January 29, 2024 @ 4:42 AM

OK ... I admit it ... I have never been able to compromise well.  I just can't pretend that something is OK when it isn't  

I resent censoring the things I need in my life in order to try and make someone else happy.  I've learned that it really doesn't make them happy either.  And, more importantly I begin to suffer with insecurity and self-doubt when I am not being true to myself and living authentically


From a young age we learn through punishment and reward to behave in a way that will elicit the acceptance, love and security we desire.  We all want to 'fit in', to belong and feel loved and accepted.  That desire for safety through belonging to a larger group is inherent in all pack or herd animals  

And so we follow the latest fads--dress and act like others.  We 'dull down' our behaviour to conform and be less conspicuous.  We stop being our true selves to become a more acceptable version of who we think we should be

Conformity is how society maintains  safety, control, and structure within the context of family, culture, community, country, as well as within our own personal lives.  By becoming the same as others we hope to belong, feel closer, become equal, create strength, feel 'normal' and somehow lessen the risk of isolation and separation  

But, the tyranny of the word ‘normal’ is conformity    

Conformity brings out the worst in everyone.  It is risk-free, challenge-free, easy.  It diminishes your self-worth, your tolerance, talents, imagination and creativity.  It lessens your ability think independently and clearly  

Conformity is a compromise within yourself.  Fear of confrontation, of standing out, of being criticized for being different or showing your true power is what keeps people from speaking out about things that outrage them, or about things in which they believe  


Conformity is what induces kids to cruelly tease and ridicule other children … what incites mobs and hate-mongering … what seduces people to blindly subscribe to the latest fads and unhealthy practices like smoking and drinking, without questioning them.   Conformity is what allows media, politicians, and advertising to influence so effortlessly.  No one questions half-truths, lies and misdirection  


Conformity creates and fosters prejudice and narrow-mindedness and inhibits your ability to think for yourself.  It stops you from being brilliant or talented and from surpassing others.  That means conformity suppresses your soul


Nelson Mandela once borrowed a quote from Marianne Williamson.  He said “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.  Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.  We ask ourselves, “who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?”  Actually, who are you not to be!  Your playing small doesn't serve the world.  There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.”


We need to stop teaching and encouraging our children to conform.  From an early age we need to show them that being an individual is something of which they can be proud.  Individuality is a quality that brings out the best in each of us and gives us each something unique and rich to contribute to the world  


Who would YOU be now if this had been taught to you when you were a child? 


Those who maintain the status quo, who ‘fit in’ and belong, have never made any real difference in the world.  They actually prevent change and progress   

It is the 'cultural creatives'--the curious, the adventurous, the quirky and the open-minded who first discover new horizons that expand our perceptions and perspective.  Individuals who have marched to the tune of their own drummer, artists, pioneers and inventors who have the courage to be different and have the strength to follow their convictions, these are the people who make life richer and more colourful, meaningful, and vibrant for us all


YOU have within you the capacity to be one of these amazing people!  


Try even one of these steps toward living life more richly as a juicy individual:

  1. Be magnificent!  When you see yourself in the mirror each morning, exclaim “I am marvelous!”  It will make you laugh AND feel good about yourself!
  2. Embrace the unknown.  Deliberately do something each day that you've never done before.  Try a new food.  Take a different work route to work.  Talk to a stranger.  Explore a new concept or idea.
  3. Stop caring what others will think.  What others think about you is none of your business.  It is only a perception, filtered through their own lens.  It isn't reality. 
  4. Do something alone.  Discover your own companionship.  Be your own entertainment.  It tends to stretch you beyond your own boundaries.  It's okay to take along a sketch book or journal, a book, camera, or hiking shoes.  It can make you become more fascinating to others!  
  5. Stop being a fake.  Don't be what you THINK you should be.  Be what you want to be.  Live for yourself, not the world.
  6. Take risks.  Even love is a risk.
  7. Discover your real self.  Make a list of all your qualities.  Title it “Attributes”.  Then make another list citing your flaws and weak areas.  Title it Idiosyncrasies.”  Notice from this perspective how your flaws become unique and interesting qualities.  Look how unique you are!
  8. Live ONLY your own life.  And stop telling others how to live their lives!  (That includes your adult children!)  Respect yourself.  Respect others.  We each have a right to our own path.  There is no wrong path.  Ever.
  9. Think for yourself.  Break away from societal structures that tell you what to think, what to believe, and how to act.  Trust your own intelligence.  Use your intuition.  Ask questions.  Find your own personal truth by exploring other countries, cultures, philosophies.  Then reflect that truth within your own life.   In this way you teach your children to be individuals and think for themselves, as well. ~

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#beyourslf  #socialrebel  #ruggedindividualist  #socialmisfit  #livingwithoutcompromise