15 myths about life we must stop taking for granted
From a very young age, we have all been inundated with other people's rules or opinions - from parents, loved ones, friends - helpful principles, friendly advice, and little pointers to help you make sense of life. The problem is, however well-intended, many simply aren't true (at least not all the time) and yet they're having a huge influence on your life whether you realise it or not. Recognising your own values and guidelines is important so that you are able to understand their impact on you, whether positive or negative.
I would like to share with you 15 rules of life that most people take as a given and by reading these it may prompt you to assess your own personal compass.
1. It matters what other people think
Far too many of us fall into this trap as we consider other people's beliefs/wants or thoughts over our own. Confidence can play a big role in this and it can be hard to find if we are relying on someone else's approval to gain it. This may lead to frustration and overall dissatisfaction as we give away our energy and power. The fact of the matter is that we can never know for sure what other people are thinking about us - it may be a fictional story that we have in our mind and that we are upholding.
2. There is something wrong with us
We are often plagued by feelings of inadequacy and worthlessness, postponing self-acceptance and self-love until a day in the future when we're for example thinner, wealthier, more confident and/or more popular. In doing so we forget to live in the now and wait for a lighter day. Remember, we are complete exactly as we are. Even when we are striving to improve and grow, we are complete and whole.
3. Social media is a true representation of life
Social media is a gateway to people's life successes and we forget that life is not just made up of glamorous Instagram posts for example. They say that an image speaks a thousand words but in fact, it hides many more! Social media can play into our feeling of 'compare and despair' and can allow us if we let it, to feel inferior or insecure. Social media is not the whole truth but only a glimpse into someone's life. They will only publish what they want us to see.
4. We must always know what we want in life
It's OK not to know and not to always have the answers. There are so many possibilities in life it can be hard to choose. The pressure of knowing can often be a stumbling block in taking our next step.
5. Parents are always right
No human is ever perfect and therefore no parent is either. When we are young we assume (unless there are strong reasons otherwise) that parents have all the answers and lead role model lives. This can be a burden as we strive to achieve or live up to their expectations. Remember that they are human too and to give them a break, as they are most probably acting in a way that they feel is in your best interest.
6. Be a friend to everybody
We don't have to like everyone and not everyone is going to like us. We may be able to learn from others who do not see the world the same as us. It is also important to appreciate the difference in others as it will help us have a better understanding of ourselves.
7. The job comes first
There is more to life than your career, it can be easy to forget this when you first start a big exciting new job. There are the people that make life worthwhile - friends, family, a partner and/or kids who may not stay around if we constantly neglect them for our work. We must remember what is important for us and endeavour to give ourselves self-care so that we don't burn out too.
8. There is an us and them
We tend to draw a line around our social and family circles, distancing ourselves from everyone who doesn't fit neatly within our definition of normal, interesting or worthwhile. We are all vastly different people, we are all human too.
9. There is one sole definition of success
Being rich, famous, attractive, happy and married can be one version of success but it is not the only definition. Everyone has their own journey in this life, and what brings true meaning and deep fulfilment is different for all of us. Let go of any pressure you feel to fit into the status quo.
10. You get confidence at one point in your life and you keep it forever
If life were a constant then it would be boring. It is normal that our confidence will fluctuate and that at certain points we are on a high and other days less so. We must allow ourselves to feel our emotions and remember it is OK to not always be brimming with confidence.
11. Happiness comes from external things
We can evaluate our happiness on external things like our appearance, money in the bank, job title, travel plans, and possessions - and then suffer as a result. We must recognise the value of external influences and remember that true happiness comes from within us.
12. Friendships are for life
We grow up with the idea that friendships are forever and on many occasions, this can lead us to disappointment. We are constantly evolving and our friends are too, we might not be taking the same journey together and that is fair. We must not pressure ourselves to stay in touch with someone out of courtesy and value our own time instead.
13. Normality exists and we should all aim to fit in
There is no such thing as 'being normal' or a 'normal human'. What is right for us may not be for someone else. We may prefer to stand out from a crowd than do the same as others. We must allow ourselves to be uniquely ourselves. As our true authentic selves, we use our own internal compasses as our only point of reference.
14. Vulnerability is wrong
The fear of vulnerability may prevent us from being open with ourselves and others. The more we are able to be vulnerable the more we may be able to share what makes us special and unique. Shame can often prevent us from doing so and we must challenge the inner-saboteur that tells us to hide who we really are.
15. Life is a mathematical equation
If we do X and Y, we get Z. Many people can pin their hopes on achieving a goal without bearing in mind that life can be unpredictable. Simplifying the steps into an equation can make it feel more attainable but life cannot be narrowed down to simple addition. For example, a person may think that if they spend a lengthy amount of time sending CVs and go for multiple amounts of interviews they should have a job soon. This may not be the case and can give them added pressure as well as make them feel disheartened if the final result isn't reached. When planning for goals we must consider all angles and prepare for as many eventualities as possible.
Coaching can support you in understanding your own personal code and live life more authentically your own way.