Have you ever been in a room full of people, perhaps when you were in school, and people are all responding to a question with the same or similar wrong answer and you know the correct answer, but you don’t want to raise your hand and look like a “know-it-all”?
This is all too common. We’ve been taught to blend in, not act smarter or “better” than anyone else. As a matter of fact, my son has actually be scolded in school for correcting a teacher. A couple years ago, he had a second grade teacher who would make many mistakes in math as she was teaching the kids. My son happens to be a math wizard (he currently test 5 grades ahead) so he would correct her. This apparently embarrassed and upset her so she would scold him and have him sit in the quiet chair. I do understand that none of us like to be embarrassed, however if you’re teaching kids incorrectly and you have one brave little student that is willing to speak up and help his classmates learn, why is that such a bad thing?
This is just one example of how we teach people to not stand out, to not be their authentic true self. The lesson he heard was that you shouldn’t correct authority even when they’re wrong and possibly that’s it’s somehow a bad thing for him to be smart. I’m sure you’ve all see examples of this type of thing. You may have even been involved. I’ve seen it in corporate america executive meetings – you’ll have an executive speaking and giving bad information, but no one wants to appear as challenging in the meeting so the information gets communicated anyway. Sometimes after the meeting someone is brave enough to speak up behind closed doors, not to embarrass the person and then the information gets corrected later and excuses are made as to why the bad information. Generally speaking it’s too late then as “bad information” has already begun circulating through the company.
How about being a teenager and “everybody” (because you know “everybody” does “everything”) is going to do something that you didn’t want to do, what did you do? Most chose to do the same thing everybody else is just to fit in.
To live an authentic life as your true self, it is important to act as you think. This is one of the hardest things we must chose to do in our lives but also the most rewarding! We must be willing to act as we think to enhance our everyday lives and the lives and learning of those around us!
I challenge you to speak up or to take the path you want to take despite what everyone else thinks. I urge you to let your little girls play “boys” sports or your boys to pursue dancing/acting if that’s what they want. Encourage them, support them and watch the flourish! Wouldn’t it be great if we could bring up the next generation to live authentically as their true self rather than have to try to re-invent themselves and/or make changes later in life like many adults are doing?
Go out there and take control of YOUR Life!