Self confidence. I think that is the #1 issue for most people when it comes to living a happy life. People do not seem to want to take on responsibility. People want to blame everyone and everything outside of themselves. People believe that things happen to them, instead of because of them.
These are blanket generalizations, I know. However, it does seem to be the status quo.
We are raised to believe that we are constantly being judged. Tests in school judge how well we remember facts. Sports judge who has the most athletic ability, or who has worked the hardest. Try and tell me your elementary/middle/high school was not a breeding ground for judgmental humans, and I will respectfully ask to visit this school.
And I am not necessarily saying these are bad things. Testing yourself, and deciding whose opinion matters to you are very important aspects of growing up. My problem is that most people seem to come to the conclusion that other people’s opinions are more important than theirs. I don’t know if it is a numbers game, there are more ‘other people’ than there are ‘yous,’ so majority rules. I don’t know if they have simply never had the experience of having someone value their opinion. Or maybe they were just picked on so much by peers, parents or others that they eventually believed it.
I cannot hold myself above the fray. Through most of my upbringing I did not hold my opinion in very high esteem. I thought I needed certain things to be valued: money, car, a girlfriend. But once I started to really think about what I want from life I actually started to get what I wanted. And what’s more, I realized where I had been led astray simply by following other people’s opinions. Many times they had not even argued for me to follow them, they had just stated something that made sense at the time so I followed it. Since I didn’t take the time to think about whether or not I actually wanted to follow their thinking, I did so blindly.
What does all of this rambling come down to? Value yourself. Listen to yourself. You just might surprise yourself.