How To Break Free and Live Life on Your Own Terms
If you’re ready to live life on your own terms and tired of living for everyone else, it’s time to take control of your life. It can be a daunting task at first for some, but there are plenty of ways to start going about it a little bit at a time.
Each day you can start chipping away at what you want in life and learn how to realign your thoughts, beliefs, and values to redirect your energy toward more independence and self-sufficiency.
To do this, you will need to evaluate what you want in life so that you know how to make decisions that align with your authentic self. While it won’t be easy to break free from the expectations of others in your life, the more you work on this each day, the harder it gets to tell yourself “no” just for their sake!
Philosophical Meaning of How to Live Life on Your Own Terms
Living your life free from dogma, institutional thinking, and even against what those closest to you believe can be difficult. Especially if you want to fit in with these people, the importance of doing this can’t be emphasized enough. Living according to your intuition and heart is essential because everything else will leave you unfulfilled and possibly miserable.
Philosophically, to live your life on your own terms is a concept that highlights the importance of individuality, critical thinking, and personal autonomy while rejecting others’ beliefs, personal choices, social norms, religious or spiritual groups, cultural traditions, or social media that society thinks should determine identity. In essence, it is learning to guard oneself against the pressures of everyone else in order to let one’s true self emerge.
It is a difficult thing to do because one must learn to harden up against the outer world, creating appropriate and healthy boundaries, while learning to soften up on the inside in order to relax one’s energy enough to let the true self come through. But this only happens once a person decides and gives themself permission in each situation, circumstance, and choice they face in life. It takes an inner knowing that we are not bound by anything on this earth plane, but only to ourselves and God (or however you refer to any higher Source you may recognize). The point is we are ultimately free to live life on our own terms.
To break free from ideologies that aren't true for us, we have to use healthy skepticism, critical thinking, and genuine curiosity to explore what we grew up believing and understanding about the world, ourselves, and those around us.
To live life on your own term means questioning assumptions and beliefs and not accepting them blindly. We must slow down and examine ideas and their validity and relevance. It requires us to be willing to challenge authority and established beliefs and stay open to new ideas and perspectives. It doesn’t necessarily mean you reject all opinions and established beliefs, but that you learn how to sift the truth from the false for your life and perhaps society at large.
It is often a deeply personal and individualist concept. Still, it can extend into the community and world as you may encounter others suffering from similar ideas that tend to divide cultures and habitually oppress certain members of society. It’s imperative to take your time to sift through these things, even for years if need be, to arrive and honest truths with integrity. Many groups will stop at ideas that justify their agendas, often spreading more malice, hate, and misinformation. So you must be willing to go beyond ideas that only serve you to avoid recreating and perpetuating ideas and illusions of power.
It takes a certain kind of people who can understand how to adopt personal ideologies that promote their life while not using those same ideals to go against others. It requires careful and compassionate discussions to learn how to create a world where individuals can exist within a society without either controlling others. We can develop morals that everyone agrees to abide by together and unanimously. It’s a very rare thing for a person or group to be able to create this, but it is possible.
But the importance of doing so is demonstrated in the fact that many people do not feel comfortable pursuing their own authentic life because so many others oppose their ideas on what should be. So we must find a way around that without compromising or betraying ourselves.
Connect With Your Inner Self
You need to reconnect with your inner self to live life on your own terms. It is the part of you that drives you. Many people are cut off from this wealth of knowledge at very young ages due to parents teaching their kids to ignore their own wisdom. This ideology has been passed down over many generations and through many cultures.
You are breaking a generational curse by learning to reconnect that part of yourself. Try not to be too upset with your parents. They did their best and did not have anywhere near the resources we have today, nor the connection and camaraderie. It’s not that we justify anything but that we seek to understand to heal it. Otherwise, that lack of forgiveness will find its way out in other forms that aren’t fun or pretty. However, no one can tell you to forgive. You must seek that in your own time and as you feel led.
As for reconnecting with yourself, this is about going inward through meditation, prayer, and introspection. Learning to forgive yourself, let go of shame and heal it, explore your shadow without judgement, and reevaluate your beliefs in life that drive your actions. What you believe is how you will behave. So you must agree with your opinions to control where you go. Otherwise, you’re just at odds with yourself.
You can introspect through self-help books, groups, art therapy, journaling, joining a spiritual or religious group, doing shadow work, and other forms of therapy that interest you. The primary importance is that you get to know yourself. Question yourself, seek yourself, and notice times when you are facing a life situation and are looking outward for answers. For example, if you’re stuck in life and trying to ask everyone else instead of yourself, that might be why you’re stuck. No one knows you like you do. So sit down and ask yourself. Then, if you need a little help here and there, you already have a grasp of what you need, making it easier for others to assist instead of lead.
You are always the author of your life. So don't let others' advice run your life, but let it help you make your best decisions. You are your own authority.
Great things to start examining are your values, beliefs, and what you prioritize. What do you think about God, religion, spirituality, other religions, society, politics, and life, and what do you believe is an excellent way to run your life? What does it mean to you to live life on your own terms? What are your preferences? What do you want to spend your life doing? What would you want to do if people loved you no matter what you picked? What is important to you? What gives you joy and fulfillment? What subjects are you passionate about? What truly matters to you?
Or, if everyone agreed with you, what would you want to be doing? It’s important not to try to please others when answering these questions. Especially if you’re prone to people-pleasing, you must dig deeper if this is a chronic problem. Later, after you know yourself, then you can focus on how to help other people. But for now, focus on you.
When you clearly understand your inner self, you can make decisions that align with your true nature. Your true nature is a feeling of joy and a sense of safety, which is why the creative pursuits you love are so helpful in getting you back in touch with that feeling. You are training yourself through creative expression to connect and identify with your own energy. When you’re familiar with that energy, it is easier to recognize when it points you to something in life that is meant for your path. Conversely, when you can recognize something shutting that energy in you down, you know it is not for you.
Not everything is precisely this cut and dry. There are a lot of grey areas. For instance, sometimes we can meet an attractive person we wish to partner with, and they make us feel on top of the world, but unless we have done inner healing, sometimes that can be a trauma bond to a toxic person. So if you’re experiencing confusing things like that, study trauma bonding and make that part of your healing work.
Identify Your Passion and Purpose
To go more deeply into your introspection, one thing to help you build your fire is to find what makes you passionate. Whether creativity, service to others, or even helping with justice issues, finding your passion and purpose becomes your guiding light. Especially if times get dark, this can be the light at the end of the tunnel that keeps you going.
You can find your passions by exploring what you love to do. What creative projects do you like working on? Do you enjoy writing, art and crafts, or building things? Do you like figuring things out or solving problems? Whatever you’re drawn to, trust that. Trust yourself.
For some, this can be difficult to figure out. Don’t worry if that is the case. Start a journal and write about it. Experiment with things and try new things. Start noticing what you do and don’t like. You can even think about what you don’t like as clues for what you want to do.
Think of it as a journey and exploration, so you don’t put too much pressure on yourself. But try to spend a little time with it each day to figure it out, and eventually, you will get there.
Other helpful ways to help you identify your purpose are using astrology to read your natal chart and asking tarot questions about your purpose. You can learn to do this for yourself or pay for readings.
If you’re not interested in those approaches, you can seek a coach, therapist, or mentor to help you find your way and how to live life on your own terms.
Set Boundaries to Live Life on Your Own Terms
If you want to live life on your own terms, you’ll have to seal up all the energy leaks in your life. If you’re spending hours on social media or helping all your friends but not working on your projects, you won’t have the time or space to live your own life.
We set boundaries to let other people know what is acceptable and unacceptable to us, but when you think about it, it is up to you to enforce them, so they’re also a form of self-discipline. Often people only follow others’ boundaries once they are made apparent through action.
Spend time deciding what you need to live life on your own terms and start setting boundaries that allow space for those things. Make sure you’re working on these things daily.
Make enforcing your boundaries a top priority, and ensure you’re communicating these boundaries to others with integrity. Don’t expect people to know or read your mind. Use compassionate and assertive communication to let them know why you’re changing and what you need.
If people do not respect your boundaries, you can gradually spend less time with them or start firmly telling them “no” with compassion. The most important thing is that you stick to them. Sometimes this is a practice, so don’t worry if you struggle at first, but it will get easier the more you do it.
Practice Self Care
Part of setting boundaries is also having self-care incorporated within those boundaries. If you don’t take care of yourself and prioritize your well-being, no one else will. Make sure you’re taking time to take care of your mind, emotions, body, and spiritual needs and paying attention to what you need on all levels.
Check-in with yourself each day and ask yourself how you’re doing. Then ask, what do you need? Spend time thinking or journaling about these questions, and then take action on whatever you need to do. If you need to meditate or do yoga, then recognize these practices are a part of the new you and prioritize them at the top of your list.
Prioritizing yourself is symbolic of your self-worth and loving yourself. If you’re not at your best, living your life according to your own terms is challenging because a certain level of energy is required to do this. It is way easier to follow others and live the life they want you to live because there is much less thinking and effort required. That’s why so many people often fall into following patterns and are not very fulfilled.
To break the mold, you’ll have to ensure you’re taking care of yourself and making your life your priority. Ensure you eat healthy, sleep enough, and do things that bring you contentment or joy.
Embrace Uncertainty and Take Risks
A big part of living life on your own terms is having the courage to explore and try new things that bring you out of your comfort zone. A big reason for this is if you’ve been living a life that isn’t your own, and you’ve been comfortable with that, then it will be a bit uncomfortable to start living your own life simply because it’s unfamiliar and there is no one showing you the way like before.
There also might be many new things for you to learn that won’t be possible if you’re not willing to put yourself in situations where you might not know the outcome or that feel risky. But these help you grow and evolve into that life you’re striving for.
When you’re ready, start embracing your fears, weaknesses, and limitations and looking for ways to step outside those comfort zones. For instance, if you’re afraid to meet new people or don’t know how to, you can take a smaller step in that direction instead. When doing errands like grocery shopping, make it a point to smile at one person. Don’t worry about their reaction. Just let your goal be to smile at someone like the cashier.
Then, after you get comfortable doing that with people, do not worry about their reactions. You can start making small talk in the same manner. Ask people how they’re doing and make small conversations to lighten the day. These are just examples of ways to start making small steps out of your comfort zone, but there are many other ways.
Part of living your life on your own terms is not worrying about how people interact with you or what they think of you. And when you shed this, it frees you to live life on your own terms because you’re not bound to their reactions, thoughts, or opinions on your behavior. And this frees you up to try and do more in your life because you’re not worried about all that dragging you down. Instead, you’ll focus on what lifts you up, which can take you to many amazing places you never dreamed about.
Need More Help?
Sometimes having a person to talk to is all one needs.
To be heard, validated, and accepted in a non-judgemental way.
I offer Intuitive Coaching to help you get connected and stay connected with your own guidance system so you no longer have to be confused about what is going on in your life and can become your own authority.
My goal is to empower you towards your own personal freedom.