People can look at ways they are achieving some else’s life goals.

For certain periods in a person’s life and career, they can feel that they are achieving other people’s goals more so than their own.

They can discover that what they are accomplishing is not producing the feelings they expected. They can seek ways to uncover how to focus on achieving their own career and life goals to gain a more rewarding future for them self.

1. You feel really uncomfortable about asking yourself this question

Paradoxical as it may sound, unconsciously we’re often aware of far more than we might consciously be. Our fears, anxieties, anger, frustrations, and hang-ups sometimes just mean what we think they do, but quite often signal something deeper.

If when asking yourself this question you feel fear or anger, and – above all – a desire to not really think about the question, chances are good that’s because there might actually be some truth to it. This is because we’ve got an internal unconscious self-defense mechanism called ‘denial’ that is supposed to protect our self-esteem and keep us from suffering mental anguish.

And this is a great thing to have. The only problem is that when we avoid confronting a problem, we can’t start to correct it. Instead, it might end up growing, mutating and becoming something even bigger.

So when you really don’t want to think about a question, make sure you do. In this case, the question that matters is, ‘am I living somebody else’s dreams?’

2. You’re constantly doing what other people want

Another pretty big indicator that you’re not living your own life and pursuing your own goals is when you constantly keep deferring your own ambitions to give other people what they want. In that case, your own goals are almost certainly suffering.

This is a difficult problem to fix, particularly as it can come from many different sources. You might have trouble standing up to other people, you might have an inferiority complex, you might be too focused on pleasing others, or you might simply not love yourself enough.

What’s more, it isn’t always a bad thing to help other people do what they need to do. Their gratitude can be quite rewarding in and of itself. That said, you don’t want to always defer to somebody else’s whims, especially as they probably won’t appreciate it. In that case, focus on learning how to say ‘no’.

3. Are you an employee?

Working for somebody else almost always means that you’re working towards their goals. Now, there is nothing inherently bad in this, just as long as you still find time outside of work to pursue what matters to you, or if that work also helps you achieve your goals.

But you have to make sure it does. Otherwise, it might be time to look for employment elsewhere, in a direction that is more in line with what you want in life. This does not automatically mean you need to start on your own, of course.

4. It feels like your life has no meaning

If you’re pursuing your own goals, then life has a meaning. In effect, the goals are the meaning. If you feel like your life has none, then that can mean several things:

  • You’re not getting any closer to your goals.
  • You are, but they’re not the right ones.

In the second scenario, that means that you’re probably pursuing somebody else’s goals. Note that these goals might not be those of one specific person. Society feeds us lots of goals, like get rich and be famous. These might not, however, actually be the right goals for you (they probably aren’t).

In this case, take the time to seriously consider where these goals come from. Does thinking about achieving them really make you happy, or are they your goals because you believe they’ll open the doorway to other things? In the latter case, choose the other things as your goals. That’s what you really want.

5. You’re restless and irritable

Now, to be clear, there are many reasons why you might be restless and irritable. You might not be happy with the situation you’re in, or you might just be having bad luck. Another big reason, however, is that you’re subconsciously becoming aware that this isn’t what you want after all.

If you do feel restless and irritable, make certain that you sit down in a quiet space and really think about what’s going on inside you. Don’t allow yourself to get distracted by cell phones or other gadgets. Alternatively, talk to a friend, but make sure they’re not too strong in their opinions. After all, you’re trying to find out what your problems are, not what they think your problems are.

6. What you thought would be a short detour has turned into the main road

Sometimes life hands you lemons and you’ve got to make the best of it. That means you ended up taking a job you didn’t like, staying with somebody that you were no longer sure of, or choosing a path at other people’s insistence that you were never really sure to fit you.

The ambition was always to pick yourself back up again and then get out of the situation. Yet somehow, even after you picked yourself up, you stayed there.

Of course, it is possible that you found your life goals in an unexpected place and are now actually heading down the right path. It is equally possible that you ended up hoodwinking yourself and confusing what somebody else wanted with what you wanted. If that’s the case, it’s time to sit down and think about how you can get back on the right path.

7. The title of this article really resonated with you

If that was the case, that is probably because unconsciously you’ve been playing with this question yourself a bit and seeing it here was just seeing something that was inside of you reflected back at you.

In that case, it is really time to sit down and think about what you want and how you can start making the changes necessary to put your life back on track.

After all, we’ve got to try to fulfill our life’s journey, because none of us want our epitaph to read, ‘their life belonged to the person lying two graves over’.

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  1. Lara


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