THE BLOG
05/05/2014 02:15 pm ET Updated Jul 05, 2014

You Have a Mind, Use it

Here's the problem with letting everyone else make decisions for you: The decisions affect you more than they affect them. No matter how near or dear the individual is to you, there is an ultimate degree that puts more pressure of the decision you make on your own life than upon theirs. So, naturally, when they come up with an answer or solution, it's easy for them to push it upon you through insistence and peer pressure. In their minds, what they think should be done is really the best thing they can think of. That is, if they truly do want what's best for you. (I hope!)

But in all relative reality, regardless of how well that person knows you, the decision they make can never be 100 percent "the one." There's a hundredth of a percentage left for you, the actual person, to determine whether you opt to take their advice or not. Whether you are going to let their suggestion lead your life or not.

Now, understand the difference between lighter-weight decisions and ones that are heavier-weighted. If you can't pick between two pairs of shoes to wear out for dinner or to the movies, in the long run it probably doesn't matter which you chose. (Unless they have an incredibly horrid fashion sense, but that's besides the point.) But when you're picking which college to attend, making a really big purchase, or seeking advice on an important relationship, it's crucial that your decision is mainly your own.

"Mainly," because consciously as well as subconsciously our minds are continuously being influenced by our environment. We make the decisions we do because of factors in several different aspects of life. There's no way to completely make a decision solely based upon a single situation. To make the best choice possible, one must take into consideration of all else it has the potential of affecting.

Decision-making is already a complex and intricate process. Furthering the complications by inserting multiple opinions of others into the equation only hurts the final result. Drawbacks from letting others make decisions for you often evolve into bigger problems with even more consequences.

Strongly-opinionated friends of individuals take it personally if the person does not follow their advice. Or, if the person does not take their advice, then these individuals almost wish to see the person fail just to be able to mock their failing with an "I told you so." Relationships like these are not healthy, as it demonstrates a power struggle and battle for control.

Additionally, though the person may know you quite well, they may not know enough parts of your life to fully comprehend the extent to which the decision may be affecting you. The most important thing in decision-making is to stay true to oneself, not something everyone always necessarily does throughout the course of a friendship. Therefore, it's vital to make a major decision independently, ensuring that it's absolutely what the person wants for themselves.

In our lives we come across things that perhaps don't interest or pertain to our friends as much as they pertain to ourselves. Not everyone has an open mind, and their personal bias may flood into their advice, preventing you from doing something you may have loved but lost the opportunity to try because they deterred you from it. For example, if you're thinking of taking on a painting or drawing class and your friend prefers to play a sport as a hobby. Asking them if you should take this class or not is a slippery slope since they wouldn't personally do it. To deter you from the class, they may use overbearing rationalizations such as painting being "boring" or not requiring enough effort. None of which may be true, and that can also be applied vice versa.

Or even worse, you tell a friend of a new risk you would like to take, a shot at a new career choice entire or trying something new and unique in general. Suggesting going out of your comfort zone is hard for friends to give advice towards, as it's bringing upon unknown territory. The fear of the unknown becomes a reason that most people discourage seeking new things and put down ambitious ideas, labeling them as, "too far out," or "unreachable," when in fact none of that is true. No matter how calculated a certain scenario is the truth of the situation is that you really don't know about a matter for sure until you try it. Do not become victim of the doubts of others' becoming a factor in holding you back. Letting people decide how likely you are to get into a certain college or how prosperous the future you lead will be is letting them take your life and carve it to their whims. It's giving up on yourself as an individual and stripping away your potential and personality. Worst of all, it degrades your sense of responsibility. Suddenly, if you are dissatisfied or unhappy with your life you attempt to blame it on friends who you think misguided or misled you when truly the decision was yours all along.

This is not to say that the input of friends and relatives in life are not important or should be disregarded. It's to say that while the input and opinion of all key people in your life are appreciated, valued and completely valid -- it's of utmost importance to only take their ideas into consideration when making a decision, rather than making the whole thing.

Everything in life comes with a level of difficulty. Things that are very hard for some may not be as hard for others. That's why when it comes to deciding what is right for yourself, you should be the one making your own decision. Your life is not something to be taken lightly and put in the hands of others'. Wake up every morning and own your day. Know that you are competent and worthy enough to make your own decisions. Your life should be something you lead, on your own terms, to make the decisions that provide you the best success and happiness.

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