If there’s one thing people seek in life, it’s to be awesome, to be cool, to be admired by others. Simply put, people want to stand out. There’s a part of everyone that craves attention and appreciation. We all want to be recognized for something, or a whole bunch of things.
We look at people whom we consider celebrities or role models, and we think to ourselves, “Damn! I wish I could be like him/her”. We all, as much as we can, want to live our best lives and be the best versions of ourselves, and not only that, we want to be recognized for it.
A lot of us, however, though we would love to be outstanding, live a life of conformity. We conform to the norms and the standards that our environment set for us, conform to the trending ideas, and conform to what’s in vogue. In the end, most people are just another face in the crowd.
There is a uniqueness that each one of us was born with. Genetically and character-wise, no two humans have ever and will ever be the same. People may share similarities, but each individual is 100% unique. It’s almost like we were born to stand out. Yet so many people spend way too much energy trying to fit in.
Why do People Choose Conformity Over Uniqueness?
Being unique and embracing that uniqueness is a huge responsibility. The fact that you see, feel, perceive, talk, think, and act differently from others means you have to embrace your peculiarity and also accept that of others.
This means that you have to come to terms with the fact that since people are each different, then there are no absolutes in life, and that all ideas are relative. This means that your interaction with others would have to be a dialogue based on mutual respect and acceptance.
The problem is, people often see their perspective as what is right and what is absolute. If they can get enough people who share their views, they create a trend. Given enough time, they would have either convince more people or forced more people to agree with them. Hence, a norm or culture is born.
A psychoanalytic study showed that people primarily judge what is appropriate by what everyone else is doing. It is often easier to blend in than to stand out. The truth is that most people lack the bravery required to question the status quo. So, they adjust their personalities, standards, and dreams to conform to what society says is permissible.
A lot of people will go to their graves unfulfilled because they lacked the courage to question the norms and explore life’s possibilities. No one wants to play the part of the rebel. But all notable changes throughout history were inspired by people who were considered as rebels at the time.
Choose to Be Outstanding
There’s a level of freedom you will never feel till you start exploring every facet of your being. So long as we let external factors dictate to us what we are or aren’t capable of, we will always feel limited and feel powerless to a certain degree.
When you decide to live life on your terms and reject external limitations, you will encounter people who would try to tell you that you can’t do whatever it is that you aspire to do. You can either listen to them and stay trapped within yourself, or unleash your potential and watch your life blossom.
How to be Outstanding.
Decide to be.
Everything begins with a decision. You can’t embark on a journey you haven’t decided to go on. The journey to an outstanding life is a conscious and deliberate one, not a passive one. You must make the choice to live a life void of preconditioned mental limits. If it can be imagined, it can be done.
We all know the all too popular saying, “He who stands for nothing will fall for anything”. In a world riddled with multiple distractions and different voices calling for our attention, it is important for one a personal creed.
So many people build their lives on the foundation of hand-me-down beliefs. Others have no beliefs whatsoever. They simply go with the flow and move from trend to trend. The lack of convictions renders you unstable and unreliable. Your convictions act as a guide to help you navigate through life.
If you don’t know who you are, how would you know what to do with yourself? Self-discovery doesn’t happen by accident. It requires deliberate and sincere self-evaluation. You need to sit with yourself and ask yourself some personal questions like:
Who am I?
What is my purpose?
What do I stand for?
What makes me different?
What are my strengths?
What are my weaknesses?
What do I desire most?
It will amaze you the level of clarity you get when you can answer the questions above.
Strengthen Your Strengths.
Everyone is good at something. Everyone has unique skills and abilities that set them apart from others. Unfortunately, society is often more interested in highlighting our faults. Criticism is often readily available as against complements.
This program people to spend more time and energy hiding their weaknesses, rather than growing their strengths. The way to overcome your weaknesses if to grow your strengths. Find what you’re good at and keep improving on it.
In the process of perfecting an ability that you naturally possess; you’ll pick up other complementary skills. The discipline you inculcate in this process is far more important than any talent you may or may not have.
We may have no control over the strengths and weaknesses we are born with. It might not be possible to choose the talents we are blessed with at birth. We don’t have a say in the physical and character flaws we may genetically inherit.
But, if we take the gifts that we have and cultivate and apply them faithfully, surely enough, we will leave our mark on the world. It is better to be masterfully excellent at one thing than to be mediocre at a lot of things.
The world has a unique spot at the top for everyone but only those who are brave enough to embrace and cultivate their uniqueness will claim their spot. It is easy to leave an average life but if you want to be outstanding, then embrace change, accept the fact you will be misunderstood, but insist on living life on your terms.
Cheers to an outstanding life.
Yours truly, Johnbosco Nduaguba.