To be successful in life, you have to step out of your box, out of your comfort zone. If you stay a recluse, then you will never accomplish what you want (unless you want to be a recluse, of course).
You might be worried that you might stand out in public, that you might not really be seen as “normal,” but that’s what is supposed to happen.
You are meant to stand out and societal norms are meant to be shattered to make room for progress.
Progress requires change, and change means disrupting the norm.
You should never blindly follow social norms just because you think you should. You should question them.
Ask yourself Why your home should be immaculate when entertaining guests.
Wonder Why you celebrate holidays like Christmas, Easter and Halloween. Find out the real reasons you do the things you do, and you might be surprised at how many things you do just out of habit or out of social expectation.
For example, you might find that you only go to church on holidays because you always did when growing up.
Or maybe you find out that the real reason we celebrate Halloween isn’t for you.
You don’t have to do much on holidays just because your neighbors are doing it. You can celebrate however you like and stay true to what the holidays mean to you and your family.
If you are doing things because you want to do them, whether they build your beliefs, or serve some other great purpose in your life, then keep doing them.
Otherwise, consider eliminating them from your life and daily routines or future plans.
Why do you need to waste your time pleasing society when society is doomed to change anyway?
And society is changing. A lot. Still, that should change faster.
Maybe you don’t want a baby even though your parents, friends, and literally everyone are expecting you to have one.
Or maybe you prefer to rent an apartment rather than own a house to fit your nomadic lifestyle despite societal pressures to buy a house.
And maybe you don’t think you want to be in a romantic relationship right now because you’re asexual, feel better alone, or have no interest in finding a partner.
Don’t let the world convince you that the way you want to live your life is wrong.
Sometimes it’s okay to just want to rebel against social norms even if they don’t affect you. Your rebellion can be something as small as wearing mismatched clothes or something as large as promoting your uniqueness on a blog or podcast.
Social change happens when we challenge norms, not when we accept them for what they are.
I’ll be honest with you. It is not easy to break such habits, to break social norms.
You have to be true to yourself and try to ignore what other people do, think, and say. Because people will notice that you are different.
They may point fingers, laugh, or question you. They can judge you for going against the grain.
However, it has to happen to make a change sometimes.
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Meaghan Summers is a freelance writer for Sourcebooks, freelance consultant for Fiverr and associate editor for Defense Security Cooperation University. His writings focus on mental health, pop culture, and relationship topics.