11 Struggles Of Free-Spirited Individuals

You’re a free spirit who just can’t be contained and you are extremely lucky in many ways. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have a few struggles to contend with too.

You don’t feel constrained by the cultural conventions or obligations that the vast majority of people live their lives by.

You’re someone who’s torn up the rule book and just does things your way. Someone who is incredibly imaginative, has a ‘different’ kind of lifestyle, or doesn’t see the world through the same lens as other people. You do what you believe to be right rather than seeking the opinion of others.

Other people might view your willingness to try new things and take risks as courageous, but to a free-spirited individual like you, life wouldn’t be worth living without pushing the boundaries now and again.

Basically, you aren’t interested in conforming to what society dictates is the ‘normal’ way to live your life.

…you follow your heart instead.

Free spirits can come in all shapes and sizes. You might care deeply about other people’s feelings, or you might not. You might be willing to compromise, or you might not. You might be irresponsible, or you might not.

You might have chosen to set your spirit free, or you might have just been born that way.

What all guardians of free spirits share, however, is a love for life.

The rewards outweigh the struggles, if you ask me, but that doesn’t mean that, in our society, free spirits don’t struggle in myriad ways…

1. You’re perceived as irresponsible.

For people whose spirits don’t identify as free, anyone with a roaming spirit is perceived to be irresponsible or flighty.

Because you’ve chosen to take the road less travelled, it can be hard for you to convince people that you’re (probably) as responsible as the next person.

2. There’s no roadmap.

The good thing about doing what everyone else does in life is that countless people have done it before you, meaning there’s a clear roadmap laid out, and plenty of examples to follow.

If you choose not to follow a path that others have gone down before, then it’s up to you to feel your way without a map or any footprints in the sand to guide you.

3. It’s more obvious when you get things wrong.

Because you’ve struck out on your own and left the crowd behind, you’re more exposed and visible. So when, inevitably, you fail at something, people are more likely to notice, comment, and criticize.

Whilst some lucky free spirits will also be immune to what other people think, many of us still find this deeply hurtful, and it can make us question our resolve to continue doing things our way.

Ultimately, though, we find it impossible to go back and rejoin the herd once we’ve broken away.

4. People might try to belittle your successes.

Unfortunately, your fellow humans who are less free-spirited might not be all that happy about it when you try something different and make it work.

You often don’t receive the praise or credit you deserve, and find that people try to put you down in order to make themselves feel better about their life choices.

5. You never quite fit in.

You look at other people who have large, strong friendship groups and you wonder why you’ve never had that.

It’s because labels don’t work for you, and whilst you’ll come across individuals you adore, you’re unlikely to have an extended group of friends who you can truly identify with.

You’d feel trapped by the confines that being a member of a group places on who you are as a person. You’re more of a social butterfly, flitting from group to group.

When you were young, you felt like an outcast, but as you grew, you learned to love your ability to bond with all kinds of different people.

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6. You romanticize everything, and can sometimes misjudge people.

Free spirits can see the beauty in everything. You know how to appreciate the small things in life, from the way the sun’s rays penetrate a window to the sound of the rain on your tent.

You see the positives in everything and stay optimistic.

When you meet new people, you see the good in them, and either choose to ignore – or are entirely unaware of – the bad.

It can take much longer for you to identify their flaws than it would someone who doesn’t take such a romantic view of the world. This can get you into sticky situations.

7. You never take anyone else’s word for it.

This is one that can cause you pain, but also makes your life so much richer. You love learning new things and have an insatiable appetite for exploration.

If someone warns you that something isn’t a good idea, you probably do it anyway, as you need to see for yourself. After all, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger… right?

You often wind up getting hurt when you try something new or meet someone new because you just have to know what it feels like, and are eternally curious about what might happen.

On the plus side, you always grow, and come out of the experience as a wiser person.

8. You can never stay still for too long.

You’ve probably got a serious case of wanderlust… or just ants in your pants.

Most free spirits want to see the world, but it might be new challenges that are your drug, with your location not mattering all that much to you.

Exploration excites you, and you’re good at sussing out new people, ideas, and places that you come across.

Once you’re familiar with something, somewhere, or even someone, your mind will turn to the next challenge. If you don’t have continual change in your life, you get bored.

That can mean you change jobs as often as you change your clothes, spend all your money on travelling, or have had a long string of relationships.

It can be hard to say goodbye to the people and places you’ve come to love, and there are bound to be tearful partings, but the flip side to that is the joyous reunions.

If you’ve found somewhere, something, or someone you become especially attached to, it can often lead to an internal war between the side of you that wants to stay and the side of you that will never want to stop exploring.

9. You think you know better.

And, although you often do, that isn’t what your mother, teacher, or employer wants to hear.

You’re creative and sharp, so you often come up with better ways to do things than the way you’re told to do them, which can sometimes rub people up the wrong way.

10. You hate being the same as anyone else.

Your free-spirited nature means that you rarely end up doing the same thing or even wearing the same thing as anyone else around you. So when someone does show up wearing the same dress, you really struggle with it.

You definitely don’t believe you’re better than anyone else, but you do thrive off being different. So that outfit isn’t likely to see the light of day for another few years, by which time no one else will be wearing it.

11. You grow out of friendships.

Your free spirit means that you’re constantly living new experiences and always growing and changing. Many of your friendships just won’t be able to keep up with that.

Whilst there will be some fellow free spirits that will grow alongside you, you may well find that you no longer have anything in common with your best friend from high school.

It can be sad when you realize that a friendship with someone who’s been a big part of your life has died a death, but it’s important to accept it, wish them well and move on.

It’s worth it… 

Life as a free spirit will always be rich, rewarding, and full of surprises.

There may be fleeting moments of doubt where you wish you could just be happy and content with the way things are. Where you don’t have to be constantly on the search for the new and exciting.

But despite the struggles, I don’t think any free spirit would ever consider a personality transplant… even if they had the option.

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About Author

Katie is a writer and translator with a focus on travel, self-care and sustainability. She's based between a cave house in Granada, Spain, and the coast of beautiful Cornwall, England. She spends her free time hiking, exploring, eating vegan tapas and volunteering for a local dog shelter.