Why Your Opinion Of Yourself Is The Only Opinion That Matters

by Garrett Potts

I am beginning to realize our dedication to pleasing others seriously confuses our sense of purpose in life.

There is a voice inside each of us, and we need to be true to it, instead of paying attention to how others believe we should live our lives.

In the end, following the expectations of others will only limit our experiences in life.

I truly believe we all have voices inside of us we are supposed to follow. I also believe most of us are living the watered down versions of our lives because we care too much about what others think. We neglect that quiet voice within us.

There’s this author named Donald Miller, who puts out some really raw truths. I like to read his books because he’s the most honest writer I’ve ever come across.

In his latest book, "Scary Close," there’s a quote that crawled out of my archaic iPad last Tuesday and slapped me across the face:

“Sometimes the story we’re telling the world isn’t half as endearing as the one that lives inside us.”

What an ironic thought. Because we care too much about what others think, we cheat ourselves out of better lives.

What if your inner voice is trying to tell a tale of adventure with your life, but, instead, you miss out because you’re listening to someone who doesn’t expect you to have what it takes to do so?

I think it was Emerson who spoke about how people’s plans for your life will never go as far as your own plans for your life. They shouldn’t. No one else has that voice inside of you planted like a seed in the fiber of his or her being.

Only you have what it takes to make your life grow and flourish. Don’t let people’s beliefs about who you are supposed to be end up killing the dream inside of you.

Treat others' expectations like Roundup, threatening the seed that contains your voice. Don’t let the poisonous doubts of others kill what you know you are here to do.

There’s another author I know who frequently tells people to imagine what could be hanging in the balance of people's lives if they didn’t do what they believed they were born to do.

While our stories are important for us to live out, others need us to live out our stories just as much as we do.

It will encourage them to tell the stories they have to tell, too.

Not all expectations are necessarily bad. I think many people with expectations for our lives actually love us and mean well. I believe it is good and healthy to listen to the wise counsel of those whom you trust.

That does not mean, however, we should jail our dreams just because someone has differing expectations for our lives.

I’ll end this one with a statistic because many people these days don’t believe anything without a good statistic.

A palliative care nurse (these beautiful people help others be at peace in their final hours) by the name of Bronnie Ware polled a number of elderly people while on their deathbeds. She asked them about their deepest regrets in life.

The following took the number-one position by a landslide:

“I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”

Whose expectations do you choose to live for?

If you’re like me, I wake up every day tempted to live for the expectations of others.

I have to remind myself hourly the world needs more people living out the high-gravity versions of their lives.

It's only your responsibility to make personal decisions in life.

God aside, I don't want to give control of my life’s expectations to anyone else. I hope you want full control of your expectations, too.

I'd be willing to bet that the full version of your life could teach me something I desperately need to know.