Many people do not have a firm grasp on their identity, which means many people find themselves doing things they have no desire doing…
Excerpt from: Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late
Many people do not have a firm grasp on their identity, which means many people find themselves doing things they have no desire doing. Granted, life is a journey and we are constantly evolving, but if you have no purpose while you are evolving, then you will wander aimlessly and easily fulfill the desires of others.
When you are pressured, by a peer, to engage in an action that you do not want to engage in, you are subordinating yourself to peer pressure; you are also conveying that you have few boundaries. You may ask, “What are boundaries?” Boundaries are ultimately the invisible lines and gates you have up to inform people what you are willing to do, willing to not do, what you will allow to happen to you, and what you will not allow to happen to you. Boundaries also convey to people how they should engage with you, how they should touch you (if they are even allowed to), and how they should talk to you. If you consistently do what others tell you to do when it is not beneficial for you, and maybe even harmful, you literally assign yourself as a doormat for people to walk all over. When you do not speak up for yourself nor demonstrate to others that you have boundaries, you are conveying to the world that you do not value yourself; if you do not value even yourself, then why should others value you?
One woman did a live example on me to illustrate what happens when a person does not stand up for themselves, does not speak up for themselves, and does not communicate their wants and needs. She told me to get on the floor and lay down flat on my face. Of course, I was wondering why, and I knew something crazy was about to happen, but I trusted her and went along with it. What followed was her literally walking all over my body. When she finished walking on me, she told me, “This is what will happen to you if you do not speak up for yourself.” I will never forget this lesson ever. Although this scenario may seem absurd or silly, this scenario demonstrates exactly what happens to so many people throughout life; many people simply let people walk all over them at work, at home, in relationships, at school, in life, and wherever else you can think of, because they choose to not speak up for themselves. People who do not speak up for themselves often fall victim to peer pressure, let others make decisions for them (whether they like the decisions or not), and they are usually not the happiest people because they often never experience what they want out of life and from people.
Many people that are on the right track with their life can easily fall off the right path by not knowing when it is best to follow others and when it is best to be a leader. The people we surround ourselves with says something about who we are. If you surround yourself with productive people who have good intentions, then you will most likely conduct your life in a similar manner. If you surround yourself with unproductive people with bad intentions, then you may find yourself in controversial situations and doing things you had no original desire or intention to do. A notable quote from The Great Book is, “Bad company corrupts good manner [character].” If you surround yourself with good-intentioned and positive people, if they ever do put peer pressure on you, it will most likely be beneficial to you.
At the end of the day, peer pressure is when a person tries to persuade you to do something; the “something” that person wants you to do can be either good or bad. If you value your dreams and goals and have a strong desire to go after your ambitions, then you will not give into negative peer pressure because you will count the cost for every decision that puts your personal success at risk. If you know you have a long and challenging exam the next morning, then you will kindly, but assertively, decline an invitation to an all-night party or go to the party and leave early because you are aware that making this decision will benefit you and your end goal.
One of the best examples of boundaries is: your time. When you have boundaries in place you will be careful about where your time goes and who it goes to. One way to incorporate boundaries into your life is to maintain and utilize a daily schedule. By utilizing a schedule, you will be more productive, and you will also be more in control of both where and what you invest your time in. Having boundaries means that when you work on a task, you focus on that task and nothing else. Instead of answering a phone call that comes in, you ignore it, and let it go to voicemail, or better yet you keep your phone on silent when you are working on a priority task. Many people often get caught up, on the phone, with other peoples’ lives, business, and problems, and they get frustrated (sometimes) because they never get around to accomplishing what they need to. If you do not have boundaries over your time and schedule, you most likely will often be stressed out, unproductive, unhappy, and irritated; most likely you will believe that other people run your schedule and time. You will also fall victim into believing that you do not have time to accomplish what you need to; hence, your dreams will be put on the back burner because you keep letting your time dissipate to other things and other people. Set boundaries in your life today and start accomplishing more. Help your friends and family, and answer calls when necessary, but never focus so much on others that you stop focusing on your own dreams and goals. I promise that you will be a happier person in the long run by placing boundaries in your life.
Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late 2nd Edition