Be Immune to Peer Pressure

When I hear the term “peer pressure,” I think of kids egging each other on to do things they wouldn’t normally do. But a series of conversations I’ve had this week unveiled how adults are suffering from peer pressure too.

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These pressures reveal themselves in one ubiquitous word… SHOULD.

I should know what to do next. I should have more work-life balance. I should teach my kids how to behave. I should date that kind of a person. I should work that kind of job. I should do this for my family. I should give my kids what I didn’t have. I should get organized. I should practice self care. I should be more fit. I should save more money. I should be careful. I should tow the line. I should set a good example. I should do more. I should do less. I should be more.

But wait a second! Where did the should start? A well meaning friend? A parent? A magazine? A cultural expectation? A TV show? Chances are good, it didn’t start with you. Chances are good, you weren’t born with a should. Chances are good, you’re carrying around someone else’s baggage.

I can hear the protests now. "But, but, but…"

We’re all afraid to let go of the should. To let go would mean plunging into the depths of chaos and laziness, right? But would it? Would it really?

Should suggests that where we are is not adequate; that what we’re doing is not enough, that our path is incorrect. Should suggests that our happiness is just around the corner; that our perfection is just around the corner, that our brighter tomorrow is just around the corner.

When I know that at this moment in time I am everything I need to be — that I am already whole and well, that my path is perfect, and that happiness is always available right now — then I can hear what’s really true for me. I can hear the whispers; I can hear the inspiration.

When I’m free from should, my body and mind mobilize to move me forward. I am guided to the resources I need, to the next discovery, to the next truth. I am able to take action even if I'm not feeling good or motivated in the moment, because I know I am following my wish, my light, my song.

And all of the sudden “should" transforms into “can." I can do anything. I can be anything. I can have anything — because I already am.