Learn How To Be Yourself in a Society Craving Conformity

Society loves forcing us into neat little boxes. 

We’re hard workers and perfect consumers. We follow the 8-8-8 fantasy of work-life-sleep. 

At work, we follow the “professional script,” using corporate lingo and serving with a smile. At home, we raise 2.5 perfect children and maintain a museum-quality home. Our hobbies include reading, sports, and anything “niche” that gets us into stores to spend more money. 

The world wants us to conform. But you don’t have to. 

Have the courage to be yourself despite society’s pressure to conform. 

How the World Holds Us Back

Society wants perfect cogs for the machine. It designs everything to force you into one of its boxes. 

The media glorifies the police and military. Religions promote gender roles and child-rearing. Ads surround us, telling us to buy more and more and more. 

It’s nearly impossible to escape, and those who don’t pay attention find themselves trapped. 

Here are some of the most significant ways society destroys individualism. 


The younger you are, the easier it is to brainwash you. Society starts its insidious plot the second you enter grade school.

Kids who can’t sit quietly and absorb knowledge, like the public school system wants them to get left behind or medicated. We refuse to develop courses catered to different learning styles, instead insisting that every student must fit themselves into the perfect box. If they can’t, that’s just too bad – they get left behind. 

Some districts offer special help to kids who don’t fit neatly into the box. Remedial classes, work-study programs, individualized education programs, and workshops help kids who don’t conform catch up. But none of these special programs play to the kid’s strengths; they’re all designed to help the child fit themself into society’s box. 

Earning a Living

It’s even worse when you’re an adult. Now, nobody cares if you fail. There are no safety nets to catch you if you try something different and fail. You end up in the street if you don’t do what they want. 

If you come from a low-income family, your chances of making it as an artist, creator, scientist, academic, or inventor are slim to none. The folks who dedicate their lives to exploring the world around them and creating beautiful things add no value to investors, so society doesn’t care if they live or die. 

People from wealthy families can afford to explore, but most of us can’t. If we don’t spend all our time working, we’ll end up homeless. Instead of creating epic works of art and solving the world’s biggest problems, the masses spend their time and energy toiling endlessly for minimum wage because if they stop, they’ll lose everything. 

It’s Worse for Women. They get the propaganda that they must become loving mothers, but society doesn’t actually value motherhood. It scoffs at the very notion of supporting women who wish to care for their children while telling them motherhood should be their primary life goal

Society Values Profits Above All Else

Society only cares about mothers because it wants women to create more babies for the machine. 

It pushes us all into jobs that make money because the goal is to get you to spend as much as possible to keep the machine going. It doesn’t care if you don’t have the aptitude to be a doctor or the physical intelligence to work a trade. 

It wants you toiling because any other option would go against the house of cards it was built upon. 

The Media

Our media bursts with propaganda telling us how to think. It starts from birth, with the earliest kids shows, and continues until the day we die. 

Everything, from books to kids shows to movies, showcases the ideal family as a mother, father, and children. Most conform to gender roles, with mom as the comforting nurturer and dad as the stern provider. 

All women on TV want families; there’s no room for women to want anything else.  The most iconic child-free women in the media are villains like Cruella De-Ville, while superheroes like Black Widow deem themselves “less than” because they can’t have kids. The child-free women who suddenly get pregnant do a complete 180 and decide they want children after all (Penny and Bernadette from The Big Bang Theory, Bones). 

The media also promotes a pro-military, pro-police, and pro-religion ideal. How many films show the US as the glorious heroes saving the day? In contrast, how many movies highlight the questionable engagements the US engaged in? Every movie about the Vietnam War celebrates the Soldiers, but very few touch on the political agendas that forced the Soldiers to go there.  


Constant messaging has one primary purpose: to get as much of your money as possible.

Our schools teach us to conform, our work culture keeps our minds numbs, and the media tells us what to think, all so we do exactly what it wants us to do: consume, consume, consume. 

We buy things we don’t need so we’ll feel alive, if just for a moment. We go into debt for houses and cars to fit in with our neighbors and colleagues. We spend frivolously in a desperate attempt to find happiness that doesn’t exist. 

It’s all by design, but you don’t have to stay stuck in the box. 

How to Be Yourself Despite It

Society tries so hard to stamp away individualism and force us into those neat little consumer boxes, but you don’t have to conform. 

You can be yourself and find happiness in a world desperately trying to hold you back. 

Here’s how to buck the system. 

Recognize the Propaganda

You might scoff at the idea that society despises individualism. Society was built on it! Rugged individualism is one of the values Americans value most!

Take a moment to consider what that really means. How much of it is propaganda about a particular aesthetic? 

Nearly everything you see, read, and consume has an angle (even this!). Learn to recognize it so you can think critically about the message it’s instilling. 

Find Yourself

Society spent years molding you into what it wants you to be. Do you even know what you want anymore?

Take time to truly examine what you want out of life and why you want it. Do you want to have kids because of parental or societal pressure, or do you truly wish to dedicate 20 years of your life to nurturing another human being? 

Spend time with yourself, discovering what you truly want. Dabble in hobbies, learn new things, and explore the vast array of experiences available. Uncover what you want without any outside influences.

Create an Out

We must live by society’s rules—we’ll starve if we don’t—but we can work smarter by creating an escape for ourselves. 

Artists can work on their craft in their spare time and create Etsy stores to sell their work. Graphic designers can open shops on print-on-demand platforms. Writers can blog. 

There are many small ways to start building your own business so you can stop working for someone else. The building phase may take a few years of hustling, but it’s not impossible.

If you remain dedicated, you’ll eventually build something you can support yourself with. 

Pursue Financial Freedom

When you no longer have to worry about money, you can pursue your interests. Financial Independence gives you that opportunity. 

Take a hard look at your finances and develop a savings plan that will allow you to escape the rat race. Make a budget and cut out all unnecessary expenses. Put your eyes on the goal and never stop working toward it. 

When you pursue financial independence, you’ll still have to work hard by society’s rules, but you’ll see a light at the end of the tunnel. Once you reach that light, you can do whatever you want. 

Financial independence may not be right for you, and that’s fine, too. Not everyone can or wants to make sacrifices now for more freedom later, and that’s ok. Being yourself is about pursuing the right path for you, wherever that leads. 

Allow Yourself To Be Yourself

After society shoves us into our boxes, we wear masks to fit in. We go to sports bars even though we hate sports because that’s what everyone else is doing. We feign interest in pop culture because everyone is talking about it. 

There’s tons of pressure to play along, but you don’t have to. 

Start with the small things.

Jam your music on your way to work. Bring photos and plants into your workspace to make it your own. Engage in your hobbies, even if they’re outside the mainstream. Use online resources to find like-minded individuals with whom to build a community. 

Let yourself have fun. 

When you start enjoying yourself, people will notice. They’ll be drawn to your energy and charisma. Most of them will respect you for doing your own thing. 

Ignore the Haters

Of course, there will always be naysayers. Some people will “tsk tsk” you for daring to do something they can’t imagine. Others will hate you for going against the status quo. 

Ignore them. 

Chances are, the people who hate you for being yourself don’t really matter. Who cares if your nosey neighbor scoffs at your artwork? Why do you need to impress Jim down the street?

Stop caring about what people who don’t matter think. 

Get Silly

Sometimes, we get so caught up in what people will think if they see us that we forget to enjoy our lives. Stop caring what people think and do what makes you happy. 

If that means you want to go to cartwheels in an empty field, go for it. If you want to sing along to the song that’s playing at the grocery store, have at it. 

One or two people might judge you for it, but you’ll never see most of them again anyway, so why does it matter? And many will appreciate your spirit. 

You will be much happier once you start doing what you want and stop caring about what others around you might think about you. It’s freeing. 

Don’t Be a Jerk

Being yourself is crucial to a happy life unless yourself is a jerk. 

Far too many people use “being myself” as an excuse to treat others poorly. You’re not “just being honest,” you’re purposefully being mean. 

If your “true self” is a jerk, you might want to do some shadow work and make changes. 

Be the Change You Want to See

Cultural changes don’t happen in a vacuum. People just like you make it happen. 

Change your behavior to shift the message. We can start the cultural shift by valuing people for who they are rather than how they make money. 

Instead of perpetuating the myth that we are only worth what we do by asking people, “What do you do?”, ask them what inspires them. 

Ask people what their favorite hobbies are or what they do for fun. Support their artistic and creative endeavors. 

We also have to change our cultural mindset about the value of work. Stop judging others for how they feed their families and show respect to the people earning the lowest wages or doing the dirtiest jobs. Everyone deserves human dignity, no matter how they earn their money.


Financial policy has a massive impact on our lives, even if we don’t always realize it. Wages, social programs, government spending, and education systems all help create society’s rules. 

Voting can change the game. Support parties and platforms seeking to help regular people. Vote for policies that will raise wages, lower prices, and make it easier for people to pursue their interests over what makes a dollar. 

Many people skip local elections, but that’s where it all starts. Your school board decides what kids learn. Your property taxes pay for education. States choose how to spend federal dollars. Voting in local elections is the best way to change your community. 

Are You Ready to Be Yourself?

The world will always try to hold you back. Don’t let society keep you from being true to yourself. Let go of your fear and show the world who you really are.