The further you deny it, the more you are lying to yourself. The environment which you are directly exposed to, will always influence you. How much so however, is dependent on you.
Think about it, when you are a child you are rewarded for displaying good behaviour and punished for misbehaving. Your parents influenced you.
When you’re in school, you are rewarded with awards and commended for good grades. When the opposite occurs you are encouraged to improve. Your teachers influenced you.
When you are in the workforce, you are rewarded for achieving your KPIs with raises and promotions and if you fail to do so, you aren’t. Your superiors influenced you.
When you work out, you are rewarded with visual attention from others if you are fit, and invisible to many if you’re unfit. The general public influenced you.
Simply, you gain validation for effort, you seek reward for effort, and you’re influenced by external factors.
Think about how much of your actions that you perform regularly come from pure desire within and how much of it is due to external rewards and punishments.
Whether it’s money, affection, validation, it’s no surprise to see that factors that arise from others lead to many of our motivations and actions.
You’re simply a product of your environment, a human being of your times. What’s around you has shaped you to who you are, the cultures you have gained exposure to, have impacted your viewpoints, your values, your mindset.
Simply consider on a hypothetical basis that you were born in a different era, or another culture, you would be so different to what you are now. You may struggle to recognise yourself. You could be studying something completely different. You could be working in a different profession. Your hobbies and interests could be vastly dissimilar to what they are right now.
Many people would like to believe that their actions come purely from internal desire, but once you think about it. Much of what you do is due to factors around you, impacting you.