On a recent vacation, my son wanted to hang out with the older kids at our campground. They were all riding their bikes (which he loves to do), so he followed them, hoping to fit in.
He was rejected and sent away because he was wearing his helmet. So, he came back to our site, saying he wanted to leave it behind.
Right now, we are his inner voice. He needs his parents to provide guidance until he can make the best decisions for himself. We insisted on the helmet, even if it meant he couldn’t hang with the “cool kids.”
Within an hour, our son was surrounded by all sorts of kids. Kids with helmets. One of them had a mohawk helmet. Another had camouflage. Kids came out of the woodwork once they saw our son, who rode alone rather than give up something he loves, with his helmet on.
One of the cool kids even came over and asked if he could borrow one of our son’s helmets. They were okay because they are motorcycle helmets vs traditional bike helmets. Suddenly, being safe was cool.
The lesson from our son is, do what you love on your terms. Be safe. Take care of your person.
If you have to sacrifice your comfort to fit it, don’t. You’ll be amazed the example you can set, simply by being yourself. Don’t chase a tribe that isn’t good for you. Build one that is.