Life is defined by the choices we make.
This is why lots of practice in making choices really matters. The only way to do well in life is to be willing to risk doing badly. Good kids/adults avoid making mistakes and then end up avoiding choices.
Parents like kids to embrace their values, i.e. “You can’t have him as a boyfriend, he doesn’t make enough money.” (or perhaps your peers feel that way). Too often good people don’t find their own way. Instead they listen to others to make their decisions.
Their perception is that to be wrong is terrible. This is untrue. In fact, when someone is immediately successful they don’t learn much at all.
Many young people bury themselves in how to look right to their peers by wearing the cool clothes, drinking when they don’t want to and avoiding their own choices. They end up dishonest with their friends and more importantly dishonest with themselves.
Many people arrive in my office, describing themselves as lost. One prescription to cure this would be to practice making choices coupled with knowing deep down in your soul that it’s ok to make mistakes.
Many people swallow booze because they don’t like life when it lacks the idiosyncratic touch of making their own choices. Avoiding choices means avoiding ownership of your life.
Trade in the goodness for more authenticity. Determine your own choices so that you aren’t merely a chameleon, taking on the colors of your surroundings. Risk disagreement more often when that is what is authentic.
Many years ago Sonia Nevis, my favorite master therapist said, “You know what’s bad about daycare? Kids have to be good for too long.” She went on to say all her grandchildren were in daycare & when they visited her she would encourage them to make mischief. At any age it is worth it to make some mischief by trying out new choices in your own life.
One of the ways I know people are done with treatment is because they’re happier and more authentic in their relationships and their new choices are a big part of how they got there.