“Society pressures us to go to university.”
“Society pressures us to buy name brand clothes we can’t afford.”
It’s crazy to think I’ve been telling myself those lies until just recently.
What’s even crazier is that those statements only become true if you allow them to be.
I understand that mainstream media portrays a certain way of life which seems ideal. And I understand that impressionable children and young adults can be feel swayed toward living their lives a certain way.
But what I don’t understand is why people equate being pressured, with pressuring themselves.
The truth is, we create pressure. It is something which manifests as a result of fear. Fear that we won’t find friends, fear that we won’t make an income, or fear that we’ll lose a relationship most commonly including the love of our parents.
Unless you are under some sort of duress, you probably aren’t being forced to make major life decisions. [Note: This article assumes “decisions” are ones that do not cause harm to you or others]
And I know you’re probably pissed because you don’t want me to tell you to be responsible for your own decisions. And you’re probably thinking about all those times society or your parents pressured you into doing something… Well I’m here to prove you wrong.
False Assumption #1 Other People Care About Your Decisions
They don’t care. In fact, nobody cares more about you, than you.
I’ve personally made major life decisions thinking they would satisfy other people, and then as a result, I would be satisfied. Guess what happened?…no one ended up satisfied! So the reality is, unless you make decisions to satisfy YOURSELF FIRST, you’ll never be satisfied.
Nobody cares if the logo on your shirt says “Old Navy” or “True Religion”. And if someone does make a snarky comment about it, they themselves falsely believe people care about material items. In addition, nobody cares if you’re a plumber, or a professor, or a YouTuber. People just ask each other about that shit because it’s a great way to make conversation. Your career and your life are you business. And if somebody else wants to make those things their business, then you need to ignore their opinions.
“But Ella, I’m 17 and I feel so much pressure from my parents. And I KNOW they care about me!”
That is a tough situation, especially since your parents probably do have your best interest at heart. I know lots of you have probably felt pressure and a result of your parents’ words or actions.
But, at the end of the day, just remember that you are your own worst enemy.
YOU put pressure on yourself as a result of not wanting to lose your parents’ approval. And although your parents probably have your best interest at heart, when you hit 18 and have to make major life decisions, you need to make them on your own. And if your parents don’t agree with your decision, move out, start your own life, and stop relying on them.
Harsh I know. But if you want to make independent decisions, you need to be an independent person. Eventually, either your parents will realize they were trying to micro manage you OR you will realize you made a bad decision.
Oh and if you’re a parent reading this, please realize your kid does not have to be the next Elon Musk or does not have to make $100 000 a year for him/her to be worth your love … So don’t make them feel like that is the case.
And if you still think people give a serious f*** about your life decisions, flip the situation around and think about all the people YOU don’t give a f*** about. Think about it, you must have heard at least one person in your life say something you disagree with. Whether it was on the internet, in a presentation, or in a large group setting, you heard someone say something you didn’t agree with and you probably didn’t care. You didn’t care because you didn’t / don’t have a vested interested in that person.
In those scenarios, you either exited out of the disagreeable website, didn’t bother responding to the disagreeable YouTube comment, or you didn’t say a word in the large group setting and instead thought “what an idiot for saying that.”
So just like you didn’t care about that other person, other people dont really care about you. That said, make decisions that satisfy you first and don’t worry about judgment from others.
False Assumption #2 You Need Approval from Others
Not only do you think people care, but you want them to care.
Well the fact is, you don’t need them to care. Nobody else knows your life like you do, so it makes zero sense for them to approve or validate YOUR LIFE DECISIONS.
Be confident in your decisions and learn to say “yes” to yourself. You don’t need to have the support of everyone around you before making a decision, and you don’t need other people to tell you your decisions are good ones.
“But Ella, I want to have friends in my life. Having people around me who like me, makes me happy.”
Listen kid, fake friends don’t make you happy. You’ll be happier with just 1 or 2 true friends than you ever will be with 10 fake friends. And if somebody is a true friend, they’ll like you regardless of your decision to take a fifth year of high school or go to post-secondary school immediately.
When you are reliant on the “blessing” of other people, you often forget to acknowledge your own wants. And when your actions in life do not line-up with your wants in life, I guarantee you won’t be at peace and you won’t be happy.
False Assumption #3 It is Easy for the Media to Brain-Wash People
This assumption is interesting because I actually agree with it! For sure it is easy for people to be brain washed…heck we can even brain wash ourselves!
The problem I have with that assumption is that we are perfectly capable of choosing our media sources and challenging our own beliefs. So if you feel pressure to live your live in accordance with media source x, then start listening to media source y!
In fact, you should make it a habit of switching up your media sources as soon as you notice you are completely ingrained in a particular line of thought. Think about like this: (1) you believe x, (2) you recognize that x is the best solution, (3) you recognize that you probably don’t know enough about x because you think it is the best solution, (4) research information about y and z to challenge or confirm your beliefs about x.
Don’t Socialize Your Beliefs
Be an independent thinker. If you come to conclusions based on your own research, the only pressure you’ll feel is the kind that motivates you to live a better life.
I like to think about it like this, “No pressure, no diamonds. No pressure, no diamonds.”
So if you feel pressure, make sure it’s as a result of your wants and no one elses. And once you start riding that good pressure wave, the momentum will leave you unstoppable.
As always, have a Happy Monday ❤✌
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*Disclaimer: I am not a medical or mental health professional. Any information and content on my website is not a substitute for professional advice.*