Between external events and internal experience, you are the decision-maker. What happens on the outside cannot touch what happens on the inside, unless you allow it. You do not have to absorb the common attitudes you experience or accept the messages you repeatedly hear. Those come from outside you. The important question is, what comes from inside you?
This is not about being defiant. It is aligning with what is principled over what is popular. It is acting more from self-awareness than purely self-interest. It is choosing your way rather than allowing external forces to dictate it to you.
Like me, you are exposed to influence and expectations, the clear and the confusing, truth and lies, wisdom and ignorance, helpful advice and dangerous distractions.
Things happen around you and things happen to you, but those things are not you. You are what you choose to be.