All my life, I have always aimed to be different. To break the rules and break tradition. Go beyond the norms and social convention. Do you tend to go that direction too?
Welcome to the club.
I think I’m not alone in this. All of us has an inner rebel within. The instinct to go against expectations. Now, are these things beneficial? Not always. Sometimes, good things happen, sometimes, it just fails. Sometimes, it’s done just to prove a point.
Let me not go into the specifics but here are some of the pros and cons of being a non-conformist. By the way, I’m not talking about breaking the law or anything, I am pointing to the day to day decisions and actions that we do every day that doesn’t usually go with the herd.
They say we will not regret the things that we did do, but the things that we didn’t.
Getting attention from being different, or being “weird” is a double-edged sword. Sometimes, you need it, sometimes, you just want people to get over with it. I think rebels just can’t hide their inner selves. It shows as we express ourselves by the way we dress, our choice in haircut, and even our stuff. Our belongings show and reflect our preferences. And these preferences may be controversial, or unconventional just like getting a mohawk, getting an unusual tattoo, or wearing weird shoes, who knows what else.
We always try to be different and this gets peoples attention. The response shall be inevitable but I think this point becomes either positive or negative depending on the reaction that one takes from a comment, stare, or judgement from others. We can choose if this effect can be a blessing or a curse.
Courage to escape or get into trouble
If there’s one thing I hate, that is dress code. I hate dressing up for parties and getting all the work up just to show up in some event. I would make a way to escape the dress code as much as I could, but somehow, there’s no helping it. But in such times where I have summoned the courage to not follow orders, most often than not, I end up getting stared for “not preparing” and simply just being called for the act. Sometimes, making up with humour is sufficient- only if I’m lucky.
The point is, not following orders usually gets a rebel into trouble. This happens in traffic situations too, like taking unusual routes. Sometimes, if we’re lucky not going with the herd gets us out of traffic, sometimes we end up getting more stuck. So, its a risk, which brings me to my next point.
Appetite for Risk-taking
For a rebel, risk-taking is second nature. Now sometimes taking risks, end up being the right choice. Sometimes, it just doesn’t work out as expected. I think non-conformists always assume the best possible outcome but having different results are taken head-on.
I think as we get older, we become better at assessing risks and making well-thought-of decisions. We become better at calculating what we’re actually risking in exchange of a possible outcome.
So, this appetite for risk may become a blessing if we learn from our prior mistakes, and this probably becomes a curse if we just go ahead and plunge at anything exciting without considering past outcomes.
Embrace your inner rebel self
So altogether, I think being a non-conformist has its benefits and downsides. We test the waters and we take a leap of faith to go ahead and try something first before we believe what anybody tells us. And yeah, sometimes we get it right, or most of the time, we get it wrong. It doesn’t matter. The thing is, we have the courage to do it in the first place.
They say we will not regret the things that we did do, but the things that we didn’t. So embrace being a rebel. Or if you’re a calculated person, try to become one once in a while. The key I think is balancing our thirst for adventure and breaking tradition, with learning from previous outcomes. We just have to aim for better results at each iteration. Make better decisions, and testing and improving our system. So if you think being a rebel is too much of a curse for you, give yourself a break and continue to push through.
So, what have you done lately?
By the way, as an additional resource, here is a link to Jason Zook’s interview in #creativepreneur magazine with his new book, Own Your Weird. Oh, also, I am not affiliated nor paid by this link, it is just a fun podcast episode you might find interesting as well.