How much time do you spend worrying about what other people think?

If your answer is something along the lines of – “not much” – you may want to think again!

For most people- culture and social collective opinions play a significant influential role in their choices, decisions and actions.

There are times in which “conventional wisdom’ can offer an abundance of benefits. There are also times in which it can cause you to run with the crowd straight into the land of “ordinary” opposed to the land of “extraordinary possibilities and potential”!

You matter! You are truly one of a kind and worth the discovery and exploration into your unique qualities and potential gifts for humanity. What you want in this life also matters and when you stop living by other people’s standards, desires and expectations, the true you can begin to emerge.

Do you know the truth of what you want? Are you waking up every day with a sparkle in your eye and a song in your heart ready to go out into the world adventuring and creating? Or are you lying in bed hitting snooze waiting for some degree of inspiration to stir you into action?

The fear of failure- shame and embarrassment are just a few of the things most are trying to avoid by not venturing into new realms of possibilities. Change of any kind can feel like an emotional landmine. Humans are socially conditioned to run with the pack. This conditioning can cause us to freeze in our tracks when we consider stepping off of the beaten path or away from our pack.

In his article on “How Not to Worry About What Others Think of You- Overcoming the Debilitating Tendency to Worry About Being Judged by Others”- Dr. Raj Raghunathan states that embarrassment and shame can serve a useful purpose. Studies show that we are likely to be more considerate and kind and also more likely to be motivated to correct past mistakes when we experience these emotions.

Dr. Raguhunathan also has found that most of us are guilty of worrying too much about what other people think of us. Studies show that most people consistently overestimate how much, and how badly others think about us and our failings. An unfortunate consequence of this is that we are far more inhibited and far less spontaneous and joyful than we could be.

The holidays are a perfect time to practice the art of stepping off of the “Culturally Conforming Conveyor Belt” and into your true authentic self and desires! Thanksgiving is just around the corner and culture dictates that if you are celebrating in the traditional manner- you will eat certain foods and gather with friends and loved ones. If this is truly the way you would like to spend this day- order the turkey and all of the fixings and gather around the table!

Or… take the time to sit and imagine what your BEST THANKSGIVING EVER would look and FEEL like! It’s YOUR LIFE! Don’t worry so much about if people will judge you or if you will look stupid or simply be slightly outcast. Life is short- even if it is long- live it your way!

There is a tremendous amount of freedom and joy that comes with stepping out from under the confines of the “Cultural Dictate”.

So what will it be? Turkey? Pizza? Indian Food? Thai? Peanut Butter Sandwich? Moves? Hiking? The Beach? Community Service?

Every year you have a new opportunity to re-write the script!

Your way- your day- Best Thanksgiving Ever just around the bend…. Enjoy!

Here is today’s Vital Reset ReMINDer:

“The greatest prison people live in, is the fear of what other people think”

My very best wishes for an exceptional day and to your long and vital life.