I’m sure most of us have a bucket list of dreams we wish to accomplish at some point in our life, and had some degree of selfishness in mind as we made them. That’s the beauty of life – to set goals and aspirations for ourselves, and then go about accomplishing those dreams. There’s a sense of personal gratification when you’re able to cross something of the list, and it’s equally as devastating just watching those opportunities pass you by.

That’s why I get frustrated when I see women of any age sacrifice their own personal goals to satisfy the needs of someone else, whether it’s for their significant other, boss, colleague or friend.

I’ve been independent for the majority of my adult life, which has given me the freedom to be selfish in pursuit of my goals. I’ve been able to focus on myself and accomplish a lot, both professionally and personally, in just 24 short years.

One of the big reasons why I think I have made it this far is because I was selfish – I pursued a career path that I was passionate about, moved to a place that enabled me to meet my goals, and continued to set life plans based on my wants and wishes. I wouldn’t give up these experiences for anything or anyone.

So it’s hard for me to see other women my age give up a piece of themselves to fit someone else’s mold – to move to a city to be closer to their boyfriend or take a job they know they will be miserable in just because someone else told them to, or even stay in a relationship because they are too afraid to be alone. I get it – making those selfish decisions may not be easy and you may second guess yourself every step of the way. But once you see yourself through it and land on the other side, you will realize that you are meant to be where you are.

Live Life with No Regrets

I’ve heard regrets from many women older than I am that they wish they would have traveled more, dumped their boyfriend when they had a chance to avoid a devastating heartbreak, waited to get married instead of settling or took that job offer that they thought they weren’t ready for. In the moment, their decision might have made sense and they thought they were doing the right thing. Years later, though, they realized that they had made that decision with someone else in mind.

Their advice has stuck with me over the years as I make those important life decisions. I always ask myself –

“Am I doing this for me? Or is this for someone else?”

I don’t want to look back 50 years from now and have any regrets on things I wish I would have done.

It’s important to make these selfish decisions, especially when you’re younger. You’re still growing and discovering things about yourself. It’s hard to know exactly where you’ll be in 5, 10, 15+ years from now, especially when you’re in your early 20’s and just dipped your toes into the real, adult world.

It can be tempting to hitch a ride on someone else’s path and see where the journey takes you. But that’s just it – that path was designed for someone other than you. And once you abandon ship and wander off course, it’s hard to work your way back.

We all have our own unique path to take in life and are meant to do certain things and meet certain people. Sometimes, our paths may converge; other times, they may drift apart. But you have to remember to stay on the path that is true to you. Don’t lose yourself in someone else’s journey. Otherwise, you will wake up one day and not know who is staring back at you in the mirror.