BY SOFO ARCHON
“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 fact–we don’t embrace ourselves for who we are and wish we were different. Naturally, this is causing enormous sadness and discomfort in our psyche, because, how can we be happy and at ease, unless we accept and love ourselves?
In our culture, we have learned that we are not enough as we are. Since we were little children, we have been taught that we need to be a certain way in order to be accepted by the society. Parents, teachers, priests and other authority figures wanted us to conform to society’s standards, or else we were warned that we would be abandoned by community. Out of fear, most of us chose to conform.
Now, although we have been accepted by society, deep down we feel empty and insecure. We feel lonely and disconnected. We feel a heavy burden deep within us that doesn’t allow us to act spontaneously. We have suppressed our true self so much that we don’t anymore recognize who we are. We have lost touch with our heart and spirit.
Unless we realize our uniqueness and accept ourselves for who we are, without caring about the opinions of others, we are never going be free and happy. But how can one do so? Here is a small yet concise non-conformity guide, offering tips to help you stop following the herd, listen to your inner voice, create your own path and and reclaim your life.
Doubt your beliefs
The first and foremost thing you need to do to stop following the herd and create your own path, is to doubt all the beliefs that have been handed down you by tradition.
Beliefs can be tremendously harmful if we don’t have any solid basis for holding them, by distorting our perception of ourselves and our relation to the world and thus making us think and behave in irrational ways.
Stay away from what is keeping you down
From a very early age, we have learned to do things we don’t enjoy doing, to be in company of people we don’t like, to do work we hate–in short, to live a life that sucks–without ever complaining about it!
Whatever is pulling your soul down, push it away from you by learning how to deal with it. Of course, this is a difficult thing to achieve, considering the mad world we’re living in, but that doesn’t mean you should give up trying to relieve yourself of all the burdens that have been placed upon you so as to live a more beautiful life.
Listen to your heart
What is your passion? What is your heart beating for? What gives meaning and purpose to your life? Whatever your calling is, be sure to follow it, and your life will be totally transformed. Instead of doing things because you “should” do them, find and do those things that you love doing.
When you first start listening to your inner voice, you might find that many people will negatively criticize you and try to prevent you from turning your dreams into reality. This, however, shouldn’t stop you from pursuing your goals. On the contrary, it should be yet another reason to rebel against the conformity of the herd and follow your bliss.
A requirement for finding integrity and creating your own path is to be honest with yourself and others, no matter the consequences.
Don’t say “yes” when you feel like saying “no”. Voice your opinion when you feel injustice is taking place. Express how you think and feel so that you can avoiding misunderstandings and show to others exactly what kind of life you desire to live.
People are usually afraid to go against the current, and instead 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, attracting effortlessly 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.
Let go of your past
What is past is past. Learn from your past experiences, but don’t cling to them.
No matter what your life has been like so far, it doesn’t have to be this way in the future. Whether you have been a slave to ideologies or just an insecure person who has been following the norms, afraid to think and act on your own, your life could take a completely different direction, if you’re willing for this to happen.
From today, make a conscious choice to live the way you want to live and not the way others want you to live. Just as every other human being, you deserve to live a free, creative, beautiful life, and so you shouldn’t allow anyone to deprive you of this basic right.
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
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