“When you’re different, sometimes you don’t see the millions of people who accept you for what you are. All you notice is the person who doesn’t.” ~ Jodi Picoult, author
I know what it’s like to feel different. I also know how much energy it takes trying to be like everyone else. And I also know from experience that daring to be different, having the courage to be authentically you and celebrating your uniqueness is one of the most liberating experiences of all.
Value Your Difference and Celebrate Being You
“In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.” – Coco Chanel
When you value your difference and cherish being unique you will find true happiness. Happier people are happier parents, lovers, friends, allies, colleagues, and community members. Imagine what a different world it would be if more people felt free to be themselves and happy in their uniqueness.
To change anything we must be the change we want to see. In the Mid-Life Career Rescue series and also in my book The Art of Success I share strategies to help you have the courage to be authentically you by guiding you through a step-by-step process to discover who you truly are and the things that bring you joy.
Chances are you may have grazed these books and put them aside without taking action. I know, I’ve done the same thing myself. But I also know it’s good to revisit these books, and any others that have inspired you, and choose 1-3 things to implement in the next 3 days, 3 weeks, 3 months that will make a difference to your happiness and success. In the meanwhile here’s a few ways to boost your courage and be authentically you:
1.) Validate and empower your relationship with yourself. When you have healthy self-esteem you have mastered the art of self-love. You don’t need to shout your worth from the roof-tops. You don’t need to say, ‘Look at me! Look at me!’ And you don’t need the validation of others to succeed.
“Many people want to please their peers, they want to please other successful people, they want to be recognised by academia or hear everyone tell them how good they are. Forget about it. Who cares? You are here to share your soul—not to please others,” encourages the author of The Alchemist, Paulo Coehlo.
Your willingness to grow, change, take risks, and be open to all aspects of your soul, regardless of the opinions of others, is a sign of healthy self-esteem and your belief in you and your vision for happiness and success.
Criticism won’t stop you in your tracks, praise won’t sway you from your mission, your authentic self and your work created with love and self-belief will magnetise people to you. Infuse everything you do with your beautiful energy.
2.) Be inspired by others. Look to your hero’s—the men and women who have embraced their difference. My first book in The Art of Success series was inspired by one of history’s most enduring and talented outliers, Leonardo da Vinci. I’m currently finishing the second book in the series which is inspired by another fabulously original person, Coco Chanel. Other famously successful and unique people that inspire me include Iraqi-born British architect, Dame Zaha Mohammad Hadid, actress Drew Barrymore, and singer Meatloaf—infamous for his ground-breaking album Bat Out of Hell. Oprah also inspires me, and so many others too.
“I had no idea that being your authentic self could make me as rich as I’ve become. If I had, I’d have done it a lot earlier, Oprah once said. Who inspires you? How can they be a catalyst to your success?
I love the way these people and others reinvent themselves—something I am taking to heart as I develop my new brand Mollie Mathews and write romance novels. You can preview four chapters of my first novel for free here
3.) Develop social savvy. As I shared in The Art of Success Leonardo da Vinci was unique, different and unusual. He stood out from the crowd simply by following his curiosity and daring to challenge the norm. In doing so he attracted fans as well as rivals.
If you are original, different, or unusual in some way, your tendency to stand out from the crowd can make you a more visible target. You may attract people who are jealous of you, and may act out angrily or violently to try and sabotage your success. Staying strong and grounded while still keeping true to your unique vision and quest requires resilience, and the ability to develop ‘social savvy.’
This is where cultivating the right mindset is important. If you think like a victim, or believe that you are the scapegoat of your family or other social groups, you will find it difficult to get along with others and live in society.
An important diplomatic skill to master, says psychiatrist and neuroscientist Dr Mona Lisa Schultz, is assertiveness—the ability to say the right thing to the right person with the right amount of emotional intensity.
How assertive are you? Do you know how to handle another person’s anger, jealousy or hostility? Socially savvy people who are diplomatic either address it directly, diffuse it (humour, compassion etc.) or ignore it. Their strategy differs depending on the situation. Whatever strategy you choose ensure that you don’t become so paralysed by conflict that you become submissive, defensive, or in any way disempowered. Critically, do not give up, or fade into obscurity.
If your confidence could do with a boost you’ll find some helpful tips in my latest book, Boost Your Self-Esteem and Confidence: Six Easy Steps to Increase Self-Confidence, Self-esteem, Self-Value and Love Yourself More. Available in paperback and eBook from Amazon here >> getBook.at/BoostYourSelfEsteemAndConfidence
The Christmas gift that keeps giving
If you’re looking for Christmas gifts with longevity check out my catalogue of inspiring and empowering books on Amazon…navigate to my author page here>> Author.to/CassandraGaisford.
I hope you enjoyed this post—if you did please feel free to share with anyone else who could do with some encouragement.
P.S. Do you love the picture my 6-year-old niece drew for my birthday? She and I share a passion for giraffes. One of Freya’s other drawings inspired the logo for my company, Blue Giraffe Publishing.