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Tristan Fisher's guide to 
LIVING OUTSIDE OF SOCIETAL NORMS

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Tristan Caitlyn Fisher , @tc.fisher


WHERE ARE YOU FROM?

Johannesburg, South Africa

WHY DO YOU THINK PEOPLE FEAR LIVING OUTSIDE OF SOCIETAL NORMS?

Society has shaped our mindsets to conform to it’s “normal” whether this be a false narrative for what normal is, which it more often than not is, or a perspective of what has been normalized. 
I don’t necessarily think people fear living outside of societal norms, but rather we fail to pin point these perspectives because it’s all we know or see or have been brought up with [or] we have comfort in trends, because that means you’re creative but in a parameter, making it accepted and not questioned. 
But in terms of fear, I believe people are more afraid of the idea of being themselves in a world that judges so easily than the idea of conforming to societal norms. 

DID YOU ALWAYS LIVE OUTSIDE THE NORM? OR DID IT COME WITH TIME?

Not at all! Really just being myself, living outside of what’s expected came when I accepted myself and began accepting and learning to love myself. 
I’ve started doing more things on impulse (not life changing scenarios that need careful consideration though, there’s still a balance that needs to be found with living your life and destroying it) so that I don’t second guess myself and overthink it. 

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HAVE YOU EXPERIENCED BACKLASH FROM WALKING YOUR OWN PATH?

Yes. Mainly coming from people closer to me who are the type to conform. There’s confusion and questions that results in the backlash, which is understandable, not everyone is open minded and just lives, that comes with growth. 

DO YOU THINK THERE IS A COST TO "FOLLOWING THE CROWD"?Yourself. You are the cost :) and I say this because in following the crowd, you’re giving up yourself. You’re giving up the aspect of originality that each and everyone possesses. But when you follow the crowd, you just become a photocopy. Nothing unique or special to it.

WHY SHOULDN'T YOU LIVE YOUR LIFE ACCORDING TO OTHERS EXPECTATIONS?

Everyone has their own path and purpose to fulfill, one’s expectations are not your destiny. However, there is a difference between guidance and expectation, guidance would help you live life with a broader idea of the path you want to follow, expectation is your journey written for you.

HOW DO YOU STAY TRUE TO YOURSELF IN A WORLD THAT SAYS OTHERWISE?

Its difficult! Stagnation can be your downfall. I constantly evolve, it sounds easier said than done but it also involves tears, but that’s tears of strength.
Sometimes what will help you remain grounded is something(one) you need to let go of, or it’s simply something outside of your comfort zone. God as well. His word keeps me rooted. I have an affirmation that I say daily, it’s “I am made in the perfect image of God. I don’t chase, I attract. I am me and that is my power. We are all focused on ourselves.”
The thirteen your old me would have never believed 18 year old me when I say reading and learning is one of the biggest role players in remaining “self driven” instead of “society driven”. I love to read educational and spiritual books or listen to audio books that teach me about inner power, self awareness and self love. 

WHAT DO YOU THINK LIFE WOULD BE LIKE WITHOUT SOCIETAL NORMS?

Chaos. Societal norms are good to a point. It depends on the topic of conversation, whether it be characteristics, dress, behaviorism or in general. But generalized, societal normals set boundaries.


WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE STRUGGLING WITH THIS?

Change your mindset! The moment you adopt a main character mindset, that’s when society’s voice becomes insignificant. Yes, guidance is good sometimes, but not at the expense of you becoming YOU and not ideas of the world. Learn to love yourself, put energy into yourself, “date” yourself and learn to value your own opinion. The only way you’ll live outside of societal norms and expectations is if you do so in your mind already, confidently and genuinely.

IF YOU COULD TELL YOUR YOUNGER SELF ONE THING, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

No one sees what you see. No one even cares. We’re all fixated by ourselves and our own flaws. No one notices your textures skin and acne, or that you’re short or what you think are flaws. 

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