Engaging With Non-Conformity
When we work with clients one of the things we do is explore existing beliefs and values – so that we have a good idea of the mental filters that client has in place.
Why? Because our pre-conceptions and filters play a role in our own perception of our reality. My reality is different to your reality, and both are different from the actual truth. If we can look at our own reality dispassionately, then we have the power to change it.
Our amazing minds, in an effort to help us process the myriad of information flying at us, carry out a process of filtering renowned psychologist Chomsky broke down into: generalisations, deletions, distortions and personalisations.
For example, if my experience of going to a gym was that it was smelly, I didn’t like the machines, the PT I had was mean and nasty, and that after 2 weeks I got no results – then my filters are likely to round this up into “the gym doesn’t work for me”, or something similar.
This is a perception and clearly not a truth, but that perception is my truth. For now. This is where engaging with non-conformity comes in.
Now, by non-conformity I don’t mean slinging on tie-die clothes and heading off to live in a commune. In fact, I live in Ibiza where many of the ‘non-conformists’ actually all dress and act the same – they confirm to their own social norms. Their non-conformism has paradoxically become their own conformism.
What we are talking about is being prepared to challenge your own filters and beliefs. To “non-conform” with your own set of rules for the world. Why?
Because doing what you have always done is only ever going to get you what you’ve always got.
Fine if what you’ve got is working for you. If it’s not, you’re stuck.
So you need to be prepared to engage with your non-conformity, challenge your rules and beliefs and be prepared to change and grow.
Let’s look at the original example of the bad gym experience. If I’m prepared to challenge that I can reset my filters: “other people get results from going to the gym”, “I just didn’t know what I was doing last time, now I have an expert coach”, and so on.
Be prepared to look at your filters, really look, accept them without judgement and see your own reality as it is with the rules you have put in place.
Take a look at your life and see what filters might be holding you back, and where engaging with non-conformity might give you the opportunity to learn and grow.