Don't Be A Conformist. Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Step Up!


Not being a conformist may make some people stop liking you, but you'll love yourself! We need no elaborations as to why the latter is infinitely more important... #SelfLove

The goal of an average person is to become better and successful. But to do that, you have to move from wishful thinking to action. This happens by stepping out of your comfort zone and refusing to conform. A comfort zone is a place many people are and where you shouldn't be if you must stand out and make a difference.

It can be quite daunting and challenging traveling a path that is less traveled and less lit. Staying and conforming to popular opinion may look like the easy way out. You may be afraid to be the finger that is sticking out when you express a contrary opinion or even be tagged weird when you choose to do or talk about things others shy away from. Don't you worry, just do YOU. You will be better off staying real and true to yourself at all times!

I have been called eclectic, too daring and too bold. But trust me, I have derived my greatest peace and joy from watching mouth-gaping and wide-eyed reactions from others whenever I come up with problem solving ideas, initiatives and actions that do not conform to what society thinks I should be doing or talking about!

So, there's a good amount of relief in being a conformist — to not go against the accepted social norms, avoiding the disapproval of people around you, and not bothering yourself with the struggle to find a different way of your own. While it might be convenient for you in the short-term, your life gets poorly shaped in the long run if you stay more like a herd animal, and less like an able and thinking human.

Truth is, a certain form of certainty has a way of giving you a level of comfort. You seem to be filled with more confidence when you know that some other persons have done what you are currently doing. You come up with an innovative idea and at the point of sharing it with your friends you get to hear questions like "has it been done before?"

Countless times we find ourselves in situations in which we're unaware of what to do.

This unsureness gives rise to the thought of simply doing what others do in similar circumstances, with the false perception that they always know what they're doing.

This is exactly where our lives take a huge turn, of which we're most times oblivious...

This thought of following others' paths and avoiding finding our own way out of an uncomfortable situation slowly flows into all other affairs in our lives. Over time, a stage comes where no decision we take is truly our own.

Basically, conformity finds its way to take residence in our nature, which is the death of individuality. It kills the uniqueness of our personality.

Is Following Others Or Adopting Their Ideas Bad?

This is a tricky one. It's our innate nature to follow someone who seems to know what they're doing and replicate their behavior when we face the same set of challenges.

Observing others, learning from them, or adopting their ideas isn't bad — the problems arise when we mimic others without knowing whether they are right. Or wrong.

Why Are We Afraid Of Standing Out? Why do most of us fall into the conformity trap?

Aside from the obvious answer that it is more convenient and easy to be a conformist, another thing that drives us right into the trap of conformity is the fear of breaking the unwritten, unspoken social rules.

What would my coworkers, classmates, or neighbors think of me if I don't fit in their social definition of normalcy?

Each social group has a condition of acceptance that asks for your conformity. How much of a member you'll be seen as of that social group is directly connected to the level of conformity you're willing to show.

We become conformists not only because it is easy to be one, but also to be accepted. Here's a quote that gives me strength when its intensity fades out a bit:

"To be yourself in a world that's constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment." — Ralph Waldo Emerson

A lot of us change or transform our personalities just to fit into a social circle.

In fact, we've all done it at some point in our lives. I find it sickening, but I've done it too!

The mask that we put on to hide our personalities in order to give in to conformity and permanently denting ourselves as a consequence of it is an endless cycle that's hard to get out of.

Most of us stay in this cycle unhappily all our lives without realizing it, or realize it only after we've taken enough damage at a personal level stemming from it.

It’s time to stop!

A Huge Mistake You MUST Avoid -

Something that many, MANY people do wrong when they decide to be different is to strongly hate the idea of conformity - In an attempt to be different, make sure you're not needlessly rebellious.

Society has been programmed to make you conform to its set of dos and don'ts. But, you don't have to. You can step out of your comfort zone, step up and make a difference. Understandably, the road to becoming a better version of yourself may not always feel better. This is because the average human, by default, is a conformist and is looking out for a form of predictability.

Predictability in itself is not wrong. However, every one of us has been created differently and has a pathway to follow. You were born differently, with strengths and weaknesses, talents and goals that differ from that of others. And to maximize the untapped potentials within you, you may get to the point where forging your pathway is required.

You need to understand that your journey to success and that of the other person next to you is different. So also is the measurement scale for measuring success. So while it is easy and predictable to follow a known path, it may not be so much effective in making the most of your giftings.

There is therefore a higher call not to be a conformist but to step out of the comfort zone. But how can this be achieved?

#1. Surround yourself with like-minded people.

Birds of a feather they say flocks together. And this is for a reason; they motivate one another to go in the same direction. If you are working on becoming more comfortable with discomfort, you may as well surround yourself with risk-takers who are not afraid to go out of the norm.

#2. See failure as an opportunity to learn and not a total disaster.

One of the reasons you will most likely consider doing what every other person is doing is the fear of failing in a new path. But if you begin to see failure as an opportunity to learn and grow, you will find it easier to walk through new paths. Failure is a normal path of the growth process. You need to pick the lessons that come with it any time it happens and move on. The pain of temporary failure is nothing compared to the joy that comes from knowing you took the step that made you better. Identify your areas of discomfort

#3. Take baby steps

Deep down you may be thinking that the best way to combat that fear is to jump headlong into whatever it is that causes fear. But before you do that, also know that jumping right will result in jumping out because you may get overwhelmed by the entire process of trying to adjust. You may consider taking baby steps towards what you fear. Let's assume you are afraid of talking to a crowd, you can start by talking to a small group of people. That way, you can gradually overcome your fears.

#4. Get information

One of the easiest ways to get out of the comfort zone is to get as much information about the area you want to conquer as possible. Uncertainty is usually created by a lack of knowledge and fear of the unknown. But the more information you have about any particular area, the more your fear dissipates. If there is anything that causes you discomfort, simply try to know more about it.

#5. Don't be too hard on yourself.

There will be times when you fail. Like I pointed earlier, failure is a necessary part of the learning process. When you fail to meet up to the personal expectations you have set for yourself, don't allow it to prevent you from trying again. Analyze what could have caused the failure, find out where you need to work on, and learn from your mistakes.

#6. Become comfortable with Discomfort

Your natural response to discomfort before now is to run away from it. Not anymore. Next time when you are uncomfortable about anything, embrace it. For instance, if you find it discomforting speaking with a person you just met, make effort to stay on that conversation. Don't run away when the opportunity presents itself. Rather, stay and continue with the conversation. What you will observe is that after a while, you will feel less uneasy. This is applicable in other areas.

Final Thoughts - 

DARE TO BE DIFFERENT! Getting out of your comfort zone seems like a scary thing to do but it can be quite rewarding along the line. You can decide to take that journey one step at a time but ensure you are constantly moving. As you take daily steps away from your comfort zone, you will find yourself more at war with things that previously seem to be discomfort. But if you don't take the first step, how would you know what can come out of it?  

Have any queries, feedback or suggestions? Leave a comment! We’d love to hear from you!


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