An Article By Karen Weeks

An unfortunate truth that has spanned dozens of generations and knows no racial or economic boundary is that we often feel like we have to live up to other people’s expectations. This is dangerous thinking, and, ultimately, happiness is not a matter of how other people perceive you but how you choose to control your life.

Today, Dr. Thomas Maples shares insight that can help you advance confidently into living your life on your terms by stopping certain behaviors. These include:

Working only for the money.

We all have bills to pay, but that doesn’t mean we have to be miserable in the days leading up to our direct deposits. The job market is wide open right now, and there should be nothing stopping you from making a career change. If you already have experience and wish to stay in the same industry, get started with a free resume builder. This is an online library that can help you refine your resume so that it grabs attention and showcases the best of you, including images and special colors you might wish to be associated with your professional persona.

If you’re looking to change career tracks altogether, consider going back to school. You have many different options here as well, and you can choose an accredited online institution, such as Western Governors University, to pursue a degree in anything from business administration to accounting. A WGU business degree is easy enough to obtain without losing out on your current income or family time.

Neglecting your mental health.

The days when mental health was a completely taboo topic are gone. If the pandemic taught most of us anything, it’s that counseling can help. You do not have to be shy or embarrassed about admitting that you need guidance. There are many ways that we neglect our mental health, and professional counseling can help pull us out of a rut.

If you notice that you’re perpetually busy, are not comfortable talking about your emotions to your friend and family, or fear judgment from your coworker or peers, know that mental health counseling is discrete. If money is an obstacle, NAMI suggests joining a support group or reaching out to a volunteer counseling line.

Eating a terrible diet.

Fast food is easy, but it’s also processed and terrible for your body. Eat This, Not That smartly points out the side effects of eating fast food, which include lethargy, bloating, cognitive decline, constipation, obesity, and, perhaps most alarmingly, nutritional deprivation. If time is a concern, you can always spend a few hours on the weekend meal prepping, which is the practice of preparing several days’ worth of meals at once to save time, money, and frustration.

Dispel the notions that eating healthy foods has to be expensive or time-consuming, and learn how to make both health and budget-conscious choices when it’s time to plan your plate. A quick example here is swapping a candy bar for a banana. You can expect to pay around $1.50 for a Snickers and less than $.30 for a banana and most places. Even though they can both be considered sweet indulgences, the banana has natural sugars, which come with fiber and antioxidants whereas the added sugar in your candy bar provides empty calories.

These are just a few examples of things that you do not have to do. Remember, it’s your life, and your responsibility to make your own choices. While you still have to pay your bills and exist in polite society, you do not have to put yourself last to make it happen.

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