Have you ever felt like something’s wrong with you?
Innumerous times, we’ve been told or made believe that we are weird, we don’t fit in, and therefore, something’s obviously wrong with us. As kids, we are taught to leave our own ideas and fantasies behind and play the adults’ game instead… because they got it all figured out and we don’t. At school, if we looked different, we were bullied. It was like: “If you see a suspicious haircut or head cover or pimple, protect yourself and insult that kid…” In many of us, this deeply hurt our self-esteem and confidence, and some of us may have been traumatized. We felt rejected and this made us feel as if we’re somehow not worthy of love, acceptance or success.
Early on in life we learned that it was safer to either blend in with the general trend or go unnoticed. We were taught to conform, and when we didn’t, we were reprimanded by our parents or teachers, or excluded by our schoolmates. Most of us were expected to be great at math, languages, science,… but not at putting together flashy outfits, displaying unique styles or having any preferences that were not “mainstream.” Many families still expect their children to be doctors, lawyers or bankers, or at least have a college degree in some subject that’s aligned with their idea of a decent profession. As if these were the only and best options to be successful, independent of their offspring’s individual talents and preferences…
Looking different, speaking differently, behaving in any way that was not “normal” was undesirable and resulted in rejection or even exclusion. It was an impediment rather than an advantage.
But here’s the thing: Do we seriously think that it’s an accident that every single one of the 7.6bn people on this planet has a different DNA? If we all were doctors and lawyers, we’d have no restaurants to go to, no food at the supermarkets and no heating in our homes (let alone apartments). So, I guess it makes sense that we were born with different gifts and personalities. And the fact that no one has the exact same talents as you is not an accident. It’s because the world needs exactly you and what you have to offer. It needs the best version of you, the best version of who you already are. It needs your authentic brilliance, your specific greatness. That’s what in my work, I call Distinctive Uniqueness.
We have been told over and over we must work on our weaknesses (now disguised as “areas for improvement”), rather than focusing on building on our innate strengths and abilities. Admittedly, it makes sense to be aware of our lesser talents, areas we’re not naturally great at… so we know who we need to bring onto our team that can complement us in those areas. What we’re not supposed to be, is perfect.
I love generating content for workshops but am a useless graphic designer. Why would I want to spend precious time, money and energy to study graphic design and create my own flyers if there are people out there who are awesome designers and love doing it?
The same applies to corporate teams: Why would I as a Team Leader ask you to invest precious time and energy to become great at everything when I can bring others onto my team who are already great at it? Doesn’t it make more sense to let you do the work you are excellent at? And what if there’s even much more potential in this excellency? Potential you haven’t had a chance to show because we’ve been focusing so much on your “areas for improvement?”
So the question is not: “What’s wrong with me?” Instead, ask: “What’s right with me?” How can you maximize your brilliance, your genius, your Distinctive Uniqueness to your own benefit and that of the entire team? What’s there that you haven’t uncovered yet? If you could contribute more to your own success and that of your team, what would it be?
Or if you are a business owner: What are your unique qualities? How can you turn them into an asset for your business? How can they help you stand out in a crowded market so you can cash in on them?
If you’d like to explore this for yourself but don’t know how, apply for a Discover Your Distinctive Uniqueness session. Go to the Coaching page and click on the Schedule a Consult button. For you to be considered, fill out all the fields, and I’ll contact you to confirm your session.
Step into your most powerful, authentic self!