A good friend teases me that I’m a trust fund baby... without the trust fund.
I laugh, but to be honest, it stings a little. His joke reminds me of the constant pressure to conform - and my own struggle to accept my unconventionality.
You know what I’m talking about, because you don’t always fit in either. You just want to be “normal,” but you’re not. [If this feeling doesn’t resonate, this post might not be for you, and that’s okay.]
What you want may differ from what I want, but both of us know there are parts of you that want to live outside the box. In a way that will undoubtedly invite judgment.
Maybe you don’t want a 9-5 job. Or you don’t want to start a family right now - or even get a girlfriend/boyfriend. Or you don’t want to stay in the same city, state, or country (or planet!) for the rest of your life. Or, no, you don’t want to contribute to your fucking retirement fund!
Well then, what do you want?
The pressure to fit in sometimes comes from those that love us most - partners, parents, siblings, friends, coworkers. That’s what really hurts. You don’t want to let them down. You don’t want to be selfish.
But what’s more important? That you are following your heart, or what others want for you?
The old adage applies: in your twenties you do what you think you’re supposed to do. In your thirties you start doing what you really want to do.
Thankfully, as author Mark Monson put it, time will eventually help you to give less fucks about what others think.
But you can speed up the process.
How? By accepting your unconventionality... starting now.
“OK smartass, how do I accept my unconventionality?”
Easy, you just make the choice.
“Seriously, can you please be a little more detailed??”
For those that liked instructions when building Legos (or their adult version, Ikea furniture), here are the basic steps...
Step 1: Commit. Decide to accept yourself fully, even if it’s emotionally painful to be different. Write down your commitment.
Step 2: Become Aware. Increase your awareness through mindfulness training - yoga, meditation, journaling, coaching, shock therapy, etc. This will take time but gradually you’ll become more aware of your thoughts and emotions.
Step 3: Choose. When you become aware of doing something you don’t want to do, make the decision to do what you want to do. Follow your excitement.
Step 4: Jump! The hardest part, make the leap.
The good news is that learning to be unconventional is like training a muscle; the more you use it, the stronger the muscle becomes, and the easier it is the next time you need it.
If you made it this far, then you’re going to be rewarded...
One of my favorite comedians and, as I just learned, fellow life coach JP Sears puts it best. (You might know JP as the YouTube guy who makes fun of obnoxious vegetarian yogis, like yours truly.) Here is his take on being unconventional.
As always, thank you for reading. AND thank you for wanting to live unconventionally. I hope this post helps you begin (or continue) an amazing journey.
If you or someone you know would like help in living an unconventional life, contact me for a complimentary life coaching session.