(This is a guest post from Rae of Little Everyday Stuff)

Here was my idea of a successful woman:

She is at least an AVP in a big corporation, or a Partner in a professional firm, or a business owner with a cash inflow of at least Php 500,000 a month.

She has a big house in an exclusive village and at least one sedan car. She has lots of clothes and shoes that she doesn’t have to repeat wearing anything in 3 months.

She doesn’t depend on anyone financially.

She knows how to talk to people and carry herself well in public.

She travels a lot and immerses herself in different cultures.

She knows how to wear makeup and has a makeup collection with every color of lipstick, eye shadow and blush imaginable.

I don’t believe a woman has to have her own family (husband and kids) to be considered successful but if she had her own family—it’s a happy family and her kids have all the toys and clothes they want and are going to the best schools as determined by society.

This was my idea of what a successful woman should have and should be. This is also why it was difficult for me to embrace a minimalist lifestyle. I had a lot of fears before embracing minimalism.

I was afraid that giving up on my previous idea of success would make people think I’m a quitter.

I was afraid that people will think I am living a mediocre life.

I was afraid that people will think I’m going crazy.

I was afraid that people will think I’m poor.

I was afraid that people will think that I’m not successful.

To sum it up, I was very concerned of what people think of me. It took this long for me to realize that despite convincing myself that I don’t care what other people will say --- apparently, I do.

And giving too much of a rat’s ass about what other people will say limits me to become a better person and from pursuing the things that really matter in life.

I’m not proud of it, but I’m happy I’m consciously aware of it now.

I realized that it's difficult to be minimalist and image-conscious at the same time. It could even be impossible. I guess some of my dreams (e.g., traveling, having a family, and being financially independent) are not too bad. But the others in the list—they definitely need re-assessment.

(ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rae is one of few Filipino minimalist bloggers. She is the writer at Little Everyday Stuff. She is an Information Systems Auditor who was recently introduced to the concepts of simplicity and minimalism. She also has another blog called Scatterbraintures, which talks about finding ways to simplify and stay fabulous.)