Life can be a scary place. The pre-historic man lived in constant fear of death from predators, hunger, and disease. Compared to this period of human existence we now live in a world of relative comfort, but inherently we are still aware of the randomness in the world, and the suffering that can happen at a moments notice. There is only one thing that is more terrifying than facing fears and that is facing fears alone.
This fear of being outcast has many people living life according to other people’s rules and not pursuing private dreams, not taking risks, and not doing things that bring disapproval. For many they shrink back to avoid fear of isolation, and voluntarily place themselves in mental prisons. Living a life of conformity provides people with the relief of not being responsible for your own actions and into unthinking compliance. They become part of the group, gang, team, or collective. This gives a sense of belonging, which provides a sense of safety and security of the collective, and at a base level it is a part of how we’ve been programmed to ensure our survival. The phenomenon of group think has been well documented by psychologists.
But, living life to appease others does have a price. There is an inner turmoil that results from living a life ruled by the agenda of others, and which conflicts with the core self. It is a heavy burden that can result in anxiety, loneliness, and bitterness, which is rooted in the pain of wasted talent and missed opportunities. There will be a price to pay by being more authentic to the inner self, and this can result in pain and suffering. Ultimately, the pain and suffering can make one weaker, or it can make them stronger.