It’s easy to want to do better for the planet, eat cleaner food, take care of your needs, and all.
It’s another thing to feel awkward about it in a group of less-caring friends that feel weird when you try to be green or healthy. How does this fear of living by your values show up in your life? Not saying no to a straw in a group of people? Throwing away recyclable plastic when it “just seems weird” to cart it all the way home and explain it to your friends?
A lot of people don’t want to break the mold, and would advise you to do the same. But you can stop feeling awkward, and stop feeling like nobody wants to see your morals and values hanging out all over the place. YOU want to see it, and the cause is super important! So give yourself permission and do it! From there you release yourself to a bigger cause, and you can even start to create permission for those around you to be themselves.
How to get permission?
Well, you have this one life to live right now… decide it is yours! Sometimes other people won’t give you their permission. It is true. Your best action in this case is simple: know that your own permission is all you need, keep true to yourself, and look for people who love you for it!
The fear of going against the grain, or claiming your values and living by them really has an unlimited number of ways of showing up for different people. You personally are likely to have a handful of these symptoms that repeat themselves throughout your life. Can you think of any off the top of your head?
It seems as though fear of estranging yourself from your loved ones or alienating them is one of the main manifestations of this. Feelings of guilt are huge for most people when they think they’re taking mandatory attention away from their loved ones by taking self time or putting a new green “chore” in place.
So self care and greener living practices get pushed aside for fear of family upset of some sort. You could alienate them by offending them with your green motions somehow. Or by taking 20 minutes out to have some alone time to recenter.
Sure. I’ve been there!
To begin to work through this guilt and awkwardness, it comes back to you deciding that you and everyone you love is worth it.
Realize that your sustainability motions do make a positive effect on the world and the people you’re around. And that you can actually serve your family on a deeper level if you feel allowed to take some regular personal care time. Quality over quantity.
This way you can teach your children to do better for themselves, too. You can be a gleaming example of living by your values, and instill that in them through modeling. Show them how to care for themselves and therefor others!
Then there is the fear that people will just straight-up think that you are a freak. Back to feeling like you have permission to be yourself! Those weird looks can cause some interesting reactions in your body for sure. Claim your permission anyways- stand your ground.
In this circumstance, remind yourself of all the people who understand you and back you up, and remember that you ultimately just have to give yourself permission, so that is all that matters! You will effect their awareness of the problems for sure, and that is such a huge feat all by itself.
Consistent silent adherence to my needs has made my loved ones love accept me for who I am.
And yes. I have had to explain it about a hundred times. It’s almost impossible not to take it personally. But it is possible! They will get it eventually you are not going to change. So keep going!
As a reminder of what kind of “needs” we are talking about… We’re talking about your personal needs
and things you want in life. Personal needs could be anything really. A lot of the time, saying yes to your needs looks like saying no to others. You will have to learn to say no to more and more of these random obligations you have gotten yourself into.
Declining certain types of foods like gluten because you are sensitive is one example of times when it’s hard to say yes to your needs in front of others. Needing to cancel your ongoing commitment to the soccer club carpool because you are frazzled and need 20 minutes to yourself? That is definitely a need that we are talking about here.
So the first question is, “what are your needs?”
You might already know them. Or To dive much deeper into that if you have not already, maybe you can just ask yourself this question, give it some thought for five minutes, and write them down (or record in Evernote on your phone) today and every few days until you get an idea.
So how long will it take for the stubborn people to accept your new ways? I suppose that depends on the kinds of people you surround yourself with for sure, but it absolutely gets more comfortable over time!
“Do not ask your greatness to appease random people!”
Basically the best idea ever. Take it to heart.
Random people include any person at all that is not you.
You know your greatness, and there is no reason to compromise for anyone on your values and inner light.
“For every person that rejects you there are 10 more waiting to welcome you home.” Who said this to me?
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You are amazing! Thank you for your commitment to yourself!
Until next time…