Seeking Approval – maybe it’s time to follow your heart

My entire blog is based on the premise of following your heart, living your best life and being happy but sometimes, this isn’t as easy as snapping your fingers and making a wish.

For the longest time, I’ve lived my life in a way that my family can be proud of. When you’re 10 years old and you bring home a straight A report card and you’re asked “why don’t I see a single A+?” you start to feel demotivated at first but after a while, you realise, if you work harder and keep pushing yourself you will eventually make them proud of you. So you do. For a lifetime you do everything in your power to make someone else happy.

The moment when everything changes

Then one day you wake up with a panic disorder and the realisation that you can never live out the dreams of someone else and be happy in your own life. How would that be possible, it’s not your life you’re living at all. So you decide to let go of that path and forge your own but it’s scary as hell.

At first, I was terrified of not doing the right thing. I was scared that I’d fail. I was scared that I didn’t know what I actually wanted to do with my life but I made the decision to just follow my heart and see where I ended up in the end. So far so good. So why was I avoiding telling my family about my new life path?

Seeking Approval - Tyranny of Pink

The pressure of recognition

All my life, my grandfather has been extremely proud of me. He sees so much potential in me that I’m afraid I will let him down in nearly everything I attempt to do. I always have the feeling that thinks I am capable of so much more than I am. I was so afraid that he would think my career path is silly. This morning while chatting he asked the question I had been dreading for months now; “how is your career going, have you finished registering to be a diversity trainer?”

 My heart nearly stopped, I started to feel the familiar panic coming on and could hardly find my voice. In the couple of seconds I had while he waited for a response I gave myself a little pep talk and reminded myself that this was about me and no one else. Others may not agree but that’s okay too.

Admitting it is the first step

When I finally found the words I opened my mouth and said “now I know you’re probably not going to believe this is a real career but I’ve decided to be a blogger” to which his response was “I watch the news, I see these things. They can make a lot of money can’t they?” Honestly in that sentence he knocked me over. I have been dreading explaining my new chosen life to this man, the head of my family, for nearly three months and his reaction is POSITIVE?!

I feel like maybe I’m the old-fashioned one here… certainly not gramps. No instead, he asked me a bunch of logistical questions about how I would make money from doing this and how long till it starts being a lucrative career.

What I learnt

What’s important to take away from this experience is that sometimes, the monsters holding us back exist only inside our heads. We don’t have to be held back by what we imagine other people will do. Sometimes, you just need to believe in yourself and think, it’s too bad if they don’t agree.

Sometimes, we get really lucky and they do agree but either way, we need to do the things we need to do for ourselves. Whether or not we get the approval of those around us.

Jonelle |Tyranny of Pink



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