Swimming against the stream
Through my entire life, I’ve been swimming against the stream. Life is more colorful that way, yet also more challenging. You’re very exposed to criticism, opinions, people questioning your choices, and express that often also in a rather aggressive way.
Why is that the case?
People feel questioned in their own choices, when they see someone dare to do what they might have liked to do themselves, but didn’t have the courage to. This causes cognitive dissonance in them and in return they respond with questioning one’s choices to feel better themselves and reduce the dissonance. Many would like to live a different life, comparing to the mainstream, but don’t dare to take action and change the status quo. Swimming with all the other fish, with the stream is super easy. It’s often this temptation of being too easy to swim along with all the other fish and not having think about the choices one takes. Acting and taking decisions without major thought processes involved, that’s what most people do. Staying in the place of least resistance. This place of least resistance is in this average, monotone, boring place, which lacks excitement, desire, creativity, sparkle, yet the majority of society still deviates to it.
Why is that?
Well, swimming against the stream induces anxiety, it makes one second guess one’s choices, by lacking role models, having many people around that rather than supporting one’s different choice question it, put it down as less desirable. It needs a thick skin and solid self-esteem to keep swimming against the stream and not crumble of all the heavy current against one’s own dreams, goals, and inspirations. The more we do it, the easier it becomes and the more empowering it becomes too, to swim in one’s own flow.
How can we maintain that swimming exercise against the current?
We have to believing in ourselves - easier said than done of course - but essential to be a role model for others. The more we practice and surround ourselves with people that support, encourage, and empower us, the higher we can reach.