“The opposite of courage in our society is not cowardice, it is conformity.” – Rollo May
I would say the majority of the people I know would consider themselves non-conformists. Of course they do – they’re entrepreneurs for goodness sake!
But conformity isn’t limited to all dressing the same, or agreeing about politics, or working at a 9 to 5 job. Conformity can be a very sneaky thing, and it can slowly eat away at what makes you brilliant and beautiful.
So how does this subtle conformity show up? It’s often in action when you –
- Don’t clearly ask for what you really want
- Say yes to things that are unhealthy, stressful, or out of alignment with your vision
- Soften a position you believe in
- Lower your standards
This kind of conformity is all about trying to control other peoples’ reactions. And the bad news is that it not only keeps others from really knowing you, it also distances you from your true, authentic self.
I absolutely believe in diplomacy, don’t get me wrong. I’m not a fan of upsetting people for the sake of drama. That’s definitely not what I’m talking about here.
I’m talking about boldness in the face of possible controversy or disagreement. The willingness to take a stand for what you feel in your heart is right – everything from simple things like getting your order right at a restaurant to deeper issues like politics and human rights.
This can be a scary proposition, I know. But it’s also very freeing. I challenge you to pay attention to how conformity shows up in your life, and commit acts of boldness every day!
Yvonne Blasy says
Very nice approach to this, Mary. Hadn’t thought of it that way before, but it makes perfect sense..
Mary Cravets says
Thanks, Yvonne. I’m constantly looking for ways to uncover the patterns that make me tend to play small in the game of life!