Being different takes courage. It is a risk. It means moving against the status quo, things are they are and resisting the “norm”.
And over time, the truth is, being different doesn’t get easier.
You just get better at managing what it means to stand out.
This is how and why resilience is so important in a world that constantly pressures us to fit in and conform to a norm that, ironically, doesn’t even actually exist. It’s a concept that takes place in minds but doesn’t actually exist in reality.
And this is good news! Because it doesn’t mean you’re weird or wrong or there’s something wrong with you. It simply means that those people are asleep to what’s actually happening.
Here’s what’s happening: each person is being their unique self (there are over 7.5 billion people on the planet right now and no two people alike, isn’t that CRAZY?!) but within cultural boundaries of what is considered, “good, right, appropriate, etc.” either by explicit laws or cultural rules that are followed.
(If you’ve been following me, you know I’ve been writing about this for the past ten years in all sort of ways. If you’re new to my writing, please check out my 300+ archived posts! There’s a lot of overlap because the same wisdom can be repeated lots of times in different ways.)
So here everyone is, walking around being both unique and “normal” in various ways at the same time.
So it begs the question: what exactly IS normal? And if no one is doing it, who actually IS?!
You see what I’m talking about here.
So being yourself automatically means you’re already different. There’s no such thing as normal or the same so different is just reality. But people who don’t get this keep thinking there’s a “right” and “wrong” way to be or act or live or whatever and heap all those expectations and assumptions into your lap.
And that’s the resistance we feel. That’s why it’s hard to be ourselves, if we’re even clear on what that actually means. (That’s what I help people do, btw)
That resistance shows up in all sorts of ways, time after time, day after day. Messages coming from all angles that we are not fitting other peoples’ expectations.
It’s not like we can broadcast out what we’re doing and have everyone hear it once and for all. So it keeps coming, like waves on the shore. Endlessly. Comments. Critiques. Questions.
You know what I’m talking about.
And that’s why being different doesn’t get easier. Because it never stops, that resistance. But what we do is become more aware of it being an endless experience. And we stop expecting it to stop. We stop expecting it to be easier.
We basically start managing our response to it. We decide to change how it affects us. We shift our mindset to help us negotiate the process of being ourselves in a world full of people who are still trying to figure it out and get the courage to do it themselves.
We eat better. We sleep more. We exercise. We journal. We meditate. We take vitamins. We read books.
We find as many ways as possible to manage the impact of trying to be different in a world full of SAMENESS that is really difference in disguise. Or disillusioned sameness.
I’ll leave this deep thought trajectory right here and just come back to reassure you that YOU ARE PERFECT as you are. DIFFERENT is cool. BE YOURSELF and find a new way today to manage how people resist your brilliance because it doesn’t get easier. It’s on you to build the muscle that makes it better, one day at a time.