Tag Archives: independent thinker

Start your own parade


Photo by Dmitry Dzhus

Start your own parade

Have you ever noticed someone doing something daring or brave and thought to yourself, ‘If they can do it then that means it’s okay for me to do it”. What I am referring to in the title of this blog “Start your own parade”, is that we don’t need permission to do anything but often we feel we do. We are socially conditioned to fit in, be nice and tow the line.

I have wanted to do things in the past or say things but have been reluctant to do so. Fear has stopped me. Fear of rejection or humiliation. Yet when I see someone else doing it, it somehow seems that I now have permission.

This concept of needing permission is just a perception though, it is a belief that I have chosen to obey. I can just as easily choose not to obey a thought or adapt an outdated belief.

Start your own parade – do what you want to do. Be brave -a pioneer, a front runner. You don’t need permission and you certainly don’t need to wait for someone else to do it first for it to be acceptable. This is what I have learned recently and I wanted to share.

So get out there, say what you want, do what you wish – be kind and be inspiring, the world needs you!

Mandy X

Reject rigid rules


rules photo

Reject rigid rules

Let’s get one thing straight. I’m not talking about breaking the law. I do however think it is important to reject rigid rules when it comes to your subjective world. In Cognitive Behavioural therapy, we talk about unhelpful thinking styles (also known as cognitive distortions) and one of these is black and white thinking – also known as rigid rules.

Rigid thinking styles limit you in life – they narrow your focus and make you judgemental. The more rigid your thinking is, the more rules you tend to live by. The inevitable result is that the more rules you have for life, the more often they will be broken.

Some common rigid rules:

People must always like me

I am only worthy if I am in a relationship

I am only good enough if I have lots of money

People must see me as successful

Life should always go smoothly

I should not have to experience any set backs

It’s my parent’s fault

I should cope all the time

Showing emotion is a sign of weakness

The above examples lead to anxiety and stress as we try to live according to them and find they are constantly being challenged. The key to contentment is psychological flexibility. Learn to go with the flow more. Open up your thinking and look for other ways to look at your life and your attitudes. The easier you find it to adapt your thinking and reject rigid rules, the happier you will be for it.

Life won’t always go as planned (in fact it rarely does). You will find that acceptance rather than resistance works much better. Rigidly trying to make the outside world conform to your rules is a waste of energy and won’t ultimately work. Know your values of course but live with an open mind. Be curious…you may learn far more than if you stick doggedly to your rigid rules.

Mandy X