Freedom is a concept we often take for granted in the western world. We believe we are free – and in many ways, we certainly are. However, how often do we consider our personal freedom? How much are we holding ourselves back and preventing ourselves from becoming the best versions of the humans we are? Let’s explore what it is we can do to set ourselves free in 2021.
Freedom Allows You to Know Who You Are
The first step in achieving personal freedom is to know who we truly are. And this is not a realization that comes easily or quickly or that is ever set in stone. We fluctuate, we change and grow, and we become different (hopefully better) people as we age. However, some things hold practically from cradle to grave.
These are the realizations about yourself you want to focus on. Who are you deep down? Are you a cheerful person, or more of a melancholy person? Do you prefer to spend time alone, or in a group of people?
There’s no right or wrong answer. Simply knowing who you really are will help you anticipate your own reactions and be able to predict what you want and don’t want in your life.
Related: Self-Love: Be Kind to Yourself
Know What You Believe in
Coming to terms with your personal set of values is another step on the road to freedom. This might be a bit of a bumpier road, but with a whole lot of honesty and some soul searching, you can get through to the other side.
You may find that your core values do not correspond to those of your family or community. However, as long as they don’t violate basic commandments and don’t go against the rest of humanity, you should allow yourself the freedom to embrace them.
Set Your Goals
Knowing where you want to go in life is sometimes the best way to acquire a sense of freedom. Granted, there is also a school of thought that believes we don’t need to keep chasing goals to feel happy or fulfilled in our lives. And that is true, to an extent.
Your goal may be to be a happy person. You don’t have to set a goal that involves an achievement the outside world would applaud. Something as simple as working on your bad sleep habits can be a goal worth pursuing.
Of course, you may be the kind of person who thrives on attainable, external goals. In that case, all you really have to do is align them with the person you are and the values you hold dear.
Learn to Notice When You Are Not Being Authentic
Even the most composed and centered individuals can act in ways that are not authentic to their true selves. The outside world will try to impose itself on you practically at all times. Reacting in an inauthentic way is only to be expected, and it’s nothing to be held against you.
Instead of feeling upset with yourself when this happens, teach yourself to recognize when you are being inauthentic. When you notice this has happened, take some time to analyze your reactions, thoughts, and behavior after the event, and figure out what has triggered you.
That way, you will be able to notice the changes in yourself sooner the next time you find yourself in a similar situation, and you’ll be able to react with more authenticity.
The notion that perfection is attainable and something to aspire to is probably one of the most ingrained beliefs that are preventing you from setting yourself truly free.
Our societies are often obsessed with it. And yet, the concept itself should be enough to signal to us that it’s not actually a worthy goal.
Let go of your quest for perfection, and devote yourself to a quest for freedom and authenticity instead. That quest will not only be attainable but also lead to fulfillment, unlike your forlorn attempt at being perfect.
Setting yourself truly free will not happen in 2021 – especially if you’re only now setting off on this journey.
Patience, perseverance, and a broader perspective will help you get there. So instead of expecting life to change overnight, invest in the small steps that lead to victory.
Read more: 4 Ways to Lead a Healthy Lifestyle