Why it's worth it to stay true to yourself and why we sometimes have to say no
“Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard
Than anyone else expects you.
Never excuse yourself. Never pity yourself.
Be a hard master to yourself and be lenient to everyone else”
- Henry ward Beecher
Never have I ever Smoked, never have I ever been drinking alcohol, never have I ever smoked marijuana or taken any other drug although its common practice in my environment.
Society oftentimes forces us to adopt behavior which is not beneficial for our personal development. Just think about New Year’s Eve where a glass of champagne is common courtesy. We are in a similar situation when we refuse to give a toast to the birthday child. You will not be spared of dirty look, I know what I’m talking about, believe me. But how can you manage to
Stay true to yourself?
And not hurt anyone with your behaviour?
Staying true to yourself requires a self, an identity that is formed over the duration of one's life. That identity consists of traits, attributes and maybe most important values.
Whenever our behavior and our values are in alignment we feel an almost overwhelming harmony. But whenever we behave in a way that is conflicting with our innermost convictions and values we realize that there is something wrong. A feeling of constant, silent discontent is spreading through our body and minds.
BUT we can use this mechanism whenever we say NO to offers, Ideas and opportunities that would throw us back in our personal development. We listen to ourselves and we trust the feelings we have. We behave in a manner that reflects what our mind and body says when someone offer us a beer or a steak or asks us whether we want to go to the movies but we know we still have to hit the gym.
The result is almost always the same instead of as you might have expected feeling bad we get the sense of accomplishment as if we had done something great. Our self-esteem raises and we learn that saying no doesn’t really have any negative consequences.
But can’t a hard no be hurtful?
In my experience it is not hurtful. I like to tell people what’s up straight away. A short “oh by the way I don’t drink” to the host is sometimes enough. In most cases though you will be asked whether you will make an exception this time because it is (insert random unnecessary event here). If you give a friendly but assertive no most people understand. I my experience something amazing happens then. The same people who just tried to make you drink will now tell you how much they respect you for your assertiveness.
Most of these situation have to do with alcohol because it’s the socially most accepted drug. But if you take a closer look you will notice how many things people will allure you to not only in therms of drugs but so many bad things. Most of them are hurting your personal development or harm your health. More about that regarding the vegan lifestyle later.
That’s why we as VProActivists need to realize that when someone wants to mislead us too harmful behavior (knowingly and unknowingly). We do not need these kind of people in our lives.
Yet we have to make sure to accept everyone who decides to go a different route just like we want to be accepted. That’s the only way to get respected.
I want you to care what other people try to allure you to and say NO to the things that harm your personal development. Stay polite but assertive. Remember, the fruits of self discipline grow slowly. You might not notice a difference right away but your what you win is exponentiation over time.
Tell us what you have started and share this article with people who are supposed to stay true to themselves and the people who are supposed to start with it.
*Felix David Alexander Munchow is the founder and blog writer of Vegtivia.