“To go against the dominant thinking of your friends, of most of the people you see every day, is perhaps the most difficult act of heroism you can perform.” Theodore H. White
This is a quote from Theodore H. White, an American political journalist, on staying true to your beliefs and how not to follow the crowd. White was voicing his thoughts on the American President John F. Kennedy, who he’d known for a while and thought had the makings of a hero.
In a group or crowd situation, it is so easy to behave badly, after all; “I am just doing what everyone else is doing.” “It can’t be wrong if everyone is doing it.”
We do not take responsibility for our actions, and are swept along with the whims and desires of the group. Independent thinking and actions are quashed. We hand over responsibility to the group. We avoid probing questions, we don’t take independent action when we ought to, as we don’t want to stand out, or rock the boat. So we follow the herd.
Don’t let this be you.
By not following the crowd, you can take personal responsibility for your own life and do what’s right for you. In order not to follow the crowd you need to be courageous and confident.
Success in life comes from not being afraid to embrace your own unique qualities, characteristics and thoughts.
Many of us feel that the real ‘us’ is just not good enough, or that we have to fit into some type of mould to be accepted. This is not true because your signature style is what makes you unique.
By embracing and sharing the qualities that are important to you such as honesty, justice and gratitude, you will inspire others to follow your example, instead of just being someone who thinks like ‘the group’.
Ask yourself, “What would happen if I just decided not to be like the crowd and just be me?” Would some of them not like you? Maybe. But will your world come to an end? Absolutely not.
Train yourself to perform small acts of bravery. The reality is that being ‘you’ is the best thing you can do for yourself, because it’s how you gather the strength and courage you need in order to have a happier, more fulfilled life.
Learn to make your own decisions and make sure your decisions are your own. When you are in a crowd, your behaviour is heavily influenced by what the others are doing, and you look to them for direction.
Tell yourself; “I am the one in control of my own behaviour and I will live my own life.”
This positive thinking and believing in yourself will increase your self-esteem and others will look to you for direction. A confident person doesn’t worry about what their friends say.
Communicating your feelings and thoughts to people who are not on the same wave-length as you can be empowering. Just be respectful and assertive and tell them how you feel.
Tell them; “I am not comfortable with the way things are, so I am not going be doing this anymore.” By following through with this and sticking to the values that are now important to you, this makes you a hero.
You become someone others can rely on when they are trying to find their own way.
Starting now, use that inner strength you know you have to build a more courageous, confident you.