Tribal Mentality: How Fear of Feeling Out is Holding Us Back

September 11th, 2019

By Niraj Soma Naik

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

When I was a pharmacist, a fellow pharmacist who was from Nigeria told me how tribal culture had historically held back progress in some parts of Africa. The king of the tribe (usually the most dominant/alpha/territorial character) would kill off anyone who came up with a new invention out of fear that they would become the new king.

Similar things have happened historically in Europe too; kings and queens never want to lose their power to the people. Africa and Asia were also pillaged by those Imperial powers, who believed their capitalist culture was far superior to the natives’. They destroyed their culture and vast resources of wisdom in order to impose their own regime and control.

In places like India, Imperial rulers feared the superior technology and innovation of the natives and wanted a piece of the action – read Vasco Da Gama’s conquest of India and the real history of what he discovered. China too, as Marco Polo writes when he first discovers China and its far superior culture compared to Europe. This kind of oppression was a driving factor behind the civil wars and rebellions that eventually overthrew Imperial rule around the world.

These days much of the world has traded Imperial rule for democracy and free market economies – but how much have things really changed? Have we simply replaced the power of kings and queens with the power of capitalism and corporations? Are the Imperial powers still very much in control of their subjects through sophisticated banking and economics? (Watch the documentary The Spider’s Web on YouTube – and you will discover exactly how they do that).

I used to work in the Head Office of one of the world’s largest corporations, and saw first hand that on a corporate level, bosses will shut down innovative ideas out of fear of a rebel taking over their position. It happened to me on numerous occasions.

In fact, there is so much evidence out there supporting the fact corporations do whatever they can to shut down competition even to the point of taking out their enemies in the same way a king would kill a fellow tribesman (read about Rife Machines here and here, Watch Grass is Greener on Netflix, and check the recent stuff about Dr Sebi/Nipsey Hussle).

At school growing up I saw and experienced – and even can be blamed myself at times – the way an alpha or dominant character would shut down people for being innovative, being smarter than the tribe, or even wearing different clothes. Peer group pressure is real and can prevent awesome ideas from flourishing. Do people really ever grow out of the school playground mentality?

Fear of Feeling Out

What is behind this kind of tribal culture, whether it’s in historic ancestral tribes or in the hallways of a modern college or a smart office? Why does it happen in the first place?

Instinctively we do not want to feel excluded from a group. I call this FOFO (Fear Of Feeling Out).

Back in the tribal times of our ancestors, your survival really depended a lot on fitting into the tribe you were born into. If you were excluded (for example, if you were born with disabilities or simply if someone didn’t like you!) you were pretty much dead unless you were strong and adaptive enough to go and form your own tribe elsewhere.

This also meant that the alphas who dominate and lead a tribe would be the first to shut down a potential threat to their position. They would be the first to shame, dumb down, and even fight to the death a person who threatened their superiority. They have to maintain their status.

This instinctive nature to belong to a tribe at all costs – even if the values of the tribe do not really match your own – is what maintains the status quo we have today.

Renegades Create Progress

Most people don’t want to cause trouble and just want to live in “comfort”. However some people cannot handle the totally false sense of comfort that comes belonging to a tribe that does not share their own values. Some will even die for their truth and beliefs, as seen in multiple revolutions against ruling political parties across the history of the world.

We need these people! We need more people to start standing for what they believe despite the possible rejection! Without these people, we would still be living in caves trying to start fires with sticks. Really.

These are the rebels, misfits, renegades who go on to change the status quo and create innovation. Sure, not all renegades and rebels are good people. Many renegades have created tribes and cultures designed to negatively manipulate, exclude, even torture other tribes and communities. But without the vision and creativity of those prepared to stand up for their truth, where would we be? Perhaps where we are today.

Have we really just gone from tropical jungles to concrete jungles? Are we really just apes wearing fancy clothes? To create real change and progress, surely we’re going to need to challenge our instinctive tribal identity.

Also by Niraj Naik:

About the author:

Niraj Naik is a certified pharmacist turned holistic health and breathwork expert. Having cured himself from Ulcerative Colitis, he is dedicated to helping others restore their health and improve their overall quality of life with holistic practices and lifestyle changes where stress and gut health is a factor. He is known internationally as The Renegade Pharmacist and founder of SOMA Breath.

Instagram @the_renegade_pharmacist

If you've ever found value in our articles, we'd greatly appreciate your support by purchasing Mindful Meditation Techniques for Kids - A Practical Guide for Adults to Empower Kids with the Gift of Inner Peace and Resilience for Life.

In the spirit of mindfulness, we encourage you to choose the paperback version. Delve into its pages away from screen glare and notifications, allowing yourself to fully immerse in the transformative practices within. The physical book enriches the learning process and serves as a tangible commitment to mindfulness, easily shared among family and friends.

Over the past few years, Wake Up World has faced significant online censorship, impacting our financial ability to stay online. Instead of soliciting donations, we're exploring win-win solutions with our readers to remain financially viable. Moving into book publishing, we hope to secure ongoing funds to continue our mission. With over 8,500 articles published in the past 13 years, we are committed to keeping our content free and accessible to everyone, without resorting to a paywall.