Geoffrey Moffett

November 30, 2023

Breaking Free: Uncover Your True Self and Forge Your Own Path

We live in a world where standards and expectations are thrown at us all the time. We are constantly being taught who to be, what to do, and how to spend our lives—from the covers of glossy magazines to the most popular posts on social media, from our parents' goals to the expectations of society.

As a result, there is a self-awareness crisis and a lot of people are just following mindlessly without really thinking through their choices.


The Imitation Echo Chamber

People often lack self-awareness because of our innate propensity to copy other people. Our brains have been encoded with this survival drive over millions of years of evolution. Our minds instruct us to do something when we observe someone else achieving in a particular way. That is the path to success. This tendency can be helpful, but it becomes a problem when it pushes us down unwise pathways.

Consider my friend John as an example. John was a gifted artist, but he chose to study engineering after observing his friends pursue conventional occupations. He tried for years to fit into a mould that did not belong to him. Despite being prosperous by society's standards, he was dissatisfied on the inside.

The Firm Hold of Social Coercion

Our decision-making is greatly influenced by social pressure. A University of California study found that people can alter their behaviour even in the absence of clear instructions due to social pressure. We comply because we are afraid of standing out or being different.

This may result in a life devoted to pursuing goals that do not satisfy us or make us happy. Parents' wishes often influence our career choices; for example, we may choose a job because it is 'prestigious' rather than because it fulfils our passion or purpose.

The Unseen Factors at Work

Compounding this problem are society expectations and the media. They fabricate a false image of what success and happiness look like: wealth, notoriety, and influence. But inner calm and contentment are rarely brought about by these outside validations.

The Way to Introspection

So how can we develop more self-awareness and make choices that are consistent with our values and actual purpose? Here are some doable actions:

Reflect on yourself: Take some time for yourself. Recognise your passions, fears, and areas of strength and weakness. For this, journaling can be an extremely useful tool.

Practise mindfulness by focusing on the here and now. It facilitates a better understanding of our feelings and responses.

Ask for input: We frequently have blind spots that are visible to others. Helpful criticism from dependable friends, coaches, or mentors can provide insightful information.

Disprove social conventions and the existing quo. It's not always appropriate for you to do something just because it's "normally done."

Put your pleasure first: Recognise that your contentment and tranquilly come first. Make choices that are in line with your inner values rather than just what seems right on paper.

It's imperative that we escape the social pressure that shapes our life, the echo chamber of imitation, and other invisible factors. Let's make an effort to make thoughtful choices, increase our self-awareness, and fully accept our trip. Oscar Wilde once observed, "Be yourself; everyone else is already taken." This is true after all.

About Geoffrey Moffett

Hey!  I'm Geoffrey and right now 110% of my time is focused on building Triovia, a digital and social media marketing education company.  

In this small part of the internet I blog about thoughts, stories and ideas.