In a world that often dictates what we ‘should’ do, it can be challenging to prioritize our authentic desires over societal expectations. The pressure to conform to societal norms can lead us down a path that doesn’t align with our true selves. As a mental health therapist, I understand the importance of embracing authenticity and the impact it can have on our well-being. 

The first step in prioritizing what you want over societal expectations is self-awareness. Take the time to reflect on your values, passions, and long-term goals. Understanding your authentic self is crucial in making decisions that resonate with your innermost desires. As you delve into this process, consider the social constructs that may have influenced your beliefs about what you ‘should’ do. Identifying these influences allows you to challenge them and make choices that are truly your own. 

People watching, a practice I thoroughly enjoy, can provide valuable insights into the various ways individuals navigate societal expectations. Observing how others balance their desires with external pressures can offer inspiration and perspective. It’s essential to recognize that everyone faces this internal struggle, making it a shared human experience. 

Once you’ve gained a clear understanding of your authentic self, the next step is cultivating the courage to defy societal expectations. This involves breaking free from the fear of judgment and embracing the uniqueness that sets you apart. It’s important to remember that societal norms are not one-size-fits-all, and what works for one person may not work for another. 

In my experience, I’ve witnessed the transformative power of authenticity. Clients who prioritize their desires over societal expectations often report increased satisfaction and a sense of fulfillment. This process can lead to enhanced mental well-being, as individuals align their actions with their true selves. 

However, it’s crucial to acknowledge that navigating authenticity is an ongoing journey. It requires constant self-reflection and a willingness to adapt as your authentic self evolves. Surrounding yourself with a supportive network, whether friends, family, or a therapist, can provide encouragement and validation as you choose what you want over societal expectations. 

In conclusion, embracing authenticity involves understanding your true self, challenging societal influences, and cultivating the courage to prioritize your desires. I encourage individuals to embark on this journey, knowing that the pursuit of authenticity is a valuable investment in their overall well-being. And always, worth it, even if the perceived ‘risks’ or ‘costs’ are looming. 

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