Why is it so easy to think like everyone else?


We have all been in that situation where we are rattling off ideas and nobody seems to notice.  Whether conceived in the moment or over many late nights, it’s always difficult to not receive positive reinforcement for original thought.

Frustration causes us to conform or to stop expressing new ideas.  Conformity has always been dangerous but, in this day in age, understanding and acting on your personal brand and vision is one of the keys to career engagement.  Whether you work as an entrepreneur, in education or in a more traditional environment, new ideas are viable to almost any organization’s success. So, then, if new ideas fuel macro success, why are we so susceptible to conformity?  The answer is simple.  Fallacious thinking makes us believe that:

1)     It’s easier to give in.  Maybe your idea is getting resistance because it needs more polishing.  If you feel like you want to withdraw, either go back to the drawing board or repackage the idea so it’s more appealing.

2)    My ideas don’t fit.  Not so fast.  Concluding that nothing fits is a sure way to slaughter your creativity. If you feel ambivalent, write your ideas down and share them with people that encourage them or that can help you make your ideas better.

3)    It’s the best way to get ahead.  There always seems to be that person that gets ahead because she doesn’t rock the boat.  Alternatively, have you considered that they tactfully know how to rock the boat?  Or, maybe, they like being the same as everyone else?

I will leave you with one of my favorite quotes:

“The reward for conformity is that everyone likes you but yourself.” – Rita Mae Brown

Spend time liking yourself and, remember, you have to experience discomfort to grow.

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