How to Live Life on Your Own Terms

live life on your own terms

“Live Life on Your Own Terms” Easy said than done. 

Everyone wants to live a meaningful and fulfilling life and this means different things to different people. However, unfortunately most people end up unsatisfied with their lives and continuously comparing their lives to others.

To live life on your own terms it means you have to be consistent, and to know which things matter more to you. But even this requires a lot of hard work. 

What does it mean to live life on your own terms? 

  • It means that you are living life based on your own choices, not inside any social context.
  • Also you stop caring about pleasing others and you start making choices that make you feel at peace.
  • By living consciously on your own terms you start surrounding yourself with people who go with your life vision.
  • You stop wasting energy on things that are not serving your happiness and peacefulness. 

Why living on your own terms is important? 

First it is important because in today’s world we are overstimulated, to the extent that we lost track of what actually matters. For instance, If you make small observations around you, you will see at least a few people who are faking happiness, their relationships are broken, or they are seeking wrong connections.

This is happening because most of our life decisions are based on what is the trend now, how people will judge us, and by the common definition of success. 

However, every person is unique, and there is no one set of rules that can make everyone happy and content.

How to Start Living on Your Own Terms and design the life of your dreams.

If you are looking to live life on your own terms, you must shake off the social context and swim against the tide. It requires some hard work, but it will definitely change the course of your life. 

1-Redefine What Success Means to You

The first and most important step to live life on your own terms is to define what success means to you. 

You only have one single life to live and you don’t want to live it according to society, family or friends standards. You have to figure out what is valuable to you and what is going to make your heart truly sing.

In order to do this you have to redefine every aspect of your life and to reconsider everything you are putting energy on.

All of these are not easy because success in our current world is measured by the bank account, the current work position, the home, the husband/wife, the kids, the kids school level and how many vacations you take per year. 

While those things are important, the level of their significance will vary from one person to another. This is why it is your job to figure where you are standing from all of this. Maybe success to you won’t be by taking the next promotion but by taking a 6 months on the road trip.

To live life on your own terms you have to measure what actions contribute more to your unique being and what makes you feel at peace at the end of the day. Because as long as you are living to please others you will definitely not have control over your life. 

A good approach you can start with is to take time to know yourself, open your heart and mind honestly in a full way, allow your emotions and thoughts to guide you but be sure that they are fully yours and not affected by external factors. 

2-Focus on Building Right Relationships

People in our lives play a huge role in our happiness level. And when you want to live life on your own terms you can’t expect a big welcome from everyone around you. Those who are afraid of changes or rather living a small life will try to pull you back to their level. Some will feel intimidated by the new course you are taking and will criticize you and make your self-doubt rise. 

The world is full of amazing people who want to grow and embrace challenges and changes. Work on creating a social circle that support you and help you go the further distance.  

Creating a new and likeminded circle won’t be easy. But it is a huge factor to live a life that you admire and are satisfied about. 

3-Contemplate About The Past

Our past define us in many ways. And usually what humans do, is to ignore the hurt and disappointment they experienced before, keep themselves busy in their daily lives because they don’t want the discomfort that comes from dealing with old feelings.  

But this only results in more hurt and wrong decisions. what you need to do is to take time to heal, to contemplate on what worked, what didn’t and what were the triggers or actions that left you disappointed or hurt. 

Healing is not easy and surely not a thrillful process. But taking time to figure out where you have been and what you went through, will give a better shot in paving a better and clearer path forward.

While doing this you don’t want to get stuck in the negatives though. Every past pain is there to give us a lesson but not a place to reside in. Open your heart and mind, understand yourself more and give space for new changes. 

When you move forward you want to go light not burdened and heavy. 

4-How You Want Your Future Life to Be?

To live life on your own terms you need to understand what kind of life you want to live. 

This part correlates with the part of defining success. As the first step will be to define what matters to you, then start visualizing what kind of life you want to have 10,20,30 years from now.

It is not easy, sometimes we are barely able to see tomorrow so how can we imagine 20 years down the road? 

But the thing is you don’t have to dig in details, just take a glance and see if your daily actions can get you there or not. 

When you define the main points that you want for your future self, you will be able to create new habits that align with your vision. Also by visualizing continuously where you want to be in the future you will become more committed to your new habits. 

5-Take Actions

After you define what kind of life you want to be living now and in the future. Start taking actions. If you don’t take actions nothing can happen. 

And now that you have a vision of your ideal life, next is to start setting short term goals along with building habits that can help you manifest your dreams. 

At this point it is essential that you don’t set too many goals or linger too long in the future. If you do so, chances are you will feel hopeless, because of the huge gap between where you are at the moment and where you aspire to be. This is why the best approach would be for you to stay focused on your daily actions along with your core values. 

The more consistent you are the sooner you will get to see results. 

6-Mind your own business

If you want to live life free from others’ terms then you should mind your own business.

Think about it, the more you get involved in other people’s issues, the more energy you lose, and thus the less able you become to focus on your own business. 

Also if you are looking to live life on your own terms free and away from others rules and judgement, then why to conflict in others’ lives? 

Sometimes we are curious what life looks like on the other side, especially when we feel depressed or hopeless. And it is natural. We are either seeking justification to our current place in life, or seeking acceptance to know that we are doing well enough. 

In all situations, this won’t help you get where you want to be. Focus on your own things and let others live their lives. 

7-Challenge Your Fears

Some decisions can be really intimidating that we rather make no move at all than to take any decision. And this is why many people are stuck. 

It is important to analyze the situation before you jump with both feet. But you have to be aware that making the jump is a must. To live life on your own terms and become free of the terms of others you have to challenge your fears, embrace challenges and take them as a chance to grow. 

Trust in your abilities and skills. And if there is something scaring you then instead of holding back find small ways to start learning and improving. Don’t waste time languishing in fear or overthinking about other people’s opinions.

Every new day in life is a chance for you to live fully and fill yourself with joy and laughter. So stop holding yourself back, this life is yours so give it your all and definitely live it on your own terms.

“When you get the choice to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance. ” Oprah Winfery 


Living life on your own terms is not an easy thing to do. It is a conscious decision you have to make every day. Not based on whether you feel like it today or not. It is about embracing all the discomfort that will come along with this journey and to be consistent day in day out in your actions and attitude. 

To live a life that is totally untamed by others you have to ask yourself real questions, about what matters to you and what is your purpose or the ultimate destination you are looking to get to. 

The best way to do this will be by immersing yourself with your passion and work. They will be a perfect compass to direct you in this journey. 

However, you have to know that taking this path will assure you to grow up and live a life with very few regrets. And no matter how hard it will seem at the beginning you just need to be completely confident about the process. 

Furkan Patan

Digital Marketer & Traveller. Blogger @HowToMotivateMe & @OlmeGormeden

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