It can be hard to stand out when everyone else is doing the same thing. It's easy to get lost in a crowd of people who are just like you, but don't let anyone tell you how your individuality should look and feel.
So what does it mean to be proud? Be daring! Ignore expectations and look at all the different ways that individualism looks like throughout this post. Celebrate your uniqueness with others that also want to break free from conformity and explore their own identities!
If you are anything like me, you were not able to be proud of your individuality growing up which made it extremely hard to ignore other's expectations for you. You were probably asked a lot:
What do you want to be when you grow up?
If this question was posed to a random group of kids, chances are they would have all sorts of answers. But what if the question is not “what do you want to be?” but rather “who do you want to be?” Chances are you weren't able to be who you truly were, which hindered any type of self care that you may have needed.
The first answer might still vary, but the second answer most likely won't. We have grown up in an era where we are proud of who we are and are forced to be proud of who we are not.
For years I was told that I was not bi-sexual. After years of “hiding” my sexuality to my family I met my husband and he provided the safe space to be who I was and really open up to who I really was and I was finally able to embrace my individuality. While the older I got, the more I realized I really was not bi-sexual, but rather I am pansexual.
When is it time to Ignore Expectations?
While I do enjoy relationships with both males and females, I realized that I was attracted to a person, not because of their gender, but because of who they are as a person. Having a spouse that understands that and accepts me 100% for who I am, gave what I needed to completely accept myself.
Other's expectations for yourself can hinder your own expectations for yourself as an individual which in turns makes it difficult to accomplish what we want to with our lives.
In the past, the LGBTQ+ community, for example, struggled with being accepted because they have been told their whole lives that who they were was wrong, and in turn, society made it very hard for them to be happy.
This led the way for many people in the LGBTQ+ community to associate themselves with other individuals having similar challenges. This community grew by means of digital channels, like chatlinedating.com/gay, and also created new groups as a result, including drag queens and kings, gender-fluid individuals, and more.
All these different group identities help make up an individual's identity without feeling like there can't be any other options outside of what society tells them about who they should've been born as, such as male or female.
It gives the LGBTQ+ community hope when looking back at how far gay rights have come since 1969, where homosexuality was considered a mental illness, to now where there are self-accepted diverse people everywhere, including the United States Supreme Court.
LGBTQ+ individuals in the world may not have lived an easy life, but they should just be proud of who they are and proud that they are not what others want them to be.
Other people in the world need to know where they stand, so whether or not it involves coming out as a proud gay man or woman, everyone needs acceptance from society as all humans do.
The LGBTQ+ community and self-discovery are not just about being unique but also embracing their other qualities. This allows them to be happy without society's expectations of who they should have been born as or what gender identity they must always identify with all the time.
What does being yourself mean?
For many people, it means dressing according to your gender identity (man/woman), which goes hand in hand with acceptance from society. Others might find themselves through their career, while some will start by learning more about themselves through travel.
Whatever it means for you to be yourself, start by accepting who you are and being proud of who you are not!
Knowing the struggle faced by many LGBTQ+ people in self-discovery has helped us all learn how to accept ourselves for whoever we are, even if it doesn't match what society expects from our gender identity or sexual orientation.
The bottom line is that by being yourself, you will be able to find happiness without society's expectations of who you should or shouldn't be.
Reject Expectations & Embrace Your Individuality!