Have you ever felt lost or stuck? Have you ever found yourself a bit too focused on the path in front of you? You aren’t alone. Losing yourself in this mess called life is far too easy. And, sadly, taking things seriously is a habit we’re all guilty of.

The more we do this, the more we hinder our happiness. The more we take seriously, the easier it is to forget our true strengths, goals, and passions. And the longer this continues, the more likely we’ll eventually prevent our own success.

Still, it’s tough, isn’t it? It’s hard to stop looking forward with an analytical mind and well-constructed plan. But here’s the bottom line: the more you do this, the less likely you’ll reach for something new, despite your actual desires. It will get to the point where you won’t truly be living. And eventually, your life will be less fulfilling.

Fortunately, you can combat this.

There are things you can do to stop taking everything in life so seriously.

This post is for anyone with a dream. It’s for anyone deciding between a night out versus a night in. This article is written for the souls out there trying to figure out their own journey – which way they should go, which route to take, the people they should lean on and who they should forget.

Here are a few things you’re taking too seriously in life.

1) How Others View Your Appearance

The oldest, yet most universal feeling in the book of humanity – the judgement of appearance. We have each felt the sting of this issue far too often. It started young. As kids, we’re influenced by the thoughts and actions of others. It was easy to mirror their demeaning mindset and craft your own based upon it.

And so, people who have too much judge the lack of designer clothes donned by the ‘lesser’ folks on the street. Folks who stray from plastic surgery in favor of a more natural look are deemed imperfect. People with unique styles are ridiculed and criticized.

It’s sad. Isn’t it time that it stopped?

You may not be able to stop someone from spreading hateful words. But you do have the power to not let it get to you.

Don’t let anyone tell you that your appearance is anything short of beautiful. Don’t let another soul ever step in and rip away your confidence because you rock thrift store duds instead of the latest Chanel. It’s your body. It’s your choice. Ultimately, how you look – from skin to outerwear – is yours to control. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

4 Vital Things You're Taking Too Seriously - Your Journey

2) Your Life’s Journey

It’s easy to get caught up in the chaos of life. It’s simple to think too long on an opportunity before jumping in. Why? Because you’re scared someone else will deem your jump too spontaneous. Because you’re concerned someone else will find your move from your hometown to a new state unplanned and reckless.

But remember: you are the only one capable of controlling your life. You are the only one with the power to wield your journey’s sword. You can’t take it so seriously.

There are some moments in life that are precious. There are moments that you can’t wait for the perfect timing to jump into something new. You can’t take every step too seriously. The more you do this, the less you’ll accomplish.

Live your life how you see fit. But for the sake of your own personal growth, don’t make every move a serious decision. Sometimes, you have to go for it – to heck with the consequences. You must balance your planning with spontaneity.

Don’t deny yourself the opportunity to put yourself out there. Try thinking outside the box. You’ll never know what opportunities you’ll come across until you try.

3) Criticism

You’ve probably experienced this more than you care to admit. Truth be told, criticism can be helpful. Constructive criticism enables you to better yourself. But blatant, hateful criticism is another entity entirely.

This is the ignorant bullying you may recall from high-school. It’s the biased, untruthful comments you receive regarding your job choice, sexual orientation, or religious beliefs. It’s the hateful ignorance you hear on the news when a celebrity changes her appearance.

Criticism, when it strays from the truth and focuses on putting a person down, isn’t worth your energy. Recognize it, but don’t take it to heart. Remember that this is your life to live. Don’t let someone else with a big head intent on making you feel bad about yourself get to you.

This isn’t easy – I know this from experience. And to be honest, it never will be. Why? Because for each critic you move on from, there will always be another to take his or her place. But you can’t let the closed-minded bullies of this world bring you down.

You have loved ones who care deeply for you. Don’t give up on anything when a narcissistic critic tries to tear you down. You are so much better than this person is making you feel. Remember that.

4) Your Possessions

We tend to forget the impact ‘things’ have on our lives. We don’t often remember that the objects we purchase don’t usually bring us joy or happiness.

Take a good look around your home. Do you see anything that truly brings joy to your life? That artifact you spent thousands on – does it invigorate your life as much as the sectional your family gathers on for movie nights?

The expensive items that line your hallways aren’t nearly as meaningful as the memories of holiday gatherings you look back on. Some items may be worth keeping, but too much focus on the things on your shelves will only detract from the people and experiences that make life worthwhile.

Don’t take your possessions more seriously than what really matters. You’ll be far happier in the end.

Don’t Take Life Too Seriously

Life is all about progress. It’s about your journey from childhood to adulthood. Everything in between matters, but if you take it all too seriously you’ll forget the things that truly matter.

Don’t let your appearance and the awful critics of this world bring you down. There will always be people out there aiming to drain your happiness. Don’t let them get to you. Your journey is significant, but letting another’s opinion or your own worries stop you from trying something new will only damage your spirit.

If you want to try a new path, do it. Don’t take life so seriously that you become afraid to try. No one ever got anywhere without courage. Let it guide you.