Being different is one of the biggest compliments life gives us, but by the time we realize it most of us have fallen into an unhealthy habit of self-abuse. Why can’t I be like everyone else? Why me? Eventually we realize these questions are never going to be answered so as retaliation, we abuse ourselves. We become inferior to society’s judgments and ultimately miss our opportunity at embracing our full potential in life.
Listen to me carefully. You’re not alone. There are times when I’m scared to fully embrace my uniqueness. There have even been times when I’ve tried to hide my sexuality out of fear of judgment. But here’s the thing we all must realize. By being ashamed of who we are, we’re inadvertently telling ourselves we aren’t good enough. And that’s only the beginning to a downwards spiral.
Despite all the triumphs I’ve achieved in life, one of the greatest fears I still carry is judgment from others. The little boy who was told he’d never amount to anything is still alive and kicking inside my head. Every once in a while, he pulls me back in time to a place I thought I’d never revisit again. There’s nothing worse than being ashamed of what you are. Not only does it prevent you from seeing the good because you’re so focused on the negative, but it tricks you into thinking that somehow you don’t belong in society. You’re better off alone.
Pride is an interesting trait because it only comes when you know you deserve something. As long as we’re unsure of our value in this world, pride will never be able to enter. Self-worth is like a superpower. It frees you from all outside support. You don’t need to hear that you’re talented, or pretty, or acceptable. You know it already. With this comes an incredible amount of love for yourself, and that’s the genesis of self-pride.
Being different is never going to be easy in today’s culture. With so many voices telling us where the “standard” lies, when we don’t match it, it’s as if life ripped us off. When you’re not born with a six pack, blonde hair, blue eyes, great teeth, or don’t end up becoming president of the United States, you failed. It’s over. There’s nothing for you anymore. Trust me. Nothing can be further from the truth.
Let’s look at it on the other side, shall we? Imagine you were born however you perceive normal to be. Normal is defined as “conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern.” In other words, neutral. Different is defined as “not the same as another. Distinct and separate.” If you live a neutral life, how the hell are you going to make your own path?
Being set apart from the group is the only way to be noticed and appreciated. Life is the greatest lottery ticket the universe has to offer. By being born, you are automatically worthy of everything life can give. Our differences are what make us all the same. Your differences are what make you unique. So the next time someone scorns you for being different, smile right back and say: “Thanks for the compliment.”