Is This Normal?

Written by on March 31, 2021 in Self-Determination
Is This Normal?

Are you normal? Seriously, how do you know? What set of standards do you use to determine what is (or is not) normal?

What does normal look like?

Our handy online English dictionary defines normal as, “the usual, average, routine, or typical.”

Taken at face value, one might be tempted to ask how a concept so mundane could become something to which so many aspire.

Yet most people have a powerful, at times obsessive urge to embrace the comfortable familiarity that comes with conforming to the lifestyle, behavior, and standards of those in the world they inhabit.

Consciously or not, we all do this to some degree.

The urge to fit in and be accepted is often the driving force behind our choices, from education and career to consumer purchases and even relationships.

But what if the norms in your world go against your nature?

The word ‘normal’ suggests there is a right and wrong way to be a person, and there isn’t.

Of course, that doesn’t stop us from trying.

The truth is, you might be shocked to know how many people around you expend enormous amounts of energy every day simply trying to fit in and be accepted.

Reflections on Why “Normal” is Highly Overrated

Everything you are used to, once done long enough, starts to seem natural and perfectly normal, even though it might not be. ~Julien Smith

People fear anyone who differs from what is considered normal, and in a small town, the idea of normal can be as narrow as the streets. ~Elizabeth Chandler

Normal is an idea made up by clothing companies to sell t-shirts. It doesn’t exist in nature. Everybody gets to be weird in their own special way. ~Brennan Lee Mulligan

Please understand that normal is not the same as right and wrong. Right and wrong are morality issues, normal is subjective and its definition will always vary from person to person. ~James Ruckert

The need to be normal is the predominant anxiety disorder in modern life. ~Thomas Moore

People get used to being anxious, insecure, hateful, jealous, and in various states of unpleasantness — slowly they begin to see this state of being as normal. None of these things are normal, but once you accept them, they become your normal. ~Jaggi Vasudev

The culture we live in ripples through our daily lives, sending messages about what is considered normal and healthy by society. ~Lee Harrington

It took me years to realize that normal is actually pretty boring and that being myself was harder but infinitely more rewarding. ~Franchesca Ramsey

Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for, to get to the job that you need to pay for the clothes and the car, and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it.

~Ellen Goodman

People are different. We can’t paint everyone with the same brush. Some people will Zig and some people will Zag. That doesn’t mean one is right and the other is wrong. There is no universal standard of “normal”. Allow people to be different, to be who they are. ~Akiroq Brost

There’s no such thing as normal. Normal is subjective. You can’t—and shouldn’t—force yourself to settle for what is normal and stop wanting what you truly want. It’s a sure way to make your life miserable. ~Alessandra Hazard

Every person has their eccentricities, but in an effort to be normal in the world’s eye they turn themselves inside out to hide or overcome them and in the process destroy the very things that make them who they are. ~Author Unknown

Normal is an illusion. What is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly. ~Author Unknown

Growing up I was always a target. Speaking the right way, standing the right way, holding my wrist the right way. Every day was a test, and there were a thousand ways to fail, a thousand ways to betray myself, to not live up to someone else’s standards of what was accepted, of what was normal. ~Wentworth Miller

I am not normal. I don’t want to be. I don’t pretend to be. I am unapologetically me. I dance with fear and doubt every single day and I don’t always do what I know I should. But I trust that as long as I am willing to do the work and keep going, I will find my way. ~Marquita Herald

The Takeaway

Normal is an artificial standard based on consensus and promoted by society.

Whatever preferences, activities, and behaviors are common in the corner of the world you inhabit sets the standard for what is considered to be normal.

To fit in, you may at times be pressured to change the way you think or behave a certain way, but each time you choose to adapt to the norm – to settle for being average – you risk losing a piece of yourself. 

The average person may be content, but rarely challenges their fears or pushes their limits to achieve greatness. After all, that would involve standing out from the crowd.

It takes enormous courage standout from the crowd.  

It’s easier to simply do what everyone else is doing, and be accepted as normal.

But it won’t be nearly as fun or rewarding.

Will you be the passenger or the driver in your life journey?
About Marquita A. Herald

Marquita Herald

Marquita is an author, resilience coach, and founder of Emotionally Resilient Living. She’s also an unapologetic workaholic who loves red wine, rock n’ roll, road trips (and car dancing!), peanut butter cookies, and (especially) a dog named Lucy.

She’s saddened and frustrated by excuses and cruelty and believes authentic compassion is the most powerful force in the world.

To learn more about Emotionally Resilient Living Start Here.

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