Sometimes, conforming to what’s expected gets to be too much and, well, too dull. That’s when it’s time to reconnect with your inner rebel.
Sometimes, I get tired of conforming to what’s expected of me. You may feel the same. My life is full of ‘shoulds’ – I should drink more water, eat less sweets, go to bed earlier and work harder. But it’s hard work trying to live up to that ‘should’ version of yourself.
Even when I add positive things to my to-do-list, they become a challenge: ‘I should meditate every day; I should set up the paints or finish that painting instead of starting on something new; I should go for a walk every evening.’ Something that could be life affirming and pleasant suddenly loses its appeal. That’s when I start to beat myself up. It’s tough to measure up to those high standards. And it’s also boring.
At these times, I like to call upon an old friend of mine who’s usually around and always ensures I cut myself some slack and seek out some fun in my life. She pushes me to do things that make me smile and try fresh activities. With her encouragement, I might sign up for a class or book a long weekend away to somewhere unexpected. She might just say: ‘ Forget the to-do-list – let’s enjoy something new to eat, or ‘that dress look great on you, wear it today and smile at everyone you meet.’
This wonderful woman is my inner rebel. She’s like an old friend you loved to hang out with – the one who’d always say ‘yes’ to a night on the town or an unplanned road trip. You liked her and enjoyed her company, but somewhere along the way to becoming an adult, you lost her number.
Rule-breaker or Innovator?
It can be easy to think negatively about the word rebel (whether used a noun or a verb). It might take you back to the days of your teenage years when you were so desperately trying to escape parental constraints and become independent.
In the wider sense, rebels are often regarded as reckless rule-breakers, people who swim against the tide for the sake of it. Yet where would we be without the non-conformists who demand change and refuse to accept the status quo? Where would we be without the disruptors and innovators who follow their own path and those who choose to write, paint or act despite repeatedly being told to ‘knuckle down and get a proper job’?
Being a rebel can boost your confidence. Putting on those glamorous heels for no reason at all takes some courage, but it’s all worth it as I throw my shoulders back and walk with a touch more swagger. I might be wearing the same clothes I’ve always worn, but the heels bring confidence. I’ve taken a step outside my comfort zone and perhaps tomorrow I’ll take another.
One small thing I do each day is to wear something new from my closet. I have a lot of new clothes and clothes that are more adventurous than I had previously. The arm holes may extend lower, the sleeves may be puffier, or it may just be a material that at one time I wasn’t comfortable with wearing. I get a lot of compliments on my style and I like to think that one day, the person complimenting me will take the plunge and wear something they wouldn’t normally. I think it would be fun to live in a world with more rebels.
If you admire the free spirited, if you’d love to add more adventure in to your life, if you’re itching to surprise people, now could be the time to get in touch with your inner rebel. Your act of rebellion can be large or small, visible or invisible, and only if it’s legal and it can’t hurt anyone else.
Your rebel might be ready to throw on those fancy shoes; ready to channel your inner rock star and dance wildly around the living room; to stay out late on a school night; to book a trip to Las Vegas; or simply to wear green mascara. Whatever the act, your inner rebel is ready and waiting.