If I took away all pressure, took away the norms and the so-called expectations and then came to you like Morpheus to Neo with two options, which would you choose…
You could be strong and capable beyond your wildest dreams, live a long, vibrant life, full of self confidence and radiance or you could eat bland food out of tiny containers, workout for no other reason than to be tinnier, and you would live day to day hoping for the “Beach body” you think you should have (under the pretence of being ‘healthier’), so that you can be loved and accepted. – Spoiler alert, the latter was my (unknowing) choice for a long time!
Which would you honestly choose? Can you really say that you would choose being miserable if society never told you that was what you needed to do? If society just told us “Hey, get out there and be badass! – whatever that means for you!”, we would live our lives completely different!
I highly doubt anyone would pick the second option, it wouldn’t make sense if we lived in a world where we were celebrated for what we are capable of, rather than shamed for what we – supposedly – lack.
It’s hard, because humans are hardwired to crave acceptance, but that trait did not evolve to work in a world where we have access to EVERYONE alive today! We try and be accepted by a community that is so massive and corrupt that we lose ourselves in it.
The trick is to find your tribe, the group of people (either IRL, or virtual, or both!) who make you feel like the badass you are, like you are capable of anything. I could suggest a tone of people to follow, books to read and podcasts to listen to, but that might not be your tribe. And besides, the journey is half the fun!
Now, humans are extremists, we often try to live in one end of the spectrum or the other, I am not saying that we should find a tiny corner of the world, shut everyone out who don’t agree with us, plug our ears and sign Hakuna Matata at the top of our lungs. That would not help us grow. I am saying find your base, your foundation, one that is strong and reliable, build your house on it, but leave the windows open.
Yes, a wasp or two may find their way in, sting you and ruin your day, but more often it will be a beautiful butterfly that comes to rest its wings awhile on your arm and teaches you something about yourself you never knew.