“I’m guessing that ability to withstand peer-pressure and adhere to one’s values might translate to the kind of backbone necessary for successful lifelong relationships.” Steve Crowder.
That man could not have been more right. People always want to confide in the behaviours of those around them. So often this has brought more harm, though it’s not hard to point out some positive peer-pressure effects.
By the way, does peer-pressure affect adults?
It’s a big yes.
In 1994, a deadly war erupted between two groups. The Hutu and the Tutsi in Rwanda. More than 80,000 people were hacked or shot dead in about 100 days. Does it mean the perpetrators didn’t value life?
Actually they did, but…
Every member of the opposing groups acted contrary to their morals because that’s what their friends were doing.
Having painted a clear picture of how you could end-up a victim of group-thinking, let’s look at what you could gain from following your own lead.
1. Making Informed Decisions
Many times you’ll make decisions based on what your peers agree to. Whether right or wrong, your decisions are tailored to fit their opinion. This is the reason why people dress, invest, study, or live in a certain way regardless of the consequences. It’s simply, blindly following the masses (*stolen… many will tell you, at times the M is silent) which often leads to failure. Wait…actually massive failure.
Have you ever failed to submit your assignments in time because your friends have also not submitted?
Got you. Great!
When you resist following the crowd, you get consistent success because your decisions are tailored towards the outcome you desire.
Now, in the case above…
Imagine explaining to God on judgment day that you killed because your friends also killed. Or rather you killed to safeguard your spot in the circle.
It’s ridiculous, right?
2. Concentration on Goals and Growth
Everything in life comes at a cost. Belonging to a certain circle demands presence. You often find yourself reporting to that evening joint. The same joint where you were introduced to drugs.
Is it really worth your time?
Think about it. There isn’t much you gain from that circle while there is so much you could do with your free time. You can read a self-improvement journal, meet your mentor, check out that difficult topic, or do some exercise.
Picture this… you want to lift a heavy load to a higher ground. What’s the one thing you’ve got to do? It’s to drop any extra baggage you could be holding, right?
Success is heavy. You need to fully focus and once you achieve, you still need to remain on top. That needs even more concentration. You have to dedicate yourself to that particular course.
Seriously, you will never change doing the same things, in the same old ways, with the same old friends. That joint especially…
The driving force of peer-pressure is comparison. Comparison bleeds envy, self-pity and less self-appreciation.
So, among your friends you are the only one not dating, or the only one who doesn’t rock some $50 sneakers and you feel worthless. No…You actually want to commit suicide despite being the best guitarist in the group.
Why are you busy comparing yourself to your peers when you should be building on your strengths?
Everybody has a unique selling point. You might not recognize it especially when surrounded by people who are seemingly ahead of you. When you focus on your strengths, you start winning. But that journey begins with a note to self that goes like…
‘I’m the best that the world has ever seen, and though I don’t have those fancy sneakers right now I’m going to perfect my skill till I buy myself a flashy sports car.’
Sneakers, really? Yuck! Cultivate bigger dreams.
4. Building Meaningful Relationships
Honestly, your peers may not have as much to teach you, as those outside your circle.
What you pick from your peers is what they learnt most recently. Unfortunately, they are also in the learning process. For example, a group of friends you associate with have discovered a new, promising way of investing and they would like you to risk it too. If they were to lose, you would also be riding on the same capsizing boat, right?
What if you had older friends guiding you on how and where to invest with methods they’ve actually tried and reaped from? Would that not be less risky?
When you stop focusing all energy on your peers and start building meaningful relationships with other parties, you learn more.
5. Freedom From Peer-pressure
Peer-pressure has led many into captivity and living insufficient lives. Take the example of a young lady who hates wearing dresses and heels. She prefers trousers and flat shoes but she’s always in heels and dresses because that’s what her friends wear. The only difference between her, and a jailed woman is that one is behind bars but both have their lives dictated.
Everybody loves freedom. Sadly, following the crowd only limits that joy.
You’ve just graduated and all your friends are busy seeking jobs. Some of the lucky ones are already in employment. Your dream however was to graduate and set up a boutique. You feel the pressure to find employment because that’s what the other graduates are doing. You end up finding a job instead of setting up your boutique and growing to a magnificent fabric store.
Do you see how much you could be losing?
It’s only when you decide to follow your path that you get liberated from the need to live a certain way just to please others. You get the freedom to live your life the way you please.
Liberate yourself from peer-pressure. Stepping out means you’ve finally understood the rules of the game. You seek self-fulfilment, freedom, and your decisions are no longer bent on other people’s understanding.
You are fully concentrating on positive change, associating with better informed people and appreciating who you are, with or without flaws.
A man called Orison Swett Marden once said, “Those who have accomplished great things in the world have been, as a rule, bold, aggressive, and self-confident. They dared to step out from the crowd and act in an original way. They were not afraid of the generals.”
His words were cemented by a famous quote from Albert Einstein: A person who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The person who walks alone, is likely to find himself in places no one has seen before.
Seriously, if all these men have told you, are you still waiting for a fourth quote?
Take charge of your life and make things happen!