Tradition is really important in most families. There are many traditions that most people follow is society today that others don’t understand or believe in. Family and friends think you’re supposed to follow a specific plan to reach your goals. Go to college, get your dream job, get married and then, start a family. It’s called the “traditional” way. When others see you’ve followed this plan and succeeded, they look at you as successful. When you don’t, they look at you like the person who needs to get their life together.” Even if you succeed following your own plan, it’s not good enough. Do you feel this way? It’s okay that you do because this is a real thing and it happens to a lot of people. You’re not alone. People don’t approve that you live your life in a non-traditional way, because they don’t know how. You don’t have to feel bad that you didn’t follow their way.
Many people are afraid to fail because they think others will only remember their failures. Unfortunately, this is true. As you live your life, you will fail at things and succeed in others. People who believe in the traditional way of living will see your failures first. Here are three reasons why:
They expected something different from you, so now they feel some type of way. They also feel this way when you succeed, especially, if they didn’t expect for you to.
They once failed at the same thing and never bounced back, so they are trying to figure out how you did it. Them not knowing how you did so can lead to them being angry and/or jealous of you.
F.O.M.O (fear of missing out). We have all witnessed someone who was at the top of their game and then, one day they said or did something “wrong.” As a result, they lost their position, lost some of their friends and people stopped “dealing” with them. Those friends who stopped dealing with them most likely felt they would be dismissed if they continued to socialize with that person. Before you admire someone who is at the top, be knowledgeable of what they did to get there because they could have made decisions based on F.O.M.O. Keep in mind that what you did to get to where you are is what you’ll have to maintain to stay there.
Another non-traditional way of living is choosing not to go with the flow. I’ve always felt that people who go with the flow out of fear of losing status or friends are weak. Reality is, they are. Many people are afraid to believe in something or live a certain lifestyle because they feel if they do, they would “lose” something or be labeled as someone or something that’s not approved by the majority. Have you ever noticed how someone won’t stop being friends with someone because they fear if they do, others will choose the friend instead of them and then, they will be alone? Even if the person is toxic. What about if they choose to stop being their friend, that friend may reveal their secrets? Unfortunately, it happens, but it’s better to not be trapped in a life you aren’t happy with to please others. Loneliness is hard and it can be dangerous if you don’t teach yourself how to be alone. This isn’t a reason not to live the life you choose, even if you do it alone.
Here are ways to succeed the non-traditional way:
Have a plan and stick to it. If you know what you want to do, you will live the life that best fits that plan. This is when others feel you are living non-traditionally because they don’t understand or they can’t do it. Well, it is a non-traditional way because it’s not the way they were taught to do something so they believe it is wrong.
Don’t get distracted when people stop supporting you. Yes, it hurts. It doesn’t make sense and you want to know why. However, don’t waste time trying to figure out why they left your life. Instead, look at it as they weren’t meant to be there. If they are meant to be there, they will return somehow, some way.
Rejection. This is the biggest struggle of choosing to live for you and no one else. If you choose a non-traditional way to live, you will get rejected a lot. I mean, a lot. Rejection doesn’t suck. The feeling of being rejected sucks. After so many times of being rejected, many people give up. Those are the people who move back home, start being friends with toxic people to fit in or begin to make unwise decisions to please others because of the fear of missing out. You will have to deal with this. It’s inevitable.
My advice to you is to understand and accept that things happen in life we can’t control, but we can control how we react to them. One of my biggest issues in my 20s is my reaction to many of the things that happened to me. I was angry, frustrated, and disappointed because I didn’t know what I know now. I didn’t grow up in a traditional household and I didn’t have anyone in my life that reached the level of success I was aiming for. So, I didn’t have someone to show me the way. However, I had a goal and I did what I needed to do to reach that goal. It worked. It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it. Keep your head up. Living a non-traditional way doesn’t mean you are a failure. It means that you are brave. You got this.