A real sign of spiritual and emotional growth occurs when you stop making decisions based on everyone else’s expectations. You end unhealthy relationships, take a leap of faith toward a new career path, or speak up for what is right. Some decisions in life are tough. Some conversations are uncomfortable. Some choices will not be popular. And yet, there are moments when you are called to go against popular opinion and stand apart from the crowd. When you lay your head down at night, there is no better feeling than that of being at peace with God. If you must compromise that peace in order to please others, you’ve compromised everything. Don’t do it.

Be bold and courageous in your decisions. Pray. Listen. Don’t overanalyze. Don’t “super-spiritualize” it either: Sometimes we pray for an answer, and when the answer comes through a person or event or opportunity, we don’t recognize it because it’s not a booming voice coming down from heaven. Use your common sense, which is a blessing from God that will help you make the right choice. As a friend once told me as I agonized over making a change, “You’re like the frog in a pot of cool water who didn’t notice that the heat had been turned up and the water was starting to boil. All he had to do was jump out of the pot!”

Don’t worry about what others think. Do what you know is right. No one else has to live your life—or your consequences.