Be Weird To Succeed
Do me a favor. Go to the ten people you’re closest to and ask them what their best strength is. Chances are, out of those ten people, only two or three will give you a solid answer. Why is that? Why do so many people not know what they’re good at?
The problem is that we live in a world that profits from telling us what we lack. Are you not skinny enough? Are you not buff enough? Are you not smart enough? Are you not pretty enough? Is your personality good enough for this world?
And you know what? If you want help on something, go for it. In fact, I implore you to ask for help. That isn’t the problem.
What I’m seeing is a world where we are told to conform to a certain standard in everything we do.
And that is why we stamp out so much of what makes us individually unique.
When you were first born, you were completely yourself. You didn’t have people putting ideas that you weren’t smart enough or talented enough. Look at what children do when they first learn a skill. They fail. They fall. But then after a little crying about, they get up and try again without a second thought.
We have lost that and not because our parents, our teachers or our role models taught us wrong. We changed from that because the whole damn world imposed its standards onto us. The kid who is weird gets picked on. The teen with different hobbies gets made fun of. The adult who takes a different path gets judged.
If you made it through all of that while retaining your individuality, then I really have to say congratulations to you. Because that must have been much harder than it should have been.
The reason why so many of us don’t isn’t because we’re worse off in some way. We are programmed as humans to fit in. That is what got us as a species to survive. But now we live in a world where as an adult, if we leverage our strengths, we can make much more of an impact at what we do because we’re better at it.
Why is self-awareness so rare nowadays? There are parts of us that are always seeking to understand ourselves. We go to close friends to see how we really appear or take tests to figure out what Myers Briggs personality we are or what House we would be Sorted into.
Imagine if the world reversed its message.
Imagine if no one cared about your weaknesses and you were valued based on your strengths. That’s how it should be, right?
On a micro level, this can happen. If you work in an organization that appreciates that or if you foster strong relationships with family or friends, you have this. That is an environment where you can be vulnerable and where you can complement your weaknesses with the strengths of others.
But where can you find such a place? That is a question that you won’t find reading blog articles. But if you keep examining your life, you’ll realize what environments are draining you and which ones support you.
Once you do find what you’re good at, use it. Think about how you could use it to do ten times what you’re doing right now. Change the scale of what you’re thinking and then apply your strengths.
Who would value you? What could you do with your strengths? How can you benefit the world with your talent?
You have a unique value proposition that people would kill to work with. And before you even go to look for those people, you have to understand what it is you would bring to them. This isn’t necessarily tied to your accomplishments, though your strengths could be attributed to them, or your job title. This is about you.
So please. Take the time to figure out what you are good at. Appreciate the uniqueness in you. Because with how the world is, if you’re weird, you’re doing it right.