Everyone has heard the old basic concept of “following the crowd”. When a person follows the crowd they sacrifice their difference, their individuality, their goals, and at least somewhat, their true self. How following the crowd evolves and transpires is rather complicated. Somewhere in the realm of things is a leader (or leaders). Perhaps they have individuality of their own. Perhaps they just have money and could buy influence, even though the influence lacks depth or higher principles.
In psychology, environmental influence is right up there with genetic influence in terms of importance. Things don’t just happen. They come to be, due to environmental stimulus, or variables. There is something known as “group think”, where without any subjective reason or critical thinking, a group of individuals accept something as fact, a construct, usually because it is widely influential. Culture sets a large part of this up. Culture is another complicated matter in psychology. Influenced by politics, geography, economics, art, and social evolution for better or worse, it has a major impact on how one views the world.
The fact is, most people follow the crowd. The benefit is they get to fit in, find a sense of security, give up the stress of uncertainty more quickly, and for some find an identity. However, these things can be detrimental in the grand scheme of things if one wants to live life to the fullest.
Fitting in and following the crowd usually consists of dominance about what other people think. People are afraid to look bad so they would rather fit in. For example, it is a fact that public speaking is the number one fear on most peoples’ lists. People are more afraid of public speaking than things that one would find quite obvious. Why? Because they are afraid of being judged, ridiculed, messing up, being different. The funny thing is that speaking up is one of the best things one can do if they have a clear idea of what they want to express to take action in order to obtain a better outcome.
The Selling Out of Original Goals
Through the years in sports, in classrooms, in business, and in corporations, and in gyms, I’ve clearly witnessed the effects of following the crowd and observed the causes. I’ve witnessed too many people sell out on their true original goals that they want to achieve in order to fit in, for fear of being judged, for just pure laziness, or just a sense of power and security. Unfortunately, these people rarely get what they want and achieve their goals.
Here’s where the problem arrives, and where the concept of individuality comes in. If you follow the crowd, then you can only go as far as the crowd. This is commonly known as “mediocrity”. In reality, most people do not dream of mediocrity. They dream of inspirational things, and of achieving success and a vision of what it is they are trying to do. Unfortunately, their insecurities or minor choices lead them to lead down a path of mediocrity.
In Fitness and in the Gym as well As All Areas of Life
Since this is a fitness and bodybuilding article, I have to relate it to the gym. The question is pretty simple in these terms- why is it that very few people achieve the body that they say they want to achieve when they join and enter? Why do so few people not achieve a level of excellence and their true goals in physical fitness? Yet, deep down, everybody knows they want to succeed and achieve that excellence.
One common thing that is undeniable when you see people in the gym who appear to be beginners or in a state of stagnation is they tend to look around at everyone else to see what everyone else is doing. This sounds so simple, but one of the secrets to how I transformed my body in 90 days when I was just starting out is that I only watched and observed and socialized with the person/people in the gym who I wanted to look like. Do you know how many people that was? One. Why would one observe what people are doing who aren’t even in the shape that they want to be in to make decisions?
If you think about it, this carries over into every single facet and area of life. If you wanted to get straight As in your classes, would you observe how the C students took notes and studied? If you wanted to get the promotion at your job, would you talk to your subordinates or people on your own level, or would you query and talk to your superiors about how they got the promotion? If you wanted to learn new schemes on how to invest money, would you talk to those who are broke, or would you talk to those who are successful and experts on real estate investing and stock investing? If you wanted to be happy, would you talk to people who are always complaining and making up excuses about how their life is awful, or would you associate with people who are happy and appreciative of what life has to offer?
The surprising thing is that most people would not even begin to think about these common sense differences, and a big reason is because it takes an individual, a leader, a person who trusts themselves, to go for what they truly want and have the courage to be unique and different. It also takes a lot of work and work ethic, which is another thing followers do not normally display. Individuals not only know what they want, but they will work hard for it to make it happen.
Find Your Individuality and Create a Life Without Limits
I’ve seen too many people sell out through the years on their true goals, dreams, and potential in every single area of life that you could imagine. The main culprit is because they refused to find the individual inside of themselves and be that, and instead they caved into following the crowd. The pressure to do so will always be there because the people in the crowd are the same people who gave up and followed the crowd. In essence, they are leaders themselves, who lead people into the crowd, but they’re not individuals.
If you want to achieve your dreams and potential in any area of life, then you have to be an individual. You have to trust yourself, be yourself, and know yourself. This is the key to unlocking and achieving your dreams. If you do not, then you will always be held down, you will never break through, and you will always be reliant on other people (the crowd) to gain your sense of self or identity. This will be your exact limit. However, if you know yourself, and have confidence in yourself, and aren’t afraid to do what you know is right, then there are no limits.-Greg Mickles