Structure is a necessary cog in society, but structure should not force feelings of conformity upon us, especially in adulthood. These molds though can be tough to break.
Several risks of groupthink include:
1. False sense of security – Simply put, it feels safer to do what everyone else is doing.
2. Forgoing difficult conversations – Relationships and organizations grow when people are willing to have constructive (and often uncomfortable) conversations in a respectable manner.
3. Avoiding long-term visions – We have been trained to expect short-term rewards for compliance and small successes. We may avoid our dreams and visions in lieu of these Pavlovian-thrown bones.
4. Social acceptance – Taking your own path can make others uncomfortable. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make the best choice for you and your family.
5. Ignoring opportunity – See potential. Do not count on a big break, but rather be aware of your skill-sets, relationships, and desires. Welcome the unknown.
6. Quelling individualism – We are at our strongest when we are confident with the differentiating factors we bring to the table. There is no one else in this world like you. Be true to you.
Though a change in career, relationship or life carries risks, so too does remaining “comfortable”. In keeping status quo, nothing may go wrong, but living life trying to keep bad things from happening is the gravest opportunity cost of them all.