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Conforming To The Rules Followed By 99% Of People Is A Huge Blunder

Conforming To The Rules Followed By 99% Of People Is A Huge Blunder

Do you sometimes stop and question why you do things or think in a certain way? Imagine you’ve been asked to go into a room and wait with a group of strangers. You’re the last to walk in and see everyone standing by their seats but no one sits down. What do you do? Some part of you would probably question why people are opting to stand instead of sit, but chances are you’d probably decide to stand too.

Why? Because we all try to conform with those around us. This situation is a simple one but it illustrates our tendency to conform to social pressure in an attempt to feel accepted and not outcast ourselves.

Conformity Takes Away Your Sense of Self

The definition of conformity reads as ‘a type of social influence involving a change in belief or behaviour in order to fit in with a group.'[1] When we are born, we’re instantly moulded by the beliefs and attitudes of those around us, as were our parents’ and their parents’ before. But while this is looked at as a moral set of rules for us to live by, it can diminish our true sense of self making us afraid to do the things that ignite our passions and dreams.

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You may want to try your hand at becoming a writer but society says becoming a doctor is much more worthwhile so you take that path instead. You want to pack your bags and travel the world but parents and loved ones think going to university would be much more beneficial and sensible.

Even up until recently, hiding our true sexuality was necessary to avoid social exclusion and a limited quality of life all because hetrosexuality was the only acceptable form. This is demonstrating that conforming to ideals and what society deems ‘correct and incorrect’ takes away part of your identity and happiness.

It Restricts Your Happiness

Most people conform so much that they accept living their lives in order to keep in line with what other people think. But the problem comes when a sense of unhappiness that comes from not following your true path.

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Most people experience this as feeling lost in life or even described as going through a ‘mid-life crisis’ when they realise life hasn’t quite gone to plan. However, this can manifest as a result of years spent needing to conform rather than living the way that will make you the happiest.

Social conformity has the power to restrict our sense of freedom to pursue our dreams and pops up in the decision process for many of our most important decisions. But ask yourself – if no one judged what you did as a career, what person you dated or married, where you lived and how you chose to live your life, would you do anything differently?

Don’t Be Afraid To Embrace Your Individuality

The main problem with conformity and rules is the demise of individuality and our uniqueness. While many people do live this way, it is still sometimes met with hostility and a sense of judgement from people close or society as a whole.

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We live in a world that tells us we need to stand out from the crowd to be successful, but on the other hand expressing your individualism can be deemed negative. Expressing your individual style, opinions, thoughts and beliefs can often label us as attention-seeking or eccentric but who is really setting these ‘rules’?

Learning to embrace who we really are and how we live our life will bring us true happiness we all strive to find and create. Breaking free of the fear of non-conformity can bring more prosperity and contentedness into each day.

So next time you feel you’re making a decision where you contemplate what ‘society’ would think – what’s ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ – ask yourself who set those standards and do you really want to conform to them?

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Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Simple Psychology: What is Conformity?

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Jenny Marchal

A passionate writer who loves sharing about positive psychology.

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Reinvent Yourself and Change Your Life

How to Reinvent Yourself and Change Your Life

There will always be times in your life when you may need to learn how to reinvent yourself. This could come when you experience a big change, such as leaving your job, moving on from a relationship, transferring to a new home, or losing a loved one. If you are going through a major shift in your life, you may have to find new ways of thinking or doing things, or risk failing to reach your full potential.

“When something bad happens, you have three choices. You can let it define you, let it destroy you, or you can let it strengthen you.”

Many people who dared to leave their old unhappy lives enabled themselves to pursue their passions and find a renewed zest for living. You can also achieve the same if you take a leap of faith and make things happen for yourself.

To help you always be at your best wherever you may be in your life, here are some practical tips on how to reinvent yourself.

The Reinvention Checklist

Before embarking on a journey of self-reinvention, you need to make sure that you have everything that you need to make the trip bump-proof. These things include:

Resilience

Problems and obstacles are guaranteed to happen. Some of them will be difficult and may knock you off course; the important thing, however, is that you learn from these difficulties, never lose focus, and always get back up. This requires building resilience to get through the tough times.

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Support

Humans are social beings. Although it is important that you learn to rely on yourself when facing any challenge, it is also important to have a support team that you can lean on to give you a boost when things get too tough and to correct you when you’re making mistakes.

The key is to find the right balance between independence and dependence. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable and share the difficulties you’re facing. When you open up, you’ll find the people who are really going to be there for you.

Self-Care

During the process of learning how to reinvent yourself, you will have to pull yourself away from your old comfort zones, habits, roles, and self-perceptions. This can be difficult and cause you to question your self-worth, so it’s important to engage in self-care to maintain a positive outlook and keep your mind and body healthy as you face the challenges that await you. Self-care can include:

  • Participating in a hobby you enjoy
  • Spending time with your support system
  • Taking some time to walk in nature
  • Practicing loving-kindness meditation

Find what works for you and what helps you feel like your true self as you seek a reinvented version of you.

How to Reinvent Yourself

Once you’re sure that you’re equipped with all the tools in the self-reinvention checklist, you can begin your journey of learning how to reinvent yourself.

1. Discover Your Strengths

This step provides valuable information on how you deal with certain situations. If you have this information, you will be able to manage difficulties more efficiently.

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To find out what your strengths are, you can ask your friends and colleagues for feedback, engage in self-reflection, or try these 10 Ways to Find Your Own Personal Strengths.

2. Plan

This step calls for a thorough assessment of your current emotional, psychological, and financial status so that you can develop plans that are realistic and practical.

It’s okay to have ambitious dreams, but your plans have to be realistic. Making use of SMART goals can help you plan your life better.

You can also consult your mentor or life coach for practical tips and advice.

Ultimately, you’ll want to create specific long-term and short-term goals that you can create milestones for. By doing this, you’ll lay out a specific roadmap to your reinvented self.

3. Try Things Out

Sometimes, we don’t know if solutions actually work until we try them out. This is why it is important to experiment whenever possible, especially if you’re dealing with a career change. You may need to simply experiment in order to find the things you like. This can be the same with hobbies. If you’re not sure what you would like doing, accept invitations from friends to join them in their favorite sport or take a class, like pottery or photography.

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By seeing what’s out there in any area of your life, you’ll have a better chance of finding the things you enjoy and the goals you want to create.

4. Manage Your Finances Well

Changes may require a bit of money. If you’re shifting to a new career, you may have to pay for training. If you’re going through a tough divorce or having a hard time dealing with the death of a loved one, you may have to pay for therapy. If you’re moving to a new home, you’ll definitely have to pay a whole lot of expenses.

All of these things are possible, but it will require a bit of money savviness as you learn how to reinvent yourself. If you have that cushion, you’ll feel more comfortable straying from your current path to try new things.

5. Muster Your Courage

Fears and self-doubt may arise when you encounter difficulties and setbacks. Sometimes, they may also come when you’re taking risks. You have to manage these negative emotions well and not allow them to discourage you. Tap into your courage and try doing at least one new thing each week to develop it.

Learn how to deal with your self-doubts to move forward in this article: How Self Doubt Keeps You Stuck (And How to Overcome It)

6. Use Your Support Group

As stated above, you need to build a strong support group before you even start the process of reinventing yourself. Your group will keep you from taking wrong turns and encourage you when you get too weighed down by problems. Don’t be afraid to call them, or even ask them out for coffee if you need to vent about the current difficulties you’re facing.

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7. Remind Yourself Every Day of Your Commitment

Write your goals on different-sized cards and scatter them at home and at work in places where you can easily see them. This way, you will constantly be reminded of where you want to be. Remember, writing down your goals helps them stick[1].

8. Accept Failure, Learn, and Resume Your Journey

Failing is normal, especially when we’re trying out something new. When you fail, simply recognize it, learn from it, and move on. Failure, in the end, is the best way to learn what does and doesn’t work, and you simply won’t be able to learn how to reinvent yourself if you don’t accept the inevitable failures that await you.

Final Thoughts

If you truly want to learn how to reinvent yourself and live the life you desire, take the advice above and start taking action. It will take time, patience, and plenty of effort to make the change you want happen, but it will be all worth it.

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Featured photo credit: Ashley Rich via unsplash.com

Reference

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