Everyone goes through an existential crisis in their lives at least once, sometimes even more than that. It is only once you go through it that you realize that life isn’t how you thought it would be. Constantly shown through media that you find yourself sooner or later, you learn to look for yourself on the outside and try to get on the popular culture bandwagon to self-discovery rather than self-creation.
Most of us take up a ton of hobbies in order to find ourselves but are often left broken-hearted when nothing seems to click. The reason behind that is that unlike lots of movies made you believe, you aren’t going to find yourself along the way. It isn’t going to be like an epiphany or a realization that hits you in the middle of the night. You were never lost, to begin with, you were a blank slate and you failed to paint on and create a masterpiece.
Why is it hard to come to terms with the idea of creating yourself?
While deconstructing popular narratives can be hard, it is the only way to know who you are and what you want to become in order to have the life that you desire. More often than not we see people telling us that there are some things that are just not in our control, that fate is in charge of how your life turns out to be, but it couldn’t be farther from the truth. You are the device that can bring about the change that you desire, and you can only do that by creating yourself like you need to.
Going through life you come to realize that life is full of structures that often make things easier for some people. There are certain rules that you have to follow, and certain boxes that you have to tick in order to get what you want. But come to think of it, no matter how many rules there are, you always see that there are exceptions. If the rules were so right and so essential to helping you figure out who you were then how are there people who are living proof of exceptions and new pathways.
We are so used to following certain structures that thinking outside of the box makes us think that we’re wired. The fear that we won’t fit in makes us look for meanings in things that structures around us have conditioned us to do. For example, if you are a teenager, you are told that you need to have a certain amount of money, dress a particular way, and eat a specific amount if you need to fit in.
So rather than creating yourself, and building your own way to success you try to go for the tested set of rules which have worked for people. Without knowing that no two journeys in life are the same and when you try to become someone else, you forget who you are in the process.
Things that hinder the creation process
While there are many things that might ruin the process of creation, one thing that is seen rampant in today’s society is the victim mentality. We look at ourselves as victims of society, culture, tradition, and present expectations.
Whenever we hit a dead end we think “well that is what was written” or “this always happens to me”. We find a way to put the responsibility of our shortcomings and failure onto others and let life pass us by, rather than grabbing it and choosing to live it by creating ourselves the way we think is right.
Lack of responsibility:
Another reason why we often lack to create ourselves is that we are scared to take responsibility. For example, if we follow a certain path that is set for us by society and our families, at least if we don’t end up somewhere we have someone to blame.
However, if we take a road that is new, every hurdle that comes that way will be our problem to deal with and that often scares us to the point that we want the easy way out. In doing so, we look for ourselves in a world filled with lost souls rather than create meaning for ourselves.
Trying to fit in:
Trying to fit in is another example of why lots of people out there feel lost. We try to be something that we aren’t and try to fit in boxes that limit us and cut our possibilities short.
Society nowadays has an obsession with fitting in and that is why we cannot create ourselves because we are scared to take the road untaken.
Society has also associated shame with being different, which results in the masses all trying to be the same.
In doing so, young hearts are lost along with passion and drive that makes you stand out. Restricted by the feeling of shame, our ability to create is lost.
Shame is a tool used to regulate us in ways we cannot comprehend.
We let our mind be controlled:
Last but not least we, willingly let ourselves be controlled by the structures in place. We do so to avoid shame and fit in but we end up losing ourselves along the way.
In order to overcome these hurdles, we need to strip ourselves of all the chains and create ourselves not in someone else’s image, but a force to be reckoned with. The best way to do that is to imagine yourself 15- 20 years from now and ask yourself what you want. Once you get an answer then create and build yourself with everything you need to get there.
How to create yourself
In order to gain the ability to create yourself, you will need to let go of the “victim mentality”. Rather than thinking “well that is what was written” or “this always happens to me”, think “why did things around me play out a certain way?” and “why such things always happen to me?” and “what can you do to change that?”.
You need to empower yourself, and you alone can do it. You aren’t a Disney princess, there is no prince charming who will move heaven and earth to change your life, you are a fearless force to be reckoned with, and that you need to realize on your own.
Try to stand out:
Know that it is okay to stand out, when you create yourself you are going to be different and that is okay. Being different shouldn’t be associated with shame, it is something to be proud of.
When you were a kid and you had a toy that no one else had done that made you feel pride? Or were you sad and sulking in the corner? We’re pretty sure you thought you were special, and now it’s your time to realize that you are.
Break a few rules:
Know that these rules weren’t here since the beginning of time and they won’t always be here. In order to feel wholesome and get rid of this existential crisis that you are now experiencing, all you need to do is be honest to yourself and work towards creating the best version of yourself.
If you don’t agree with something then, find alternatives, let your mind run free, and cater to every solution that it brings to you. Know that there is nothing that can be too wild or too unconventional. Everything that you might think isn’t possible is only that way because no one has tried yet.
So, you should know that no one has ever become their best version sticking to rules and not thinking for themselves.
Learn to unlearn:
You should try to understand now that you can’t just wake up one day and say I am going to do everything differently just for the sake of it, you need to learn how to manipulate the system according to your needs. You need to know about the structures in order to learn how to exist outside them.
For example, you wouldn’t know how someone is manipulating you if you don’t know what manipulation is, just like many people do not know when they are in toxic relationships because they don’t know what toxic relationships are like and what normal relationships can be like.
So, learn about the tools that are used to regulate your ways and then rebel when you have a way out. Know that creating yourself can only be possible when you are free from structural constraints.
Granted that what you need to do is also a list of boxes you need to tick, they are a set of things that can enhance your creativity, give you back the power, and open your mind to many possibilities. Try to look at everything critically and once have the power to see that you aren’t a Disney princess with a lost shoe you need to find, you’ll have the clarity to create yourself and build the life that you have dreamt of.