Individuality and self-motivation are valuable traits. Even though we learn these lessons as children (the stories of Dr. Seuss come to mind), we seem to lose our individuality as we get older. As we age, the pressure to fit in increases. I’ve had my own experiences with sacrificing my individuality and trying to fit into different social circles. I knew who I wanted to be, but instead found myself becoming what I thought others wanted me to be. I was always trying to please everyone else just to fit in, so I never felt comfortable. It wasn’t until I decided to be true to myself that I found that group of people that had not only the same interests as me, but more importantly, the same sense of individuality.  We were able to share experiences, learn from each other, and truly have a good time, while each remaining true to ourselves.

Peer pressure is not just a challenge faced by children and teenagers. As an adult, you might still feel pressure to act just like your friends, even when that might not be what you really want to do. This is where you need to make a decision: follow the pack, or stand out. Deciding to stand out is easier said than done, especially when you are trying to make a positive change in your life and your friends may not understand or support your decision. But when you are solid and secure in the choices you’re making for your own good, there is no need to explain yourself, get competitive, or justify your actions to anyone. Stand by your decision to live your dream and take your life in the direction you want it to go. Be unique, be proud of who you are, and own it!

‘5 Lessons In Life’ from Dr. Seuss that we should all live by:

  1. Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You. There’s no one else like you. Embrace your uniqueness. It’s fun to be a part of a trend, as long as it doesn’t change who you are.
  2. Why fit in when you were born to stand out? Explore what makes you happy. Be yourself and people will like you for you. If it doesn’t feel right, then it might be time to make a change or you might not be in the place. Be a part of a culture that you believe in.
  3. You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You are responsible for your habits and behaviors not your family or friends. You choose your own direction. If you’re not happy where you are, make a change. Take the risk, it might be the best decision you make.
  4. Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind. Your real friends will be supportive of your aspirations. They may not always agree, but they won’t make you feel bad or try to sabotage your efforts. The hard truth is, if they mind then they don’t matter.
  5. Today I shall behave as if this is the day I will be remembered. Be Inspired! Be a part of something bigger than yourself! Use your unique gifts and talents to contribute to making the world a better place.

Debra Rydziel

Coach, TFWConnecticut

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