One of the hardest things to learn is that it’s ok to trust yourself. But it’s one of the most life affirming moments when you get there.
We grow up surrounded by verbal and non-verbal messages about what we ought to do, what we should be doing, the fact that it is ‘normal’ to be heterosexual, married and have 2 children by the age of 35 blah blah blah… Then there’s the constant sub-conscious cross-referencing with what we see in the media against whether what we want to do, wear, say, is socially acceptable or not. In addition to this, we have been left with childhood imprints of acceptable behaviour, not being seen to be selfish, being nice to people even if they are rude to us – because children always have to share their toys, be nice to that strange family friend, and not embarrass our parents in public. All these messages impact on our own internal gauge of what is right, as in, what is right for us, for our own base values and morals.
So there are times when what’s right for you to do is not what’s right for your best friend – or in fact, for any of your other friends to do. Your instinct, your gauge and your intuition are personal to you. You can have all the advice in the world, but if the thought of following that advice leaves you feeling anxious, unsettled or uncomfortable then its not right for you.
Perhaps learning to trust ourselves is the last remaining element of peer pressure that we must untie ourselves from in order to be completely free. Be brave, break the mould!