Why are we so afraid to do what we truly want in this life? Why are we always letting other people’s opinions drive the decisions we make?
Too many of us tuck our dreams and true interests away in some small corner at the first sign of disapproval from others. We don’t we follow our own heart, we don’t we follow our fire. Why?
I can’t say I have the answer for the questions above, as they differ from person to person. All I can do is wonder with you.
Not Born to Conform
For much of my life, I’ve been guilty of succumbing to the external pressures of my contemporaries. Always buckling under the pressure to do something I didn’t want to do, or becoming something I was not.
For too many years I let the outside world dictate how I should believe and live in my inside world. I let other people suggest how I should think, believe, and feel about a certain topic, approach, or career choice. I allowed my opinion of events or circumstances to be put on hold, to make way for the opinions and beliefs of others.
One day though, I realized what was happening in my life, and I didn’t like it. I realized that I was allowing myself to be subjugated. I was subjugated. I was a serf, a follower, a conquered person.
Robert Greene, said it so well in his book Mastery, as he pinpointed exactly what was happening to me. In fact, it is what happens to all of us when we don’t follow our inclinations. An excerpt from his book states the following:
“Conforming to social norms, you will listen more to others than to your own voice. You may choose a career path based on what peers and parents tell you, or on what seems lucrative. If you lose contact with (your) inner calling, you can have some success in life, but eventually your lack of true desire catches up with you. Your work becomes mechanical. You come to live for leisure and immediate pleasures.”
When Enough is Enough
Fortunately, a day came when I said enough was enough. Like the statement above, I was tired of always feeling guilty. I was fed up with feeling frustrated, empty, and uninspired. Not to mention, exhausted from carrying around the weight of responsibility that was forced upon me by someone else’s philosophy.
Robert Greene also posited “You may grow frustrated and depressed, never realizing that the source of it is your alienation from your own creative potential”, which, is exactly what was occurring.
Fortunately, it was such a realization that allowed for me put my foot down. I was lucky enough to notice over a series of random moments, how diminished my internal drive was. My fire and zest for life was at an all-time low. In realizing that my internal flame had come to a flicker, I knew that something was not right. I knew that I had abandoned my pursuit of expressing my creative potential.
Take a Stand
As such, I decided to change. I decided to ignore the noise coming from the mouths of others. I decided to listen to what I really wanted, and to follow through on those desires. I made up my mind to follow my inclinations, my interests, my fire.
By no means was this an easy thing to do. In fact, it took a variety of different tools and resources to prep me to the point where I was confident enough to get off my knees, rise, and stand tall against the uncertainty of the world. It took some time, effort, and a final bold decision to pursue my fire. But I did it, and so can you.
Follow Your Fire
If you are afraid to do what you truly want in this life, don’t be. You only have one life to live, and none of us are getting out of here alive anyway. If you are always letting other people’s opinions drive the decisions you make, respectfully, stop! Your opinions matter, what interests you is important.
No more tucking your dreams and true interests away, no more hiding your talents because others disapprove of them. Please, follow your own heart, follow your inclinations to express your own creative potential. Please, follow your fire!