I am a pretty personable person or as some like to say “good with people”. I enjoy interaction, the exchange of ideas and love to hear about other’s beliefs even if they differ from my own.
But as friendly as I am, I have never felt like fit in any particular circle all the way. Maybe happens to you too.
When I was younger (especially in my young teen years) I remember trying to be like all those around. I wanted to fit in with the Dominicans so I tried being more Dominican. Wait, WHAT?! I know!
So I was basically trying to fit into stereotype that is way off of how I was actually raised in my early years in The Dominican Republic.
Here’s a funny video that illustrates some of the assumptions people have about what being a Dominican looks like.
I can specifically recall dressing and speaking in a way that sort of matched the stereotypical assumptions about me and my background better. I desperately wanted to be like the rest and what I mistake that was.
Now we can all agree that as you get older and learn more about the world and ourselves we no longer fall in the oh so enticing peer pressure trap…or do we not?
I started to realize that as you age…yes, things do change and no, you won’t feel less than because your mom can’t afford the clothes that your popular classmate is rocking.
But to a different degree maybe a higher and deeper one we still live by the standards of those around. And that maybe, even if we’re not willing to admit it, we still are trying to blend in and be like everyone else.
I mean, if I were to ask you right now to think about the most successful people you know. I am almost certain those people will meet will meet at least one of this criterion; high profile job, college graduate, nice car, a large circle of friends, attractive etc.
All things that have to do with perception and the outside world.
If they don’t fit the description above, and you think of them as ‘successful’ than you’re one of the few and I want to meet you! lol
Anyhow, have you ever stopped to think about who made these “most do to be successful rules” or better yet. Why does everyone seem to be living by these standards anyway?
There is nothing wrong with wanting nice things or graduating or the high profile job. What I find unsettling is to see someone putting in so much work and effort to live a life that never fulfilled them since before they decided to pursue it.
How can you go to sleep late studying in order to work in something that is not close to your heart? Something you don’t love!
Like in our younger years the attempt to fit in is greatly interrelated to a terrifying fear of not being good enough. Not being accepted. The belief that we are how much we make a year or the car we drive.
Really it’s pretty simple. Go to school, get good grades, go to a good university, get good grades, go get a good job, get paid well and boom! you, my friend, are living the dream!
But wait, I know people that did just that. And every Sunday night they are complaining about going in to work the next day. They followed the path that leads to “success.”
They played by the rules. They make good money. So why do they look, talk and act so unhappy? And then I realized, that like me when I was younger, as adults most of us still do the same. We’re still trying to fit in.
It is hard to walk a path few are walking. It’s tough going against what seems to be the majority. But maybe IT’S WORTH IT if on Sunday you’re okay with the Monday ahead. If your work means something to you. If your definition of success is only measured by the joy you feel each day.
Maybe it’s worth it if when stripped from all things and titles your character remains untouched. But above all, I know it is definitely worth it if you’re living an authentic life that is only and solely defined by what YOU know to be success. Don’t you think life is too short to not give living by your own terms a try?
I hope you’re doing whatever makes you joyful!
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