Choosing to go Against the Grain

Facing Fears Blog - Choosing to go against the grain

Constantly in life, we are faced with making decisions. In fact, everything we do is from a decision. The clothes we wear, what we eat, what we do, who our friends are. Some decisions are easier than others but every decision we make effects our future. What if the decision you had to make was a life or death decision? And what if your gut and instinct was telling you to go against the grain?

During the decision-making process, as human beings, we take into account social proof, probably more than we should. A lot of the time people are swayed to follow the crowd and do what everyone else is doing because it is the safe and proven method. But is it necessarily right? It takes more courage, effort and conviction to choose the less popular path or the road less travelled.

This is because one of the six human needs, according to Tony Robbins is certainty. We all have a fear of being wrong so we will often follow the crowd because it provides us with the certainty that what we are choosing isn’t wrong. But what if it’s wrong for you? What if it doesn’t align with your core values? Or your fundamental beliefs? Then you will have a dilemma.

Another fear that stops us from stepping out and choosing our own path is the fear of being judged which can lead to disconnect. Another of our six core human needs is to be loved and connected. So, we think that if we stick with what everyone else is doing then we will have connection. What if your life was on the line though?

My guest this week on The Fearless Females Podcast is Judith Treanor and she had to make such a decision. As a 36yo mother she was faced with the diagnosis of breast cancer and had to make decisions about her treatment that literally were life decisions. The interview, which you can listen to here, is about how she made those decisions, why she went against the grain and how she supported herself through this process.

If you are wanting to make a decision that goes against the grain, here are the steps she took:

  1. Do your research – As Judith says during the interview and I too am an avid believer that, “Knowledge is power”. You can’t make a decision without all of the relevant information so you need to take the time to do that research so that you are making a decision with a clear view of all of the facts.
  2. Weigh it all up – Evaluate the information you find from a logical point of view, rather than a feelings base. Be sure that the information you find is not bias, or if it is, then you are aware of the bias. Dig as deep as you can to be sure you are getting everything you need. Don’t leave any stone un turned.
  3. Listen to your intuition – Now it’s time to check in with what your gut is saying to you, get clear on your values and be in integrity with yourself. What is that deep part of your knowingness is trying to tell you now that it has all of the facts. Allow yourself to hear what it is saying. Be calm and still and let it show you the way.
  4. Make your decision – Draw a line in the sand and step into the unknown but do it with confidence that you have weighed up all of the information available and come to the right decision. Don’t half make a decision, there is no fifty-fifty or grey. Every decision requires 100% commitment to that decision. There is no more sitting on the fence.
  5. Create a support network around you – When you make a decision, especially one that isn’t the ‘norm’ it can be very lonely because you are travelling a road that is less travelled. So, it’s important that you realise there will be those who wish to tell you that you are wrong because what you are doing challenges their own personal beliefs.

My guest Judith Treanor was told, “How can you not do chemo? Don’t you want to see your little boy grow up?” These sorts of statements can hurt and can cause you to doubt your decision so be sure to keep away from such negativity and surround yourself with those who support your mission and can admire and respect you for going against the grain.


  1. Jenny De Lacy on January 9, 2017 at 4:12 pm

    Fantastic blog post. So true that we make easier decisions because we don’t want to upset people or step outside the collective. I’d love to see more about this topic

  2. Jonathan on March 20, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    Yes, I agree Jenny. It would be nice to find more information on the topic. Marching to the beat of your own drum can sometimes be a lonely existence.

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