Have you ever been held back by yourself from doing something that you really desire and regretted later over the years for not having done anything about it?
When we were children, we were taught that if we touch fire, we burn. So growing up we learned not to play with fire, not to touch things when they're hot, not to play with a knife because it's dangerous, not to express ourselves because the other person might not like it, not to say what's on our mind because it might not be socially acceptable and not to be who we are because we might not fit in.
We live our life on what ifs. It's good to weigh the probabilities but when what we've learned is the weighing the probabilities of negatives, it will always outweigh the positive. What if I said the wrong thing? What if they don't agree with me? What if it makes me look like a fool? What if it's not relevant? What if...
But did you notice that your what if's are usually one of three things; they're usually unrealistic, pessimistic or programmed by the society? When you ask 'what if', you interrupt the possibilities in your life and replace them with actions expected by others, you stop following your intuition and start letting the outside world dictate the inside world, you start questioning yourself and stop believing in your desires, you place limiting beliefs on yourself that stop you in your tracks, you create unwanted results and are left with the consequences. Then the vicious cycle begins. Of course, this may be a case of extreme exaggeration but generally, we humans are extremely good at doing things we don't like, saying things that we don't mean, living a life we don't desire and getting results we don't want.
Fitting in -- to belong is the biggest human instinct.
I've been carefully observing and studying people over the years why they do what they do. It comes down to this; to belong and fear of not being able to belong. I've seen people who took a job that they hate simply because they thought that was what their partner wanted. I've seen people holding themselves from sharing their message simply because they believed it wasn't right by the social norms. And I've seen people lying to themselves about them lying to themselves.
// What would it be like if we were to live our truth, speak our mind and live a life that truly has meaning for us?
// How would it change your life if you were to start choosing what you truly desire, not what you think is acceptable by our culture?
// How could our future be different if we were to share our message bravely and openly to one another?
// What would it be like to start being honest with ourselves?
However, we can't achieve any of that unless we tackle this one.
Recently I shared my message with someone where I was asked "What are your expectations?" I had no answer because I had no expectation.
To expect has become a norm in our society. We live by our own expectations and other people's expectations. However, expectations are fantasy and when fantasy doesn't meet reality, we are let down.
When we feel the need to fulfill someone else's expectations, our life is under obligation. When we live our life with obligations, we are not living. We are only existing. When we are existing, we are not experiencing life anymore.
A norm becomes a norm when we all start collectively doing things in a similar fashion. What if, starting from today, we stop existing, start living and stop fulfilling other people's expectations? Could it become our new norm?
The first step to collectively create this shift is awareness. Awareness of where we are, awareness of our thoughts and awareness of our own insecurities. However, awareness alone is not enough. It must be followed by a decision to make that conscious shift and the action to start doing so.
So today, my aim is to seed an idea within you so that awareness may come to life when it's time.
"I am open to the guidance of synchronicity, and do not let expectations hinder my path" -- Dalai Lama
Arabelle Yee is a leading Business Psychology & Strategy Coach working with start-up women entrepreneurs from all over the world. When she's not coaching, she's either meditating, writing, reading or out in the nature with her dog.
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