Have you ever tried to do a good thing? A new thing? An outside of the box thing, only to be met by naysayers? Things like starting college, career changes, marriage, divorce, or pregnancy announcements. The type of decisions one does not arrive at lightly, yet, somehow there is always one, if not a few naysayers.
So what do you do? Remain at a standstill? Suffocate trying to contain a desire you were meant to give birth to?
Why do we resort to ignoring every fiber of our being to appease others? Everywhere I look, I see people who are crippled by the fear of what might happen if they were to veer from tradition, or religious indoctrination. Placing the opinions of others above their own authenticity. Forcing themselves towards “achievement” as approved by society. We are prone to do this, although it is a well-known fact that you can’t please everyone.
When you are making decisions for the heart, and in line with your purpose you cannot even rely on a majority vote.
Anyhow, real love and support would never ask you to abandon individual autonomy. If you find that is what you are being asked to do, you may not have found your tribe. So how do you break the mold and “become the change you want to see in the world” per the quote often misattributed to Ghandi?
Three things you might consider; changing the dynamics of or letting relationships go, defining or redefining what you value, and developing an awareness around being inauthentic.
How many contacts do you have in your phone that span back a few years that you never text or call? Old co workers, ex’s, discontinued business connections and distant family members. Then there are those that you are in contact with. Are there any that constantly detract from your ability to live in a way that is true to yourself? Why are they allowed that power over you?
Some of them you can delete on sight. Others might warrant a conversation or be open to reconnection. Either way, it is in your best interest to remove anyone who cannot accept your true self, and assign purpose to the rest. The same applies to social media. Unfriend, unfollow, block, and delete.
I used to value peace at all costs. I valued it over living or speaking my truth. I chose the rigidity of approval over my own uncanny, unusual creative flair. To the point where burned scalp and straight hair covered the space unruly locs should be. I chose this semblance of external peace, all the while sacrificing peace within. When it all became too much, I was forced to redefine everything that was important to me.
I defined and continue to redefine personal priorities. Knowing these values deeply, gives me the ability to immediately recognize whether or not an opportunity is one I should be pursuing.
Is there any part of your life that is incredibly difficult to be present for? Family gatherings, reoccurring events with friends, work, or any other potentially suppressive relationship? One where communication is difficult and animosity is present. Any situation where showing up as yourself would be frowned upon, and fitting in is laborious.
Note your inauthentic tendencies during these times. When you have to force laughter or conversations, procrastinate in getting there, exhibit involuntary tense body language and are uneasy overall, it is time reevaluate your position in relation to the source of discomfort.
As adults we are allowed to say no. Simply no. Without explanation. Not frequenting places we do not want to be is OK as well. Change your places of obligation such as new work environments, new churches, new friendships, and new boundaries work wonders towards peace of mind.
Life is short, find spaces where there is more flow than friction. It may feel unfamiliar at first, but if you try, you gain confidence as you allow intuition to be your guide.
A native of Phoenix, Arizona Aundrea Sayrie is a firm believer in the power of words, faith and a strong spirit. Her greatest desire is to encourage those around her to discover and honor their truth, and to passionately live on purpose.
Any views or opinions expressed in “Living on Purpose” are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Watershed Voice staff or its board of directors.