We all comform. We stick to dress-codes and trends and have similar habits, beliefs and mindsets. Let’s talk about why this can be a bad thing and how you can break out of it.
What is Conformity?
In general Conformity can be described as a tendency to align your beliefs and your actions with people around you. In short: We yield to group-pressure and end up doing and even believing things simply because other peopleare doing the same thing.
Why do we conform?
Conformity is a very human phenomenon. In the history of mankind it has always been a safe choice to go along with a group especially in times of uncertainty. Even as kids we are usually rewarded for following the dynamics of a group and this positive association has remained until now. We conform because we want to be part of a group and are afraid of being different and therefore rejected by others.
Why is this a bad thing?
Conformity itself is not a bad thing. It provides orientation but also stops us from stepping into our uniqueness. We all have different needs, talents and dreams. By chosing the convenient path of conforming to a group we will not do what makes us happy. If we all follow eachother there will never be room for innovation or progress. It needs people who have the courage to break out of the ordinary to bring this world forward, scary though it may seem!
What happens if we don’t conform?
For the longest time in my life I would suppress my needs and ambitions because I wanted to fit in with people around me. I didn’t want them to look at me as an outsider. The funny thing is that most people actually wish they had the courage to do something extraordinary. And they want to bring you down to cover their own frustration and insecurity. If anybody rejects you for being yourself you do not want to have these people in your life anyways.
What will happen to You?
A lot of psychologists agree that everything is a habit. So even our fear of being ourselves is conditioned which means there is a way to turn it around! By going out and doing things that nobody expects you will get used to following your own impulses when they come up- No matter how crazy they are. After going around Times Square starting a fitness-class with random people or challenging strangers to a ‘staring-contest’ I felt free and in touch with myself. Expectations of others and norms that have been holding me back a lot in my life didn’t even seem to matter anymore and I could be myself.
How can I break out of Conformity?
The idea is very simple: ‘Do one thing every day that scares you.’ Walk backwards on the street, dress the way you wanna express yourself, ask your busdriver how his day was. Invite new things into your life and see how people react and most importantly how it affects you. After just a day with my friend Reuben McKechnie (Video) I felt much more open and connected to my needs. It is a feeling that often gets lost simple because we want to fit in. Doing the things you want is one of the best feelings in the world.
Unleashing that Freedom is a Choice that you can make.
Talk about it!
Do you think Conformity has been holding You back? Let us know how and share your thoughts in the comments as well as on Youtube, Facebook and Instagram.