Your life's going to change when you decide it's time.
Not when your parents tell you (no matter your age), not when your friends or spouse tells you, but when you decide.
Happiness isn't a selfish thing when you do it from a genuine heart. See, a lot of people think if they put their happiness first it means that everyone else has to suffer and they'll be disliked or even despised for doing so. But your happiness, your true happiness, includes consideration for everyone who is in your life.
If you've been just agreeing with everyone and everyone trying to be likable, chances are that no one really knows you. They all know a nice, agreeable version of you that is in some ways the real you but in many ways it's not.
You have to have confidence in yourself. You have to have faith that the people in your life actually care about your thoughts, feelings, and happiness. If you have those two things, you'll be able to express your true thoughts and not worry about being rejected. Besides, if you are rejected, it means those people who were in your life were only there because they thought you were someone else. And if that's the case and they leave or distance themselves from you, it doesn't mean you made a mistake or that you'll be alone. It means that you'll create a space in your life for you to be your true self. That space will be full either in solace or with other people who choose to occupy it because they like you as you are.
When you have dozens of people like you for who you pretend to be, you really have nothing. It's a lonely, crowded place.
But if you have one person in your life who likes you for who you really are, it's a true connection. It's real. It's magical and it's also called love.
So does it really take courage to express yourself? Not really. It takes acceptance. Acceptance of yourself and of the reality that you may or may not be right for everyone and that not everyone is right for you, either. So it's not really choosing courage...it's choosing freedom.
People come and go in life, either by choice or by circumstance. You can't hold on to everyone and you're not doing anyone any favors by holding them in a place that you don't really want to be. Their life, like yours, is ticking on by. It wastes everyones time to pretend.
Life isn't about grabbing and holding on to every good person and circumstance that comes along, it's about enjoying the present moment and all the people in it and being able to let go and move on when things change.
All the roads and paths you've ever taken in life have led you to where you are now. When you look back, you'll likely find that any place that you have regret was a place that you weren't honest with yourself or others about how things really were, or that you didn't have the confidence to move on when the time was right to move on. Use that wisdom from now, on to make better choices.
Real matters. Love yourself, be yourself, seek happiness and true connections. It's hard at first but it gets easier and feels so much better when you do.
Read "Quotes About Living" by Doe Zantamata: