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The Illusion of Conformity

December 5, 2009

Conforming is an illusion, especially when it comes to being who we are meant to be. By allowing our attitudes, beliefs and behaviors to be heavily influenced by other people we end up suppressing that thing, that talent, that gift, that “it” factor that makes us unique.

Have you ever looked at the people that are wildly successful AND happy? Usually these people have done something different, we can see their “it” factor. And we wonder why some people have it and some don’t.

Well, I think we all have that special thing, it’s just that many have covered it up, attempting to be part of the normal crowd, which is sad since this uniqueness is what can help us reach our goals.

Plus, it’s counterproductive since the people that embrace their uniqueness are usually the ones that we gravitate towards, because we are attracted to genuine people.

And a great side effect of being who we are meant to be is that it lessens jealousy, competition and judgmental feelings. After all, if I am happy with Towanda I am far less likely to judge you.

Conforming starts young, and is many times fueled by parents. Statements like “See how Jane is sitting there playing with the blocks, why can’t you do that?” slowly take root and our children begin to feel like they can only be accepted if they do what others are doing.

Now, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t teach some social norms, after all manners, for one, are very important. But, I think we need to question our motives.

Are we teaching them, and ourselves, something for acceptance or because it will make them/us better people? And will it achieve the desired outcome of our children growing into happy, successful adults?

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