How to live your dream despite social pressure

Each individual is special in his/her own way. Each one has a distinctive set of likes, dislikes, personality, desires and above all, potential. As one grows up, they have certain hopes and dreams for their life and future. However, it does not always follow at a practical level, that you may be able to pursue your dreams as easily as you had hoped. Societal pressure, peer pressure, parental pressure, and fate’s imponderables are bound to stand in your way. In such times, it seems severely frustrating and futile to follow your heart’s desire. Many people spend their whole lives living another person’s dream, scared to follow their own heart. Such repression of feelings can lead to anxiety, stress or even depression. In today’s progressive world, with a wide array of opportunities around us, it is imperative that you channelize your efforts into the right direction. Success is inevitable, if only you are brave enough to pursue it wholeheartedly.

Where there is a will, there is a way:

  1. No matter what stops you from running after your dreams- whether it’s financial issues, or discouragement from your parents, or fear of failure- you have to find ways to work around issues. Be aware of whatever is holding you back so that you know how to overcome that obstacle. Above all, do not let stereotypes or bad examples deter you from your path.
  2. Eliminate fear of failure. Easier said than done, this step is crucial in helping you go forward on your chosen path. If you do not run in the race, you are as it is bound to lose. So work hard, let go of your fears and hope for the best. Financial stability, success in your line of work, and fame shall follow if you work hard enough with full faith. Many people are supremely talented and are strongly capable, but lose out due to lack of toil. Take struggle in the right stride.
  3. Have faith in yourself. If you do not have self-confidence, no one will take you seriously. How can you expect others to have faith in you, when you yourself do not trust yourself? It is the path of your choice which is related to the capabilities you possess, then why not trust yourself? You can do it, and you will, if you believe in yourself. Stray clear of low self- esteem and self- pity. If you lose hope, no one will be able to help you.
  4. Do not be scared of how others will react. There will always be someone who is willing to discourage you, or cultivate self- doubt in your mind. Learn to say no to the black sheep. Filter out the negativity and simply listen to those who encourage you, those who wish good for you. Befriend/accompany like- minded individuals, have healthy conversations with loved ones who support you; you may even like to join a support group.
  5. Keep an adamant approach, and an aggressive will. Do not suppress your emotions, they are valid. Also remember that you are not alone. There are many others like you who went through a similar struggle and turbulence in life. You will also be able to live your dream, just as they ended up living theirs. Seek counselling from such fighters and take inspiration.
  6. Make a solid plan. If you are serious about your dream, chalk out a plan. Do your research; note down how you will go about your path, and what you plan to do to achieve your dream. Be aware of the challenges that may come your way and be prepared to handle them. IF you are crystal- clear about your path, it will not be a difficult task to convince others of the same. Most importantly, have a Plan B ready, in case unforeseen circumstances force you to take a detour.
  7. Be smart about your approach. Find new, constructive ways to keep your mind balanced. Travel, meet new people, and seek expert guidance. Add finesse to your ideas and broaden your horizons with a good amount of exposure to the real world.
  8. It is obvious that you cannot sever ties from the people who don’t support you, if they are your close ones. What you must keep trying (with endless time, faith, and patience), is to convince them to let you try. Be it your parents or friends- explain yourself to them and let it sink in their minds that you will try to swim against the tide- and that it is a good Talk it out, try to reach a middle ground, or ask for some time for yourself. You may ask someone they trust (and who supports you), to talk about this to them. After all your efforts if they do not understand that you are a sensible individual who deserves to pursue a realistic goal, then it is better to define healthy boundaries between yourself and those individuals.

It is best to have a balanced approach to the process of struggle. Find ways to work around hurdles, if not obliterate them. Try, try, try… Try until you succeed. Strength, determination, and resilience will get you through. Above all, stay happy and take the leap of faith.

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