We learn as young children that being unique is a bad thing, and is often coupled with unpopularity, loneliness and alienation, so we steer clear of being different, instead settling for a conditioned version of ourselves.
Society has expectations of how we should act, how we should behave, and there are norms in place for us to follow. Failure to do so often leads to a negative outcome, or so we’ve been taught.
Contrary to this belief, being true to yourself is extremely rewarding – here’s why.
“Each one has to find his peace from within. And peace to be real must be unaffected by outside circumstances.” – Gandhi
It might look good on the outside but fitting in can be terribly unhealthy on the inside.
We are often presented with a challenge – be what someone else wants us to be, or be who we really are. When we choose the latter, and respond to our own needs, we align with our true selves. But when we behave in a way just to please others, our inner peace is sacrificed.
It takes courage to defy expectations but it’s also very liberating. How to Find Inner Peace explains that no matter how perfect your life might look from the outside, if you are not at peace with yourself you will not be happy. When you pay attention to your inner needs, you experience a deep sense of joy.
Less ego, More Soul
The fear of not being accepted comes from an egoic state of mind; the ego has a willingness to be liked. Quite often, when we are led by the ego, we are driven in ways that seem logical to us. For example, we might do something because it is considered acceptable, even though it is not good for our soul.
Being true to who we are, and acknowledging our own values and wishes, is a fundamental part of caring for ourselves, and leads to greater happiness. Following our own path also means we’ll be less likely to allow other people’s fears or opinions to influence our decisions.
Accept yourself exactly as you are, without the need for anything else. Don’t wait until you’ve achieved your goals before you accept yourself, it might never happen. Love and accept yourself right now, without needing to change a thing.
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Nothing on the exterior world has any power over you, unless you allow it to. If other people don’t accept you, it is merely a problem of theirs, and it has nothing to do with you. Instead of feeling offended, or retaliating, simply don’t react.
Embrace Your Uniqueness
Individuality means breaking free from influence, shaking the status quo and thinking outside the box.
When we are confined to the limitations of other people’s beliefs, we don’t realise that there is a far greater world out there, we don’t realise the level of self-growth that is available to all of us, and we don’t challenge tried and tested methods.
Thinking outside the box allows us to stretch the boundaries; we are able to see everything in a different perspective, and reach our highest potential.
Mindfulness can often release the individuality within us. It causes us to become more aware of our inner needs through a journey of self-observation. As we learn more about who we are, we grow ever determined to align with our true selves.
No matter what your background, education, or upbringing, you are an individual. Don’t get sucked into a world of conformity. Be unique, choose freedom and live life your way.