Learning to distinguish who you are from who other people think you should be is a big step in life that can be intimidating. Like every other culture in history, our society has expectations for how people should dress, act, and speak. When you stop and truly think about why the expectations exist, there isn’t always a good reason.
People expect the world around them to operate within the status quo, without really questioning it. There are certain expectations, like following the law, that are in place to keep society from dissolving into chaos. Others though, like going to college, having a 9 to 5 job, a mortgage, and a family are just status quo assumptions about life that don’t work for everyone.
Finding yourself and what you want from life might lead you away from traditional prospects, and that is okay. Nontraditional choices often come with opposition from people around us, and that is okay too. Being different makes people uncomfortable, but you don’t have to let their misgivings keep you back from the person you want to be. Here are some tips on how to find yourself and not worry what others think about you.
Finding yourself is all about learning who you are. To do that, you need to separate who you are from the expectations and thoughts of others that you have internalized.
Think for Yourself
Sit down and think about your future and what you want for yourself. Do you come across actual physical roadblocks or just a feeling that you can’t or shouldn’t pursue what you want? Stop and examine the why. Is there a real reason, or just an amorphous discomfort that what you want isn’t following the proper norms of life?
It’s perfectly acceptable to not mold yourself to the pre-existing parameters of society. You don’t have to fit in with the crowd to get by in life. Historically, those who contributed the most to changing the world were free thinkers not afraid to shake things up and follow their gut.
Rely on Yourself
Being confident and self-reliant is imperative to becoming your own person. If you have low self-worth, it is easy to be swayed by what others think you should be doing in life. Trust your judgment when it comes to decisions.
It’s okay to make mistakes and it doesn’t mean you were wrong to make your own choices. Mistakes are opportunities to learn and get better with each attempt. Be patient with yourself and confident in your abilities to handle life’s details.
Not worrying about what others think is sometimes harder said than done. It’s been ingrained in us from early on to pay attention to other people’s opinions and not stand out too much. Life is too short to live for what other people think. You deserve to live a life that makes you happy.
Consider Why You Care
When you are struggling with the fear of what other people think, stop and consider why you care so much. Is it a person whose opinion you greatly respect, or just the general population? Someone who loves and respects you will want what’s best for you and be supportive.
Most people are either too wrapped up in their own worries to notice what you are doing. Even if they do notice, they aren’t living your life. You are the one that has to be satisfied with the direction you are taking. Anyone who slanders you for your choices is saying far more about themselves than they are about you.
Find Your Group
While it isn’t always practical to surround yourself with like-minded people, having a core group that supports and loves you no matter what is very important. The people who matter the most to you will help you take focus from what other people think.
Find a group that uplifts you, makes you see the beauty in life, and lets you be who you truly are with no masks. Having people who believe in you will help boost your confidence and allow you to believe in yourself.
Finding yourself and blocking out the negative voices surrounding you takes practice. Being who you want to be and building a life you can be happy with is always worth the hard work.
Here at Nongirly, we are building a community of support for moms and their daughters. If you are still wondering “how to find myself,” visit our Facebook or visit more of our blog. We are here for every day of life raising strong, confident girls.