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Conformity and the Facade of Fitting In

Humans by nature are social creatures. There is an innate psychological need for us to belong in some sense or another.

In varying degrees, a large part of life is about finding our place, our community, our tribe, our “home” essentially. Where we fit in.

For some, this can be a lifetime struggle as they move from phase to phase trying to find their place in society but continually falling short and in turn, feeling painstakingly alone, outcast from the outside world.

To avoid these feelings of being an outsider, whether it’s from a series of rejections, from insecurity, or a combination of these things among other social challenges, this can result in a far worse characteristic than simply not fitting in, which is – becoming a complete conformist.

Anyone who conforms their way through life for the sake of “fitting in” is living a facade. And everyone knows it.

Whether people choose to confront the conformist or even say anything to them about their overarching attempts to fit in is irrelevant.

The truth is, people are wise. We read each other even when we aren’t trying, we’re subconsciously studying each other’s behavior, our body language, our tones and our choice of reactions and non-reactions.

Our emotional intelligence is built in and we can always spot a phony.

WHAT’S WRONG WITH CONFORMITY?

You may say something like, “it’s just me going with the flow to be a part of the collective. We all compromise, don’t we?”

Compromise is one thing. We may compromise some of how we speak in a business meeting versus how we laugh and joke in front of our close friends or family. This is more so our way of being savvy in how we function through the many roles we adopt and adapt to in our lives. At the business meeting, you’re not compromising who you are, you are respecting the situation and acting appropriately to it.

The difference between this and conformity has to do with real compromise and real self-sacrifice for the sake of fitting in.

WHEN YOU CONFORM, YOU COMPROMISE YOURSELF – YOUR PRINCIPLES, YOUR VALUES, YOUR BELIEFS, YOUR TRUTH. YOU.

In many cases, it is a split between who you really are and who you pretend to be in order to be accepted. Some people don’t even realize they’re doing it. They are just trying to act “normal.” As if acting normal means just play along and follow blindly in hopes that no one sees any difference between you and themselves.

But what would happen, if you were to start spending less time and energy worrying about what others might think about the real you, and start BEING it?

As I mentioned, the need to belong is normal. This is exactly why we must follow our inner compass, our purpose, our path. This is where you actually meet and build with likeminded people who become your tribe, your community, your collective of people that you actually identify with and can build deep bonds and meaningful relationships with. This is all directly in sync with your life’s purpose.

WHEN YOU’RE LIVING IN YOUR PURPOSE, THERE IS NO NEED TO CONFORM. YOU JUST LIVE AS YOU ARE.

And the people who share their lives with you, are part of it. These are the people you fit in with, because your purpose and truth is identifiable and relatable to theirs.

But the only way to get there is to stop chasing the crowd. Stop discarding yourself and assuming the folks you are so eager to try and fit in with are actually worth any of your time at all. The sooner you can detach from this “need” to fit in, the sooner you can start living your own life and getting closer to your purpose. You need to become aware of the spilt between who you really are and who you’re presenting to the world and why you’re doing it. This can be a challenging truth to face.

Maybe you’re conforming because you feel you’re not good enough. Maybe you’re doing it out of fear of being ostracized. Maybe out of fear of rejection.

Maybe you fear no one will like the real you as the way you truly are so you have to hide in order to fit in with the “winning team,” with mainstream society.

Overcoming these fears is a necessary first step in detaching yourself from the need to fit in and essentially to begin living YOUR life.

Only then will you find people who will love and respect you for who you really are. And the beauty is, you don’t have to seek out to “find” these people. They are there already and are on their own paths that align with yours so you naturally connect as you follow your respective path.

TRUTH FOLLOWS TRUTH.

And true empowerment comes from finding your very own life’s purpose, your own clear intention, and your vision.

Taking this step is easier said than done and requires real self honesty, inner strength and consistent work. Doing it alone can be challenging at best. 

For me to become the man I am today I had to completely detach myself from what I thought I had to be. I’ve been on this journey a long time and developed a program for you to take this essential step.

Check out my program Self-Empowerment through Purpose today and don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or specific points of interest around this topic via email to [email protected]

So long,

Orlando Owen