As a woman, I am very aware of how contradictory we are with ourselves.
We say we want more time for ourselves, but then we respond to every halfway decent event on Facebook. We say we want to be healthier, but then we eat an entire bag of Doritos. We say we want to wait for Prince Charming, but settle for an uglier, slightly alcoholic cousin.
We say we want to be happy, but then we consciously do things that we know will make us sad.
What can we say? We are complicated.
What we failed to realize is that we were looking for happiness everywhere except the only place we would actually find it: in ourselves.
The way we live is often determined by the rest of the world. We base our actions and motivations on things like being a better friend, wife, mother, and person. While all of these are great ideas to pursue, the criteria for what makes them good have been set by everyone except you.
Throughout our lives, we have sacrificed our own happiness in order to make others more comfortable. It’s time to stop.
So instead of spending another second worrying about your mom/boss/boyfriend/that girl you went to high school with that you absolutely hate, but for some reason still feels good to think about, why don’t you just find out what you think?
As long as your actions don’t hurt someone else physically or emotionally, no one’s opinion really matters.
Sure, there are a lot of decisions you make that should include the opinions of others (mainly only people you love and respect), but in order to find happiness within yourself, you have to stop caring about it.
Here are 11 things every mature woman should stop caring about (because they’re exhausting):
1. The way you dress
Whether you wear jeans or crop tops, your personal style has nothing to do with anyone else’s. Judge what you wear based on your own preferences and what suits you, and never let anyone tell you what you can or cannot wear.
2. Who do you sleep with?
What (and who, wink) you do between the papers is no one’s business but yours.
3. How to make your money
No matter where you are in life, don’t let anyone make you feel bad about your job. Your only competition is yourself – not anyone else.
4. What others think of you
If you allow the opinions of others to have any influence on your life, you will spend your days worrying and overthinking. Block out any excess negativity and focus on how to make yourself happy.
5. What others post on social media
Social media is the worst at making people look like they are having more fun than they actually are. Stop worrying about what others are doing.
6. What your ex does
The past is in the past for a reason boo. Let this go.
7. Your pants size
While I care about your health and body, please don’t obsess over a number on the scale or your jeans size. Being in good shape has more to do with how you feel than how you look.
8. People tell you what to do
The only person who should set the rules about how you live your life is you.
9. The past
If you’re holding on to anything from your past, it’s time to say goodbye. This baggage will hold you back and prevent you from enjoying the present moment.
10. The future
By the same token, worrying about the future is of no use. If you focus all your energy on what could happen, you will miss your chance to live a full life.
11. Anything else you can’t control
Seriously, whether it’s people or weather patterns, stop focusing on it. The only things that are really within your control are what you do and your reactions to things that happen to you.
Emily Blackwood He is a freelance writer, editor, and journalist covering relationships, entertainment, news, pop culture, and wellness.
“Freelance entrepreneur. Communicator. Gamer. Explorer. Pop culture practitioner.”