Anyone who has decided to strike off the mainstream path has experienced this: Strong admonitions and warnings against what they were doing, and pressures not do it.
It doesn’t really matter what it is you’re trying to change. If you’re trying to become a nondrinker in a drinking culture, if you’re trying to quit eating junk food, if you’re trying to become a vegetarian or otherwise have a different diet, this will have happened to you.
If you decide to pursue a nontraditional career path (artist, entrepreneur, etc), you will have experienced this.
If you try to live a different lifestyle than the people around you – for instance, rising each day at 4:30AM and sleeping early instead of partying, you will have experienced this.
People will pressure and cajole you in many different ways to keep doing it the old way. Almost always, it will be phrased as though they’re looking after your best interest.I feel this is one reason why so many have trouble beating addiction: some people are subconsciously rooting for the addiction.
Because of this phenomenon, there are many people who try to hide the fact that they are trying to excel, or believe something different, or trying to kick a habit. They hide behind the mask of the average when in public. Not only does this cause a lot of stress, there is the added risk of becoming the person you are pretending to be.
To paraphrase Nietzsche:
When you stare into the Abyss of the Average, the Abyss stares back into you.