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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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Last Updated on October 14, 2020

The Art of Humble Confidence

The Art of Humble Confidence

To be confident or not to be confident, that is the question. I’m not sure about you, but I’ve been a bit confused about all this discussion about the subject of confidence. Do you really need to be more confident or should you try to be more humble? I think the answer is both – you just have to know where to use it.

East VS West – Confidence, It’s a Cultural Thing

In typical Western countries, the answer to the confidence debate is obvious – more is better. Our heros are rebellious, independent and shoot first, ask questions later. I think this snippet of dialog from The Matrix sums it up best:

Agent Smith – “We’re willing to wipe the slate clean, give you a fresh start. All that we’re asking in return is your cooperation in bringing a known terrorist to justice.”
Neo – “Yeah. Well, that sounds like a pretty good deal. But I think I may have a better one. How about, I give you the finger”
[He does]
Neo -“ …and you give me my phone call.”

In Eastern countries, the tone is often considerably different. Elders are supposed to be revered not dismissed. The words ‘guru,’ meaning a teacher, and the philosophy of dharma, loosely translated to mean ‘duty,’ come from here. In Eastern cultures humility and respect are more important than confidence.

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These perspectives are generalizations, but it shows how the confidence debate goes back deep into our culture. I think that both extremes of pure confidence or pure humility are misguided. Instead of rectifying this situation by simply blending the two: becoming somewhat humble, somewhat confident all the time, I believe the answer is to know when to be confident and when to be humble.

Humble Confidence – Know When to Use It

I’m going to make another broad generalization. I believe that virtually every relationship you are going to have is going to fit into one of two major archetypes, either master or student. In peer relationships this master/student role may switch frequently, but it is extremely rare that the relationship never leans to one side.

In the master role, you are displaying confidence to get what you want. This is public speaker, leader or seducer. Being the master has advantages. You have more control and ability to influence from this role.

The student role is the opposite. You are intentionally displaying humility. This is the student, disciple or follower. Being the student has advantages too. You can learn a lot more in this role and are more likely to win the trust of the other person.

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Know When to Shut Up and Learn

If you are a typical Westerner, you are probably already thinking about which role you prefer. Being the leader is great. You get respect and a higher status. Most of all you get a greater degree of control.

But the problem is that you can’t and shouldn’t always try to be the leader. Trying to assume that role without the skills, resources or status to back it up will lead to conflict. More importantly, there are many times when you purposely want to display humility. Some of the benefits to the student role include:

  • You learn more.
  • Smooths relationships.
  • Makes others more willing to lend a helping hand.

Knowing when taking the humble route is to your advantage. It is far easier to get mentors and advisors if you use humility rather than arrogance. A small sacrifice to your ego can open up the potential to learn a lot.

Confidence to Persuade, Humility to Learn

In reality almost no relationship is as clearly defined as master/student. Within our connections, people have overlapping areas of expertise. I might be an expert in blogging to a non-blogger, but they might be an expert in finance. In each area there are different roles to take.

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Before any interaction ask yourself what the purpose is. Are you trying to learn or persuade?

Persuasion requires confidence. If you are trying to sell, instruct or lead you need to display the confidence to match your message. But learning requires humility. You won’t learn anything if you are constantly arguing with your professors, mentors or employers. Taking a dose of humility and temporarily making yourself a student gives you the opportunity to absorb.

Persuade Less, Learn More

Persuasion is great for immediate effect, but learning matters over the long-haul. Instead of washing over all your communication with pure confidence, look for opportunities to learn. Persuading someone to follow you may give you an immediate boost of satisfaction, but it doesn’t last. Learning, however, is an investment for the future.

Whenever I make a connection with someone and realize they have a skill or understanding I want, I am careful to express humility in that area. That means listening with what they say even if I don’t immediately agree and being patient with their response. This method often drastically cuts down the time I need to spend on trial and error to learn by myself.

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Confidence/Humility Doesn’t Replace Communication Skills

This approach of selectively using confidence and humility for different purposes doesn’t replace communication skills. Humility isn’t going to work if the other person thinks you’re an irritating whiner. Confidence won’t work if the entire room thinks you are an arrogant jerk. Knowing how to display these two qualities takes practice.

The next time you are about to enter into an interaction ask yourself why you are doing it. Are you trying to persuade or learn? Depending on which you can take a completely different tact for far better results.

Featured photo credit: BBH Singapore via unsplash.com

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