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How to Start Living for Yourself: 9 Ways to Take Back Control of Life

Amber Murphy

There seems to be some kind of unfair perception around living for yourself. Many people feel like this is very egoistical and that such a lifestyle implies neglecting others. However, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. The fact remains that you should put yourself first if you want to make others happy. In this sense, living for yourself isn’t egotistical. Quite the contrary, it’s a healthy and crucial practice. Nevertheless, it’s not always easy to know how to start putting yourself first.

9 Ways to Start Living for Yourself

Take back control of your life by living for yourself. Here’s 9 ways that will start an immediate change for you and give you back agency of your world and lead a happy life.

1. Write it All Down

First and foremost, before you can make fundamental changes in your life, you should start by putting it all on paper. This exercise will make you think long and hard about what you want from life to make this more concrete. Hence, to succeed, you first need to ask yourself what makes you happy in life, what you want to achieve, and what you want to change. You also have to think about the aspects of your life that you like and those you don’t particularly like. Then, you can just write it all down. You’ll find that this can help sort out your thoughts. It will also ensure that you have an excellent overview.

Another thing that you should remember in this department is that you can just write freely. So, don’t let yourself be bound by negative thoughts such as “I can’t do this.” When writing down your feelings, thoughts, and aspirations, the sky truly is the limit.

Once you’re done with this exercise, you’ll immediately notice that making specific lifestyle changes will be significantly easier. Hence, this first tip is the first step to living for yourself. Specifically, it will clarify what steps you need to take to prioritize yourself and your happiness.

2. Quality Time With Yourself

Person alone on the beach

Many people seem to think that quality time intrinsically requires someone else’s company to strengthen your relationship with that person. Yet, this view has no regard at all for the benefits that quality time with yourself can bring. So it’s imperative to make time for a peaceful evening by yourself every once in a while.

Additionally, it’s not healthy to completely put your life on hold whenever someone asks you to hang out. Instead, when someone asks you to hang out, don’t be afraid to ponder this for a moment. Instead, take your time and think about how you want to spend your valuable time. If you conclude that you would rather be by yourself sometimes, that’s completely okay. Thus, it’s also okay if you want to decline others’ invitations sometimes to make time for yourself. Hence, if a date night with yourself is what you need, then that’s precisely what you should invest your much-needed time in!

Don’t forget meditation is also a great and healthy way to spend time with yourself. You can check out our free guided meditation app, Declutter The Mind, and start to sit with your mind and take time out for yourself.

400+ Free Guided Meditation PracticesDeclutter The Mind will help you live more mindfully and understand your mind better with a growing library of free guided meditation practices, courses, and daily meditation practices.

3. Stop Thinking About What Others Might Think

Now, this next tip might just be the most pertinent one. If you want to truly start living for yourself and not for others, you have to stop thinking about what others might think so much. This also includes breaking away from the traditional vision of what’s socially acceptable. It might be challenging to put this motto into practice, but you’ll find that you will feel free once you do.

So, wear that outfit. Eat an extra plate of your favorite meal. Speak your mind. You should do what you desire without constantly looking for others’ approval or advice. It’s honestly the only way to live your life exactly like you want to.

4. Compliment Yourself Regularly

On a related note, it’s also recommended to give yourself compliments regularly. Most people live their lives constantly seeking the appraisal of others. However, your feelings of self-worth are simply too essential to let them depend on the actions and words of others. So, tell yourself that extensively whenever you feel like you look good. The same goes for when you have done something great or reached certain accomplishments. In short, you should become your own biggest fan and supporter. Particularly, if you celebrate your successes and positive qualities, it will be easier to convince yourself that you’re truly a great person with a lot to offer. In turn, your feelings of self-worth will significantly increase. Positive self talk is powerful.

5. Learn How to Say No

“No” is a word that comes with a negative connotation for many people worldwide. However, these people don’t realize how empowering saying no can be. It’s not egocentric to say no when someone wants you to do something for them. But, of course, it can also be empowering to help others. However, you shouldn’t bend over backward to please others if it will cost you too much time and effort.

Even though it’s not always easy to let others down, you must remember that you need plenty of time and energy to put into yourself. And you simply won’t be able to give yourself what you need if you give everything you have to others. Remember, the key to living for yourself is to realize that it’s not egoistical to put yourself first!

6. Don’t Play the Victim

Moreover, many people aren’t happy with the lives they lead, and that’s because they don’t take matters into their own hands. They complain about everything that goes wrong in their lives, and as a coping mechanism, they start playing the victim. They do so by living according to others’ expectations.

However, the key to living for yourself is to remember that you have a lot of influence on what happens in your life. By knowing yourself, by knowing your wishes and desires, you can make choices that impact your life for the better. Such choices can provide you with energy and satisfaction. Also, it can help you with your personal growth. So, don’t live your life out of fear and don’t play the victim. Instead, take ownership of your actions and strive to live your life!

7. Take Care of Yourself Properly

Woman cooking healthy meals in the kitchen

Furthermore, it’s also extremely important to take care of yourself properly in the way you truly deserve. You should do so both in your personal life and in your professional life to the extent possible. If you don’t know where to start, it’s always a wise idea to live according to “a healthy mind in a healthy body.” So, start exercising regularly and healthily adapt your daily diet. For example, don’t skip meals, eat on steady moments, avoid junk food and unhealthy snacks, and make healthy choices. This will provide you with the energy you need to get through the day. However, it will also help you build confidence and a positive mindset. Those are precisely the building blocks for living your own life!

8. Don’t Compare Yourself to Others

One of life’s most useful pieces of wisdom is that you should stop comparing yourself to others. If you keep comparing your appearance to that of others, and if you hold your accomplishments to the standard of the accomplishments of others, you will be distracted. Concretely, you will be distracted from your path in life. Even more so, you will be so occupied by others and their choices that you won’t be able to determine how you want to handle things.

So, don’t compare yourself to others. Instead, only use yourself as a standard and strive to become the best version of yourself.

A very useful tip in this department is to refrain from using social media too much. And even if you’re a big fan of using social media, you should keep in mind that what you see isn’t necessarily real. People generally tend to show their best side on social media, and they also only show their most joyous moments.

Hence, comparing yourself to others never is a good idea, but it’s especially detrimental to compare yourself to the version of others on social media. This will cause feelings of inferiority, but it also will keep you from living your best life. So again, the importance of setting your own course can’t be stressed enough. It’s the only proven tactic for taking matters into your own hands and finding out what you want to achieve in life.

9. Set Realistic Goals for Yourself

Finally, the last tip to consider is that you should set goals for yourself. But, nevertheless, you can’t go overboard with this. Namely, while setting goals is beneficial, you will do more damage than good if your goals aren’t realistic. Instead, try setting realistic goals for yourself. To a greater extent, it’s recommended that you start small to achieve small successes. Then, you can make your goals slightly bigger each time. Then, in only a slight matter of time, you’ll notice that you can achieve great things if you put your mind to it!

Start Now

It’s not easy to give yourself the permission to take back control but if you do, you’ll start to notice how much more energy you have for others, and how much more of yourself you can give to others when you finally begin to take care of yourself first.

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