think of me is one of my businesses.” Trying to control their thoughts and feelings is useless and counter productive. It’s like Maya Angelou said, “You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove.” Confidence in your decisions will eliminate the need for any explanation.