“No shepherd, and one herd! Everyone wants the same, everyone is the same: whoever feels different goes willingly into the madhouse.” ~Friedrich Nietzsche
Everyone is unique, without exception.
Sadly, most of us don’t realize this — we don’t embrace ourselves and wish we were different. Naturally, we are experiencing tremendous sadness and discomfort, because how can we be happy and at ease, if we don’t accept and love ourselves?
Since we were children, most of us have been conditioned to believe that we are not good enough as we are, and that we need to change in order to be accepted by society. Parents, teachers, priests and all kinds of authority figures forced us to conform to society’s standards, or else they warned us that we’d be left alone — abandoned.
Out of fear, we chose to conform.
Now, although we’ve been accepted by society, deep down we feel empty and insecure. We feel lonely and disconnected. We feel a heavy burden on our chest that doesn’t allow us breath with ease. We have suppressed ourselves so much that we don’t recognize who we are anymore. We’ve lost touch with our heart and soul.
Unless we realize our uniqueness and accept ourselves for who we are, without letting others force upon us their opinions of how we should be, we are never going find peace and contentment.
But how can one do so?
Here is a small yet empowering guide with practical tips to help you walk the path of non-conformity.
The Non-Conformity Guide
Doubt your beliefs
The first and most important thing you need to do in order to walk the path of non-conformity is to question all the beliefs that have been handed to you by tradition.
Beliefs can be tremendously harmful, if they are not based on solid evidence — they can suppress your critical thinking, distort your perception of reality and urge you to behave in irrational or stupid ways.
Stay away from what is keeping you down
From a very early age, we have learned to do things we don’t enjoy, to be in company of people we don’t like, to do work we hate… in short, to live a life that sucks — and without ever complaining about it!
From today, stop doing what is pulling your soul down. I know, this isn’t easy to avoid, considering the negative forces that surround us, but that shouldn’t stop you from trying your best to improve the quality of your life.
Listen to your heart
Instead of doing things because you “should” do them, find and do those things you love doing.
What is your heart beating for? What gives meaning and purpose to your life? What brings you joy and laughter? Whatever that is, be sure to follow it.
Of course, the moment you start listening to your inner voice, you’ll find many people judging you for being different and trying to stop you from living in your own way. Don’t let this prevent you from pursuing your goals; instead, see it as yet another reason to break free from the sickness or normalcy and seek a more beautiful life.
If you want to create your own path in life, you need to be true to yourself and others.
Stop saying “yes” when you feel like saying “no.” Voice your objections when you feel injustice is taking place. Express your emotions, and be open about what kind of life you desire to live.
Most people choose to compromise themselves, afraid that nobody will like them. But I am telling you: those who don’t like you for being yourself don’t deserve a place in your life! Surprisingly, the moment you become honest you’ll turn into a magnet, effortlessly attracting like-minded individuals who will accept you just the way you are.
In the end, it doesn’t matter if you have plenty of fake friends — what matters is that you have real ones, even if they are just a few.
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson