Wasn’t life a lot more exciting back when you were a little kid? You didn’t know the monster called judgment and had no problem expressing yourself. You did as you pleased and dreamed B-I-G. Everything seemed possible and within reach.
But time did its thing and soon your thoughts and actions became adulterated by the opinions of others. The pressure to fit in at school and the fear of ridicule made it hard for you to be true to yourself. So you masked your quirks and toned down who you were in an effort to blend in.
It’s not like you really had a choice – even in 2018, the school system is not equipped to handle individuality. Even though I never conformed to what was popular, there were many occasions when I had to choose silence over dropping truth bombs. Anything to avoid the bullies, right?Being yourself is basically impossible when you are too young to know better. The trouble is when we carry over this habit of unnecessary self-censorship (just like the Jimmy Kimmel comedy bit) into our adult lives. Click To Tweet
We bite back words we want to say and hold off on things we want to do. The scariest bit is that it all happens pretty much on autopilot.
Thankfully, it doesn’t go on forever. I believe that each one of us eventually gets the memo that society is more in control of our lives than we are. The more self-aware you are the faster it shows up.
This realization often causes an existential crisis. Which is probably what you or someone you know is going through if you are reading this post.
How you deal with your memo from the universe is what will define the rest of your life – or at least, until the next crisis arrives.
When my quarter-life crisis hit me some months back, I chose to fight for what I want. It wasn’t an easy decision to ignore the inner critic and follow my heart. I am yet to go from stuck to unstuck. But this messy transition state feels better than being lost and pretending that everything is a-okay.
Self-actualization begins when you reject the old adage ‘if you can’t beat them, join them.’ It’s a daily battle to ignore what you are “supposed to” think, be, and do. But you have to unfollow the herd to find your way back to yourself, which is why trailblazers like Jason Zook live authentically:
You have to step up and define yourself if you want to get unstuck. Because if you don’t, someone else will gladly do it for you.
For diverse personal stories and snappy cartoons on how to live life your way, pick up your copy of Busting Clichés today. Click here to buy it on Amazon.
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