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20 Things You Should Never Succumb To No Matter How Others Convince You

20 Things You Should Never Succumb To No Matter How Others Convince You

Why we do even succumb to other people’s opinions? Is it that our insecurities prompt us to seek approval from others? Unfortunately, most of us fall victim to the opinions of other people.

Here are 20 things that you should never succumb to, no matter how others convince you.

1. Never succumb to the belief that you ‘need’ a college degree

Even in the 21st century, great emphasis has still been placed on getting a college degree. A lot of parents don’t give their kids a choice to opt out, however a college degree does not always equate to a successful career. In fact a lot of college graduates either continue or revert to living with their parents. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 30% of millennials are still living with their parents.

 2. Never succumb to the idea that It pays to be a loyal employee

Our parents have always told us to go to college to get your degree in order to get a great job for a Fortune 500 company and retire with a great retirement plan. That is only one of many paths in attaining financial security. It is not the only path! If you hate your job, then being a loyal employee would obviously be bad advice.

3. Never succumb to the belief of the ‘right’ religion

Many of us have been born under parents who are subscribers of a certain religion. As we get older, we have a right to be skeptical and question our religious beliefs for validity and personal comfort. Quite often we are told by our parents and clergymen that the other religions are wrong and only their religion is the right one. The people who make those remarks have a distorted view of the culture of other religions. Religion can be helpful for some people but it should never be forced on anybody.

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4. Never succumb to the notion that you’re obliged to share your parents’ political beliefs

Most of us have been born under parents of a certain political affiliation. As we get older, we have a right to question those fundamental beliefs and even change our own. While our parents may not agree with our decision, it is our job to form our beliefs about matters. Morality and fairness is subjective. Define what it means to you and vote based on those definitions.

5. Never succumb to the belief that you’re not cute enough

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. When someone tells you that you’re not cute enough, it is simply one person’s opinion.  For example, a lot of guys think Jennifer Aniston is cute. It is my belief that she isn’t cute enough – but more importantly, Jennifer Aniston doesn’t care about what I think of her.

6. Never succumb to the idea of apologizing for your dietary lifestyle

There are people who will belittle you based on your preferred choice of diet. People have certain diets for their own reasons, whether it’s vegetarian, vegan, paleo, or gluten free. It doesn’t matter what other people think of your diet. The most important thing is your reason for choosing that particular diet. If you’re happy with that diet, keep doing it.

7. Never succumb to people’s opinions about your sexual orientation

Some people will judge you based on your sexual orientation. The love that you share with someone in your own privacy is your business. It doesn’t matter if you are heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, or transsexual. Love is something that is shared between two people.

 8. Never succumb to the pessimism of others

Some people hate the person that is always optimistic. Misery loves company and the optimistic guy tends to be a cog in the machine.  The most successful people in our generation all share one thing in common: optimism. Are you surprised?

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9. Never succumb to the idea that you must be keeping up with the Joneses

There are people in your life like your parents or friends, who think it’s necessary for you to keep up appearances. They care too much about public perception and think you should too. Your happiness shouldn’t be sustained based on the length of time that you can keep up with the Joneses. Happiness is a choice. You don’t need materialistic things to help you make that choice.

10. Never succumb to the belief that you must have kids

Having kids is not for everybody. Parents often pressure their kids in doing so or spouses try to get the other to change their mind. Choose your spouse carefully! Being a parent is not for everybody. One of your most important decisions in life is deciding whether or not to have kids. It’s a big decision that will likely affect the next 18 years of your life, along with the lifetime of your hypothetical kid!

11. Never succumb to the notion that you must lose your accent

Depending on your native state, some people have grown up with an accent. Sometimes it will be frowned upon in the workplace or in different social circles. The truth is that some people are ignorant. They know nothing about your culture except the stereotypes that they extract from movies and magazines. Your accent is a part of you. Be proud of it!

12. Never succumb to playing the race card

Some people will influence others to blame their lack of success because of their race. People of all different sociological and demographical backgrounds will ascribe tendencies and features, benefits and struggles, negative and positive to those outside of their particular group. Discrimination is a real problem but it doesn’t mean that you should use it as an excuse for not being successful. I wonder why billionaires aren’t playing the race card? Maybe it’s because they’re too busy making money.

13. Never succumb to the belief that you’re not smart enough

When some people say that you’re stupid or not smart enough, it doesn’t mean that they are right. Intelligence is subjective. Have you ever seen the movie, Idiocracy? Everyone was calling Joe Bowers stupid, when in fact he was the genius!

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14. Never succumb to the notion that you’re not skinny enough

Sororities or guys may reject girls because they aren’t skinny enough. Some girls are not skinny but have a physique that classifies them as curvy. Many people happen to be fond of curvy women. Be happy in your own body. If you want to lose weight, do it for yourself. Don’t do it simply because you want to be accepted by your peers.

15. Never succumb to the belief that you’re not cool enough

Fraternities, sororities, and other social circles tend to have their code of coolness. Some people try to act and dress a certain way to be embraced by these groups. Be cool, according to your own terms. Define what it means to you and live up to it.

16. Never succumb to the idea that you talk too much

Talkativeness is subjective. You can be told by an anti-social person that you talk too much, even if you’re known to be the most quiet person among your family or friends. Some people have bubbly personalities and love to talk to people. It’s a personality that attracts a crowd of their own. If you continue to be authentic, you’ll attract people who appreciate your authenticity.

17. Never succumb to the belief that you’re anti-social

Quiet people tend to get a bad reputation. I am one of those quiet people. I’m not quiet because I don’t want to socialize with others. I’m just a thinker. Introverts don’t mind being social. We just prefer to do it on our own terms.

 18. Never succumb to the notion that you can’t be too honest

It is common in the workplace for colleagues to be teased for being too honest. Total honesty is an admirable trait. It says a lot about your character. Don’t feel the need to compromise yourself because others are doing it. Be true to yourself. You will build an irrevocable trust that supersedes the trust of others.

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 19. Never succumb to getting rid of your quirks

We all have our quirks. While some people may deem them as strange or weird, they are traits that make us unique. Don’t apologize for them. If they can’t accept you with your quirks, then they don’t deserve to be your friend.

20. Never succumb to having a new year’s resolution

There is a false notion that people embrace and encourage others to embrace by suggesting that they should put their goals on hold until the new year. Time is either invested or wasted. Wouldn’t it be better to invest your time in working on your goals now? After all, what would you achieve by waiting until the new year to begin?

Featured photo credit: young beautiful hipster woman bubble blower in the city via shutterstock.com

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Kallen Diggs

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Last Updated on August 12, 2020

When Should You Trust Your Gut and How?

When Should You Trust Your Gut and How?

Learning how to trust your gut, otherwise known as your intuition, can keep you safe. Your gut can guide you and help you build your confidence and resilience. My own gut instinct has saved me on more than one occasion. It has also guided me into making sound career choices and other exciting, big decisions. I’m also aware of the times when I’ve gone against my instincts and really regretted it later, wondering why I didn’t tune in to that valuable internal voice that we all have within us.

In this article, we’re going to explore why and how you should listen to your gut, as well as some concrete tips on how to make sure you’re making the most out of your gut instincts.

How to Listen to Your Gut

The key when making any big decision is to always take a minute to listen well to yourself and your inner compass. If you hear your actual voice saying yes while inside you’re silently screaming no, my advice is to ask for some time to think, or simply take a breath and pause before the yes or no escapes your mouth.

Use that moment to breathe, check in with yourself, and give the answer that feels congruent with who you are and what you want, not the one that always involves following the herd. Trusting your gut means having the courage to not simply go with the majority. It can be about holding your own. Here’s how to hone that skill for yourself and reap the rewards.

1. Tune Into Your Body

Your body gives you clues when you’re faced with a big decision. There are many visible and obvious symptoms that we feel in uncomfortable situations. Our body’s reaction is often something that we might try to hide, for example, blushing, being lost for words, or shaking. There are things we might do to try and hide that physical reaction, whether it’s wearing makeup, having a glass of wine or coffee to perk us up a bit, or learning to control our nerves.

However, paying attention to your body when you experience these feelings of anxiety can teach you so much and help you to make sound choices. Some people will experience an actual “gut” feeling of stomach ache or indigestion in an uncomfortable situation.

Ask yourself what’s really going on here, and explore what is happening behind your body’s response to the situation. What can your reaction or instinct teach you? Understanding that can be a clue and can help you either learn something about yourself, the situation, or other people. The answers are often within us.

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Sometimes we’ll get this “something’s not right here” feeling and cannot quite put our finger on it or explain it. That can still be incredibly useful and really guide us away from danger, even if we don’t know the reason.

In his book, Blink, Malcolm Gladwell also argues this, making the point that sometimes our subconscious is better at processing the answer we need, and that we don’t necessarily need to take time to collect hours and hours of information to come to a reliable conclusion[1].

2. Ensure Your Head Is Clear Before Making a Decision

Energy, sleep, and good nutrition are so vital to nourishing our minds, as well as our bodies. There are times when your instinct could lead you astray, and one of these is when you are hungry, “hangry” (angry because you’re hungry!), tired, or anxious. If this is the case–and it may sound obvious–do consider sleeping or eating on it before making an important choice.

There is, in fact, a connection between our gut and our brain[2], which is where terms like “butterflies in the stomach” and “gut-wrenching” originate from. Stress and emotions can cause physical feelings, and ignoring them might do more harm than good.

3. Don’t Be Afraid to Say What You Think and Feel

Listening to your gut and really paying attention to it might involve standing up and being counted, calling something out, or taking a stand. As someone who works for myself, I’ve become used to following the less-travelled road, and that’s given me the chance to strike out on my own in other ways, too.

As they tell you in the planes, “put your own oxygen mask on first,” and part of that self-reliance is knowing what you really want and like and what is safe and good for you, including what resonates with your personal and business values. Making good decisions with this in mind means making choices that do not go against your own beliefs, even when it may mean taking a stand. This is part of trusting yourself and trusting your instincts.

This does not always mean taking the “safe” option, although keeping ourselves safe is an important part of the process. This is how we learn and grow, by following our own inner compass. When you do take risks, go outside of your comfort zone, or choose the less popular option, spending some time researching the facts can stand us in good stead, too.

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4. Do Your Research If Something Feels Off

As well as listening to our instincts, we can also back up the evidence for our chosen course of action before taking the leap. I had a gut feeling about the need for a learning and development network when I noticed my clients getting stuck with the same problems. I set up and now run such a network, but instead of simply going for it, without evidence, I followed up on my instinct with research.

Having confidence in your gut instinct through these kinds of tests can help to minimize your risks, as well as spur you on. It will encourage you to trust your gut again in the future and trust that you are an expert with foresight and experience. You are!

5. Challenge Your Assumptions

When you look at the assumptions your making, this could be the clue to mistakes you are making.

In order to check that our instincts are wise, we need to ask ourselves what blanks we might be filling in, either consciously or unconsciously. This is true not just when it comes to our own decision-making. It’s also true when we are listening to someone explain a problem or situation, and we’re about to jump in and give some advice. If we can learn to be aware of our own assumptions, we can become better listeners and better decision makers, too.

A useful tool to become more aware of your assumptions before making a final decision is simply to ask yourself, “What assumptions am I making about this situation or person?”

6. Educate Yourself on Unconscious Bias

Unconscious bias is something we all have, and it can trip us up big time!

There is a vital caveat to bear in mind when wondering about whether you can trust your gut and the feelings your body gives you, and that’s having an awareness of your unconscious bias. Understanding your own bias–which is hard to do because it literally does happen in our subconscious–can help you to make stronger, better, decisions instead of re-confirming your view of the world over and over again.

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Bias exists, and it’s part of the human condition. All of us have it, and it colors our decisions and can impact on our performance without us realizing.

Unconscious bias happens at a subconscious level in our brains. Our subconscious brain processes information so much faster than our conscious brain. Quick decisions we make in our subconscious are based on both our societal conditioning and how our families raised us.

Our brains process hundreds of thousands of pieces of information daily. We unconsciously categorize and format that information into patterns that feel familiar to us. Aspects such as gender, disability, class, sexuality, body shape and size, ethnicity, and what someone does for a job can all quickly influence decisions we make about people and the relationships we choose to form. Our unconscious bias can be very subtle and go unnoticed..

We naturally tend to gravitate towards people similar to ourselves, favoring people who we see as belonging to the same “group” as us. Being able to make a quick decision about whether someone is part of your group and distinguish friend from foe was what helped early humans to survive. Conversely, we don’t automatically favor people who we don’t immediately relate to or easily connect with.

The downside of that human instinct to seek out similar people is the potential for prejudice, which seems to be hard-wired into human cognition, no matter how open-minded we believe ourselves to be. And these stereotypes we create can be wrong. If we only spend our time with and employ people similar to ourselves, it can create prejudices, as well as stifle fresh thinking and innovation.

We may feel more natural or comfortable working with other people who share our own background and/or opinions than collaborating with people who don’t look, talk, or think like us. However, diversity is not just morally right; having a mix of different people and perspectives that can be genuinely heard is also a valuable way to counter groupthink. Diversity stretches us to think more critically and creatively.

7. Trust Yourself

It is possible to learn how to truly trust yourself[3]. Like any talent or skill, practicing trusting your gut is the best way to get really good at it. When people talk about having great intuition or being good decision-makers, it’s because they’ve worked at honing those skills, made mistakes, learned from them, and tried again.

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Looking back at decisions you’ve made, what you did, what the outcome was, and what you’ve learned can help you become a stronger decision maker and develop solid self-trust and resilience. Making a mistake does not mean you are not great at decision-making; it’s a chance to grow and learn, and the only mistake is to ignore the lesson in that experience.

If you are in the habit of asking others for their input, then the trick here is to choose your inner circle wisely. Having a sounding board of people who have your best interests at heart is a valuable asset, and, combined with your own excellent instincts, can make you a champion decision maker.

The Bottom Line

The above tips are all actionable and easy to start immediately. It’s simply about switching your thinking around, slowing down, and taking great care of this amazing machine that is your body and mind!

Learning how to trust your gut is one of the most fundamental ways to make decisions that will help you lead the life you want and need. Tune into what your body is telling you and start making good decisions today.

More Tips on How to Trust Your Gut

Featured photo credit: Acy Varlan via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Science of People: Learn to Trust Your Gut Instincts: The Science Behind Thin-slicing
[2] Harvard Health Publishing: The gut-brain connection
[3] Psych Central: 3 Ways to Develop Self-Trust

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