There’s a popular saying that every person and their life is a sum of the actions and decisions that they make.
While it’s in our nature to seek validation and support from others, the final say should ultimately come from you.
And there are so many times in life where you’re forced to make a choice, but how do you know you’re making the right choices?
It doesn’t matter whether your choice goes against the norms or defies what people think of you. What matters is that your decision makes you happy and fulfilled.
Here are some of the life choices that you don’t need to justify to anyone but you:
1) Your Career Path
If your family is as traditional as mine, then there’s huge pressure to follow in their career footsteps and carry on their professional legacies.
At a young age, I saw how they worked and they sometimes brought me along to their jobs and taught me what they did.
I thought then that it was also the future that was waiting for me and that someday, I would be working in the same environment.
But once I entered college, my career aspirations changed. I slowly started gaining a clearer picture of what my dream career path is and worked hard toward achieving my goals.
When I realized what I wanted to become, I thought hard about whether I needed to explain my decision to my parents.
I was afraid of disappointing them but after a heartfelt discussion, they reacted differently than I imagined.
They told me that my happiness and success were all that mattered.
What struck me was when they told me that I should never feel troubled to live up to others’ expectations, because it was my future, and not theirs, that I was working toward.
2) Your Personal Goals and Aspirations
Living without a goal or purpose makes life feel meaningless. We all need something to look forward to and pursue to bring meaning and excitement to our lives.
It can be as simple as traveling to Europe or buying a new car; or as ambitious as launching a business or becoming the next CEO of a global conglomerate.
It’s your life and as long as it helps you keep going, you shouldn’t feel the need to be defensive and explain your goals to other people.
There’s also a benefit to keeping quiet about your own goals and aspirations.
While there are people who’ll be supportive of your dreams, there are also those who may try to bring you down and interfere with your progress.
So instead of depending on others to motivate you, it’s better to become your supporter and keep your ambitions to yourself.
There’s a satisfying feeling that comes when you surprise everyone by accomplishing your dreams.
3) Your Relationship Preferences and Partners
In the age of social media, everyone’s lives are always in the spotlight. That being said, some people feel that they can comment on or judge whatever you post online.
And one popular type of content that always gets your friends and followers interested is your relationship status.
Knowing the latest gossip about another person’s love life is always interesting.
Whenever I scroll through my timeline, there’s always some new relationship announcement, engagement, and breakups.
Admittedly, when it’s a couple that I’d never imagined getting together, I would question whether or not they’re a good pairing.
But just as I’m wondering about their choices, I realize that their life isn’t any of my business.
They’re grown and mature enough to make their own relationship decisions and as long as they’re happy, it isn’t in my place to demand an explanation.
So the next time you’re debating whether you should share your new partner with the world, don’t think about what other people would say because, in the end, it’s your life.
4) Your Personal Style and Appearance
Aside from your dreams and aspirations, another thing that defines your identity and personality is your style.
Having a unique appearance is what sets you apart from others and gives you a sense of individuality.
But just like with your other life choices, people would still have something to say and pick apart your style decisions.
Don’t let their comments and thoughts get in the way of how you choose to carry and present yourself to the world.
Remember: your body, your choices. You don’t have to compromise or follow the latest trends to be accepted and appreciated by society.
If you want to dye your hair with a bright color, go for it. Experiment and be creative with new makeup designs and go crazy about wearing different clothing styles.
By not caring what other people think, you’re building your self-confidence and finding your aesthetic and personality.
5) Your Religious Beliefs
Religion is a pretty loaded topic. In life, you’ll encounter people who will openly talk about their own beliefs and at the same time, question your religious practices and choices.
But don’t feel intimidated when you’re suddenly expected to disclose your religious traditions and values.
Just as you don’t have to explain your aspirations to anyone, you’re also not obligated to defend your religious views.
Whether you’re a Muslim, Buddhist, Christian, or not a believer at all, you don’t have to justify your religious choices and feel the need to engage in a debate about your moral and spiritual beliefs.
While it’s a good and enlightening topic of discourse, your religion is your own choice and you don’t have to argue with anyone about why you decided to embrace certain principles and opinions.
Some people have their religious choices influenced by their families, while others go on a mission to find a religion that speaks to their souls.
Whatever you end up with, remember that you don’t owe anyone an explanation for whether you believe there’s a god or not.
6) Your Parenting Style
Everyone has different childhood stories and experiences. The person that you are today is a product of your unique upbringing, and no two sets of parents share the same techniques in raising their kids.
There may be different textbooks and guides on how to raise good children, but ultimately, it’s your parents’ choice on how they want to raise you.
For me, I lived in a home where my dad was working overseas and my mom had her teaching job.
They both had their different approaches to disciplining and raising me. For my dad, he was more of a permissive parent and even when he was abroad, he always sent me gifts as a showcase of his love.
He rarely set strict boundaries as opposed to my mother who was more authoritative and enforced firm limits and rules.
With the differences in their parenting styles, it couldn’t be helped that some people had comments about the way I was being brought up.
But despite that, they never let those criticisms affect their approaches to raising me.
They stood their ground and raised me the way they best knew how which was effective in making me the person that I am now.
7) Your Decision to Spend Me-Time
Each individual has a limit to how long they can spend time with others and socialize. At some point, we all need to retreat to the comfort of our personal spaces and recharge our social batteries.
Whether you’re an extrovert or introvert, making time for yourself is a form of self-care and you shouldn’t feel the need to explain why you want to get away or rest for a few hours or days.
It’s no one’s business why you have to spend alone time and how you want to enjoy it.
Personally, I commit myself to a day of personal leisure, like shopping or dining out alone, each week.
On my scheduled time off, I’d get ready and go out without explaining where I’m headed or what I’m going to do to my parents.
They already know that I regularly take a day to reward myself for my hard work for the week.
They’re supportive of my personal time because it’s how I care for my mental health and overall well-being.
8) Your Financial Choices
Money is a delicate and touchy subject to talk about with others, especially your friends or family.
But whether you’re living paycheck to paycheck or have enough savings to live a lavish lifestyle, you don’t need to explain your financial situation to everyone.
You don’t have to disclose, or even share a hint, about your salary, bank account, or financial affairs with other people.
At the same time, there’s no need to feel pressured to conform to others’ expectations of how you should handle your money.
Your finances are your responsibility and it’s up to you whether you want to save and invest them or spend them for your hobbies and interests.
9) Your Living Situation
When we were kids, we had no choice but to stay at home and live with our parents. Back then, we still had to depend on them for our care and comfort.
But once we were able to think and decide for ourselves, our living situation and preferences were completely in our hands.
And wherever you chose to settle, you don’t have to justify yourself to anyone.
When I was in college, I craved independence and freedom. Like any young adult, I wanted to enjoy my youth and create unforgettable memories.
To be able to live how I wanted, I decided to move out and live closer to my university.
Admittedly, my parents were surprised by my choice but they never questioned it further and supported my decision to live in an apartment with my friends.
I was proud of myself for standing by my decision and I never once regretted living alone because it gave me some of the best moments of my life.
10) Your Life Priorities
People will always have something to say about your life, decisions, and especially your priorities.
At times, they may make you feel insecure about how you’re living and what you choose to prioritize.
If you worry too much about what others are saying about you, you’ll end up unhappy and lose sight of your personal goals.
Never forget that no one else but you hold the reins in your life.
Don’t allow yourself to be limited by what people think about you and how you’re spending your life.
You’ll only be restricting yourself from achieving your full potential and experiencing true happiness if you let yourself be bothered to defend your priorities.