life

Thoughts on mistakes, social pressure and existential dilemmas

June 26, 2016
jolielaura_collage_say_no_to_social_pressure

* paper collage by me

Torn between what the people in your close circle want for you and what you want for yourself, it’s easy to get lost in a sea of opinions, beliefs and ideas.

Who am I?

What is my purpose on this planet?

What do I want to be ‘when I grow up’?

Are these the right questions? Are my choices the right answers?

***

During the past year I have jumped from one dilemma to another. I tried figuring out what I want to do in life, what causes I should support, where is my next home or how I can positively impact the world. And perhaps the most bugging question was how would have my life looked like if I had chosen differently. Doubting my decisions only led to more issues I had to solve, which included backfiring existential crisis and unstable self confidence levels. Which, of course, I don’t recommend.

I still haven’t figured out everything. But I am working towards that.

Obviously, this doubting I felt came from the impression that I did something wrong.

Why am I not there yet? I was asking myself.

***

I have learned since then that trying, failing and trying again are natural parts of the process called ‘Self discovery’. And doubting yourself is part of the package too. That’s why we should embrace all these steps. Because they make us us.

***

Personally, I believe it’s completely fine if you don’t know who you are yet. Currently, there’s so much social pressure on young people from whom older generations expect perfection from the first shot and that’s totally unrealistic.

The worst part is that this stress is put on kids starting from very early ages. It continues with the choice of the perfect high school, the entrance to the perfect University, the perfect after-Uni life and it goes on and on only about accomplishments.

Apparently, even though it’s natural for us, human beings, to make mistakes, the society has zero tolerance to any imperfection. And this perception becomes very difficult to avoid.

The idea of rejecting mistakes has already deep roots in us. That’s why, probably, we hide every time we do something wrong when we are little or why we have so many secrets in our teenage years. That’s because we feel we have done something wrong, something that society might consider rude, immoral, shameful or disgraceful. Reality is, everybody is just exaggerating. And even though we know most things can be repaired in this life, we continue to make such a fuss about every single mistake, that when we actually do something well, we don’t enjoy it, but start looking for faults…

***

I believe that if you don’t know who you are yet, what your goals are or who you should be, you shouldn’t be constrained by what the people around you are saying and just do your thing. And if you don’t know what that is, try as many things as possible and stick to the one that makes you the happiest and the most satisfied. And if you do make some mistakes on the way, remember they are natural steps alongside your evolution and that there’s nothing to be ashamed of.

***

So please remember the following: you are living your life and not others’, what other people say about how you should live your life is not at all important, making mistakes is totally acceptable and not knowing who you are yet does not represent the end of the world.

Keep growing, learn to love yourself and never stop persevering in finding out who you are!

Laura

 

P.S. If you need another push, here’s one from Jessie J: ‘It’s OK not to be OK.’ Listen to the song below and let it work its magic:

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