Conformity is celebrated within our society. Binaries are respected and belonging to a group is expected. Generations of people are brought up believing the same ideals. If there is never any positive exposure to anything outside of their scope then there will be no progress towards acknowledging other groups, or understanding differences between one another. I know growing up, I was taught to believe certain things, to act a certain type of way, and the expectations for my life were placed on me. No one really asked me what matters to me, what I want to do, or even who I aspire to be. It’s funny, it’s preached that we should think for ourselves and be leaders, but there is very little space allotted for being an individual. Leaders are authentic and unique. They don’t need validation from groups or people agreeing with their mentalities. None of that matters to leaders. I often wonder if people are truly just followers, or were they just not made to trust their own minds over others?
Think about it. The presence and power of authority are made hyper-apparent from an early age. There are rules and regulations placed on you before you can even tie your shoes. We are taught to mind before we are taught to think. How many times do we see parents yelling at their young children simply for…being a child? Children are rambunctious, inquisitive, and eager. They’re experiencing so many firsts, but the lack of wonder and excitement that adult life breeds makes it almost impossible sometimes to understand that exploration is necessary when conformity is easier. So it’s back to “stop asking so many questions”, “stop touching things”, and “do as I say because I say so”.
I remember as a child I always struggled with what many adults perceive as disrespect aka disagreeing with their logic and asking questions because my lack of agreement brought on confusion. Dialogues were not encouraged, but rules and punishment were. I still to this day, at the ripe age of 26, find so many of my childhood experiences tied to my need for understanding being met with anger and punishments. It’s still some of the most absurd bullshit I’ve ever witnessed in my life. The idea that children are incapable of thinking for themselves, that having a differing opinion is disrespectful, that I should be happy to fall in line no matter how I may personally feel about a situation is baffling because it’s solely based on age and the need for control. I would even argue that it’s pure laziness and maybe even fear. No matter the excuse, I want this trend to find itself on the receiving end of the garbage can.
No matter the reasoning behind why someone feels the need to stifle the voice and mind of anyone else, it doesn’t matter because the main focus at this time is to unlearn that behavior. It’s time to stop questioning your abilities to think for yourself, to stop the anxiety attacks that come with doing something that others wouldn’t approve, it’s time to stop seeking approval and validation from others for who and what you should be. You were not put on this Earth to conform and die. It is not a crime to be different. It is not wrong to have different perspectives and ideas. It’s human. It is human to be different. You don’t need anyone to sit in the director’s chair of your life. You don’t need a guru. Learn to trust yourself and your own voice. Learn to make decisions devoid of other people’s voices and opinions. You have your own mind for a reason. I imagine your life will change once you decide that you can lead yourself in the direction you wish to go. Mine did.
When making a decision removes any factors in the decision that do not concern you. We inherit fears from our past generations. If it doesn’t worry you, don’t worry about it.
Adults are more cautious than children because they’ve experienced life already. They know what the world can be like. They want to protect their offspring from getting caught up in hard and/or harmful situations. Rightfully so. However, fear is stifling. Fear is a paralyzer. I am in no way saying to not look before you leap, but I am saying that fear can not be your number one emotion in your decision-making process, especially fears that are not even your own. If we lead with fear, we won’t go far. There is risk in everything, even in the safe route. Remember that.
If you can hear anyone else’s voice in your head when thinking about what you want to do, you need to continue to meditate on the situation until you only hear your voice.
This is a toughy. It’s hard to forget the things you were told as a youth. It’s hard to forget that the views you have may not actually be your own. So, I encourage you to truly take your time and ensure that you are not allowing other people’s thoughts and opinions to dictate what you will and won’t do. I still to this day can hear my mother and father in my head when I’m thinking of doing certain things in my life. Granted, sometimes their voice is needed and I take it as a sign that patience may be needed in the situation I’m considering. However, there are also times where I go full throttle and do what I want to do regardless. It’s all about your discernment, but no matter what it always comes down to you. Your parents, or anyone for that matter, cannot live your life for you. No matter how much authority it seems they have over you.
Seek the counsel of others for reference, not for validation or confirmation.
It’s perfectly fine to utilize people as a reference when you are looking to figure out what your next move is. Speak with them, get their opinions, take away information nuggets from their journey, read books, etc. All of that is fine! However, as I’ve said before, no one has authority over your life no matter how you perceive it. No one can live for you and no one is walking your path but you. You are with you 24/7. You have to learn to trust yourself.
Take your time.
Simple. Take your time. Life is not a sprint. It’s a marathon. You are not in competition with anyone. This is your journey. You have the right to go at your own pace.
Don’t be afraid of your own power.
You are on this Earth with everything you need. You lack nothing. You have the power to create the life you want. Don’t give your power to anyone. Don’t loan it to anyone either. Harness and cultivate your power. Your inner drive and passion are gifts and it’s different for everyone. Only you know what to do with the power you hold. Use it wisely, proudly, and unapologetically.