12 Most Definitive Ways To “Graduate” High School For Good!!!
For most of us High School sucked. For those “chosen few” who seemed to fly through the halls with the utmost of ease, they too were developing limiting paradigms and constrictive patterns based on assimilation, fitting in, being popular and doing what was “right.”
You mean, the cheerleader, homecoming queen and star quarterback dealt with the same stuff I did? Yep. The outward appearance may have seemed different, but inside all of us were trying to forge identities with who we were, what we wanted our lives to look like and live up to our own expectations.
What we don’t realize is that once we graduate, a lot of our survival mechanisms that were put in place during our formative years continue to kick in and dictate our lives, making us act out of habits that we’ve long outgrown. They leave us feeling stuck, powerless, unhappy and unable to push past our own self-created boundaries. Life, however, isn’t about surviving. It’s about thriving. And one way to begin to thrive is to become aware of the things we learned — in and out of the classroom — that keep us from accessing our true potential.
So let’s skip school permanently and get on with what we came here to truly do.
1. Quit conforming!
It’s not about adding something to yourself, it’s about being yourself. You don’t have to “do” anything to stand out and be different. By authentically being you, you’re already being different.
2. Forget about “right” and “wrong”
Often, these are societal constructs that reward “correct behavior.” We all have a basis of morality, act on that. Don’t be driven by how you or anyone else thinks you should be or act.
3. Reconnect to your adventurous self
Get up and get out on an adventure. Forget about what’s on MTV and what’s trending on twitter. Find what you lost in between 4th and 9th grade; that adventurous, curious kid in you.
4. Forget about grades
Just start doing everything. Even things you don’t do “well.” No one is marking down a grade for anything you create now; you have no one to answer to but yourself. So just decide to do what you do and do it fully. You are the student and the teacher now.
5. Let go of opinions
Really, they have nothing to do with you. Forget them! Opinions have never shaped reality; they only betrayed one’s biases. Release the obsession with trying to be cool. Remember the really cool kids who didn’t have to act like it. Remember The Fonz?
6. Take responsibility
The common denominator in every situation you have ever been in is you. Improve yourself and you will improve your situations.
7. Learn self-reliance
You are the only one who is responsible for your own happiness for the rest of your life. Learn to rely on yourself. At the core that’s all there is. Your friends and family are support, but in the end its only you.
8. Listen to your right brain
Re-learn that language of emotion, freedom and creativity. It will inform every important decision for the rest of your life as well as be the engine of your every creation.
9. Cease judgments!
Let go of any addiction you have to judging other people or yourself. It doesn’t matter what she likes to wear or what food you might prefer. We already saw that right and wrong are just perspectives anyway.
10. Get over it
Had a past trauma, fight or hostility with a friend or family member? Move on. It may take a lot of work, therapy, forgiveness or silly exercises, but do them. You can’t move forward if you’re constantly looking in the rearview mirror.
11. Search out your blocks and crush them!
This requires incredible bravery. But the act of doing makes things easier. If you have a fear of heights, go skydiving. Scared of talking to a new girl or guy? Take some pickup classes (yes, those exist). Your fears contain the seeds of your growth. But not if let them lie dormant.
12. Forget everything you “know”
If you let go of pre-conceived notions and allow yourself to be open-minded to every new situation, you will be quite surprised what you might learn. If your brain is too full there won’t be room for the new.
These steps are designed to break you out of old patterns that many people develop during a strange, hormonal and scary part of our lives. If they hardly served you then, why would they serve you now? Try one a week on something small that stretches you out of your comfort zone. As you begin to engage in the world in a new way, you’ll have insight as to how certain demons from high school have held you back. No more prom stress! No more worrying that people will laugh at you for wearing braces. You can let go of those old fears and paradigms. No need to repeat 7th grade problems. You’ve graduated. And doesn’t that feel good to know!
What are your silliest high school habits?
Featured image courtesy of construct via Creative Commons.