In this dance called ‘life’, we often find ourselves waltzing to the rhythm of societal expectations, familial desires, and the subtle influence of our friends. Yet, amid this cacophony of external voices, a profound question arises: Is it for me or is it for them? This contemplation became my compass, guiding me through the maze of decisions, degrees, dates, and purchases. Join me on this journey of self-discovery as we unravel the importance of authenticity and delve into the transformative power of stepping outside our comfort zones.

It’s easy to succumb to the allure of societal norms and the expectations of loved ones. We may find ourselves swept away by the currents of conformity, driven by the desire to please others. Yet, in this collective pursuit of achievement, there lies a risk—the risk of losing sight of our true selves. The question that echoes in my mind becomes a mantra: Is it for me or is it for them?

In the intricate weave of our existence, we often engage in the rat race of accomplishment, chasing degrees, dates, and material acquisitions. It’s a tempting path, fueled by external validations and the pursuit of societal success. However, in this quest, it becomes crucial to pause and reflect. Are these endeavors authentic expressions of our innermost desires, or are they mere echoes of external expectations?

The turning point comes when we shift our perspective. Yes, considerations for the happiness of family, the well-being of friends, and societal expectations are valid. However, the crux of the matter lies in recognizing that every decision, every choice, is a thread woven into the fabric of our own lives. It’s a realization that, ultimately, we are the ones who have to live with the consequences of our actions.

In striving for authenticity, the mantra becomes a guiding principle. Whatever I do, I want it to be for me, not them. This is not a selfish declaration; it is a commitment to living a life true to our values, passions, and aspirations. The pursuit of personal fulfillment should not be sacrificed at the altar of external expectations.

To truly discern whether our choices are for us or for them, we must be willing to step outside our comfort zones. It’s in these uncharted territories that we confront our fears, confront societal norms, and discover our authentic selves. Stepping beyond what is familiar allows us to listen to the whispers of our own desires, unfettered by external influences.

In the symphony of life, the question of whether our choices are for us or for them remains a powerful refrain. As we navigate this intricate dance, let us strive for authenticity, choosing paths that align with our true selves. Embracing the uncomfortable, stepping outside our comfort zones, and making decisions that resonate with our innermost desires lead us toward a life of fulfillment. So, the next time you stand at the crossroads of a decision, let the echo of the question guide you—Is it for me or is it for them? In finding the answer lies the key to unlocking the door to a life authentically lived.

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Dr. Chemika Burkhalter, LCSW, MCLC

Dr. B is a licensed clinical therapist and a master certified life coach with a client-centered emphasis and a love for helping people navigate their way to the “aha” moment.

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