Here is a question that you may have asked or are asking right now;
do you feel compelled to be somebody you're not? Do you live in a big
house because you think it is required to fit the mold of others? Does your
choice of furniture reflect what you think others would expect you to have?
Does the car you drive fit with what you believe others think you should drive?
Did You Ever
Have you ever stopped to think how much energy, or for that matter,
how much you complicate your life, by pretending to be someone you're
Maybe this is partly a reflection of a portrayed lifestyle you see every day
on the television, or those latest magazines depicting a glamorous lifestyle.
Who are you trying to impress - you, or everyone else?
Think how simple your life would be if you stopped for a moment and
just learned to be yourself. Or, even more importantly, think how simple
and stress free your life would be if you do not conform to the current
economic culture where you spend more than you make.
Take one of my previous co-workers, Karen, for example. Karen spends
most of her day worrying about what other people think about her.
She buys furniture in a style that she thinks would impress her friends
even though this furniture is very uncomfortable. She conforms to the latest
fashion and trend regardless whether she likes it or not. In fact, she divests
herself of furniture that is not only functional but is also without signs of wear
and tear. In essence, she trashes what is still good.
The same goes for clothing. It doesn't matter if it is comfortable what
matters to her is it the latest fashion; does she look great in it is her concern.
As well, every time she goes out the door, she worries whether what she
wears, or how she looks, is up to the standards of the people she knows that
she just might meet at the neighbourhood store. Comfort is not her concern
but, instead, it is conformity.
In Short, Who Cares
What is the real meat in this conformity cycle? The meat is this: be yourself,
enjoy who you are.
For example, if you need comfy furniture that really invites you to curl up
and relax, then do it. After all, whom are you trying to impress with
uncomfortable furniture? You're the one who has to live there. You're the one
who should be comfortable in your own home. To live in conformity cowing
to what others think is no different than sailing a rudderless ship that is directed
by the prevailing wind. When the wind changes course a rudderless ship
changes in the same direction.
One thing I've come to realize is that it really doesn't matter what other
people may think. If they are that small minded, or if they want to impress
whomever, let them. I, for one, don't care. I don't have to spend any energy
or complicate my life by what others may think. Isn't it really a matter of
what's inside of you that should reflect who you really are? Or, is the question
more about the real issue; that issue being that you have no clear idea who
you really are?
Don't waste your time, your energy, or complicate your life by worrying
about what other people may think. It really boils down to this - if they shun
me, or look down their noses at me because of my furniture, or the house
I live in, or the car I drive, then do I really want or need them as friends?
The answer is a resounding no.
It is not what furniture you possess; it is not the size or style of your home;
it is not the clothes you wear; it is not the type of car you drive; it is not how
many or the kind of clubs you belong to; it is who you deep down inside
that really matters.
Did It Help?
Several years ago, I was in a position to see what happens to people who
spend their lives pretending to be someone they are not.
These people invited a lot of their colleagues and superiors over to their
home for a weekend BBQ, or for a sit down dinner. Their intent in inviting
colleagues and superiors was to position themselves with either one or both
in a more favorable position for promotions.
Each part of this duo couple was working in a similar area and in related
Over the next two years, these parties were conducted on a regular basis
and were always elaborate. I had occasion to speak with both of them near
the end of their second year of almost non-stop hosting, and was amazed at
what they told me.
I asked them point blank if they were successful in their quest to garner
consideration for promotion as a result of their extensive and elaborate parties?
Given that they had previously told me that their efforts was what was
required to get ahead, I was surprised to learn that both answered almost
in unison that they regretted starting out on this venture, and detested each
and every party.
Why Do This If You Detest Doing It?
In very simple terms, they told me that they always had to pretend to enjoy
the people they invited even though some of them were quite arrogant,
some were there simply to eat their food and drink their wine, and some
even had the nerve to invite a few of their friends along with them to gorge
themselves on food and wine. In short, they knew they were being used.
I also asked them if they had been promoted or given any special treatment
by their superiors over the past two years. The short answer was none;
not one thing had changed.
Here is a perfect example of two people who tried to both buy and
bribe their way to greater promotions and had failed miserably. They
pretended to like people they did not; they pretended to be gracious hosts
and hated every moment; and they entertained to please others they had
little or no respect for.
The Message Is Clear:
Be true to yourself, be honest
with others. Live with truth and not lies
or deception. You are just as valuable a person whether you live in a one
room apartment or in a thirty room mansion. Your real worth as a person
is not measured by your possessions but by your attitude, ethics, and
The person you harm by being a conformist is the inner-self,
the real you.
Inspirational Quotes for Reflection:
"You cannot look to other people to make you feel loved or even happy. Accept yourself exactly as you are... flaws and all."
"Your only obligation in any lifetime is to be true to yourself. Being true to anyone else or anything else is not only impossible, but the mark of a false messiah."
"Change may involve new ways of thinking, doing, being, and growing."
Dr. Silva Green
"Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story."
"Self-belief can have such an impact on every area of your life that it's vital to try and enhance your attitude to yourself before you move on and tackle other issues relating to your confidence."
"The value of compassion cannot be over-emphasized. Anyone can criticize. It takes a true believer to be compassionate. No greater burden can be borne by an individual than to know no one cares or understands."
Arthur H. Stainback
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."