How To Stop Basing Your Values In Other’s Opinions
Peer and societal pressures are real…
Now, I’m not referencing experiences such as your grandma trying to pawn off some of her chocolate chip cookies to you, I’m referencing ways you alter your personality, mediums of expression and overall beliefs of the world around you to please those in your inner circle. We are all unique individuals. Why should we be forced to morph with the pack to feel more stable when we are all destined to push the boundaries and take risks?
I can’t say I have always strayed away from following others. In high school, I found I was constantly altering the words that came out of my mouth or the way I dressed because I was afraid that others would think.This then transformed to me loosing sight of who I was at heart and being embarrassed to explore passions I was interested in. Something needed to shift but I didn’t know how to do it.
Then the last year of high school happened. After a stressful application period and leaving friendships that were not the healthiest, I started to not care what others thought. For the first time in my life, I wasn’t on a journey to please my boyfriend or who I thought were my friends but I was on a path to do what was best for me. I slowly began to realize that involving myself in activities that brought me joy began to attract more like minded individuals. Over time, I began to develop new friendships and chase different opportunities that aligned with my interests. I can tell you from the bottom of my heart that this was one of the most liberating moments in my life.
If you find that you are basing your values of yourself to “fit in” you may not be surrounding yourself with the right people. Ask yourself, are you truly happy when you are around them/these people? If the answer is no, start looking for those who are confident in themselves and who not only understand, but accept who you are.
To stop altering yourself for others is simple: just stop listening. If an opinion about something you do is not bringing you joy, just walk away. That’s it. It’s that simple. By walking away, you create space to fill it with another medium that will bring bliss into your life. Whether it’s a new hobby, working out, dressing differently or eating some ice cream, find an activity that makes you shine!
At the end of the day, your personal happiness is rooted in your opinion of yourself. How you think of yourself is what matters the most. Life is supposed to be enjoyed, be proud for waking up and doing all that you do no matter how small or large the feat may be. Allow yourself to truly be who you are and happiness will come.