_I woke yesterday to some very sad news, the news that David Bowie passed. Bowie has always been an icon to me and not just because of his music and art.
While talented beyond measure, his courage to be different, to challenge the norm, and to inspire others to do the same are what I’ve always admired most. In my very humble opinion, we didn’t just lose an innovator and a musical genius; we lost a free spirit who paved the way for other free spirits to let their freak flags fly.
I loved that about him especially since I have battled with my own demons around being different.
I think it’s something we have all faced, the courage to be who we are in a world that often tells us otherwise. I can’t begin to tell you how many amazing people I have talked to over the past 11 years who have struggled with trying to fit in while wanting more than anything to stand out. Squashing their spirit for the sake of acceptance.
The madness of being something we are not in order to fit in has got to stop and so in honor of our individuality and in honor of Bowie, I offer a few tips to embrace the different and colorful sides of who we are:
1. Show up for you and see you. We all have a need to be seen, to be acknowledged for who we are. What we often don’t realize (and I’m guilty of this), is how important it is that we see ourselves. That we take the time to acknowledge all our amazing qualities and characteristics we have. In doing so, we stand firmly in our own authenticity.
(I shared an exercise with my newsletter subscribers for seeing yourself so if you’re interested in the exercise, please drop me a note.)
2. Use your body as a guide. My body is my GPS and when I tune into it, it lets me know when I’m not being authentically me. When I’m doing something just to fit in…that way I can course correct.
3. Don’t be afraid to speak up for you. Remembering that you are only responsible for how your message is delivered. Not how it’s received.
4. Say “yes” to life. Which means stepping outside your comfort zone and trying some new things on for size.
5. Don’t let others steal your thunder. People are always going to have an opinion and that’s OK. Just know it’s your opinion of who you are and what you do that matters most.
6. Drop the comparisons. When you compare yourself to someone else you dim your own uniqueness and you say to yourself that who you are, as you are is not good enough.
7. Don’t worry that you’ll be alone. Your tribe is waiting, people who get you and will gladly have you as you are.
My friends, I turn it over to you, how will you share your uniqueness with the world in 2016?