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    Conformity Can Ruin Your Dreams

    By Daegan Smith

    We hope for things to be different, to be better. We hope to acquire new things and reach new heights. This desire for one's betterment and success is basic to all.

    Why is it though that as we age, as we mature, things tend to slow down? We stop dreaming, we begin to settle into mediocrity. For those in hardships, the drive to change one's destiny is sometimes lost, and some people just start accepting 'fate'.

    It's because the desire to conform is innate in us as well. And if we don't achieve a balance between our goal setting and conforming practices, then life would be a big waste.

    Don't be mistaken, conformity is a basic need. It is a key to survival and societal order. If we don't conform to the norms and laws of society then the world will lie in chaos. At times though, conformity turns into a desire or even a pressure to change one's attitude, thinking, and behavior in order to 'fit in'.

    Are you letting your conscious or unconscious desire for conformity steal your dreams away from you? Here are some wrong excuses people have:

    1. Nobody wants to be alone.

    We long for companionship and friendship. We naturally join groups with the same interests as ours. The pressure to always go along with other group mates poses danger. The fear of hurting others or making them feel sorry for themselves sometimes prevents a 'friend' or group mate from pursuing his own dreams for career, business, etc.

    2. Nobody wants to be 'different.'

    This is not about individuality. This is about 'standing out' in the negative sense. Sometimes pressure builds up and one tends to give in to commonly held ideals, viewpoint, group goals, or way of life. Being raised in a family of teachers might prevent you from pursuing another profession.

    3. Nobody wants to face opposition.

    Going with the flow rather than bucking the tide is the easiest solution. Those close to you can pressure you into giving up a promising business opportunity. Your new idea or product might be facing lots of obstacles from co-workers, the company, or even the market. What do you do?

    4. Everybody wants to be respected.

    It is the need for social approval. We don't want to be belittled. The tendency with this attitude is to pursue what everyone is pursuing. Become a doctor, become a lawyer, etc. But what if that's not your gift? What if you have better chances of excelling in other areas such as carpentry, mechanics, etc.? The key to fulfilling your dreams is to be engaged in a profession that brings you utmost fulfillment and productivity.

    5. I don't want to pass off as crazy!

    Geniuses are non-conformists. Surely, inventors of old faced lots of ridicule. Do you have a new idea for the company, or your own business? Don't be afraid to try it out.

    6. I don't want to leave my 'support group'.

    There may be some friends or work mates that just weigh you down. Don't be afraid to step out. They are not really a source of support. Yes, there is comfort in the familiar but there would be no success.

    How can conformity steal my dreams away?

    It can result to a wrong attitude. Pressure to conform to what most approve of limits possibilities and potential for success or more success. It kills one's passion. Also, remember that conformity is the opposite of innovation, which is the key to success. If you fail to be on the look out for how life can be made better, then you're simply settling. Don't let conformity prevent you from setting goals and setting MORE after you've achieved them.

    Conformity can also kill one's 'vision'. Do you have a vision? Are you letting outward pressure prevent you from making that a reality? It's true that dreams can be achieved if only people would put their heart and mind into making those dreams come true.

    Conforming can be likened to a person swimming along the current. You don't get anywhere. You are simply taken to wherever everything else around you is taken as well. Losers are like that. Achievers on the other hand, swim against the current. That's the only way one can reach the shore. That's the only way you can reach your dream.

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