Fighting the need for approval

I feel like I’m becoming a professional eavesdropper. I was sitting at a coffee shop yesterday and two girls sat at the table next to me. They seemed to be in their mid 20’s and were discussing their future plans. One of the girls is in medical school but has now realized that she made that decision to make her parents proud. She’s always had an unconventional passion for mechanics which her parents never seemed to approve of as a worthy career option. Now with robotics on the rise she feels she needs to follow that route but is scared to disappoint her family. She feels that her parents are expecting her to become the academic in the family and that they won’t approve of her new path.

Her friend asked her a wise question, she’s asked “at what price are you willing to please your family?” She then exclaimed “just follow your path and the world will adjust.”

I loved it! So much that I made it my Instagram post.

The girl is faced with a challenge most of us face at a certain stage in our lives – some later than others. She is facing the cognitive dissonance between our need for approval and our need for autonomy and choosing to follow our own path.

Be you. The world will adjust.

Also published on Medium.

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