We all at one time have felt compelled to live to people’s general expectations of us haven’t we? At times it exerts so much pressure on us that we lose our self in the process of trying to conform to the expectations that people do have of us.
Almost everyone is trying to make the cut. Ever wondered who is responsible for designing that cut? Who makes all those stereotypes that we all try to live up to? Like, women should marry at a certain age or men should not pay attention to detail?
Are we all struggling to make the cut that we did not design? It is important for each one of us to investigate the expectations of any place that we are in and what they mean in relation to us. You need to ask yourself if you will be bound by these expectations and stereotypes. If you fail to make these investigations you will find yourself unconsciously conforming to the cut made out for you.
Every organisation and institution has a way of doing things. Be it a school, business firm or church. They have an organisational culture. Organisational cultures are so powerful they influence the way things are done in that organisation. All people try to conform and make the cut in that organisation. People are scared of standing out and being different. They will just try and make the cut.
The burden of making the cut is so much that at times you may lose yourself. It’s so demanding that at times you are forced to neglect the very principles that define who you are just so you make the cut.
Is it worth it to lose your identity just because you want to make the cut? Would you trade your principles and values so that you just fit in? These are important questions to ask because you are confronted with such choices on a daily basis in all your circles. You have the choice either to be assertive to stamp out your perspective and belief or the choice to just go with the flow.
It is easy to go with the flow. There is no energy required or additional strength necessary when you go with the flow. That is why it is difficult to go against the flow. It seems like people are afraid to stand out and show their true colours. Most people are like chameleons that change their shades so that they blend in with every environment that they get in to. A chameleon changes its colours so that it is safe in an environment; so that it goes unnoticed. You might see a chameleon on a dry tree and think it’s a twig only to be shocked after getting close that it’s actually a living creature.
Some people are just like that. They behave in typical chameleon behaviour because they feel they are safe that way; because they just want to go unnoticed. But just like the chameleon which doesn’t have a single colour that can be used to identify it, they too have lost their identity. You can’t describe them in any way. They go in various organisations, schools or circles and they still fit in perfectly.
Most of us these days are guilty of being schizophrenics. We have multiple personalities just like the chameleon and we play them so perfectly well. If we are with our friends we exhibit certain behaviour, different from the behaviour known by our teachers or bosses which is also different from our behaviour known at church. We do not even see that it’s a disorder and in the process we are compromising our identity. This is just the equivalence of selling your soul! Yes, because if you are going to trade your core principles in the work place just because you want to keep a job, or trade your beliefs just because you want to make the cut and fit in with you friends you are just selling a piece of your soul every time you do it. The truth is deep down it eats you and tears you apart.
Decide to be yourself. Be true to your beliefs and values. If you do not believe in bribes, do not bribe anyone for anything no matter what you stand to lose. Never justify yourself by saying everyone is doing it. There is nothing wrong in being different and standing out. Be bold enough to assert yourself and values then you will have truly liberated yourself. Wonder why everyone is afraid of being different these days, the law against being different has not been gazetted yet!
Those who define the organisation culture are people who were never scared of exhibiting their belief system; be one of them!
Till next week guys, God bless you all
The writer is a motivational speaker
He can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org