Living uniquely is one of the simplest things we can do — and yet sometimes it can feel so difficult. It is all about listening to our own “inner rumblings” and allowing our trues selves to emerge, unfettered. It is all about doing things “our way,” regardless of what others think or say about us. It is about having the courage to write that blogpost or paint that picture without the fear of imagined rejection.
But then we “dull-it-down.”
Once we change our thinking in order to “fit in”, to dilute our idea in order to appease those who will never buy from us anyway, we are also agreeing to pinch off our creativity. In that instant, we go from creating a unique “something” to swimming in the Sea of Sameness. Yes, living in a cookie-cutter world FEELS safer. But it’s not really safer, because it will get us nowhere. It’s not genuine. It’s not authentic. AND, it’s certainly more stressful and exhausting because we are having to use our energy to avoid our own uniqueness in being who we truly are!
Perfectionism: the other enemy
At the other end of this, we wait until we feel we are perfect, or until our “something” (our product, our offer, our art, our widget) is perfect. Seth Godin states, “In order to be a productive professional, you have to present to the world and say, ‘I will makes this for you.’ And then keep your promise…. You can’t wait until you’re perfect before you present, because you’re never going to get there.”
Watch 2 minutes of Seth Godin’s hour-long interview with Chase Jarvis of CreativeLive:
Yes, when we risk being authentic we may be called “weird” and “strange” and we may even be shunned at times. But there will always be those who see and appreciate our uniqueness and feel drawn to it. It is not our job to tie ourselves into knots in order to make everyone like and approve of us. This will not bring favor upon us, and can never bring lasting relationships.
– What things, ideas, people are most important to me?
– Am I able to risk bringing what is most important in my life into my business?
– How can I express who I am and what I believe through my business?
Learning how we create our own lives and then observing these things can help us understand who we are at our core, what we have to offer others, and what we truly value.