The power of not conforming
To break away from the pack or blend in with the rest of them…
We’re so conditioned to conform. To fit in. To be liked. We spend our lives jumping through hoops – those of society, governments, work, religion, even within our families. We learn to do what is expected, predictable, low-level creativity. Hell, forget creativity, we work for others. We believe our end goals are marriage, kids, a house and a holiday to Bali once every two years. That’s what’s acceptable, right?
We show our holiday snaps of the inside of the resort, sipping cocktails we drank, or from that one excursion outside the confines of the resort walls – the one the hotel sold over the counter at an extortionate price, the one we took because it was safe, reliable, easy.
We lose ourselves, our thirst for magic and adventure because we don’t want to stand out, to step up, to expose ourselves to the brutality of the world. We want to stay small. No, really, we do. Because if our dreams of grandeur actually became a reality we wouldn’t fit in, we would lose our orientation. What about the life that we’ve worked so hard to create, the stories of pain, unfairness and victimhood we share with our friends and families, to fit in, to relate. We believe what we want is money, success, riches. But what we don’t do is step outside our comfort zones to create that dream life we so desire. We cast judgement on those who don’t go out drinking on weekends. We tell people who are working hard, to take it easy, to relax and enjoy themselves. But what we are really doing is trying to keep others as small and as powerless as we feel.
- taking the road less travelled
- following our hearts
- saying yes to the very things that scare us
- taking risks despite the possibility of failure
…that is where the magic starts to unfold.
There’s an idea, an inspiration, an undeniable itch that needs to be scratched, and rather than burying it deeper and repressing it, we say yes, open it up and dive in. By acting despite fear, despite what others make think of us, we find a passion for life, that natural adrenaline that comes from creating, not conforming to society’s expectations.
A typical story, staying in a safe relationship and getting married because we think that’s what we are meant to do at a certain age. We’re getting older, biological clocks are ticking, physical appearance is fading, body parts are sagging. We’re no longer as viable as we used to be. And just like that we’re committed to something that we’re not 100% sold on because the fear of judgement from society is stronger than our desire to follow our hearts.
But what happens if we choose our hearts?
It’s scary, resistance shows up in all shapes and forms, but following the breadcrumbs of our intuition creates freedom, joy and a love of life we didn’t think possible.
I was in a job I hated, because it was a safe and reliable. It would allow me to buy that house, settle down and continue doing the same mind-numbing, process-driven work under the instruction of the person in power on the day. I worked my ass off, and for what? To not be recognised for anything I created because I was a nameless, faceless lemming. I could’ve stayed, continued that life because it was comfortable, but I didn’t. It was more important to me to feel free, to explore, to create, and like that I took a risk, quit my job, let go of my apartment, bought a ticket to travel the world and never looked back. I’ve had love, adventure and freedom. I’ve met incredible people and had experiences most people would only dream of because I was willing to go against the status quo. I created a life on my own terms that is richer than I could ever of imagined.
Do some people think I’m irresponsible? Yes. Do they think I'm crazy? Most definitely. Do they believe I’m 'luckier' than they are? Apparently. But, so what? People can judge me however they please. I'm no different to anyone else. We all have the power to create what we'd love, but we buy into our excuses of why we can’t have it. We conform, do what others do and we blend in.
We believe that conforming serves us – that it will allow us to create what we’d love…one day in the future. But it doesn’t. The day doesn’t come. It’s a perfect example of giving our power away to keep us small and hidden.
The real power, the real joy, the real happiness comes when we listen to something greater than what others will think of us. It comes from listening to our hearts. To truly lead a life we’d love, we must be sovereign, exercise our will and go after what we want, despite the critics. It’s up to us to reclaim our power.