“Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive.” – Elbert Hubbard
Life is Stressful.
It is a fact, life can be stressful. Between the demands of work, relationships, family, social obligations, it’s not always easy. Getting caught up in all of our “problems” happens far too often. One of the issues many people face, is that they take themselves too seriously, they take life too seriously. People tend to worry about what others think of them if they act a certain way, or do a certain thing, when really, everyone should be doing whatever they want.
There are Boundaries We Must Oblige To…
But let us not get crazy and live our lives as if no one else exists around us. There is a level of respect that must be taken into consideration when we move about our lives. So of course there are certain societal norms and rules that people should follow.
For example, you can’t be walking around naked, do not steal, do not harm anyone else, and please do not take up two parking spaces when you park your car. Those are all things people should be taking seriously, but for the most part people need to chill.
Fear of Letting Go
In order to feel free, act free and be free, we must be able to let go of our insecurities and perceived judgements from those around us. Fear can be debilitating, it holds a person back from trying something new, from changing their life, or learning something new. Fear is what keeps people stagnant, keeps them from moving forward.
As stated earlier, people fear what others think, taking ourselves and lives too seriously, goes hand-in-hand with fear. Someone may be afraid to bust a move on the dance floor, in fear that they will be judged. In reality, no one cares what you’re doing on that dance floor, let loose and enjoy yourself!
Taking things too seriously, can suck the fun and adventure out of life, and life is far too short for that.
Gain Confidence in Letting Go
When facing a situation, you should ask yourself “what is the worst that could happen?” There are times when the risk could be greater than the reward, but if we let the fear of failing, or being embarrassed control our decisions, you are taking things too seriously. In order to loosen up, one must let go of their ego, set aside their “reputation” and become shame-resilient.
Maybe you are the kind of person who everyone expects to be the “tough guy” but you just had a loss in your family and “tough” is the last thing you’re feeling. Be vulnerable, let yourself feel all the feelings and realize that putting on that “serious” front, is not realistic or good for your health. No need to live up to anyone else’s idea of who you are, let go of that reputation and ego.
Free Yourself From Perceived Judgments
Taking life “too seriously” can mean many things. Maybe you are taking your job too seriously, your kickball league, your appearance, the home you live in, and the car you drive. Really, a person can take anything in life and take it “too seriously.”
Let’s say that a co-worker of yours just bought a new convertible, while you are still sharing the family car. You may feel ashamed, and embarrassed by your less exciting car, but why? Why does it matter what car you are driving, versus what your co-worker is driving. Does the car define your worth? Obviously not. You are taking your method of transportation way too seriously, it truly does not matter how you get from place to place.
The kickball league you decided to join with some friends has got you down, maybe the team has been on a losing streak- who cares? Group activities, such as team sports are made for FUN!
Say your friend just bought a house with a great yard, but you are living in a small studio; again it does not matter.
Or maybe your brother is the kind of guy who wears a new tailored suit everyday to work, but you wear the same outfit twice a week, don’t take it seriously because nobody else cares.
Feel Free, Find Joy!
Comparison is the thief of joy, and can cause a person to make changes that they would not necessarily have done on their own. Putting pressure on oneself to be a certain way is exhausting, and not good for your mental health. When taking life too seriously, just don’t.
How to Let Go
If you are someone who takes life too seriously, and let us face it, most of us are, there are some ways you can work on letting go…
Try leaving work a little early even when you have some things left on your to-do list. Experiment with meditation, it may give you some sense of peace, and if nothing else, you are setting aside some YOU time. Make random appointments with friends or for yourself just as a way to step aside from logistical matters once in a while.
Creating time for yourself is just the beginning of allowing yourself to explore and reconnect with who you are. When you are able to do that, you will be able to find confidence in being free and not caring about what others think. In turn, this will allow you to let go of being so serious and timely and allow you to relax, find freedom and ultimately bring you joy.