I have a question for you:
Have you ever felt weird?
As if everyone was doing one thing, and here you were, doing something completely different? Maybe this feeling happened when you were in elementary school. Or, you felt weird yesterday. Maybe it happens every day?
Whenever you choose to do something different – whether it’s moving somewhere abroad, starting a business, or embarking on a personal journey – someone, somewhere will have an opinion.
And often, the opinion won’t be positive. If it’s something unusual, your family or friends might express their concerns or try to convince you that there’s no need for change.
Strangers might give you that wary sideways-glance and wonder about you.
But if you want to be extraordinary, that means doing something out of the ordinary.
So accept that doing something for yourself might make other people uncomfortable.
Here are 3 worries you might have about carving your own path, and how to deal with them:
1. People will judge you.
I used to think that no matter what decision I took to better myself, people around me would support my path.
But when you decide to do something people aren’t used to, it becomes easy for others to judge you.
People might judge you silently, without you knowing it. Or, they might be outspoken, telling you how they don’t approve of your actions, even if what you do leaves a positive impact.
There are different reasons for judgment.
Some people don’t want to see you succeed because they are envious. It would make them feel better to see you face setbacks, maybe because they have faced their own obstacles and hardships.
Others, such as your family, might be concerned about your decisions. If it’s not a choice they would have made, it can be hard for them to understand why you choose to do something.
Over time, other people’s opinions can quickly wear down on your individuality. If you let them, they can end up eroding your sense of self and your ambitions.
So, instead of letting others choose what they want from you, choose it yourself.
2. You won’t fit in with your peers.
The people we choose to hang around define what we see as the norm. Whenever someone you know does something, whether you like or not, their decisions influence you.
For example, if your friend makes a major life decision, such as getting married, you likely think to yourself, “Why did my friend do that? Should I be doing the same?”
If you do something unusual from the people you know, they will take notice. Your peers might not call you out on it, but you will notice that they sense something’s different.
When you consistently do things that are different from other people, or decide to embark on something life-changing, it can mean drifting apart from other people.
Losing friendships and relationships is painful, I know. It feels like something that was treasured doesn’t hold the same value anymore.
At the same time, this presents an opportunity – you get to reinvent yourself.
Join new communities. Spend more time with people who have similar goals as yourself. You’ll find yourself growing alongside people who want you to become your better self, whatever that may be.
Sometimes, drifting apart from people can be a good thing. It opens up a chance for us to make room for new people.
3. You don’t want to be by yourself.
Do you want to be alone?
As people, we want other people to love us, cherish who we are, and respect our opinions. We want to know that at least someone out there appreciates what we do.
But sometimes, our desire to please others conflicts with our desire to do something we want.
Choosing to pursue an endeavor can be a lonely road because most people don’t want to do the hard work. It’s why many of us find ourselves looking for a “magic bullet”, some sort of quick fix that instantly leads to riches, freedom, and success.
Success is lonely for this reason. As you get better at something, you’ll also notice more and more people dropping off and giving up. It seems like few people understand your struggles because they haven’t experienced it.
The good news is that you’re not alone.
Every single struggle or obstacle you’ve encountered has been faced by someone in the past, or even at this moment.
You might not like to know that you or your problems are not as unique as you think, but what this means is that there’s a way for you to push past obstacles.
If other people have done it, you can, too.
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