It becomes a vicious circle, with our need for acceptance driving our desire to have others conform to our ways. Every day, we see the world through the optic of “does this decision confirm my established beliefs and previous decisions?” That which does not reinforce the status quo is shunned or consciously ignored, as to pay attention to it would possibly open the door to questions about how we got here in the first place. Our egos seem to be too fragile to contemplate abandoning established and entrenched ideas, except in times of turmoil, when they reluctantly relinquish the known and search desperately for the new known, that which will become the new standard.
As time goes on, we have more and more conformity in the world, with world styles getting closer and closer together each year. The Internet and TV have encouraged this a lot, as images of how to be are transmitted constantly to all four corners.
We are bombarded with images and admonishments to be like each other, and if we buy product X we will be an individual, albeit identical to all the others. There is a constant tension between the need to be seen as an individual and the need to be accepted by the global tribe. No wonder stress is a major problem for many people.
So, what is the way out of this quagmire? Simply put, it is to notice the drivers in our behaviours, consciously question what we are doing and how we feel when we don’t do something. This feeling is often going to be one that is uncomfortable. Nevertheless, noticing this feeling is a step towards getting free of it. If we notice fear, for example, when we contemplate undertaking some activity or project that would be considered “weird”, accepting that fear and then releasing it, and thereby it’s hold on us, enables us to make decisions without emotional drivers taking control. As we proceed to notice and release these feelings each time we have to make a decision and consider making one e different from last time, the power of these conformance emotions will diminish. Eventually, they will have little if any hold on us. We will be able to make decisions without our internal fears of rejection or non-acceptance arising to keep us in line. We will taste true freedom.
Copyright 2010 Robert S. Vibert, all rights reserved