That it the sad truth and you should have realized it by now. We spoke about it in previous posts as well: no one can take care of yourself, like yourself. So it is no surprise that Martha dedicates two full chapters to the people around you. Why? Because we are social animals and what people around us think, say and do, matters to us and affects us. “Our social nature makes us long to fit in with a larger group, but it’s difficult to hold to the tastes and opinions of more than five or six individuals”. These 5-6 people or group of people, will represent your “generalized others”. “No matter how deeply your essential self longs to find the real love, the real mission, the real meaning of your life, your social self will not let you embrace these things as long as your Everybody disapproves”. Your social self is not trying to stop you from reaching your north star, as we discussed in the previous post. But it is wired to ensure you don’t get hurt on the way there, and in the social self’s mind, this means that you should get you Everybody’s approval before you do anything. What your social self doesnt know is that:
- very few people actually feel the way you think
- these people are not likely to be the best source of information about your ideal life
- there may be a whole bunch of other people who would actually praise and accept you for doing exactly what feels best to your essential self
The only way out from this generalized everybody, is to look for another set of everybody. Your supporters, your believers, the group of people that will accept you and cheer you on, making your way to your north star so much easier.
Your generalized everybody can be family, your significant other, media, ideology you have been brought up with, school, peers, organizations and work colleagues. These are the groups or individual who would undermine your efforts to reach your end goal, because they are so stuck with their socials selves, that they are unable to understand and support change. These are the people who aren’t able to believe that you can do and achieve more, because it doesn’t fit their image of a good life. But the truth is that that’s their opinion and they are more than welcome to keep it to themselves. What you need to work on, is to ensure you don’t let it affect you or stop you. You have to develop a screen against their judgements and comments, thank them for their time in sharing their unwanted and useless opinion and move on. Because you know better what’s best for you. “None of the individuals you’ve loved or hated, and none of the organizations that have touched your life, has the ability to control your choices. What does possess this power is the part of your brain that contains your generalized other. Depending on what it thinks everybody wants, your social self will make it either impossible or inevitable that you will reach your own north star”.
The solution? Replace your hypercritical, limiting, lying everybody with a new set of everybody who sees you as you really are. Because you can’t do it on your own and you need support. The type of support that will help you, push you, guide you, be there for you, during your journey. Since your everybody is built based on presence and repetition, the only way to get away from there is to limit their exposure into your life. That way, your mind will be ready to create a new space to cultivate the presence and repetition of a new set of positive and supporting everybody.
Look for people that give you positive feedback, follow only social media that helps you and interests you and not what everybody else follows, create your own fan club and tribe and spend time with them, speak to yourself in a positive cheering manner, creating a narrative in your head that represents your hopes and dreams ( what you think becomes reality ), clean up any clutter ( physical and not ) that it’s detrimental to your goals. Be selective of your thoughts, of the people you spend time with, of the activities you do. Put yourself first, create a barrier against anything that doesn’t serve you and never stop until you reach your north star.