Living Without the Herd Mentality
Are you someone who tends to follow the crowd? Go with the flow? Blend in with society? This is what’s often referred to is having the ‘herd mentality’.
We are raised to stay within the herd, to follow in our parents footsteps, to blend in with our peers, and to do what we’re told. But, if you’re committed to being a leader (in this industry or any area of your life), it will require living without the herd mentality.
When you start living without the herd mentality, you are what we can call an ‘individual’. There’s a huge difference between an individual and someone who simply follows the crowd, and in order to LEAD it is necessary to be an individual.
Living without the herd mentality can often be a bit of a struggle. This is because whenever we do things that are out of the norm or different than what our peers and our ‘herd’ is doing, it will start to raise eyebrows among our friends, our families, our peers, and society in general.
People who are living with the herd mentality and following the crowd actually become uncomfortable when they see someone doing things differently.
If you’ve been an entrepreneur for any length of time, I’m sure you can relate to this. You see, we are typically raised in such a way that we’re taught to go to school and get good grades so that we can grow up and go to work for someone else…to build someone else’s fortune instead of our own.
When you start living without the herd mentality and venturing out on your own to become an entrepreneur, work from home, and make unlimited income (or maybe become an aspiring millionaire) it will undoubtedly make many of the people around you very uncomfortable. This is because it’s outside of the norm and the way we’ve been taught… and this is why we usually end up with lots of critics when we start to break the mold.
This is where the struggle comes into play. When you start to become a leader, you are (or are becoming) an individual. And when you do this and start living without the herd mentality, you will attract critics and naysayers magnetically to you. The question will then become, how bad do you want it? Are you strong enough to continue to push forward, and to be an individual regardless of what anyone else says or thinks about you? Or will you cave and go back to the herd?
My experience has been that the longer I practice living without the herd mentality, the easier it gets to remain an individual and to not allow myself to be influenced by others. I think more and more outside the box as time goes on, and what others think about me or say about me becomes less and less of a concern. With each day that goes by, I become a stronger leader and grow further and further away from any temptation to ever fit in with the crowd again.
I LOVE being an individual. I actually can’t even imagine having it any other way.
One of the challenges that comes with leadership and living without the herd mentality is having the ability to truly follow your heart and to trust that only you know what’s best for you (and for those that you’re leading). Sometimes a challenge arises because,as a leader, we are also often being ‘led’ by different coaches or mentors. And, although this is a good thing (and absolutely necessary in order for us to grow and become more of who we want to be and to learn different skills and leadership traits and styles), there still comes a time when you have to trust in only yourself.
Although your leaders and mentors will always have your best interest at heart, they cannot possibly know, at the core, what’s best for YOU all of the time. There will be times (more and nore often as you step into leadership) that there will be nobody to listen to except yourself. This will mean living without the herd mentality COMPLETELY, and simply following your heart. Being able to do this is the true definition of an individual, and this is also what it takes to be a leader.
So, let me ask you, are you living without the herd mentality or are you following the crowd?
P.S. Stay tuned for part 2 tomorrow: Why Being an Internet Marketer Requires Living Without the Herd Mentality