If you’re a fish out of water like me, you attract attention because you’re different from the people around you. You are perceived as someone who doesn’t fit in; you’re outside the norm, some may feel that you’re too controversial. You’re considered ahead of your time, maybe even an iconoclast. Whatever you are, you don’t run with the pack; instead, you march to the beat of your own drum.
If I’ve just described you, count your blessings. You are indeed fortunate. Your natural characteristics are what will--and likely, already have--set you apart in a positive way. You may not feel very positive about those differences right now because you’ve been busy trying to wish them away or cover them up. The truth is, if you stand out not because you’re different, but because you’re solidly grounded in who you are--with no apologies--you’ll be the Lady Gaga-Steve Jobs-Oprah-Ellen-Einstein of your world. And how great would that be? Marinade in that thought for a minute--feels good doesn’t it?
If you can step into the joy of being the only one like you, you’ll find that people will gravitate toward you because of your energy, confidence, and flair. But before any of that happens, you need to come to terms with being a fish out of water--and a fearless fish at that!
None of us comes into this world with a handbook to guide us in developing our personalities. We simply jump into life and do the best we can. But what if you feel different--that you somehow don’t fit in with the norm, that you aren’t truly recognized and accepted for who you are? Trying to retrofit yourself into society and work life can be daunting, burning you out before you’ve even had a chance to shine.
If there is one thing I’ve learned, it’s that acting out of fear and living according to other people’s needs will pigeonhole you into being someone you’re not; and that’s not what life is about. Our job is to be open to the possibilities and see how far we can go. Life is a journey, so why not make the most of it? So, let’s begin the journey of celebrating your distinctiveness.
One of my closest friends recently said to me, “What if I’ve come this far and I still don’t know who I am?’’ As much as we want to quickly understand ourselves, there are no shortcuts to the truth. We’re deep and multifaceted, and we’re changing all the time. But at our core--in our souls--we are stable, vibrant beings with philosophies, values, and perspectives that travel with us throughout our lives.
Open up to your authentic self. Sounds scary, huh? ‘‘The real me?’’ Sometimes we’re not quite sure who that is. When we’re used to feeling distant from the group, we tend to submerge our true selves in an effort to be accepted. The real movers and shakers in this world live their lives with conviction; they rarely hide who they are. They accept that they were born different or landed in circumstances that make them different, and they embrace the opportunity to stand out from the pack. We all have that same opportunity.
If you’re different, you already attract attention. The good news is--attracting attention may be the best thing that ever happened to you!
Robin Fisher Roffer is a leading brand strategist and reinvention specialist. Founder and CEO of Big Fish Marketing, she is the author of Make A Name For Yourself: 8 Steps Every Woman Needs To Create A Personal Brand Strategy For Success, The Fearless Fish Out Of Water: How To Succeed When You’re The Only One Like You, and Reinventing Yourself: 10 Steps To Shifting Your Career Into High Gear. Learn about her Reinvent Yourself! Workshops at http://relevanceinstitute.com/