Unlock Your Full Potential: 5 Essential Steps to Living Life by Design, Not by Default

Life is not just about appearances. It’s easy to get caught up in pursuing external validation and creating a life that looks good on the outside, but true happiness comes from creating a life that feels good on the inside.

Living life is a precious gift that we all have been given. How we choose to live our lives, however, can make a tremendous difference when it comes to happiness and overall health and wellbeing. Some people live their lives by default, simply going through the motions of each day without much thought or intention. Others live their lives by design, purposefully crafting a life that aligns with their values, goals, and aspirations. In this article, we will explore the differences between living life by default and living life by design and why it’s important to be intentional about the way we live.

Living Life by Default

Living life by default means that we are allowing external circumstances to dictate our lives. We go through each day on autopilot, following the same routine and making the same choices without much thought. We may not even realize that we are living by default because it feels comfortable and familiar. However, living by default can leave us feeling unfulfilled and stagnant.

When we live by default, we are not actively choosing the path we want to take. Instead, we are simply following the path that is laid out for us. This can lead to feelings of frustration, boredom, and even depression. We may feel like we are not living up to our potential or that our lives lack meaning and purpose. We may know something is missing but can’t identify the source of our torment.

Living Life by Design

Living life by design means that we are actively choosing the path we want to take. The choices we make and actions we take are intentional. We have a clear vision of what we want our lives to look like and we work towards making that vision a reality. We are passionate about what we want and the path we are following.

Living life by design requires us to be self-aware and reflective. We must take the time to understand our values, goals, and aspirations. We must also be willing to make changes and take risks to create the life we want.

The Benefits of Living Life by Design

Living life by design has many benefits. When we are intentional about the way we live, we are more likely to experience:

  • Fulfillment – Living a life that aligns with our values and goals can bring a sense of purpose and fulfillment.
  • Growth – When we are intentional about the choices we make, we are more likely to challenge ourselves and grow as individuals.
  • Resilience – By being intentional about the way we live; we are better equipped to handle challenges and setbacks. We have a clear sense of purpose that helps us stay focused and motivated.
  • Creativity – Living life by design allows us to tap into our creativity and explore new ideas and possibilities.
  • Connection – When we are living a life that aligns with our values and goals, we are more likely to connect with others who share similar values and goals.

How to Live Life by Design

If you are currently living life by default and want to live life by design, here are some steps you can take:

1. Reflect on your values – Take some time to think about what is truly important to you. What do you value most in life? Once you have identified your values, use them as a guide when making decisions.

2. Set goals – What do you want to achieve in your life? What are your short-term and long-term goals? Write them down and create a plan for how you will achieve them.

3. Take action – Start taking action towards your goals. Even small steps can make a big difference. Don’t be afraid to take risks and try new things.

4. Be mindful – Pay attention to your thoughts and emotions. Notice when you are living on autopilot and make a conscious effort to be more present and intentional in your actions.

5. Stay flexible – Living life by design doesn’t mean that everything will go according to plan. Be willing to adjust and change course if necessary.

Society’s Driven Self-Esteem

Meet Jane, a 25-year-old woman who had been struggling with low self-esteem for as long as she could remember. Jane had grown up in a household where her parents were constantly criticizing her and putting her down. They always found something to complain about, whether it was her appearance, her grades, or her choice of friends.

As a result, Jane learned to pay close attention to what others said about her. She had a tendency to believe the negative things people said and to internalize their criticisms. Even when people complimented her, she found it hard to accept their praise and would often dismiss it as insincere or untrue.

Jane’s low self-esteem had a profound impact on her life. She struggled to form meaningful relationships, both romantic and platonic because she didn’t believe that anyone could genuinely like or appreciate her. She also had a hard time asserting herself in her job and often felt like she wasn’t good enough to take on more responsibility or pursue her dreams.

One day, Jane sought my help. She realized that she couldn’t continue living her life in a constant state of self-doubt and insecurity. Through our work together, Jane learned how to identify her negative thought patterns and challenge them with more positive and realistic ones.

She also connected to her self-worth, which enabled her to practice self-care and self-compassion, learn to be kind to herself, and to acknowledge her accomplishments and strengths. Jane prioritized her own needs and desires and set boundaries with others when necessary.

She felt more confident in her abilities and more comfortable in her own skin. She formed deeper connections with others, both professionally and personally, and pursued her passions and interests without fear of failure or rejection.

In the end, Jane realized she had been living her life by default, allowing the criticisms of others to shape her self-image and hold her back from pursuing her dreams. By learning to live life by design, and by valuing her own worth and opinions, she could break free from the cycle of low self-esteem (which is society’s addiction) and live a more fulfilling and satisfying life.


In the end, it’s up to each one of us to decide whether we want to live our lives by default or by design. We can choose to let the opinions of others define us, or we can take control of our own destiny and create the life we truly desire. By recognizing our own worth and value, and by prioritizing our own needs and desires, we can break free from the constraints of low self-esteem and live a life of purpose, fulfillment, and happiness by simply connecting to our self-worth. We must commit to creating our own destinies and living our best lives, one day at a time.

Nordine Zouareg and the team at InnerFitness®

Shopping Cart