One of the most important lessons I've learned, that has helped me to reach my ultimate potential is a simple one, live life for you.
Given our influenced society, we often hold ourselves to standards that don't exist. Meaning that we have this preconceived notion of who we should be, how we should act, how we should live, etc. With the underlying pretense of having to do that in order to subscribe to this idea of normalcy, or what it should be.
To aid in the unlearning process, whenever you find yourself subscribing to a rootless norm, ask yourself says who? Who said that it was supposed to be this way, and who appointed them as the person to make that decision? If you can't come up with an actual answer then stop holding yourself and other's to that "standard."
While I understand that I can always learn something from anyone, I make all major life decisions on my own, and uninfluenced. With the understanding that since I am the only person on this physical earth who can see my full vision, then I am the only one who is equipped to weigh out all of the necessary factors.
Beyond societal pressures though, there are also peer pressures that hold some back from living life for themselves. Today, it's easy to end up on your ex-boyfriends, homeboy's, girlfriend's, best friend's page and envying the highlight reel of her life on social media. Or if not envying, being comparative, and wishing your life mirrored hers.
I recently saw a quote that asked, how are you going to be picked out from the crowd when you're too busy trying to blend in. I believe that our unique differences are what makes us the amazing people that we are, and it's up to up to tap into and utilize that uniqueness. However, we were not designed to be carbon copies of each other.
You have to live life for you, because what's the point of breathing if you aren't? People will always have something to say, but you can't dare let their insecurities hold you back from being your best self. I always say that there are three types of people in this world: those who do, those who watch, and those who sit on the sideline and talk shit about those who are doing, without doing a damn thing themselves. Now, are you really going to let something who isn't doing shit holding you back?
Once you start living your life for you, you can align yourself with and walk in your purpose. As Black women, and I know I say this often, but we deserve to live free. Free of restriction, judgement, and limited thinking. Live life for you, sis!