A Human Approach

Jae Rang Headshot

It’s Easier to Just Go Along

Who do you take after?

When you look at your parents – or pictures of your parents when they were younger – do you recognize which of their physical characteristics were passed on to you?  What about paradigms, tendencies, beliefs, and values?  Do you find yourself saying things your parents said, parenting in a similar style, earning a similar income, or participating in the same community activities?

Whether we realize it or not, so much of who we are was programmed into us at a time when our minds were wide open and we had no say in the matter.  We hadn’t yet developed our intellectual factors – will, reason, perception, intuition, or memory – so we simply accepted everything that was given or told to us as being the truth and copied them. Monkey see, monkey do.  Those copy mechanisms of mimicking our environment are part of a subconscious survival system that works perfectly.   

It probably wasn’t until we started school that we realized not everyone thought the way we did, behaved the way we did, or liked the same things as we did; so, without realizing it, we sought out people of like minds. 

There is great safety in being with a like tribe and if there is one priority to being human, it is to be safe – NOW – so not only does hanging with like minds validate our thoughts, behaviours and actions, but it supports and rewards them to a degree that we associate with survival.   As a child, going against the tribe means potential tribal judgement and conflict- to which a child has no defence.

But what about as an adult?

What happens when you become aware that some of the behaviours or beliefs of the tribe truly don’t align with who you are?  Do you compromise yourself to fit in and be accepted, or do you dare challenge the culture to honour your authentic self first?

Aha! ~ You are not your conditioning

Here’s the thing: the need to be accepted by the tribe is so strong that most people would compromise their morals and principles just to fit in.  It’s a subconscious act that provides a feeling of safety and security, but it also creates a dependency of sorts.  It’s when you come face to face with the moral dilemma: your authentic self knows that behaving to align with the tribe doesn’t feel right but is also aware of the potential punishment the tribe will impose when you go against it.  Solid tribes and cultures are necessary to our existence, but taking the reigns to know when to shed some conditioning for new paradigms that serve better is very, well, “adult”.  

“Self-sabotage is directly related to the child programming still being hyperactive in our adult life,” says Jason Christoff, Behaviour Coach.  “Although child-based adaptations and survival tactics work for us in childhood, as we move into our teens we’re supposed to develop our own self-hood and personal sovereignty.”

Recognizing that you are not your conditioning is liberating.  You get to choose what you think and who you think with. Could stepping into your true adult power of “questioning what appears to be normal” cause a stir?  Absolutely.  But life is too short to live it on someone else’s terms.


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