At different stages in our journey through life we face pressures from parents, peers, work or family. How do you deal with peer pressure? Our ability to deal with peer pressure depends on our values, character, vision and life ambitions. While parents have the privilege to guide and steer their children in the way they should go, the executive decision ultimately lies with the individual.
From time to time we need to take stock of our lives, access our positions and make plans for our future. One way of achieving this is by comparing our achievements with that of our peers. With the right mindset and focus, this comparison should motivate the individual to be better and not serve as an excuse for competitive jealously, discouragement or inferiority complex.
Some of the pressures were are likely to be face include:
- Obedience to parents and abiding by family rules
- Living a honest and righteous life in our world of today rather than joining street gangs
- Abstinence from sex until marriage and cultivating self control
- Abstaining from binge drinking, drugs and other social vices
- Acquiring material possession in comparison to peers
- Diligence with studies and academic pursuits rather than truancy
- Social responsibility by being gainfully employed rather than exploiting the benefit systems
- Succumbing to living with a partner outside marriage
- Rushing in and out of marriage because of our biological clocks, peer and family pressure
- Pressure to have children when married
In dealing with these pressures one should:
Know who you are where you are coming from
It is important we know where we are coming from, our family history, background, values and responsibilities. Not everyone is born with a silver spoon. While your peers may be living an affluent life style under their parent’s roof, yours may be different. Your parents may not be able to afford what your peers can but it doesn’t mean they would be better of in the long run. Seasons change and that could just be a season of your life.
I remember when I was going to boarding school, my dad told me to always remember the son of who I am. Those words guided my every decision and made me aware of the consequences of any action I took. Knowing who we are in Christ sets boundaries to what you should and should not do. The bible should define us and map the route to our expected end.
Have a focus and destination
Get a vision for your future and know what you want to achieve in life. Once you can identify your purpose in life, you would not be easily distracted or derailed. Your vision would guide you in making life long decisions such as the course to study, job to take, business to start, spouse to marry, where to live etc. It would help you choose your mentors, friends and know who your enemies are. Sometimes it may seem a lonely path but do not despair or be ashamed to stand out. In the beginning you may seem weird but they would marvel when you bring in the sheaves of your harvest.
Know how to get there
You can either learn from you mistakes of from mentors. Your goals and vision for life should help you choose your mentors who will guide and instruct you in the way you should go. The same applies to choosing your friends. You shouldn’t have friends just for the sake of having friends or being in a group, your friends should be the ones that encourage you when you are down. Those that would tell you when to apply the breaks when you are going downhill. Get rid of those that would impair your vision and the naysayers.
Set short term goals and review your achievements periodically. That way you can encourage yourself with the little battles you’ve won and also you’ll be able to discern when you are about to derail.
We all are running the race of life, everyone has his or her own track and probably running at different speeds. While others may take different routes that seem faster to arrive at the same destination, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. We are bound to face pressures in life, but armed with the right word, wisdom and knowledge we can overcome and fight the good fight of faith to the end.