There’s nothing easier than living a life of conformity. This might seem like a radical statement until you stop to think about it. When you go along with the crowd, you make fewer decisions, have fewer questions, and don’t spend much time trying to figure out what’s best for you. Most of your behaviors, likes, and dislikes are already predetermined. Unfortunately, along with this ‘easy life’ comes a drawback – your goals are also predetermined!

Living with other people’s standards can be very tiring. You will always have things to do, but your work won’t be fulfilling, because it’s not YOUR purpose or YOUR goals you are working toward. Your personal life will also suffer.

Consider these bitter truths about living by other people’s standards and see if they don’t make you want to change your mind about blindly following the crowd.

Bitter Truth #1: You Stop Being Able to Make Decisions

brown number 1 graphicWhen you’re used to listening to what other people think you should do, decisions become harder. You trust yourself less. Your decision-making muscles and apparatus become rusty with disuse, and you’ll trust your own voice and spirit less and less.

Without someone to tell you if you’re correct, how do you know if you’re on the right track? The problem with this is that you lose autonomy and authenticity over time. You step back and let other people make all your decisions for you. What’s the result? You’re doing things you don’t even want to do, which have nothing to do with your goals, which leads us to the next point.

Bitter Truth #2: You Get on the Wrong Track

2 wall decorWhen you live by other people’s standards, you start accepting what their idea of “best” is for you. This can very quickly put you into unhealthy relationships, down career paths you never wanted to go, and into projects which hold no interest to you personally.

What’s worse, if you’re following the crowd and the crowd is wrong, you can end up in over your head, a part of something you never wanted to be involved in at all. Now you’ve fallen into the “mob mindset,” where people passionately follow anyone who is charismatic enough to lead, with no thought as to the right or wrong of the situation.

This is a recipe for trouble – not only are you living a less-than-ideal life, but you’ve also given up your power. YOU have the power to decide what’s right for you – don’t give that power away to ANYONE.

Bitter Truth #3: You Lose Who You Authentically Are

red and black number 3 lighten sigangeWorst of all is how following other people’s standards turns you into a person who only vaguely resembles who you are inside. Now you are no longer authentic or real, even to yourself.

What’s worse is the emotional toll. It’s hard to feel good about yourself when you’re ignoring everything important to you. Your moral compass gets out of whack. You lose track and lose touch with your dreams and ambitions. You’re not even reacting to the world in the way you wish you could, because you’re living a lie.

When you find you’ve been living by other people’s standards too long, there’s only one logical solution. You MUST start by being genuine with yourself, and from there, build authenticity into every interaction. Once you do this, you’ll discover true happiness and who you are.

Get started on the road to greater authenticity by checking out these articles:

Strengthen Your Personal Authenticity – 9 Easy Tips

Live Your Life on Your Terms

Affirmations: My Life is Influenced by My Expectations

About the Author Dianne Daniels

Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, and currently residing in Norwich, Connecticut, Dianne M. Daniels' mission is to empower women 50+ to Amplify their Self-Confidence, Deepen their Self-Knowledge, Inspire Creativity, and Glide into the next phase of their lives with the Power of Journaling, Affirmations, and Assessments.

You can learn how to use these time-tested proven practices to create and manifest the life you want (and deserve) to live.

Dianne is an ordained Unitarian Universalist Minister and holds a Master of Divinity degree from Starr King School for the Ministry. She's an avid reader, a lover of old houses (she renovated an 1850s vintage Greek Revival home with her family) and has been journaling since the age of 9.

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