Everyone feels peer pressure.
This problem is not just for teens. Everyone feels peer pressure. You feel peer pressure, I feel peer pressure. Peer pressure is built into society, all societies. If you don’t want to feel peer pressure you could become a hermit but, what would all the other hermits say? I recommend another approach to peer pressure.
Peer pressure is societies gauntlet. It’s the playing field where the hopes and dreams of youth get played out. These challenges are what inspires many to accomplish great things. For others, it is Satan’s den, where all is lost and life is hopeless. The difference lies not in your circumstances, but in your concept of yourself. That’s right. Your self-concept determines the peer pressure you feel. And your self-concept determines how you respond to the peer pressure you feel.
Your self-concept is the key to a life well lived.
Your self-concept is made up of all the thoughts and beliefs you hold to be true about yourself and the world. Included in your self-concept are your emotions or feelings which are linked to these thoughts about yourself. It’s the combination of your thoughts AND their associated feelings which create your concept of yourself or your self-concept.
Most people don’t pay much attention to the steady stream of thoughts going through their minds. In fact, most people are so busy with what is going on outside of them that little attention is payed to what’s going on inside of them. Other people struggle with letting go of this stream of consciousness and they cling to the same scary thoughts over and over and over.
The problem is not peer pressure, it’s what you think about peer pressure.
Avoiding peer pressure is like trying to avoid air pressure, you cant, it’s everywhere. But there is one sure way to eliminate peer pressure no matter where you are. Peer pressure begins in your mind. What you think about peer pressure determines the details of the peer pressures you experience AND how you feel about these pressures determines how you respond to peer pressure.
Most people don’t think about what they are thinking. Most people simply react to what they perceive as pressure from the outside; pressure from their classmates, from their coworkers, from their family members and from society as a whole. Everyone has their own, unique and oftentimes scary perspective of the expectations of others. This can undermine anyone and in this article I hope to show you a way for you to eliminate peer pressure forever.
Eliminate peer pressure forever.
It is much easier to change your self-concept than to try and change everyone you encounter just to relieve yourself the pressures you feel. This method works 100% of the time for anyone willing to be vigilant with their thoughts. This method takes time, perseverance, patience and a willingness to play with your imagination.
Let’s start with what you think about yourself? What do you say to yourself when you make a mistake? What do you say to yourself when someone else makes a mistake that impacts you? What percentage of your thoughts about yourself are positive? What percentage of your thoughts are negative? Make a list of your positive self-thoughts and your negative self-thoughts. Which ones are habitual?
Habitual thoughts become beliefs which then get rooted in your experiences that you use to justify your beliefs. Beliefs need special attention and focus in order to eliminate peer pressure. Beliefs may contain thousands of related thoughts and sub-beliefs. Those beliefs that lie at the very core of who you are become your self-concept.
Beliefs are the foundation of your self-concept.
When you change your beliefs, you change your self-concept and when your self-concept changes, you begin see the world differently and you begin to experiences life differently. The first thing to do is a thorough and courageous inventory of what you hold to be true about; yourself your capacity, people, relationships, government, religion, life etc. This is no easy task and you need to persevere until you can identify your core beliefs. Change these beliefs and you free yourself from peer pressure. Changing your core beliefs is everyone’s challenge and life is very, very distracting.
You can change these your deeply held beliefs and you will do it one thought at a time. Each time you catch a thought that does not support your life, your being, your passions, then ignore it and insert a counter thought, one that is positive and life affirming. This is why you need to be vigilant with your thoughts. No easy task when the average person has between 30,000 to 80,000 thought each and every day. Don’t fret, this is not meant to be difficult or overwhelming. Relax and just notice what is going on in your mind and begin to make your own decisions about what you think about.
Quieting the mind, the path of least resistance.
Don’t get too caught up in this thought work. It’s important, but you have all the time in the world to make these changes. Life is not meant to be a struggle. Life is meant to be easy. In fact, let’s start with that thought, “Life is easy.” Say this to yourself several times and notice what happens. Do you relax or do you tense up? Now, take a deep, slow breath and think to yourself, “Life is easy.” Don’t judge this thought, just repeat it as you breath. Notice how your ego begins to challenge this thought, “That’s bullshit, life isn’t easy, it’s hard!” Ignore this thought and return to, “Life is easy.” You may need to bring your mind back to this thought many, many times.
This is the perseverance mentioned earlier. Don’t judge the thoughts, just breath and focus on your breath. Do this for as long as you like. I recommend 20 minutes per day. If 20 minutes sounds like too much, then start with 1 minute every time you think about how hard life is. Over time you will begin to feel more relaxed and more sure of yourself. You will also begin to feel less peer pressure and more social acceptance.
Your intuition is your guide.
Quieting the mind is critical to being able to tune into your intuitive voice. The ego’s voice is boisterous, loud and always pointing out how hard life is. Your intuitive voice is very, very quiet. It’s barely perceivable. Once you have quieted your mind you will begin to notice tiny and subtle sensations in your midsection. This is your intuitive or inner voice. Frequently, ego injects anxiety whenever you begin to listen to your intuitive voice. The above breathing exercise quiets your mind again until you are able to fully feel these sensations. As you practice trusting your intuition you learn to follow it’s lead.
Now that you have tuned into your intuition, it is time to trust it. Your imagination and the breathing exercise above work together to eliminate peer pressure. Here’s how you do it.
- Sit down in a comfortable place of your choice. Close your eyes and take long, slow, deep breaths.
- Focus your attention on your breath. Do this for a couple of minutes.
- Use your imagination to imagine going about your day peaceful and happy. You are confident and life is easy.
- Keep breathing and let go of any tension or anxiety the ego tries to throw in and keep focusing on all of the pleasant things that are going to happen all day.
Come back to this internal place often throughout the day for brief moments whenever you notice your ego creating worry or anxiety. Deliberately let go of these feeling and their associated thoughts and return to your breath. Continue saying to yourself “Life is easy.”
Thank you for visiting Imagination Beyond Limits.