The Personal Freedom to Do What You Feel

As long as you respect the people around you, doing what you feel shouldn’t be criticized. One of the most important things in your life is personal growth.
The Personal Freedom to Do What You Feel

Last update: 25 November, 2018

Personal freedom is something that not everyone will get to experience in their lifetime.

The unburdened “do what you feel” attitude does requires being self-aware. It should always be carried out with respect, intelligence, and tact.

You know that it’s not always easy. Sometimes your responsibilities slowly begin to tie you down and take away your enjoyment, making life ever more difficult.

That’s why it’s important to set your priorities. You aren’t responsible for the people who cause you pain or take away your freedom. The burdens you take on and the chains you put around your ankles can also be huge obstacles to your personal growth.

Today we invite you to reflect on the meaning of personal freedom.

What I feel is the voice of my heart

Throughout your life you may hide many things and think that this somehow helps you maintain balance in your world.

  • Your wants and needs remain silent because you think they won’t be accepted by your partner or your family.
  • You hold back words because you don’t want to harm others.
  • It’s often the case that you control your desire to do many things while giving yourself excuses. For example, you might tell yourself that “now is not the time,” “it’s too late,” or “they’ll make fun of me.”

You could say that in some ways we live a more focused life on the outside than we do on the inside. That’s why you should keep a few simple things in mind.

These butterflies represent personal freedom.

Your needs can and should be in tune with those of others

No one is selfish for wanting to meet their own needs and act freely in line with their beliefs and personality. You should be able to do what you want within the limits of respect for others and yourself.

  • If you want to take a weekend trip alone or with a friend, neither your family nor your partner should take that the wrong way. The basis of happiness is built on trust and respect.

Personal freedom is necessary and an essential goal for being human. It’s important that you achieve it within your means.

  • You should be free to choose what you do and don’t want at all times.
  • You should be free to decide what you want both personally, and professionally.
  • The freedom to communicate is paramount, because your success is consistent with what you feel, think, and do.

If you find that there is dissonance between these three key aspects, you eventually wind up having very low self-esteem.

We recommend you also read: Good people have wounded hearts

Do what you feel with respect and intelligence, and ignore the criticism

If you do what you want while being aware of where the boundaries lie and what your priorities are, nothing should be able to stop you.

  • You know that your children – if you have them – come first, and you’re aware of your family obligations. But these shouldn’t be barriers to your own personal growth.
  • It’s about knowing how to find the right balance where nothing has absolute control over you. You should do everything with passion and pleasure, knowing that every effort you make is worthwhile.

It’s important to exercise your personal freedom

1. Rate your priorities

We alluded to this in the previous section. Your priorities are aspects of your life that you are not able to give up. But you should take some important things into account.

  • Priorities can’t completely dominate your life. Life isn’t just work. Life doesn’t revolve completely around your spouse or your children (you should also be promoting their independence and personal freedom).

You shouldn’t have too many priorities, and most commonly there are only three: family, work, and personal growth (which is the focus of this article).

2. Raising awareness: thinking of yourself is not selfish

Believe it or not, this is something people struggle with: How do you think of yourself when others need you?

  • This is not the correct approach. A healthier line of thinking is: I care for myself and look out for my own happiness and well-being to give the best of myself to others.

Don’t forget to read: Learning to be selfish

3. Realistically evaluate the criticism you receive

Your family might be surprised by your sudden changes. Why have you only recently signed up for that online course? How are you all of a sudden going on a long trip? Why have you decided to leave your husband after all these years?

  • What other people think doesn’t matter, and you only need to explain yourself once. Everyone has the right to be the architect of their own happiness, and you need to find the balance between what you want, think, need, and do.

There comes a time in everyone’s life when they will say the following: “I do what I feel like doing and I have no regrets.” It’s a step in the direction of maturity and freedom, where you act out of respect not only for others, but for yourself.

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  • Yozgat, U., Çalışkan, S. C., & Ürü, F. O. (2012). Exploring emotional dissonance: on doing what you feel and feeling what you do. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 58, 673-682.
  • Wilson, R. S. (2004). Doing what You Think Vs. Doing what You Feel: Using Affect to Evaluate the Quality of Structured Risk Management Decisions (Doctoral dissertation, The Ohio State University).