The human mind is truly a contradictory thing. Most people claim to have good intentions and wish the best for people, but rarely is it so.
To observe this, merely undertake any serious undertaking to improve yourself or acquire a real skill. Any such undertaking requires serious commitment, dedication and discipline, something that is unfathomable to the majority of lazy, narcissistic entitled brats out there.
Initially, such an undertaking will be met with praise and cheers. Make no mistake, most of these people don’t expect you to stick to it. They are actually sniggering behind your back and betting how long till you give up.
As you stick to your path of self improvement or skill acquiring, you will notice a change in the attitude of your peers. The encouragement is all but gone. You will notice subtle jabs at your new hobby, accusations of you not being “yourself”, accusations of you spending less time with your friends, accusations of you being obsessed.
If you are weak-willed, you will think something is wrong with you, when in fact the opposite is true. The issue here is that you are directly challenging their reality. In their minds, living healthy and getting fit is hard, learning piano is hard, getting better with girls is hard. In order to preserve their fragile egos, you will hear all the usual BS:”You should be happy just as you are. You don’t need to change.”
You accomplishing or being on the way to accomplish something they have tried and failed at, or worse, haven’t even had the courage to try, is a direct attack on their lifestyle. How they cope with it is a testament to their character. Do they take this opportunity to critically self-examine and make the changes they have always wanted, knowing someone in their close personal circle has done it, or do they protect their fragile egos and hide behind a veneer of snark, and being perfectly secure in their achievements(mostly, the lack of) and attack you as being try hard?
The path of self improvement will help you identify the rotten apples in your circle. They are the ones who not content to hate, will actually try to sabotage your attempts. Losing weight? Let me bring home your favorite junk food. Trying to workout every other day? Let’s binge drink, get high, smoke and sniff. When you refuse, they will guilt trip you, saying that your hobby is more important than your friends. These are the people who do not want you to succeed.
You failing reinforces their worldview, preserves their ego and keeps your value relatively close to theirs. Unfortunately, most people are like this to some extent. Even family and loved ones can sometimes be guilty of this.
The root is their own insecurity. Deep down, everyone knows that they can improve in certain areas, learn something they’ve always wanted to know and accomplish objectives they have always dreamed of. Yet, the fear of failure and the effort required rebukes a whole lot of people. When they see someone overcoming that fear and putting in the effort, they cannot help but feel self-conscious and to assuage their amygdala, they have to do or say something that demeans what you are doing.
Therefore, realize no one cares whether you succeed or not. Ultimately, your success only truly matters to YOU. When you realize that you should be doing things for your own approval, your mindset completely changes. How many of us truly do things for US rather than to conform to the image society has of us and to seek approval of others? No external motivation will be strong enough to be a catalyst for true change. Have the iron will, the determination and the ambition to strive above the herd. Do things for your own pleasure and gratification, not for other’s approval. Ultimately, most of the people’s approval you seek do not care or worse, they want you to fail. Disregard them and focus on what you want for yourself.
That is true independence.