We all know and secretly admire those people who have the courage to march to a different beat. Whether it’s the clothes they wear, the music they listen to, or the choices they make in life. It seems they have a freedom to do their own thing, and they don’t seem to worry about what everyone else is saying, wearing, or listening to.
Peer pressure, or the need to conform, is powerful. It rears its head in the workplace, in religion, and at home. But, why? I guess that keeping to social expectations is something we evolved to do as a matter of survival. We all crave to be loved and accepted by others. And so, it is difficult to fight this feeling, and choose to be ourselves as the perceived risks of doing so are often too great.
But it’s hard to do. I have been in the position where trying to conform has almost paralysed me. I am so worried about what people think that I am afraid to do anything. Having to change my persona according to the company I am in is hard work. How much tension and worry does that bring to my life? How much energy does that sap from limited resources?
We all know that an original painting is worth more than a print. A sculpture by a master is priceless, whereas a plastic knock-off is worthless.
It’s time I started to appreciate the qualities and quirky things that make me unique, and enjoy them. I am an original. That is the way that I was made. I need to be comfortable with that.
By removing the struggle to be what other people think I should be, I’m sure I can increase my energy. That doesn’t mean that suddenly I live selfishly and only consider what I want. I won’t choose to be or do things to prove a point, or intentionally to offend others. But I will live free to be my own man.
“You were born an original - don’t die a copy.” ~ John Mason
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