There’s little more frustrating than feeling stuck or trapped—like you have to accept things that aren’t good for you and can’t do the things you need to do to feel and be your best.
This is something I believe we all experience at some point. Do have to accept things that aren’t ideal, at least in the short term while we figure out a plan to make things better. We must accept that we need to address health problems, find less stressful jobs, and slowly work through layers of trauma or grief in order to achieve some degree of peace.
But when life feels stressful, it’s often because we don’t recognize all the things that are within our power.
As I sit exhausted in sweats, trying to focus during a short break from caring for two young kids, I know I need to accept the limitations of early parenthood, without a ‘village’ close by for regular support.
But I don’t have to worry I’m not being a good enough parent when I know I’m doing my best. I don’t have to feel bad about asking for help so I can take a much-needed break. And I don’t have to feel guilty or weak for crying sometimes when it all feels like too much.
I don’t know about you, but I find the words “You don’t have to…” incredibly comforting, especially when those words enable me to do more of what I need to do for myself.
If you’re feeling powerless in any area of your life right now, today’s post is for you. If you’re at the end of your rope and tired of waiting for change, this post is for you.
If you think you don’t have any options, this post might be the nudge you need to look a little deeper and discern what’s actually within your power. Odds are, it’s more than you think.
If you’d like to print this list to hang or save for future reference, you can download a printable version here, along with a two-page worksheet to help you create change in any area of your life. (You’ll also find four other helpful printables that I created as companions to my upcoming Inner Strength Journal.)
15 Things You Don’t Have to Do Anymore
1. You don’t have to wait for change. If you’re not happy with the way things are, you can do something, no matter how small, to transform your life—starting now.
2. You don’t have to accept anything you’re not comfortable with in your relationships.While the people you love may never be changed, you can make changes to how you interact with them.
3. You don’t have to ask for permission to do what’s best for you.It is possible to make your priorities and choices at any given moment without needing to justify or defend your decisions.
4. You don’t have to follow anyone else’s advice or rule book.It is up to you to decide what value and how it should be honored.
5. You don’t have to be afraid of failing. Failing means you’re trying new things, which is essential if you want to learn, grow, and live a life of purpose and adventure.
6. You don’t have to be the same as you were a year ago, a month ago, or even a day ago.You can begin a new day every morning and be the person that you desire to become.
7. You don’t have to continue doing anything that no longer feels right for you. It’s okay to change directions at any time, and as many times as you need to.
8. You don’t have to feel guilty about saying no or accomplishing less. Your peace and well-being are just as important as other people’s requests and more valuable than anything you could add to your to-do list.
9. You don’t have to ignore or suppress your feelings and instincts.These are your guide to making the right decisions. They are your guide. They are trustworthy. You can learn from them.
10. You don’t have to hide your pain to make other people feel comfortable. Not everyone will be able to hold space for you, but some will—you just have to open up to find them.
11. You don’t have to go it alone. There’s no shame in asking for help. It doesn’t mean you’re weak or incompetent. You love yourself enough that you can accept the love of others.
12. You don’t have to fix anyone else or make them happy. And you can’t no matter how hard you try. You have to be able to care for yourself, and then love your children while you teach them.
13.Please don’t have to be ashamed of your past. You did the best you could, given what you’ve been through and what you knew at the time, and it helped you become the person you are today.
14. You don’t have to worry about what’s coming in the future. You will anyways because you’re human. But when you catch yourself, remind yourself that whatever it is, you’re strong enough to handle it.
15. You don’t have to stress about doing something big to change the world. You canYou can do a lot if you wish, but the simplest acts of kindness are enough to make a big difference.
This list of reminders should help you have the courage and strength to make changes, even if it is just one step. Your life can change with even the smallest steps in the right direction.
You can access the printable version of this list and the companion worksheet here.
Also, just a reminder: For a limited time, you can get a free 318-page eBook—Tiny Buddha’s Guide to Overcoming Hard Times—when you preorder Tiny Buddha’s Inner Strength Journal through one of the vendors listed here.
About Lori Deschene
Tiny Buddha was founded by Lori Deschene. She’s also the author of Tiny Buddha’s Gratitude Journal, Tiny Buddha’s Worry Journal, and the upcoming Tiny Buddha’s Inner Strength Journal and co-founder of Recreate Your Life Story, an online course that helps you let go of the past and live a life you love. For daily wisdom, join the Tiny Buddha list here. You can also follow Tiny Buddha on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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